September 27, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Volunteer placements on pause as Liberals try out to restart troubled college student grant plan

Volunteer placements on pause as Liberals try to restart troubled student grant program

Learners slated to get started volunteering this 7 days in order to get the Canada College student Company Grant (CSSG) have seen their placements grind to halt as the government attempts to kind out the troubled system, CBC Information has learned.

WE Charity mentioned Friday it was pulling out of administering the $900-million undertaking, citing the on-heading controversy surrounding it and the government’s determination to give the sole-resource agreement to WE. Primary Minister Justin Trudeau claimed the federal governing administration would get in excess of, but that youthful persons may possibly not have the identical prospects as when WE was associated.

Some 35,000 learners and the latest graduates have applied for the CSSG, which connects them with volunteering alternatives in trade for amongst $1,000 and $5,000, dependent on the quantity of hours labored. 

Two federal government sources convey to CBC News there is in depth get the job done likely on behind the scenes as the governing administration and WE attempt to disentangle. 

WE Charity suggests its responsibilities provided recruiting pupils, processing tens of thousands of purposes, and doing the job with the not-for-profits featuring volunteer possibilities. 

WE also said Friday it experienced recruited hundreds of personnel to mentor college students. CBC News has previously reported that lecturers were being supplied $12,000 to recruit and mentor dozens of candidates to the grant software.

Payment infrastructure, insurance policy and waiver programs and “a great number of other administrative features” were being all element of WE’s obligations, in accordance to its assertion.

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Now the federal govt has to identify how to make that system function devoid of WE. The charity has publicly pledged its guidance through the changeover, but decisions need to be built speedily, offered that a lot of candidates were intended to have begun their work this week.

Sources failed to give a specific timeline for addressing these issues, but acknowledged the function needs to materialize swiftly.

The Canadian Federation of Pupils has been swift to audio an alarm about the hold off. The tens of countless numbers of applications to the program recommend students are wanting for techniques to make finishes meet up with, the group stated.

“College starts once again in considerably less than two months and pupils even now do not know if they will be able to manage lessons … on leading of their dwelling bills,” CFS mentioned.

The group argues the federal govt need to basically maximize the sum of the Canada University student Unexpected emergency Gain, which in several situations pays $1,250 per 4-7 days time period, in buy to get more cash into students’ pockets.

Bardish Chagger is minister for diversity, inclusion and youth, the section overseeing the CSSG. The authorities is working to get the controversial volunteer program up and managing right after WE Charity backed out. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Although the federal government’s efforts to salvage the method proceed at the rear of the scenes, official voices have been tight lipped.

Requested about the message to students, a spokesperson for Work and Social Development Canada sent a assertion referring to the troubles each the non-gain sector and and pupils are facing for the reason that of COVID-19.

The governing administration is “operating diligently to acquire a changeover system. Far more details will be furnished as before long as it is accessible,” the statement reported. 

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In the meantime, the auditor normal has claimed he will examine the conclusion to award the agreement to WE. The House of Commons Finance Committee has offered the federal govt right up until Aug. 8 to create files related to the program together with the contract with WE. The committee will also convey in witnesses to discuss the make a difference and make a report on it.

The prime minister reported Wednesday that even though the choice to give the sole-source deal to WE came from the civil services, he and the other users of cabinet did ratify the decision.

He extra that it continues to be important to give younger individuals options during the pandemic to have interaction in their communities.