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House of Commons debating aid package for students today

Conservatives want incentives for young Canadians to take jobs, rather than stay home and collect aid


April 29, 2020
By The Canadian Press

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(Steven Kriemadis/Getty Images)

The House of Commons will be asked today to give rapid approval to legislation authorizing $9 billion in promised financial assistance for students facing bleak summer job prospects in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But whether the Trudeau government will get the unanimous consent needed to expedite the bill’s approval in a matter of hours today remained to be seen late Tuesday.

The government was continuing negotiations with opposition parties on details of the bill, which was shared with them on the weekend.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has said his party wants changes that would ensure the legislation includes incentives for young people to take available jobs, rather than stay home and collect the emergency aid.

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A government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations, says the governing Liberals are open to changing the bill.

New Democrat and Green MPs have also been pushing for the aid package to be expanded to include international students who remain in Canada over the summer.