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On the Canada Student Service Grant

July 10, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Last updated: July 10



The administration of the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) has changed significantly since the Federal Government’s initial announcement of program details on June 27.

As of July 3, the partnership agreement with WE Charity has been cancelled. As a result, the program is currently in transition, and while students are being encouraged to continue to apply, there is a strong possibility that the program will be on hold indefinitely.

Volunteer Toronto has met with Volunteer Canada and will be meeting with WE Charity to discuss how administration of the program will transition to the federal government. We will release new information with non-profits and students when available through our Sector Space and Volunteer Times newsletters.

Volunteer Toronto recognizes there is a critical need to help students and non-profits financially during COVID-19 recovery. We also strongly endorse volunteerism as a necessary ingredient to Canada’s recovery and long-term sustainability. However, regardless of how the program is administered, Volunteer Toronto strongly encourages stakeholders interested in participating in the CSSG program to consider the following:

  • Volunteer Toronto does not agree with a long-term perception shift endorsed by facilitating community involvement as worthwhile only when paid

  • We do not believe volunteer contributions should be recognized with an hourly rate that equates to below minimum wage 
  • We are concerned for the liability of non-profits that choose to participate, given the program’s possible breach of Ontario's Employment Standards Act

  • We do not believe in creating make-work roles for volunteers in order to gain access to CSSG funding

  • We are apprehensive about the impact on volunteers and non-profits who are excluded from the benefits of CSSG, including: 

    • Volunteers who contributed to pandemic response initiatives prior to the June 27 program launch

    • Students over 30

    • Non-profits without dedicated volunteer engagement capacity, that will struggle to engage hundreds of youth volunteers in a meaningful and safe way during pandemic recovery

 

Moving forward, Volunteer Toronto is committed to collaborating with other volunteer centres, Volunteer Canada, and other leaders to build better advocacy networks for our sector. Read more about how Volunteer Toronto has spoken up during COVID-19 to address pressing issues by clicking here.

 

Non-profits with questions should contact:

Iona Frost, Director of Programs
ifrost@volunteertoronto.ca

For media inquiries, please contact:

Cara Eaton, Director of Strategic Communications
ceaton@volunteertoronto.ca

 

 


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