Non-profits want Trudeau to scrap the Canada Student Service Grant. Here’s why — and where the money should go instead.

Funnel the money to the Canada Summer Jobs program instead, say sector leaders

Why It Matters

A political scandal is forcing the federal government to rethink its $912-million program for student volunteers, but non-profits say it was doomed from the start. Facing $15.6 billion in lost revenue and unprecedented demand on their services, charities and non-profits say they need more support from Ottawa. But where should the money be spent instead?

“Can you believe this WE thing?”

That’s been the new opening line of several conversations in the non-profit and charitable sector over the past few weeks, says Dominique Souris, youth leader and co-founder of the non-profit Youth Climate Lab.

Souris, however, was not referring to the political storm engulfing Justin Trudeau’s government – under fire for conflicts of interest in awarding the WE charity contract. She was more concerned about their frustration and disbelief at the government’s new youth volunteer program. As her youth-serving organization struggles to deal with the impacts of COVID-19, she says gaining new volunteers will not help.

“You’re actually, in a way, putting more work on us – we’re already very strapped [for time],” says Souris, who was recently named one of Future of Good’s 21

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