Letter – Student Relief Assistance Fund

Dec 12, 2017 @ 08:16

Dear Brenda,


Today I received the email stating that I was denied the Student Relief Assistance Fund due to not providing the documentation that demonstrates my expenses during the strike.


As a student, we have many things to worry about; we all have our daily routines during our school year. This year, 2017, our fall term was supposed to be from September until December. Due to the strike, our contract with the college of our fall term was disrupted. Our lives were flipped upside down, for 5 weeks. Routines were no longer routines, and as for someone living and battling depression, it is CRUCIAL to have that routine. It was rather unfortunate that the strike lasted as long as it did.


During the 5 week period of the strike, no longer having a routine, slowly losing hope, many of us had to find ways to cope with the daily stress and disappointment. For me, it was traveling to Wawa to spend time with family, traveling to Timmins to see family because I was homesick, it was having to find a job because I had so much time on my hands and I was going crazy, not knowing what was going to happen with school.


School to me is very important, which my GPA demonstrates – 4.0. When the strike was lifted forcefully, we were to go back to school, jump right back in and pretty much pretend like nothing happened, not to mention the expectations from our professors.


The Relief Fund is for students, over 500 000+ were affected from the strike, equally, for the same time period. That being said, why should some students QUALIFY for the “relief fund”, while others be denied? That in no way, makes any sense.


Any additional funds I agree, students should qualify; BUT, a RELIEF fund, should be granted to all 500 000 + students, who ALL suffered the same emotional distress of suffering the loss of knowledge, the loss of learning life skills and the loss of social interactions.


If you agree with the details I have provided, then have it in your heart, even if it is NOT in your hands, put it in the right hands and pass this letter along.


Brianna Germain

This Media Release


  1. Dear Brianna:

    Welcome to reality. The government provides compensation for financial losses only, and only with receipts proving the expenses. They do not consider emotional distress an expense. How does one put a value on that?

    Students are not the only ones who suffer emotional distress when their employers or unions make decisions. Many of the professors and assistant professors suffered emotional distress as well particularly those who disagreed with the strike decision. Should they be reimbursed financially? Many of them lost salary which probably placed them in distress and they will not be reimbursed. All this is not to say I agreed with the union or strike action. I did not.

    One could also argue that it is the Union and its members that decided to strike and should share in your claim for emotional distress rather than the taxpayers many of whom also suffer more emotional distress.

    The best you are going to collect are your travel expenses if you can provide receipts and argue that your travel was necessary.

    You are obviously a dedicated student. How you handle the life lesson given you here will help you in the future when you face similar difficult situations. As my favourite teacher used to tell us at the end of every class, ” Remember you are the master of your destiny!” Let this experience make you stronger.

    • Dear Linda,

      I am currently finishing my fourth year of school. The strike occurred and it was stated that it would not surpass 3 weeks. It went for 5 weeks.

      Before the strike was forcefully lifted, it was CLEARLY stated that students WOULD be eligible for the Student Assistance Relief Fund of $500.00 – not MAY be eligible – big difference.

      I will continue to fight as I am a firm believer for equality and us students have suffered a great loss over the 5 weeks.

      There is no justifying why students should be denied.

      Respectfully, I disagree and would appreciate if you did your homework to realize that us students were specifically told through numerous articles, videos and statements that the 500$ would be for every student attending the Ontario Colleges who were put through the strike.

    • Thank you Brianna for the information? I was not aware of the numerous articles, videos and statements to which you refer. I will search for same. However, articles, videos and statements don’t contain the details of any government programme. One must ask for the rules or regulations that govern the programmes before concluding as you did, the intent of the government.

      The tricky word in the announcements is “eligible” not “would”. The announcements, I conclude from your quote did not say “would receive” but “would be eligible”. Obviously this would indicate eligibility requirements were attached to the funds and not every student was guaranteed any amount.

      Now let’s do some calculations. 500 000 plus students at $500 each would total $250 million plus!!! That is a huge sum to expect the taxpayers of Ontario to contribute, many of whom have suffered worse losses as a result of strikes than the students and with no compensation.

      I admire your efforts to obtain what you see as fair but I ask that you reflect on what you expect of the taxpayers. As a taxpayer, I concur with the government in agreeing to cover expenses incurred by students, but not to downright donations with no strings attached.

  2. I have reviewed news reports, particularly November 17, 2017. All state that the Minister announced that the colleges would be required to create a fund from the monies saved in unpaid salaries during the strike. It was estimated that the fund total would be around $5 million. Furthermore, the article stated the parameters for releasing funds to students were being set up with the colleges and student reps.

    I also went to several college websites and in November, the eligibility requirements were posted along with applications which state the funds are to cover added expenses cause by the strike with receipts necessary.