June 23, 2020

The Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) passed a motion at the June 12, 2020 Board of Directors (BoD) meeting to officially endorse the Just Recovery Principles and submit a brief regarding Canada’s COVID-19 response to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

Just Recovery is a call to the Canadian government to acknowledge that we cannot go “back to normal” as we continue to rebuild during the COVID-19 health crisis. Moreover, organizations are asking the governments to take action to improve the inadequacies and inequities of our systems. For this reason, hundreds of organizations endorse the Principles of a Just Recovery. These principles were developed by organizations working together from communities across the country.

The 6 Principles for a Just Recovery are as follows:

  • Put people’s health and wellbeing first. No exceptions
  • Strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people
  • Prioritize the needs of workers and communities
  • Build resilience to prevent future crises
  • Build solidarity and equity across communities, generations, and borders
  • Uphold Indigenous Rights and work in partnership with Indigenous peoples

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the flaws in our current healthcare, education, and social support systems that our community members have been pushing to make more equitable for years,” says Osob Mohamed, SFSS President. “We cannot allow the Canadian government and wealthy elite to exploit us, or remain complacent in our exploitation. We have to prioritize human well-being and environmental safety over profits. We must fight back at all levels against the oppressive systems that harm marginalized folks and the working class as we rebuild our society.” 

The SFSS has been supporting students amidst the pandemic. This includes providing financial relief, academic advocacy, and pressure on the University to provide adequate support for students and workers. Similar to how the Society advocates within the University, it is imperative that we continue to meaningfully extend these advocacy efforts beyond SFU, according to SFSS At-Large Representative, Balqees Jama.

“The House of Commons is currently accepting briefs on Canada’s COVID-19 response, particularly through the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology,” notes Jama. “The SFSS has submitted a brief, in line with the Principles of a Just Recovery, requesting the Federal Government to provide immediate and adequate financial relief to all students, including international students. This action is to show one way the Society can contribute on a large-scale to advocate for equitable outcomes for students and everyone in Canada.”

Read the full statement here.

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