Thousands of students working in the restaurant industry find themselves doubly losing because of a crisis that has caused them to lose their jobs and their stability.
• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic
“The timeline to have a job and a stable income, I don’t see it arriving until the spring of 2021, and I really doubt the government measures will last that long. It’s quite anxious, because even if, for the moment, we have helpers, it’s not clear that I’ll be able to return to work when [les aides] are going to be finished. So, it risks being a new panel of uncertainty and concern for my finance, ”explains David Chapdelaine, 22, a student at the University of Montreal as a free student and bartender in the Old Port.
For him, as for thousands of students who work in restaurants, the second closure of bars and restaurants creates a lot of stress. And for many, finding such a rewarding job in another field by working only twenty hours a week is almost impossible without a diploma.
Hard to change
Vincent Lord, a business administration student at TÉLUQ University and a waiter, tried to find a new job during the first wave of closures.
“I tried to become a financial advisor, because it doesn’t require too much training and it offers a good salary,” says the 22-year-old student. But after the training, the people I worked with told me that I could not have this job while continuing my studies. So it was either I quit my studies, or I found myself a plan B and I continued my classes. “
So while waiting to see how the situation evolves by October 28, the student wonders about the help that will be available to him.
Like many working Canadians, most of these students were able to access the Canada Emergency Benefit (CEP) in the first wave. Today, they are entitled to receive new assistance with employment insurance or the new Canada Economic Recovery Benefit (CPRE).
For Ève Desroches, an environmental design student at the University of Quebec in Montreal and a waitress, this government assistance allows her, for the moment, to concentrate on her studies.
“I dare to hope that the situation will quickly return to normal, I live a little from day to day so as not to worry too much about it. I stay on the lookout for job offers, but it’s not necessarily easier, ”adds the 24-year-old student.
Same story for Shanie Lee Brousseau, student at the Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) and waitress.
“I want to work, I want to contribute, but at the same time, why would I find a new job, less well paid, when I have the right to receive unemployment because I worked for it? ‘to have?” asks the 22-year-old student.
For one who studies restaurant management, the pandemic has also called into question her entire future. In a sector whose future is currently uncertain, she does not yet know if she will be able to continue in this environment, even if she is passionate about the profession.