On July 5, a one-time grocery rebate was distributed to eligible low and modest-income Canadians as grocery costs continue to rise with inflation. Roughly eleven million Canadians were set to receive the payment, which was issued by the Canada Revenue Agency along with July’s GST/HST payment.
The majority of UW students receiving the rebate fall under the category of single Canadians with no children, and will receive $234.
In an Instagram poll conducted by Imprint, 31 per cent of student respondents said that they had received a grocery rebate while 69 per cent said that they had not. Just over half of respondents who had received the rebate believed it was helpful. One student who believed the rebate was helpful said, “This is good, now I can feel guilty without feeling guilty about money.” Another student who criticized the rebate said that it was “[a]dressing the symptoms and not the cause.”
Wei Hu, a graduate computer science student, said that while he hadn’t heard about the rebate before, he had observed the increasing cost of groceries as a student even if he didn’t specifically do much to budget.
Humnah Younus, a second-year civil engineering student, praised the rebate. “I don’t think I received it, but I think it’s good, especially for students, since prices are so expensive just for one person so if the government can help with that, then why not?”
Younus added that determining how effective the rebate was would have to be considered on a case-by-case basis. “Because it’s only just implemented, it’s hard to say if it’s really sufficient or really going to be enough, I think you kind of have to see down the line how it impacts people,” she added.
Bernard Tung, a graduate electrical engineering student, also said that inflation had notably impacted his own spending as a student. “Groceries have gone up [in price]; I think at some point [getting groceries] was comparable to just getting takeout in some places, because the cost per meal when you get groceries is pretty similar.”
While Tung had heard about the rebate before, he was unsure about whether or not he had received it. “I don’t know, I’ll have to check my CRA account, I didn’t get an email,” he said.
The Canada Revenue Agency requested that those who had not received the payment on July 5th wait ten business days before contacting them.