People are asking for the CERB to be extended in Canada
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is only available for four months, but Canadians are now asking for it to be extended beyond that time frame.
The benefit is currently providing seven million Canadians with $2,000 a month, and the program is scheduled to end in early October. However, Canadians can only receive benefits for a maximum of 16 weeks, and for many people, that timeline expires in July.
Have you lost, or will you lose your income due to the #COVID19 pandemic?— Employment and Social Development Canada (@ESDC_GC) April 4, 2020
Apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit starting April 6: https://t.co/h4cq3mDg5Z#EconomicResponse pic.twitter.com/xabHPT7v1s
Notably, the federal government has shown that it's willing to extend programs, should the need arise; on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be extended beyond its original June 6 end date.
"Earlier today we received a job report for April," Trudeau said, referring to the Statistics Canada report that shows the country lost almost two million jobs last month. "These numbers tell us what we already knew: that right now, Canadians are hurting because of this pandemic."
Across the country, business owners are using the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to keep their workers on the payroll. And to make sure even more business owners and workers get the support they need, we’re going to extend the wage subsidy beyond June.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 8, 2020
However, Trudeau has yet to give a clear response on whether the CERB will be extended.
Although Trudeau said that the government will "continue to adjust itself" as the situation evolves, he emphasized that fewer Canadians will need the CERB as the country's economy reopens — making it sound unlikely that the benefit will be extended anytime soon.
Q: Are you going to extend CERB like you have extended wage subsidy?— Farah Nasser (@FarahNasser) May 8, 2020
A: Less people will need CERB as they go to work, more people will go toward the wage subsidy as employers bring people back and as economy reopens.
Still, many Canadians are expressing their desire for the program to be extended beyond 16 weeks.
Travel agents, for example, will be in need of financial assistance for at least a few more months, considering that nobody is eager to travel in light of the virus that's sweeping across the world.
Im a travel agent we desperatly need the CERB extended 😭— RamonaK (@KRamona84) May 8, 2020
And Canadians in the arts industry will similarly need a financial boost since concerts, music festivals and summer events have been cancelled for the year.
A reminder to friends (especially in the theatre industry) to email your MPs to ask for CERB eligibility to be extended (beyond 4 months). If you applied for the first period the last period you are currently eligible for is June 7-July 4— Tessa Pekeles (@Tessa_N_P) April 30, 2020
Canadians who are self-employed may also struggle to find work in the coming months, depending on which industry they're in.
From the sound of the press conference the cerb will not be extended. So many people are self employed or contract workers. Continue cerb even if it is at a lower rate— paul grewal (@sgrew31) May 8, 2020
Hopefully, Trudeau provides a more concrete answer soon.
If you are currently receiving the CERB, remember that you have to reapply for the program every month to continue receiving your payments.
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