cerb extended

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

Canadians who are self-employed may also struggle to find work in the coming months, depending on which industry they're in.

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.

Lead photo by

Kelly Sikkema

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