cerb extension

Justin Trudeau hints that CERB will be extended in Canada

While provinces in Canada wade into various phases of reopening their economies, some residents are still worried about when and if they will be returning to work as the date for their final Canada Emergency Response Benefit payment looms.

Many have been calling for an extension of the CERB, through which the federal government has been offering a taxable $2,000 per month to Canadians who lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19, seeing as a number of industries still remain closed as per provincial restrictions.

Given the immense cost that Ottawa (and taxpayers) would incur if it extended the benefit through to the end of the year — $57 billion, in addition to the $43 billion the CERB has already costed so far — it seemed unlikely that it would actually happen.

But, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his media briefing on Monday that he and his team are working on "a solution to extend the benefit," though he didn't completely confirm anything just yet.

"The CERB was designed to keep everyone at home and allow us to get through the initial wave of this pandemic," the PM said to press in front of Rideau Cottage.

"But even with the economy reopening, we know there are many jobs that aren't going to be coming back in the short term — and that's why we are looking at continuing to help people who are on the CERB who can't find a job."

He added that details about a potential extension of some kind — which the NDP has been pushing for — will be revealed in the coming days.

Meanwhile, citizens who applied when the funding first became available will reach their 16-week limit on July 4. Those whose companies have not yet opened up shop were expecting to switch over to regular Employment Insurance, or keep looking for alternative employment.

Trudeau today also emphatically encouraged businesses to utilize the Canada Emergency Business Account and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to help resume operations and get workers off of CERB and back on the payroll, as he has been urging them to do for some time.

But with a number of industries suffering, countless small businesses permanently shuttering, unemployment at a record high and the whole country in an economic recession due to the financial strain of the health crisis, some residents are facing the fact that they may not have a job to come back to if and when their place of work does resume operations.

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