Senate Passes COVID-19 Financial Aid Package for Canadians

Clay Curtis
March 26, 2020

"We're looking at ways to help people bridge, through credit or other measures, their ability to mae it to the arrival of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit", he said.

The PMO declined to comment on the Conservatives' description of the negotiations when contacted by iPolitics on Wednesday and instead referred to a comment from Finance Minister Bill Morneau earlier in the day in which he said extraordinary challenges necessitate extraordinary measures.

John Hinds, the president and CEO of News Media Canada, which represents hundreds of daily, weekly and community publishers, including The Globe and Mail, said Canada's news media appreciates the government recognizing their work, but that "this is a crisis for the industry and we need support to continue, not just rehash announcements of last year's promises".

People who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus, are full-time contract or self-employed, and people who are sick, in quarantine, or looking after someone who is sick, will be eligible for the benefit, said Trudeau. The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.

The prime minister is urging all Canadians overseas to return home by commercial means while options are still available, and to register with the government so they can receive proper updates. Close to one million new applications for employment insurance have been reported, much higher than average. Morneau said the benefits for workers would come as early as the first week of April, while top-ups for child benefits and GST cheques will flow in May.

"The EI system was not created to process the unprecedented high volume of applications received in the past week", Finance Canada admitted in a statement.

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According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. Like: 'Hey, hey, hey - you are kicking me and what you're doing is not good, so we will get rid of you.

All Canadian workers over the age of 15 who have earned more than $5,000 in the last 12 months but are now earning no income because of the COVID-19 pandemic would qualify for the temporary benefit program, Morneau said.

The website said workers already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits should not apply for CERB. CERB will be available until October 3rd.

"We know that with this amount of EI claims coming in at once, we will definitely need more help in processing all those files", Eddy Bourque, president of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union, told the National Post.

Help is on the way for people who need money during this pandemic. An online portal will be launched and after applying for relief, it will be 10 days when people will see the money. Payments begin 10 days after application every four weeks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is telling laid-off workers that help is on its way.

The portion of benefits to help Canadians and small businesses cope with the COVID-19 pandemic is nearly double what it was expected to be, the federal finance minister said Wednesday. It is during these hard times that Canadians should not have to choose between protecting their health and continuing to support their families.

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