End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

Daniel Fowler
September 29, 2020

"I don't think this will change the unnecessary messiness of the rollover from from CERB to EI or some of these new programs in the sense that it doesn't help people figure out where they should apply or not apply", he added.

The Liberal throne speech introduced Wednesday needs the support of at least one of the major opposition parties for the minority government to survive a confidence vote, or else Canada could head into a federal election while parts of the country are already in a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Liberals are proposing to increase the value of benefits for unemployed workers to $500 a week under newly tabled legislation that lands days before aid runs out for millions. There's also a new suite of proposed benefits, but they will require approval of Parliament.

The Liberal government introduced legislation Thursday the NDP said it considered a victory on its first demand, by ensuring that jobless Canadians will continue to receive same benefit provided under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This Benefit would support Canadians who have not returned to work due to COVID-19 or whose income has dropped by at least 50%.

A Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household, available for Canadians who are unable to work because they have to care for a child under the age of 12 or another family member because schools, day cares, or care facilities are closed because of COVID-19 or because the individual receiving care is sick or must quarantine. However, if you've been getting paid through the Canada Revenue Agency, you'll have to re-apply through the Service Canada site.

"For a worker in Canada, if they fall sick, they should not have to make the impossible choice - do I go to work sick, infecting my colleagues, or do I stay at home risking not being able to pay my bills because I'm not being paid", he said. "If we want to get to the point where we build back better, we need to make sure that the people who need our help the most, get the support they need".

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Information for this briefing was found via the Government of Canada.

The bill is to be presented to parliament on Monday.

Anyone who applied and received the CERB through the CRA would need to apply anew for EI, if they qualify. The announced goal is to provide Canadians with the skills training and employment supports they need to re-enter the workforce, especially those in sectors hit hardest by the pandemic. Those rules will also apply to the new recovery benefit.

"We've created ... a much more elegant balance between the need to not disincentivize work, but also support people who, regardless of efforts still aren't working or have significantly reduced hours".

"You need the enabling legislation passed for the million people that are going to end up on these new Canada recovery programs, which has not been passed", he said. "If you can not work, and still don't qualify for the simplified EI, there is support available to you, tailored to your specific needs", states Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough.

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