In an announcement on Monday, the Prime Minister confirmed some changes to the current Canada Emergency Response Benefit. While the initial plan excluded some Canadians that needed the aid, Trudeau revealed that a new update will include people like gig workers, contractors and students. Those who are still working, but are working reduced hours, will also be able to apply.
Last week, on April 1, the federal government announced the launch of their new Emergency Response Benefit, which provides up to $2,000 per month in support for those who have lost their job due to COVID-19.
However, the aid was criticized by some people, who reportedly argued that many Canadians who needed access to the funding were unable to apply for it.
In response, Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that the benefit plan would be updated, in order to help people like students, gig workers, contractors, struggling businesses, volunteer firefighters and those working reduced hours due to the pandemic.
Specific details of the new support are yet to be revealed, but Trudeau told affected Canadians, "You need support now, and work is underway to get it to you as soon as possible.
"For people in all of these situations, we see you, we're going to be there for you, and we're working as hard as we can to get you the support you need," he said.
Speaking in Ottawa, PM Justin Trudeau says announcement is coming soon re measures for those who do not currently q… https://t.co/gAZwuhPWgU— CPAC (@CPAC)1586187508.0
During his daily COVID-19 media briefing, the Prime Minister also announced that 240,000 people had applied for the benefit so far, which only opened at 6 a.m. on Monday morning.
Those born in January, February, and March can apply online as of Monday morning, and applications throughout the week will open to those with birthdays during the rest of the year.
Over the next week, the Canada Revenue Agency is expecting to handle hundreds of thousands of claims. The government says they’re prepared to handle millions of applications.
Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit open today for those who were born in January, February, or… https://t.co/ky6FmbDAua— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau)1586178024.0
More information about the latest modification to the program is expected to be revealed in the coming days.
To apply for the emergency benefit, you can find the application online at Canada.ca or you can call the Canada Revenue Agency.
Money from the fund will be sent through via mail or direct deposit, depending on what you choose when you apply.
Recently, Trudeau warned the public about scammers trying to capitalize on the new benefit. He said in his March 26 media address that Canadians have been receiving phony texts that appeared to come from the government.
The text alert claimed that the "emergency response benefit of Canada relief fund has sent you a deposit for $1375.50" and you can claim it by clicking an unknown link.
"This is a scam," the Prime Minister confirmed. "I want to remind everyone that the government's website is the best place to find reliable information on everything we're doing."
According to Canada’s Employment Minister, the first day of applications is going successfully, with no hitches so far.