Jagmeet Singh Wants To Change The CERB So Literally Everyone Can Get The Money

The NDP leader believes there should be no criteria for the funding.
CERB Criteria Should Be Scrapped & The Money Should Be Universal Says Jagmeet Singh
Senior Editor

Jagmeet Singh has spoken out about the CERB, which he believes should be available to everybody. In a series of social media posts, the NDP leader explained why he thinks the funding should be universal. According to Singh, current Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) criteria exclude some in-need Canadians, and he’s calling for these measures to be scrapped.

The CERB was introduced last month and provides $2,000 per month. It was specifically designed to support workers in Canada who have limited or lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the benefit was launched, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was criticized for excluding some individuals from its criteria, including freelancers, students, and those working semi-reduced hours.

However, the government has introduced several changes to their federal support programs, and on Wednesday announced a new benefit that is specifically designed for students.

That said, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh believes that the new Canada Emergency Student Benefit is unnecessarily “complicated,” and that the original CERB criteria should be scrapped altogether.

In a tweet, he explained, “We’re glad the government is turning its focus to helping students, but another complicated system is not what students need.”

“Make the CERB universal so that no one gets left behind, And so that students - and anyone else who needs help - can get 2,000$ right away,” he said.

Since the emergency benefit was announced, Singh has been calling for universal access to the funding, so that anybody who feels that they need it can access it.

In fact, he had asked the government to give cash to every Canadian adult and child to help them cope during the pandemic even before the CERB announcement.

“Immediate assistance to all Canadians - $2,000 per adult and $250 per child,” he urged at the time.

This would mean that literally anybody could apply for the monthly payment, not just those who fit within the federal government’s current criteria.

In a speech on April 20, Singh stated, "People are falling through the cracks because of the criteria," and reiterated his call to make the funding universal.

What’s important to remember is that CERB payments are taxable, which means those who claim it while still earning will probably be required to pay some of the money back next year.

Since the funding was launched, millions of Canadians have applied for the benefit, with some people's money landing in their bank accounts within days.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.