With repayments just around the corner for thousands of Canadians, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has accused the federal government of being responsible for CERB eligibility confusion.

In a tweet on December 15, he said the Liberals “made a mistake” with CERB eligibility and therefore should not be asking hundreds of thousands of Canadians to repay the money.

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Canadians applied for the CERB in good faith to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads, and now the Liberals want to penalize over 440,000 families because the Liberals gave the wrong information.

Jagmeet Singh

Sharing an official statement on the same day, the NDP leader said many Canadians are going through “tough times” right now and shouldn’t be asked to repay potentially thousands of dollars.

He said many people applied for the benefit in good faith “to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.”

This month, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) called on thousands of Canadians who claimed CERB to repay, after many were found to be ineligible.

Some of those contacted by the CRA are self-employed people, who say the original CERB application form did not make the income eligibility criteria clear.

Singh’s calls for repayments to be scrapped have been backed up by Green Party leader Annamie Paul, who says asking Canadians to repay during a pandemic is “heartless.”

Despite these calls, the CRA has made it clear that they have no plans to backtrack on the repayment program. However, they have promised no penalties or interest will be charged to those who applied in good faith.

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