Some of Canada’s most vulnerable young people could be affected by CERB repayments, according to the organizations that work with them.

Marie Christian, who’s the program director for Voices: Manitoba's Youth in Care Network, told CTV News that many young people who are or have been in foster care applied for the support earlier this year.

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Receiving CERB finally allowed them to take a breath.

Marie Christian

Now, as the government has started checking eligibility for the benefit, many may be asked to pay it back.

This is a worrying prospect for vulnerable people, explained Christian, particularly as many have aged out of the care system or have lost their part-time jobs due to the pandemic.

The organization director says that these people were encouraged to apply for the CERB and it helped them “provide food and keep a roof over their head for themselves, and maybe for their young family [...].

Now, the groups and organizations that support them are warning the government that repayments could lead many to become homeless.

Speaking about the issue, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, "We need to have a system that goes after people who are deliberately trying to defraud the system." 

"But people who received money that they needed, or made good-faith mistakes about the application, should not worry about it," he added.

Despite Trudeau’s comments, government officials have said that there are no current plans to scrap the ongoing repayment plan.

 
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