As part of his end-of-year statement, the prime minister has confirmed that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was claimed by several millions of Canadians in 2020.

On December 31, Justin Trudeau shared a message that reflected on the year gone by and laid out his plans for the 12 months ahead.

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8.9 million

Canadians claimed the CERB

As part of the statement, the PM discussed how the federal government supported Canadians who had lost their income due to COVID-19.

This includes the “8.9 million Canadians who received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit this year,” wrote Trudeau.

While applications for the CERB have now closed, the Liberal leader promised to continue to provide income support through the government’s new recovery benefits.

This includes options like the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

Although Trudeau says millions of Canadians claimed the CERB, many thousands of those people may have to repay the money.

In December, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) confirmed that 441,000 individuals had been contacted about returning the benefit. 

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