With some benefits scheduled to end in July, Jagmeet Singh is calling on Justin Trudeau to extend CERB payments. On Tuesday, the NDP leader urged the PM to consider extending the program for at least four more months, to help those who need it the most. “Families right now are on the hook,” he said.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, June 9, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh called on the prime minister to extend CERB benefits past July.

Using the example of “Kirsten,” an educational assistant unable to claim the wage subsidy, Singh suggested that many Canadians would struggle without the monthly $2,000 payment.

“She has no way to put food on the table for her family,” Singh said in a tweet.

He went on to address the idea that people who fraudulently or accidentally claimed CERB could be punished by the federal government.

“They’re not criminals,” he said, “they’re people who are desperate and in need of help.”

In an interview with Power and Politics on the same day, Singh explained that the NDP is calling for a four-month extension of the CERB so that Canadians in need would be able to continue to access the funding after July.

Addressing the suggestion from some politicians that Canadians may not return to work while the CERB is still available, Singh explained, “To get people comfortable to work, there’s just three things needed.”

He noted that work should be safe, paid sick leave should be in place and childcare needs to be available.

“People certainly want to go back to work,” he added.

In a follow-up tweet on June 10, Singh stated, "We need to extend the CERB for people in need."

He added, "Remove the heavy fines and jail penalties for people who applied for the CERB that didn’t need it, and instead use the tax system to recover the money."

Acknowledging concerns that people who accidentally or incorrectly claimed the CERB could be punished, Trudeau stated, “We're not looking at punishing people who made honest mistakes."

The PM explained that those who fraudulently claimed the cash would be punished, while those who mistakenly claimed it would simply have to pay the money back.

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