The CERB could be about to undergo some big changes! Speaking during his daily COVID-19 press conference, the prime minister explained that some updates were on the horizon for people claiming the monthly benefit. Trudeau confirmed that he has plans to extend the CERB for all Canadians who are still unable to return to work.
In a statement on Monday, June 15, Justin Trudeau began by acknowledging that things are still far from normal for many Canadians post COVID-19.
“In the last few weeks, things have started to look up for a lot of people,” he said. “But that said, we also know that far too many Canadians are still struggling.”
He admitted that those people trying to find a job right now should not be worrying about whether they'll hit the limit of their CERB benefits.
“So right now we’re working on a solution to extend the benefit for people who can’t return to work yet,” Trudeau confirmed.
While the prime minister didn’t have specific details about the extension, he noted that more details would be coming later this week.
"For today I want you to know that we will continue to be there for you and your family,” he said.
“If you’re having troubles finding a job, you shouldn’t also be worrying about whether you’ll hit the limit of your… https://t.co/JIRQr0XDuk— Power & Politics (@Power & Politics) 1592235081.0
Currently, the CERB can only be claimed for a maximum of 16 weeks. This means that those who have been claiming the money since mid-March would have been coming to the end of their monthly payments.
While the COVID-19 situation in Canada continues to show signs of improvement, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has been calling on Trudeau to extend the benefits for those whose lives haven’t started to return to normal yet.
Addressing the PM on June 9, Singh said that “Families right now are on the hook,” he said.
Kirsten from Hamilton is an EA for students with special needs Her school is closed & doesn’t qualify for the wage… https://t.co/P5BhE0Eecy— Jagmeet Singh (@Jagmeet Singh) 1591755578.0
CTV News reports that almost 1.2 million Canadian have already ended their CERB benefits before the cutoff period, meaning they’ve returned to work or been moved onto the wage subsidy benefit.
Prior to this update, several Canadian politicians had called on the federal government to reduce or phase out CERB, fearing that some Canadians may not return to work while it is still available.
During his statement, the prime minister gave no indication of how long the CERB could be extended for, but promised that additional information would be shared by the end of the week.