The federal government says the cost of extending Canada's COVID-19 benefits could exceed $7 billion between October 2021 and May 2022.
Speaking on October 21, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced details of the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit in addition to proposing extensions to both the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
Freeland described the updates as part of a plan to move from "broad-based support" to "more targeted measures," which includes the decision to scrap the Canada Recovery Benefit as intended.
"We estimate the total cost of these measures, from October 24th through to May 7th of next year, will be $7.4 billion," she said.
The deputy PM went on to confirm that this figure "compares to the $289 billion we have spent on income and business supports since the start of the pandemic."
She continued, "Fighting COVID required unprecedented government spending, in Canada and around the world."
"Canadians supported that unprecedented spending because they understood that it was not only the compassionate thing to do, it was the economically smart thing to do."
She concluded by saying, "We need to look forward to the day, now not too far off, when we will be able to bring [COVID-19 support spending] to an end entirely."
Further details of the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit are yet to be announced, although the feds have confirmed that those who get fired for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be eligible.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.