Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the country will extend the payment of emergency benefits (CERB) for a period of 8 weeks. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadians lost their jobs. Benefits are given to help people survive for the period of their temporary involuntary unemployment.
Justin Trudeau said that although the economy is gradually returning to its previous level, there is still a long way to go until the economy is fully restored and until all those laid off find jobs. In view of these circumstances, the government decided to extend the payment of CERB emergency benefits for another 8 weeks (recall that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program was launched in early April and was due to end in July).
“The reality is that even when the economy begins to gain momentum, there are a large number of people who still need this financial support to pay their bills while they are looking for work,” Trudeau said.
The government is urging that there are ways to encourage Canadians to return to work, when appropriate, rather than staying home and getting CERB benefits.
“In the next few weeks, the federal government will study the advanced achievements of other countries in this regard, monitor the dynamics in the economy, and the incidence of coronavirus. An analysis of the current situation will help to make the necessary changes to the CERB program in order to support as many people as possible, ”Trudeau said.
According to official figures, as of June 4, the government paid C $ 43.5 billion in CERB benefits. 8.4 million people applied for at least one payment.
Employment Minister Carla Qualtrow said the current aid program costs the government about $ 17 billion a month.