Liberals announced approximately $37 billion in new program benefits to help Canadians out of work or unable to work due to the COVID crisis. The information provided today suggests they would extend the CERB program, create several new programs, and make the Employment Insurance system more flexible over the next year.
The Liberals have yet to provide a recovery plan that would make Canadians better off than receiving various government subsidies.
CANADA EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT (CERB) EXTENDED
The CERB Program will be extended for another 4 weeks, ending September 26 instead of August 29. Anyone on the program now will be eligible for an additional 4 week (increasing to a maximum of 28 week, instead of 24).
EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CHANGES
The federal government are temporarily changing the Employment Insurance (EI) program to coincide with the end of the CERB program. Canadians who have worked more than 120 hours will now be eligible for Employment Insurance (the government will automatically add 300 hours worked, to drop the total number of hours needed to 120 hours). The minimum payment will be raised to $400 per week to align with other programs, and Canadians can be eligible for 26 weeks.
Anyone seeking maternity or parental leave during this time will have their hours worked increased as well to make sure they are eligible. Canadians who are on the extended parental leave program will receive a minimum of $240 per week.
For businesses, the government announced they would freeze EI contribution amounts for the next two years – putting the payroll tax increases they Liberals had put in place several years ago.
NEW PROGRAM: CANADA RECOVERY BENEFIT
The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is planned to replace the CERB for anyone who is not eligible for Employment Insurance, those who are self employed, but are able to work. It will provide $400 per week and be available for up to 26 weeks. While the Liberals did announce that people on the program would be able to earn money – there are minimal details available right now.
Implementation of this program will require Parliamentary approval – which is impossible right now since Justin Trudeau has shut down Parliament to block investigations into his WE scandal.
Additional details will follow when they are available.
NEW PROGRAM: CANADA RECOVERY SICKNESS BENEFIT (CRSB)
The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) is a new program the Liberals have announced their intention to create. It will provide $500 per week up to 2 weeks sick leave for workers without paid sick leave over the next year for anyone sick, or ordered into isolation due to COVID. Workers will attest to eligibility like they have with CERB.
NEW PROGRAM: CANADA RECOVERY CAREGIVER BENEFIT (CRCB)
The CRCB will provide up to $550 per week per household for up to 26 weeks for anyone who needs to stay home and care for someone in isolation, or must remain home due to school or daycare closures, or care for someone with a disability. Like the CERB, those eligible will need to attest to their eligibility.
For the government’s original news release: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/news/2020/08/government-of-canada-announces-plan-to-help-support-canadians-through-the-next-phase-of-the-recovery.html