Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is being expanded in order to help more Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those earning $1,000 a month or less, seasonal workers who can’t find work because of COVID-19, as well as those who have exhausted their Employment Insurance (EI) benefits since January 1 are now all eligible to apply for CERB, the prime minister said.
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Prime Minister Trudeau said the federal government is also planning to work with the provinces and territories to provide a wage boost to essential workers, such as those employed in long-term care homes, who earn less than $2,500 a month, who may feel financially disadvantaged by working instead of collecting the CERB.
“We need to boost wages for essential workers. We know conditions have gotten more difficult in these facilities over the past weeks and they need the support right now,” said the prime minister said during his daily media briefing outside his home at Rideau Cottage.
The prime minister added that after he talks with provincial and territory leaders on Thursday, the government will ensure the wage boost is in place as quickly as possible.
Trudeau also said the federal government is working on plans to help post-secondary students and companies worried about paying rent.
We’re announcing changes to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit so more people can get the help they need during this challenging time. For details on that and more, watch my announcement live: https://t.co/vYrYMXklXU
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 15, 2020
This news comes as Statistics Canada announced the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrank by 9% in March, the largest one-month decline since Stat Can started publishing related data in 1961.