‘That’s not a measure that we can automatically continue in a post-pandemic world’
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the three recovery benefits that replaced it are not measures that will be provided permanently for Canadians, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
"Let's not pretend that something that works right now… gives us stability," says Trudeau in an interview with the Financial Times. "That's not a measure that we can automatically continue in a post-pandemic world. I think there are really important reflections to have on how we provide income supports and how we make sure that everyone is given opportunities."
When the CERB program ended, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) came into effect to provide weekly cash assistance, along with the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB).
Each of these programs pays out $500 per week to workers hit hard by the pandemic.
Through CERB’s run from March to October, the government paid out $81.64 billion for the 27.56 million total applications processed. The government received 27.57 applications from nearly 8.9 million unique applicants all in all.
More than 3.5 million of the unique applicants came from Ontario, most among the provinces, while more than two million came from Quebec. There were also more than one million applicants each from British Columbia and Alberta.
The federal government has also extended the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program.