The federal government confirmed that the Canadian Recovery Benefit (CRB) will indeed come to an end this week, on October 23, and that a new program will take its place.
The new Canadian Worker Lockdown Benefit program aims to support those hit hardest by the pandemic, focusing on individuals impacted by local lockdown and public health measures.
The benefit will pay out $300 per week to workers under lockdown measures, Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland said at a press conference on Thursday. Canadians who used CRB were eligible for up to $500 per week.
The Canadian Worker Lockdown Benefit will be extended to cover those who are not eligible for employment insurance.
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“Temporary local lockdowns are still a possibility in the months to come. We want Canadians to know that we intend now to put in place a measure that would snap into action immediately to support workers in the event of a new local lockdown,” said Freeland.
CRB replaced the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which provided eligible Canadians $2,000 per four-week period.
The Canadian Worker Lockdown Benefit will begin on October 24 and will be available until May 7.
The Canadian Sickness Benefit and Canadian Caregiver Benefit will also be extended.
“We intend to extend eligibility for both of these benefits until May 7 of next year, and we’ll increase the maximum duration of each benefit by two additional weeks,” Freeland told reporters.
At a press conference on Thursday, Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland told reporters that Canada has recovered 100% of jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our emergency support measures were always designed to be temporary to get us through the crisis,” Freeland said.
Freeland said the new program and extensions on the previous programs, as well as a benefit announced for businesses, will come with a $7 billion price tag.