Jagmeet Singh wants Trudeau to extend the emergency relief benefit

Jun 10 2020, 2:38 pm

NDP leader, Jagmet Singh, is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to extend the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) as some residents finish their payments in July.

On Wednesday, he said that the benefit must be extended for “people in need” and to remove the “heavy fines” and “jail penalties” for people who applied for the CERB and didn’t need it.

And, “instead use the tax system to recover the money and bring in help for all Canadians living with disabilities,” the NDP leader said.

On June 9, Singh urged the government to extend the benefit for families who are struggling — it provides $2,000 monthly for four months.

Speaking in the House of Commons he used a case example of “Kirsten” — an educational assistant who works with special needs students, who is unable to apply for the wage subsidy.

Because Kirsten works at a school, which is currently closed, and may or may not open by September, she is currently without full-time work. And, the school does not apply to the wage subsidy.

“Her CERB is going to end in July and without the CERB she will not be able to get any funds for her family,” Singh said.

“She’s the only income earner. She does not qualify for the wage subsidy. Will the prime minister extend CERB for families like Kirsten that need help?

He also commented on the federal government’s plan to charge people who fraudulently claimed CERB.

“They’re not criminals. They’re people who are desperate and in need of help.”

During a press conference on Tuesday, Trudeau said the government will not punish those who mistakenly claimed the CERB, or mistakenly claimed it while also receiving Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

But, the prime minister said, there will be punishment for criminals who try to take advantage of the programs.

For those who applied for both the CERB and the wage subsidy, Trudeau said they would not be punished for making the mistake. They will, however, need to payback the one that shouldn’t have been taken.

And, as people go back to work with the economy reopening the prime minister has said the CERB will not be needed as much, and the wage subsidy will be the program more businesses rely on.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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