Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made it official that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit program will be extended by eight weeks, meaning those who will soon run out will have until the end of the summer to keep claiming the benefit while they try to find work. The PM had hinted an extension was in the works at his news conference yesterday.
Three months after the program rolled out, Trudeau said that while a gradual economic reopening is underway, there’s “a long journey ahead” before all sectors bounce back and all who have been laid off find jobs.
“The reality is that even as we start to reopen, a lot of people still need this support to pay their bills while they look for work,” Trudeau said.
“Over the next few weeks, our government will look at international best practices, and monitor the economy and the progression of the virus to see what changes – if any – need to be made to the program so that more people are supported,” Trudeau said.
By the first week of July and through the summer, millions of Canadians were set to come to the end of their 16-week eligibility period to claim CERB, which prompted questions about what would happen to those who have been on the program since it first launched and have already accessed the full $8,000 available, but are still out of a job and without income due to COVID-19.