New Measures Announced to Address Gaps in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

On April 15, 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the government will be introducing new measures to bolster the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”).

At this time, the CERB is not available to individuals who are in receipt of income. Nor is it available to individuals  who have lost prospective employment as a result of COVID-19. The announced changes to the CERB are intended to address these gaps. In particular, it was announced that the CERB will be amended to allow the following persons to apply for the CERB:

  • Persons making less than $1,000 per month (for example, as a result of part time or casual work);
  • Persons who were expecting a seasonal job that is now longer available; and
  • Persons who were on Employment Insurance that ended on or after January 1, 2020.

Prime Minister Trudeau also announced that the government would be working with the provinces to top-up the pay of essential service workers who are earning less than $2,500 per month.

He also stated that new initiatives would be introduced to assist post-secondary students as well as businesses having trouble paying commercial rent.

We anticipate that further details about these initiatives will be offered soon and we will provide another update once that has occurred.

For more information on this article, please contact Ilan BurkesSari Wiens, Nicole Toye or Jessica Fairbairn.

Note to our Readers: Information regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. We are working to bring you up-to-date articles as the legal issues develop and to keep our previous posts updated. Given that the legal issues related to COVID-19 are constantly changing, if you are looking for legal advice or are dealing with an issue in relation to COVID-19, please contact your Harris lawyer or a member of our COVID-19 response team: Sari Wiens, Ilan BurkesNicole Toye or Jessica Fairbairn.

To read our most recent articles and other updates on COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 Updates page.