Coronavirus: Trudeau announces plans for end of CERB, transition to EI

Andrew Cummings
August 3, 2020

The personal income benefit provides $2,000 per month to eligible applicants who lost work or their jobs due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said going forward recipients will be able to work more hours and earn more money while still receiving the benefit.

Trudeau promised that "no one will be left behind" as the $80-billion pandemic relief program wraps up this fall.

The government is promising a parallel, transitional benefit with EI-like components for those who can't yet - "and I emphasize yet", said Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough - get into the EI system.

Far more expensive components of it, such as the $5.25 billion Canada Student Emergency Benefit, the student equivalent of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for workers, were approved without controversy.

Those eye-popping numbers were the reason the EI system was shelved in favour of the CERB in March, as federal officials anxious the volume of claims would overwhelm the decades-old system.

The national data agency said rebounds in May were seen across multiple industries, including retail trade registered that saw its largest monthly increase since comparable readings began in 1961.

Motor vehicle and auto sales contributed the most to the retail growth. Statistics Canada says the sector would have grown by 11.4 per cent had they been excluded from calculations.

Trudeau said more details would be unveiled in the coming weeks, noting that "sickness and carefivers benefits" would also be in place for those who catch COVID-19.

The June and second-quarter figures will be finalized late next month. That program allows businesses with a significant loss in revenue a 75 per cent rent subsidy.

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