The federal government will continue Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments for another eight weeks.
“We will be extending eligibility for the CERB by eight weeks. So, if you’ve been getting the CERB and you still can’t work because you are unable to find a job or it’s just not possible, you will keep getting it,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday.
CERB is the $2,000 a month payment the federal government introduced in March, which was meant to run for 16 weeks and was set to expire early in July.
The extension means CERB payments will now last a maximum of 24 weeks, or until September for those who began receiving payments in April.
The New Democrats have been demanding the CERB extension in exchange for the party’s support for the minority Liberals in an upcoming confidence vote.
The NDP also wants the Liberals to eliminate their proposed CERB penalties.
Prime Minister Trudeau recently proposed tighter rules for claiming the benefit, including fines or jail time for those who knowingly lie on CERB applications.
However, opposition parties blocked the Liberals attempt to debate and speed up the process of voting on the proposed bill.
The Conservatives want the auditor general to inspect government spending first.
Over eight-million Canadians applied for the CERB, with $43.51 billion in payments made as of June 4.
Canada’s budgetary watchdog had previously said that extending the CERB would cost the federal treasury an additional $64 billion.
Budget officer Yves Giroux said extending the program through to January 2021, would cost about $57.9 billion.
Canada and U.S. agree to extend border closure
Meanwhile, Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend border measures for another 30 days. The closure will last until July 21.
Both countries reached an agreement in March to temporarily close the border to non-essential travel.
The Prime Minister said he’s comfortable making one of three Canadian cities a National Hockey League hub.
Trudeau said the move would first need to be approved by local and provincial health authorities, and the final decision would be made by the NHL.
The National Hockey League announced on Thursday it’s moving into Phase 3 of its Return to Play Plan on July 10.
Phase 3 of the plan includes the official opening of formal training camps.
When the season officially resumes, the NHL will go with a 24-team playoff system.
The league based its seedings on each team’s points percentage as of March 11, when the NHL season shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More to come…