Libs, NDP reach deal on COVID-19 aid, averting election

Marco Green
September 27, 2020

"We will work together to pass (the bill) as quickly as possible".

Subject to this legislation receiving Royal Assent, the new Benefits would provide income support to Canadians while promoting economic recovery by introducing measures that encourage people to safely return to work.

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is designed for workers who are self-employed or who are not eligible for EI but still require support.

EI regular benefits apply to individuals who involuntarily lost their jobs and are actively looking for work while EI special benefits are for those who have been unable to work due to specific life circumstances, including sickness, maternity, parental benefits, as well as compassionate care or family caregivers. The CRB would aid Canadians who have not returned to work or who have returned to work but have had their income decrease by at least 50%.

With the end of the CERB, which has been used by nearly nine million Canadians to stay afloat during the pandemic, the government is transitioning recipients back to a more robust, generous employment insurance regime.

The minority Liberal government has reached a deal with the New Democrats over legislation to support workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, securing the backing needed to survive a confidence vote on the throne speech.

Then there's the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) if you're unable to work because you have to take care of your child or other dependents who are forced to stay home.

Earlier Friday, the Conservatives attempted to win support for a motion calling for the Commons to sit on Sunday as well so that MPs could have more time to debate Bill C-2.

As announced on August 20, temporary measures to help Canadians access EI benefits more easily are effective September 27, 2020, for one year.

If you got the CERB from the Canada Revenue Agency, you'll need to apply for EI through Service Canada after September 26 if you think you're eligible. These changes will also establish a minimum weekly benefit payment of $500 for all EI recipients, at the same level as the CRB.

Nonetheless, Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough stressed the need for swift bill approval, citing urgency for those Canadians that are soon going to be without aid.

Information for this briefing was found via the Government of Canada.

The bill is to be presented to parliament on Monday.

It also includes $1.5 billion to send to provinces for training programs as a first instalment of money linked to the government's throne-speech promise to help Canadians improve or acquire skills to help them in a shifting labour market.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh touted the deal as "historic" and said changes demanded by his party to Bill C-2 will ensure that millions of Canadians will be entitled to two weeks of paid sick leave, rather than just the thousands he claimed would have benefited under the government's original proposal. "If you can not work, and still don't qualify for the simplified EI, there is support available to you, tailored to your specific needs", states Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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