Today on April 6, 2020, the federal government’s COVID-19 benefit program, Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) officially opens and is accepting applications. In his daily press conference at Rideau Cottage, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says over 240,000 people have already applied for the program with many more who will be applying in the coming days.
The benefit program, which currently offers eligible applicants up to $2,000 a month for four months, is one of the many measures and programs that the Canadian government has set up to help Canadians weather out the ongoing pandemic which has reported 1.3 million cases worldwide.
During his daily announcement and updates to Canadians, the Prime Minister said that he and his government knows not everyone is getting the help they need through CERB and other programs being offered at this time.
In the coming days during another critical week in combating the pandemic, he announced that the federal government will be announcing additional measures and financial aid for those who did not qualify for current COVID-19 benefits. The Prime Minister briefly discussed that the new measures being planned will help gig workers, contract workers, and workers whose hours have been reduced to 10 hours or less.
Additionally, the Prime Minister briefly mentioned measures are on the way to help support post-secondary students who can’t find summer jobs and workers who are still on the job but earning less than they would if they were eligible for the CERB. More details are said to be coming in the next few days.
In closing his daily update from Rideau Cottage, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked all the people working in critical services such as health care, trucking, and food sectors for their vital role in keeping the country running. He also reiterated the importance of staying home for those who don’t need to be out.
“What the next weeks and months look like depends on you,” Prime Minister Trudeau said, urging people to take actions to protect the vulnerable and keep the health-care system from being overwhelmed.
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