Canada to pay CAN$2,000 monthly to those out of work

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaks to reporters on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Friday Feb. 14 2020

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It was highly debated as members of the Opposition would not pass the Bill that contained taxing and spending powers for the federal government without requiring Parliament approval.

The government is looking at ways to help people bridge the gap between their last paycheck and the emergency response benefit, such as through credit, said Trudeau, as well as more direct help for businesses, such as examining models used in countries like Germany and Denmark.

The aid package will give people affected by the outbreak C$2,000 a month and delay student loan repayments, among other measures to boost the economy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

More information about the CERB and media benefit will be announced in the coming days. That includes people who've lost their jobs, are quarantined, caring for someone with COVID-19, and for parents who have to stay home to take care of their kids.

More than a million people signed up for unemployment benefits in the last week.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the benefits for workers should come as early as the first week of April, while top-ups for child benefits and GST cheques will flow in May. This would help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these hard times while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.

The EI system was not created to process the unprecedentedly high volume of applications received in the past week.

Trudeau also said the federal government is about to announce supports to keep journalists working and reporting on the COVID-19 crisis. Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits would still be able to access their normal EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.

"There aren't faster ways to get money into Canadians hands", he told the Senate, when queried about why the government wasn't getting money to people quicker.

Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would not need to reapply, the website said.

"An application portal will launch as quickly as possible and people should start receiving money as soon as 10 days of applying", he said.

It would apply to any affected workers between March 15 and October 3.

Trudeau said that the government is continuing to work diligently and rapidly to make sure that they help every Canadian they can during this time.

The portion of benefits to help Canadians and small businesses cope with the COVID-19 pandemic is nearly double what it was expected to be, the federal finance minister said Wednesday.

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