Hon. Bill Blair
Member of Parliament for Scarborough Southwest
Supporting Canadians Through the Next Phase of the Economy Re-opening
August 21, 2020

Since the launch of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, over 8.5 million Canadians and their families have been able to receive financial assistance during the pandemic. As Canada is slowly emerging into a safe restart of the economy, over 1.6 million Canadians have returned to the workforce. However, we know all sectors of the economy haven’t re-opened at the same pace. That is why the Government is preparing to transition as many Canadians as possible back to the Employment Insurance system at beginning in the month of September.

As we enter this transition period, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be extended by an additional four weeks to a maximum of 28 weeks. This is an additional month of support for Canadians to utilize their CERB benefits.

This transition also includes changes to Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) program. The EI program will now be accessible to more Canadians, this now includes those who wouldn’t have qualified for this program in the past. We will be adding more than 400,000 Canadians to the Employment Insurance program to give them the support they need to get back on their feet.

Beginning on September 27th 2020, those receiving EI will be eligible for a taxable benefit rate of at least $400 per week, or $240 per week for extended parental benefits, and regular benefits will be accessible for a minimum duration of 26 weeks. Moreover, Canadians with 120 hours of insurable work or more will receive a temporary one time credit of 300 insurable hours for those claiming EI regular and work-sharing benefits. Canadians claiming EI special benefits – including maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver – will be provided with a temporary, one-time credit of 480 insurable hours. In addition, there will be a rate freeze on EI Premiums for the next two years will prevent an increase in EI premiums during the recovery period of economy and benefit employees and employers..

To ensure Canadians receive the support they need we are also proposing to implement three new benefits. New legislation needs to be introduced into the House of Commons to support the implementation of these new benefits. Here are the three proposals.

  1. The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will provide $400 per week for up to 26 weeks, to workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI and who still require income support and who are available and looking for work. This benefit will support Canadians whose income has dropped or not returned due to COVID-19. The benefit will allow Canadians to earn more income while on claim as well as include links to Job Bank, Canada’s national employment service, with career planning tools for those seeking employment. In addition, the government will be working with provinces and territories to share information to ensure that Canadians have access to tools and training opportunities to successfully return to the workforce.
  2. The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500 per week for up to two weeks, for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19.
  3. The Canada Recovery Care-giving Benefit (CRCB) will provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household, for eligible Canadians unable to work because they must care for:
    • a child under age 12 due to the closures of schools or daycares because of COVID-19.
    • a family member with a disability or a dependent because their day program or care facility is closed due to COVID-19.
    • a child, a family member with a disability, or a dependent who is not attending school, daycare, or other care facilities under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high-risk if they contract COVID-19.

For more information on CERB and transitioning to the EI system here are some sources to consult.




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