Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces boost to emergency financial assistance as COVID-19 pandemic wages on

Earlier today during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s morning address on March 25, 2020, he announced that the federal government will be merging two previously introduced employment insurance benefits for Canadians who are out of and or off work because of COVID-19. 

Prime Minister is vowing that more financial assistance will be coming soon as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wage on. The previously announced $82-billion aid package is set to flow as soon as it passes Parliament on Wednesday.

The newly revised benefit will combine both the Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit into the “Canada Emergency Response Benefit” or CERB which will be providing up to $2,000 a month for a duration of four months for people who are off work and without an income due to the pandemic. 

The CERB is said to help support Canadians who have either lost their job, are off sick, and or taking care of children due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister also added that Canadians should receive this assistance approximately 10 days after applying.

“We’ll be there to help you.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his address this morning. He further stated that the federal government is doing everything it can to help those worried about paying bills and will be boosting teams to help process the number of claims that have already been filed. 

The change also represents an increase in the overall amount of financial assistance the government is offering, bringing the direct help to families and businesses totals to $52 billion, stated by Finance Minister Bill Morneau. 

Initially, the government committed $27 billion in direct help and $55 billion in economic stimulus. Now, Morneau said the direct help to families and businesses totals $52 billion, bringing the overall size of the economic aid package to $107 billion.

“We’ve designed this in a way so that it’s a wage subsidy delivered directly to employees, to people,” Morneau said

Finance Minister Bill Morneau told the Senate in Ottawa that the emergency benefit should begin to be implemented in early April with other benefits available in May. He reassured Canadians in saying that the government is doing what it can to get money to Canadians that need it as quickly as they can under an unprecedented situation.

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