OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — The federal government is promising to help those who may not qualify for employment insurance or have exhausted their Canada Emergency Response Benefit, such as gig and contract workers.
“And for those who don’t qualify for EI right now, like gig or contract workers, we will create a transitional, parallel benefit that is similar to Employment Insurance,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. “It will include access to training, and being able to work more hours and earn more money while receiving the benefit.”
He added more details of the new benefit will be laid out in the coming weeks.
“In the weeks ahead, we’ll have more details about what will come after the CERB,” he said. “But to people who need this program, don’t worry. No one will be left behind. Our goal is to transition, everyone on the CERB to Employment Insurance because EI should cover every Canadian who’s looking for work.”
The $80-billion CERB is set to wind down over the coming weeks.
Trudeau also announced Friday a new benefit for those who need to take care of sick family members, as well as $59 million to protect the health and safety of migrant workers on Canadian farms. This came the same day a new contact tracing app was launched in Ontario.
“This will fund more farm inspections, provide emergency relief when needed, and improve the overall living conditions on farms,” he said of funding for farm workers.
The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program has been extended for the month of August, he said.
He also said there will also be a sickness and caregivers benefit for Canadians not covered at work if they get COVID-19, or if their children or parents get it and have to take care of them.
“We’ll have more details to share before the end of August.”
Trudeau further promised no increases to EI premiums during the pandemic.
Regarding the new app, Trudeau said it is now available to download through app stores on phones.