The House of Commons approved the government’s $82 billion aid program package as new EI claims hit 1 million as confirmed by Prime Minister Trudeau. He also confirmed that people who are covered include those who lost their jobs, those who are sick, quarantined, or looking after someone who has COVID-19, as well as parents who have to stay home with children, and contract workers or those self-employed.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will give approved applicants $2000 a month for the next four months for those who have lost their income during the coronavirus pandemic.Also covered would be workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work due to COVID-19. Trudeau explained that this latter category would help businesses keep their employees,”... as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.”
Trudeau also said the online portal will be available soon, and Canadians will get the funds, “..within 10 days of applying.” He said the system will be fully up and running by April 6 with cheques going out. He also mentioned that Ottawa has already processed 143,000 EI claims as people are moved from other departments to get the work done.
It was also announced that the aid to business programs will be expanded in order to help media outlets that have lost advertising revenues. The details on that initiative will be unveiled shortly.