Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government plans to move out-of-work Canadians into the employment insurance system and provide parallel support for millions set to exhaust emergency pandemic aid who don’t have EI to fall back on.
The $80-billion Canada Emergency Response Benefit is set to wind down over the coming weeks, with those who are EI-eligible to start drawing assistance that way.
Speaking this morning, Trudeau said many people who don’t qualify for the program, such as gig or contract workers, will gain access to a transitional, parallel benefit that is similar to EI.
It will also include access to training, and the ability to work more hours without having as steep a clawback in benefit payments, Trudeau said.
He said more details will be unveiled at a later date.
The most recent figures on the CERB show that as of July 26, the government had paid out $62.75 billion in benefits to 8.46 million unique applicants since its launch.
About half those costs have gone to EI-eligible workers, leaving millions who don’t pay into EI unable to access the program once the emergency benefit ends.
“No one will be left behind,” Trudeau promised.