Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responds to questions during a news conference outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Monday June 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

CERB to be extended by eight weeks amid gradual post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Details to be rolled out on possible other CERB changes

The federal government will extend eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit by eight weeks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday (June 16).

The CERB pays out $500 per week (or $2,000 per month) for people who have lost their job or earn no more than $1,000 per four week period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The benefit had previously maxed out at 16 weeks, having started on March 15. The extension announced Tuesday will extend it until Sept. 9.

Trudeau’s announcement comes amid heated discussions about the emergency benefit, including fining or jailing fraudsters. The federal NDP have made extending the benefit a requirement for supporting the minority Liberals in an upcoming confidence vote.

Earlier this month, the Parliamentary Budget Office had predicted extending the CERB would cost an additional $64 billion. Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, the emergency benefit had a budget of $60 billion, up from an original $35 billion. Trudeau did not provide updated costs for the eight-week extension but suggested costs would be lower than expected as more businesses reopened across the country.

READ MORE: Feds working on a way to extend CERB payments, Trudeau says

READ MORE: Canada-U.S. border closure to be extended until July 21

More to come.


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