Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Trudeau announces pay top-up for essential workers, expands emergency benefit

People who make some income will be able to qualify

Canada will move to top up the pay of essential workers making less than $2,500 per month and expand emergency benefits to workers still making some income.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement during his daily address from Rideau Cottage on Wednesday (April 15).

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit currently provides $2,000 per month to workers who have lost their jobs. The changes announced by Trudeau Wednesday would expand that benefit to people making up to $1,000 per month and allow people whose EI has run out in 2020, as well as seasonable workers who are unable to find jobs this year. At least six million people have applied for either EI or CERB so far.

Essential workers include anyone from grocery store clerks to care home aides.

“The very places that care for our elderly are the most vulnerable to COVID-19,” Trudeau said.

“We all need to do better.”

At a later press conference, Treasure Board president Jean-Yves Duclos said people newly eligible for CERB will get it retroactively from March 15.

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said it was “premature to estimate” the cost of expanded CERB, as the government hopes the wage subsidy will get many back to work and off the emergency benefit.

As of Wednesday morning, COVID-19 had led to 27,540 cases and 954 deaths in Canada.

READ MORE: Trudeau unveils new $2,000 per month benefit to streamline COVID-19 aid

READ MORE: WHO issues guidelines for lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Is Canada ready?


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton woman to ‘load up the cart’ with toys for local hospital

Pascale-Ann Demers launched a GoFundMe to upgrade the toy supply at Penticton Regional Hospital

Cannery Brewing’s patio expansion plans delayed by COVID-19

Once open, the new patio will look quite different than originally planned

Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

After nearly two months closure, playgrounds are set to reopen

Long-time South Okanagan principal retires, another takes the helm

Jeff Redden will start as principal of Naramata Elementary School in August

100 miles in 24 hours: a B.C. man’s mission to support the less fortunate

Merritt’s Darius Sam felt he needed to help his community after an encounter with a struggling woman

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Flood watch for Salmon River upgraded as high temperatures, rain forecast

Shuswap Emergency Program warns residents to prepare now for possible extreme flooding

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

RCMP request public’s help in locating missing Salmon Arm man

Ken Derkach is a familiar face to many, one of the city’s residents who is without a home

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Drunk man on a dirt bike and prohibited drivers without insurance keep Shuswap RCMP busy

Other calls resulted in excessive speed tickets and the arrests of two prohibited drivers

Most Read