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Wage subsidy update: Trudeau says parliament must be recalled

More than three-quarter of a million CERB applications approved on day one


April 7, 2020
By Todd Humber


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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians in front of his residence, Rideau Cottage, in Ottawa. (Photo: PMO/Screen Grab)

Parliament needs to be reconvened in order to pass the legislation necessary to support struggling employers with the promised 75 per cent wage subsidy.

In his daily remarks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the legislation for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has been shared with the opposition parties in parliament.

“A lot of work has been done since we announced our plan to subsidize wages,” he said. “We’ll have more details to share very soon.”

The CEWS is going to be embedded within the Income Tax Act, Trudeau said, “so that does require us to move forward on parliamentary legislation and that’s what we’re talking about right now with parliamentarians.”

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Talent Canada will continue to track the CEWS through parliament and will provide details as soon as they become available.

CERB applications

Today is day two of applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – the $2,000 per month payment to employees who lost work and are not eligible for EI.

The applications are being staggered based on birth month — and 788,510 CERB applications were approved by the Canada Revenue Agency yesterday, when people born January to March could apply.

Trudeau gave a nod to the public sector workers who pushed through the extreme amount of applications yesterday, calling it “tremendous work.”

“I also want to remind everyone that if you were born in April, May or June, today’s the day you can apply (for the CERB),” he said.

How to apply for the CERB

To apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, visit Canada.ca/coronavirus.

Canadians looking to get more information about the CERB or, who are unable to apply online, can call the toll-free telephone line at 1-833-966-2099.

Canadians who have lost their income due to COVID-19 can expect their payment in 3 to 5 business days from when they apply if they are using direct deposit, according to the federal government. That means most Canadians who are eligible will receive $2,000 before the end of next week.

Canadians who have already applied for EI do not need to reapply.