OTTAWA – The federal government announced it will extend the Canada Recovery Benefit eligibility period by an additional 12 weeks, as some recipients face a cut-off by the end of March .
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said Friday that Ottawa will prolong the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) by the same amount.
“This crisis is not over , and neither is our support for everyone, “he said during a press conference.
While the CRB and the CRCB were set to be in place until the fall, recipients can only claim the benefits for up to a total of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. If an individual had been using the program since its launch, their support would tap out by the end of March.
The feds will also extend the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit from two weeks to a total of four weeks and broaden the claimant period for employment insurance from 26 weeks to 50 weeks.
Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough told reporters on Friday that extending the programs would cost the government approximately $ 12. 1 billion – $ 6.7 billion to stretch the recovery benefits and $ 5.4 billion for the changes to employment insurance.
She noted the employment insurance announcement is contingent on passing new legislation and with that, the support of opposition parties.
“When we worked together in the past, we delivered key supports to help millions of workers. Canadians expect the same of all parties again, “said Qualtrough.
She also made a call-out to provinces to” do their part “to support workers as Candians weather the second wave.
“Provinces still really have a leading role to play in supporting workers, not to duplicate our efforts, but to compliment, you know we’ve got good examples in BC and Yukon and I would just urge provinces to kind of step up for workers and do their part like some of their colleagues have. “