Advocacy group believes latest CERB extension isn’t long enough


Published June 16, 2020 at 11:22 pm


While the Federal Government has announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be extended eight weeks, an advocacy group believes this isn’t enough.

Workers’ Action Centre, an organization that fights for workers’ rights, believes the government needs to do more to ensure those who are unemployed can continue to survive during the pandemic.

“For millions of workers who were just three weeks away from complete financial devastation, today’s news brings a sigh of relief,” Deena Ladd, executive director of Workers’ Action Centre, said in a news release. “But in just a few short weeks, workers will be in the same situation they were this morning – facing down an economic catastrophe.”

Before the most recent extension, those who began receiving CERB in March were set to run out of money by the first week of July.

“Of the 3 million workers who are out of work right now, many are in sectors that are not scheduled to reopen anytime soon,” Ladd said.

“These workers are extremely stressed about how they will manage to survive. They deserve to know whether CERB will be there for them for as long as they need it,” she continued.

Further, others have pointed out that many Provinces have implemented conditions for businesses that have been permitted to reopen which has them operating at reduced capacity.

“Even the workplaces that have reopened, have done so only partially. Lower capacity means fewer staff. How are we supposed to survive on a few hours of work a week?” Christine Ilott, who juggled multiple jobs in the arts sector before the pandemic, said in the same release.

As a result, both Workers’ Action Centre and Fight for $15 & Fairness Campaign are urging the Federal Government to extend CERB for at least another 16 weeks. 

Cover photo courtesy of Workers’ Action Centre’s Twitter

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