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CERB Replacement Passes House of Commons in First Trudeau Confidence Measure

Published on
September 30, 2020

Early this morning, the House of Commons unanimously passed legislation containing new benefits for Canadians unemployed because of COVID-19 and for workers forced to take time off because of illness, isolation, or family care needs. The major component of the Bill replaces the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with a new suite of income supports.

The legislation now heads to the Senate where it is expected to be quickly debated and voted on this week.

Yesterday, Liberal House Leader Pablo Rodriguez declared that any vote on the Bill would be treated as a matter of confidence, meaning its defeat would all but guarantee an election. Although it was expected that the NDP would vote in favour of the measures, it was not expected that the legislation would enjoy the all-party support that it did. With this vote, the likelihood of a fall election has diminished considerably.

The Bill creates:

  • A Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks, to workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI and who still require income support. This Benefit would support Canadians who have not returned to work due to COVID-19 or whose income has dropped by at least 50%.
  • A Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) of $500 per week for up to two weeks, for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that in the opinion of medical professionals make them more susceptible to COVID-19, and do not have a paid sickness benefit plan or granted paid leave for that period.
  • A Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household, for eligible Canadians unable to work because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19 or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine.  

The Bill also changes the established minimum weekly benefit payment for all EI recipients to $500—the same level as the CRB.

Canadians will be able to apply for the CRB, CRSB, and CRCB through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for one year up until September 25, 2021.

Applications for the CRSB and CRCB are expected to open October 4 and CRB on October 11.

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