After saying earlier on the week that the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) would be extended for a unspecified amount of time, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has now announced that it will be extended for two more months.
Under the original terms, CERB provided $2,000 per month, for up to four months, to Canadians who lost jobs or self-employed income because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The extension means that the support payments will be extended for eight weeks for Canadians who still can't work despite the gradually-reopening economies in provinces and territories across Canada.
"The reality is that there are three million people out of work who are looking for work, and even as our economy is reopening, there are many, many more people out of work, willing to work, than there are jobs available," Trudeau said in his public statements.
For people who have been receiving CERB payment since it was first launched in April, the program was due to run out soon. Under the original plan, people could only claim the benefit for four eligibility periods, 16 weeks in total, and the end of the program's fourth eligibility period is early-July.
Trudeau also said that the government will be monitoring the economy and spread of COVID-19 to see if and how the program needs to be adjusted. He also said the government is watching what other countries have done as it may provide helpful lessons.