The bill to approve expanded Employment Insurance passed unanimously in the House of Commons last night. The program replaces the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit, which officially ended on Monday.
The new federal relief is designed to help transition people back into the workforce.
“We are still north of 10% unemployment, so that is not healthy and we need to address that as quickly as we can,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told CHEK TV, noting The Chamber's ongoing advocacy efforts to encourage up-skilling of workers to fill job openings that continue to be in demand. “If we can find a way to collaborate with government and post-secondary institutions to train people, (we can) get people into jobs that needed to be filled even before COVID.”
The federal government's multi-pronged approach includes a new Canada Recovery Benefit of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for people ineligible for Employment Insurance, including those who are self employed.
As well, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit provides $500 per week, for up to two weeks, for people who can't work because they are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19. There is also a new Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for people unable to work because a dependent requires their care.