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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

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Prime Minister’s remarks on the extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

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Hello everyone.

Over the past few months, we’ve introduced programs that are making a real difference in the lives of millions of people right across the country.

Take the Rose and Crown, a pub in Canmore, Alberta.

As they were getting ready to welcome customers again, they used the wage subsidy to rehire 15 employees.

And they got a loan through the Canada Emergency Business Account so they could buy personal protective equipment, plexiglass screens, and additional hand washing stations to comply with public health guidelines.

That’s good news for the people who are now back on the job, and for the locals who missed their favourite neighbourhood spot.

When this crisis first began, a lot of people lost their jobs overnight.

They didn’t know how they were going to feed their families or pay their bills.

So, our government responded rapidly and substantially to support Canadians with programs like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

Three months later, we’re beginning to see across the country that we’re now in a place where we’re gradually and safely starting to restart parts of the economy.

But I’m not going to sugarcoat it.

We still have a long journey ahead.

Some sectors will bounce back more quickly than others. Many workers will be able to find work, but others won’t.

Over the past few months, Canadians have been able to count on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to help them get through a tough time.

And the reality is that even as we start to reopen, a lot of people still need this support to pay their bills while they look for work.

That’s why today, I am announcing that we will be extending eligibility for the CERB by eight weeks.

So, if you’ve been getting the CERB and you still can’t work – because you are unable to find a job or it’s just not possible – you will keep getting that $2,000 per four-week period.

Over the next few weeks, our government will look at international best practices, and monitor the economy and the progression of the virus, to see what changes – if any – need to be made to the program so that more people are properly supported.

But I want to be very clear with Canadians.

Our goal here is to make sure that the CERB is working for you in the best way possible.

Our government will continue to be there for you.

This pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for our country.

And we’re going to make sure that all our supports, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Employment Insurance, are working effectively to get Canadians back on their feet.

That’s also a big part of the reason why I proposed to support the provinces and territories with $14 billion to make sure that you have childcare, that there’s testing and tracing, and that your workplace is safe.

As the situation evolves, so too must our response evolve with it.

And that’s what we’re going to keep doing.

I want to close this morning with some news regarding the Canada-U.S. border.

I can now confirm that Canada and the United States have once again agreed to extend by 30 days, until July 21, the current measures in place along our border.

This is an important decision that will keep people in both of our countries safe as we continue fighting COVID-19.