PM Unveils New Emergency Program For Canadians

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill

"There aren't faster ways to get money into Canadians hands", he told the Senate, when queried about why the government wasn't getting money to people quicker.

Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault, seen here on March 25, 2020, said Canadians need to be able to obtain "factual information" related to COVID-19.

"Let's say four million people apply for the new benefit, that's not a lot for the department considering they deal with every single Canadian taxpayer and business every year", said Janick Cormier.

Canada's Senate has passed the $56-billion economic support package announced last week by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in response to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the upper legislative chamber said in a statement on Wednesday.

That Canada Emergency Response Benefit will offer $2,000 a month in direct support through the Canada Revenue Agency, and is the main reason the cost of direct COVID-19 aid almost doubled from an estimated $27 billion last week to $52 billion now.

The federal government is looking to get money out "quickly and reliably" and Trudeau said that the system will be up and running by April 6.

And will the Canada Revenue Agency be ready to process all the new CERB requests it will be receiving when applications open as early as next week?

"If you lost your job due to COVID-19, whether you're full-time, part-time, contract or self-employed, this new benefit will be there for you".

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Since Monday the government had processed close to 143,000 unemployment claims.

"Like I said from the start we will adapt our approach wherever needed", Trudeau explained in a briefing live-streamed on the APTN News Facebook page Wednesday. "We will always ensure that our system works in a robust way both around accountability and helping Canadians as quickly as is necessary in these exceptional circumstances".

Trudeau repeatedly asked Canadians to "go home and stay home".

At his daily address to the nation Tuesday morning outside Ottawa Cottage where he has been in self-isolation, Trudeau said his government's intention was not to undermine the role of parliament to act as a check and oversight on federal spending. We also know that this crisis has hit our economy hard and that the months to come will be difficult.

Singh outlined eight measures that should be taken by the government to get Canadians through the pandemic. It includes giving immediate assistance to all Canadians in the form of $2,000 per adult and $250 per child, along with fixing EI by changing the requirements for it.

Albertans affected by COVID-19 are also able to apply for emergency financial aid of up to $1,146.

"It didn't meet all of the demands we had made, but certainly met the majority of them", they said.

They said their understanding of the government's rationale for including sweeping spending powers was that the pandemic is a rapidly moving situation, and the government felt it needed greater flexibility to appropriately respond.

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