Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has again refused to commit to extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), despite the fact that June is the last month when Canadians who have applied for the benefit for four consecutive months will receive a payment.
Trudeau was responding to a reporter’s question during a media briefing on Friday (June 5), after he had announced the federal government would be providing $14 billion to provinces and territories to help them reopen their economies, as well as an automatic one-time tax-free payment of up to $600 to Canadians with disabilities.
A reporter asked Trudeau, in French, whether the federal government will extend the program or end it. The reporter pointed out that people who have been receiving CERB for the last four months need to prepare if the program will not be extended.
“We recognize that deadlines are arriving,” Trudeau replied, also in French. “We’re working as a government to look at the next steps. We will provide information on this to the media and to the citizens as decisions will be made.”
The CERB program currently provides a $2,000 payment per month for a maximum of four months.
Although the program runs until the fall, Canadians who first applied for CERB retroactively in March and then for each subsequent month will receive their last $2,000 payment in June.