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How Canada is Facing COVID19 Economic and Health Crisis

World leaders have certainly taken their initial steps in addressing their nation’s concerns affecting their country’s health and economic status. Each was planned according to the current arising needs of their residents. No one is spared in the hurdles brought by the infectious disease, not even the first world countries, like Canada.

What action is the government taking?

Citizens of Canada are getting support from the federal government. It offers financial support to its residents whose jobs were affected by the pandemic disease. The virus hasn’t only claimed a massive number of lives but also took thousands or even millions of jobs across the country and the whole world. The unprecedented suite of measures includes enhanced eligibility for employment insurance (El) as well as a new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

The government of Canada is certainly taking unprecedented action to support all Canadians impacted by the fatal disease. Employees are facing serious challenges finding jobs in the replacement of their lost opportunities brought by the coronavirus. A mass layoff has taken place for the majority of the workforce since the lockdown. It is making them struggle financially with no other means of income to support their family’s daily needs and expenses.

The Canadian government took the necessary steps to help employers adapt to the realities of COVID-19. It is supporting the Canadian youth as they begin in search of summer their employment and the older work sector. This is an initiative of the government that will also help build foundations of strong communities and a stronger workforce including job opportunities for the younger labor force.

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has announced temporary adjustments to Canada’s summer jobs program. Changes will help employers hire staff for the season to assist the youth in acquiring employment during this unprecedented time. An estimated 70,000 jobs are open for application for its residents 15 to 30 years of age.  

Canada’s small enterprises increasingly depend on the employment of the citizens in Canada. The changes in the country’s summer job program will help businesses recruit and keep the workers they need to continue their operations in delivering essential services. 

As quoted by the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, “Small businesses and community organizations are the backbone of our economy and a critical lifeline for communities across this country. They are facing economic hardship and unprecedented service demands during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why we are taking action now to get them the financial help they need to keep their doors open and support their communities”.

While the Minister of Employment, Workforce, and Development and Disability Inclusion, Hon. Carla Qualtrough mentioned, “In these extraordinary times, we realize the impacts that small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and public sector employers have on our economy and our communities. Our role is to support them. This is why the government of Canada has made changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program so that we can help employers help their communities through good quality, safe job placements for the youth”.

Economic support for the citizens

The federal government has also promised that there is an up to 75% wage subsidy for workers who remain on the payroll list of the small and medium-sized businesses that have at least 30% loss in their gross revenue and did not receive federal funding. The subsidy carries a maximum of $847 per worker per week and will go directly to businesses. And for those who were unable to work due to the directive of self-isolation or quarantine will not have to wait for the usual one week to receive El (Enhanced Eligibility) sickness benefits. In addition to that, the benefits can also be accessed without the need for the usual requirements.

Filing for application for the CERB will start on April 6 and can be made retroactively as far back as March 15. The government has instructed its citizens to apply by birth month, for those who are born in January up to March, applications are conducted every Monday. Those who are born in April, May, and June are every Tuesdays, while for those who are celebrating their birthdays in July, August, and September, applications are every Wednesday. And Thursdays is for the October, November and December celebrants.

According to the Canada government, the CERB will provide workers who experienced income loss due to the pandemic with $500 cash assistance in a week for up to 16 weeks. This mandate covers both employees who have lost their jobs permanently or temporarily. It will include also contract workers and self-employed as well as those who are sick, caring for someone who is sick, parents who are staying home to care for children whose schools are closed. Once the 16 weeks have passed the regular El program will resume.

Canadians may apply for the benefit through CRA MyAccount or by dialing 1-800-959-2019. Successful applicants will start receiving payments within 3-5 days if they sign up online. They will only have included necessary banking information for direct deposit. For those who filed their application through telephone, cash assistance will be received within 10 days upon application. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reminded recipients that there is a need to “check-in” with the program every month as a confirmation that they are still out of work. He also stated that the government is also considering further assistance for workers affected by the crisis.

To learn more about the changes brought to us by the coronavirus, click here to know more.

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