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CANADA TO EXTEND INCOME SUPPORT FOR JOBLESS BY 8 WEEKS

Canada will extend federal income support by eight weeks for those who lost their jobs amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and the border with the United States will remain closed to non-essential travel, the prime minister said on Tuesday, Steve Sherer and Kelsey Johnson reported for Reuters on June 17, 2020


The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which delivers C$500 a week to those who qualify, had been available for a maximum of 16 weeks, which meant that some people would no longer be able to collect it starting in July.

At a news conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted that the 13 provinces and territories were gradually restarting their economies, but said the income support would still be needed. Unemployment in Canada hit a record high in May.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it. We still have a long journey ahead. ... Many workers will be able to find work, but others won’t,” Trudeau said. “Even as we start to reopen, a lot of people still need this support to pay their bills while they look for work.” The opposition New Democratic Party’s leader, Jagmeet Singh, had said he would not support a confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday if the CERB were not extended.