The federal Liberals are rolling out a $37-billion income-support plan for workers whose earnings have crashed during the pandemic.
The details released today outline what will happen to some four million workers receiving the $500-a-week Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which is set to wind down starting next month.
The CERB will be extended another four weeks, and a new benefit that pays $400 a week for up to 26 weeks will replace it for those ineligible for employment insurance.
Anyone eligible for EI will get the same minimum for at least 26 weeks and will need to have worked 120 hours to qualify, well below current EI requirements, since many Canadians have been unable to work due to the pandemic.
There will also be $500-a-week sickness benefit and caregiving benefit for anyone who has to stay home because they’re ill, or because school or daycare is closed.
The three new benefits are expected to cost $22 billion and will be brought in through legislation once the House of Commons returns after being prorogued this week.