Liberals propose to boost pandemic benefits to $500 per week, up from $400

'We're digging in to make sure that we continue to support people, because we're very much still in a crisis'

There will also be two separate benefits of $500 per week for parents forced to stay home with sick children or for people who become sick with the virus and have to isolate. Those two benefits are unchanged since first announced in August.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh made clear Wednesday that he didn’t want people coming off CERB to get less money while the pandemic is still raging. He was coy about his ultimate support for the coming confidence vote, but said changing the program would be a big step.

Qualtrough said people on EI will get a minimum of $500 per week as well, so no one will be worse off. She said they expected most people who still need support would move onto EI, which also offers support for training and other incentives.



OTTAWA — The Liberal government announced a boost to their proposed pandemic benefits Thursday, a move that should give them the NDP’s support for their throne speech.

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough announced three new benefits meant to help people who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance (EI), parents who need to stay home with children and people who need to stay home due to illness.

“We’re digging in to make sure that we continue to support people, because we’re very much still in a crisis,” Qualtrough said. “If we want to get to the point where we build back better, we need to make sure that the people who need our help the most, get the support they need.”

The benefit for people who do not qualify for EI has been increased to $500 per week, from the Liberals’ initial August proposal of $400 per week. That figure is the same as the soon-to-expire Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

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