Singh calls for universal access to CERB

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OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he wants the government to lift all criteria for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to allow any Canadian who is in financial distress due to COVID-19 to qualify for benefits.

Singh says he has heard from many Canadians who do not qualify for the emergency benefit program, which opened to applicants this week, including people who are still earning a small income, students and those who were unemployed before the pandemic began.

Singh says he is in negotiations with the Liberals and has received assurances from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that gaps in the program will be addressed.

But the NDP leader says Trudeau could go even farther and drop all criteria to ensure all those who need help can apply.

Singh says the NDP will support the Liberals’ wage subsidy bill to help businesses suffering from the COVID-19 downturn, which will be debated in a special sitting of Parliament today.