Liberals propose upping value of new COVID-19 benefits to match sunsetting CERB

Justin Trudeau

OTTAWA — The value of weekly benefits for unemployed workers would rise to $500 a week under legislation the Liberals introduced today.

The proposal still needs parliamentary approval, but would bring the value of payments to the same level as under the soon-to-disappear Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

The same floor will be placed on employment insurance benefits for those eligible for the program.

A bill to create the new benefits regime was introduced in the House of Commons this morning, with only a few days before the first wave of recipients max out the CERB.

The Liberals first unveiled the package of three benefits and an expanded employment insurance program in August, days after Parliament was prorogued.

The $37-billion package includes a replacement to the CERB, as well as benefits for anyone who has to stay home because they’re ill or taking care of a child or family member due to pandemic-related reasons.