Canada's NDP

NDP

April 7th, 2020

NDP: Government response to COVID-19 a good start, but many gaps remain

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2020

NDP: Government response to COVID-19 a good start, but many gaps remain

New Democrats are calling on the government to get direct assistance into the hands of all Canadians and fill the gaps within current relief measures

DUNCAN – Canada’s New Democrats are fighting to make sure Canadians have the money they need to pay the bills, a job to go back to, and a safe place to live. And we’re fighting to make sure ALL Canadians have the support they need to stay healthy and safe in this crisis. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) officially became available on Monday, and applications have been rolling in, with more than 794,000 people having applied on the first day.

“The Prime Minister was forced to admit yesterday that the CERB doesn’t go far enough to provide the needed assistance to enough people,” said MP Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford). “Rather than making new patchwork announcements, the government needs to send direct assistance to all Canadians, like the NDP had called for weeks ago.”

Many of the steps the federal government has taken – increasing support to Canadians who lose their jobs and increasing the wage subsidy to 75% for businesses so that they can keep people on payroll – were measures the NDP pushed for. But the government’s follow through has been too slow, and too many people are falling through the cracks. It is expected that Parliament will have to be recalled soon to enact the wage subsidy, and New Democrats will be studying the legislation carefully to ensure it meets the needs of small business owners.

“My office has been hearing from constituents who don’t qualify for the CERB or regular EI for a variety of reasons – either due to seasonal work or having lost their job prior to the March 15th cut-off,” continued MacGregor. “The new measures must include people who have not lost all of their income, people who are working 10 hours or less per week, and people still working who make less than the benefit would provide. My NDP colleagues and I will keep pushing to make sure all Canadians get the support they need in this stressful and challenging time.”