Almost one million Canadians joined the unemployment line last week and two new surveys show the economic pain is just beginning. The pandemic-induced shutdown of the economy has resulted in job loss or reduced work hours for 44% of Canadian households, the Angus Reid Institute said Wednesday. Most of those who are out of work say their employers aren't offering any emergency support. (Bloomberg)
This week, other business closures have once again put hundreds of thousands of workers out of work and income. Today the Canadian government announces that Canadians who have lost their jobs, those who are ill, quarantined or caring for a person with COVID 19, and parents who have to stop working to care for children will also be eligible for the UDP.
"We recognize that there are people who are facing difficulties [right now], that there are people who stopped working almost two weeks ago. We're going to do everything we can to help them with access to credit, with other measures," said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa will provide workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with $2,000 a month for the next four months to help them pay their rent and groceries. Mr. Trudeau told his daily news conference that the government is aware of the uncertainty facing the country and has merged two public assistance measures into a single program to make it easier for people to apply and receive money. (Globe and Mail)
The new benefit combines the $10-billion emergency-care benefit and the $5-billion emergency-support benefit that were announced last week. (Global and Mail)