Every Friday, we publish a weekly update on COVID-19 and its effect on business.
The Government of Canada Announces Changes to Employment Insurance and New Benefits
On Thursday, August 20th, Deputy Prime Minister Freeland and Minister Qualtrough announced changes to Canada’s Employment Insurance program, making the program more flexible and available to Canadians in need.
The recent Employment Insurance changes are also accompanied by three new benefits. Per the Government of Canada’s website, a summary of the changes include:
- The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will provide $400 per week for up to 26 weeks, to workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI and who still require income support and who are available and looking for work. This benefit will support Canadians whose income has dropped or not returned due to COVID-19. The benefit will allow Canadians to earn more income while on claim as well as include links to Job Bank, Canada’s national employment service, with career planning tools for those seeking employment. In addition, the government will be working with provinces and territories to share information to ensure that Canadians have access to tools and training opportunities to successfully return to the workforce.
- The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500 per week for up to two weeks, for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19.
- The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) will provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household, for eligible Canadians unable to work because they must care for:
- a child under age 12 due to the closures of schools or daycares because of COVID-19.
- a family member with a disability or a dependent because their day program or care facility is closed due to COVID-19.
- a child, a family member with a disability, or a dependent who is not attending school, daycare, or other care facilities under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high-risk if they contract COVID-19.
The Government intends to introduce new legislation to support the implementation of the new benefits.
Canada Invests to Secure Canadian-Made N95 Respirators
On Friday, August 21st, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, announced an agreement between the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and 3M Canada on a joint investment to expand a manufacturing facility for N95 respirators in Brockville, Ontario.
Per the Government of Canada’s website:
The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario are supporting 3M’s capital investment by contributing $23.33 million each. The facility will produce 25 million N95 respirators for the Government of Canada and 25 million for the Government of Ontario per year over five years. This will provide 50 million N95 respirators annually to help health care workers, first responders and other essential workers with the equipment they need to continue their vital work.
The health and safety of all Canadians remain the top priority of the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. As we gradually and safely restart the economy, we will continue to work with the Canadian industry and make strategic investments to support our health care workers and make our country more resilient to possible future waves of the virus.
While the coronavirus continues to spread quickly, it is important to remember that only a small percentage of patients need special treatment to recover. Trusted health experts continue to emphasize that the general population shouldn’t panic and should instead focus on practicing proper hygiene, such as hand-washing and refraining from touching the facial area.
View our full library of COVID-19 resources here.