Canadians could receive their Canada Emergency Response Benefit by the end of this upcoming week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday (April 5).
The prime minister gave the update during his now-daily address from the steps of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa.
The emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19. The application has been staggered: Those born in January, February and March can apply Monday, with applications opening those those born later in groups of three months each day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before it opens fully on Friday.
The money is expected to arrive by direct deposit within three to five days, and by cheque in 10 days, Trudeau said. Workers who have applied for EI due to the novel coronavirus will not need to reapply for the emergency benefits, but can switch to Employment Insurance once the 16-week emergency benefit is finished if they are still out of work.
Trudeau said the government was working on a solution to encourage essential minimum wage workers to keep coming to work instead of collection the benefit, which could pay out more than their wages.
The prime minister also said Health Canada was building an “inventory of specialized volunteers” for provinces and territories to rely on. The work could include tracking cases, tracing contacts and collecting and reporting data.
Canada’s military reservists are also being called upon. Trudeau said the country was offering full time jobs, with pay and benefits to match.
“Bolstering the military’s ranks will help offset some of the economic consequences of COVID-19,” Trudeau said. Sunday’s callout comes less than a week after Canada’s nationa defence minister said 24,000 troops were ready to be deployed to help with the pandemic response.
More to come.