Pattie Lovett-Reid: Now is the time to find a job if you can, before government support runs out

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TORONTO – Canadians seem uncertain whether they think the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be extended again. There is no indication that the relief measure will be extended. But depending on who you talk to, it’s sure to generate a mixed response. Through informal conversations I had with individuals and small business owners, the frustration grew. This frustration appears to be fueled by the perception that there are Canadians who could potentially work but instead choose to stay at home. They fear that the deficit will grow with the realization that the government cannot continue to support people who do not work forever. And while many agree that some form of support should be maintained – especially for industries where employment remains a challenge – in an ideal world there would be a phased approach that would inspire people to find jobs available even if not with their former employer.

Now, to be fair, there are some small business owners who have supported CERB, who don’t know how people would have survived financially without it, and who appreciated how inclusive the program has been. There are many who still cannot return to work because their business is just not there and they need the money.

Whichever side you find yourself in, at the end of the day the government has said it will hold Canadians accountable to ensure that those who need the funds are indeed those who will receive the funds.

Additionally, most people I spoke with agree that government support helped alleviate a situation that could have been much more devastating to households and the economy than it was. But the harsh reality is that CERB is going to be scrapped and now is the time to act.

Before we panic, there are options although we don’t know all the details yet.

Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about reorganizing EI to include more Canadians who have found themselves out of work – especially those who have exhausted their benefits or who simply would not qualify for EI. because they have not contributed to the plan in the past. .

The details so far have been very light in terms of details, but what the PM said is that former CERB grantees would be eligible. This suggests that if you are a former worker in the odd-job economy, it means your safety net will likely be extended a bit longer.

The CERB was by far the most popular lifeline during the pandemic. However, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (SCAR) has been extended until December 2020 to encourage employers to rehire employees. And there’s also a grant worth up to $ 5,000 for students who volunteer their time.

We need those who can work to work and the SCAR program could end up finding the right job for you. Many employers have been slow to embrace this program because they just weren’t ready to hire, but there are signs the program is gaining popularity as the economy begins to reopen. Now is the time to start the job search.

Also, you may be looking for a small income boost if you are a low income Canadian. The GST / HST credits have been expanded to include a single payment that essentially doubles the value of the payment. The one-time payment was mailed back in April, but if you haven’t received it, it’s still retroactive. Instead of normally earning $ 443.00, you could end up with $ 886.00. You should take the time to determine your eligibility.

In the end, we were all blind when COVID-19 hit. Jobs have been lost, incomes compromised and the economy has come to a halt. As far as you can and if you can, now is the time to find a job, any job to help pay the bills, because soon government support will no longer be the safety net on which you can count.

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