NDP finance critic, Daniel Blaikie, made the following statement:
“Canadians are trying their best to cope as the pandemic continues. People are worried about their health and workers and owners of small and medium-sized enterprises are again losing their incomes. Families across the country are struggling with the rising cost of living which makes it harder for them to pay for their rent and groceries.
In the last election campaign, Justin Trudeau promised to have Canadians’ backs for as long as it takes. But the Liberals recently ended the CRB for 900,000 people who needed it and cut support for SMEs owners.
Today, we see that Justin Trudeau is now forced to backtrack on his government’s cuts to workers and small businesses, only one week after they introduced a restrictive bill that left too many people behind and made it more difficult for workers to access aid.
The Liberal government says nice things, but the aid measures announced today are temporary. After February 12, hundreds of thousands of workers could again be left out. The Trudeau government wants to look like they care, but low-income seniors who had their GIS clawed back still haven’t gotten their benefit back; they may be left to wait for months more before getting the help they deserve.
The NDP is fighting for people and will continue to pressure the Liberals to simplify access to a benefit of $500 a week for any worker who needs help. This will give the government time to fix the EI program so that no worker is left out.
We’ll keep pushing for low-income seniors and families who have had their GIS and CCB clawed back to be fairly compensated as quickly as possible. We’ll also fight for Canadians earning low-incomes who applied for benefits in good faith but did not meet the eligibility criteria to keep the benefits they received. In the middle of a global pandemic, people need more support, not less. Canadian workers, business owners, families and vulnerable seniors can always count on the NDP to stand up for them.”