No punishment for Canadians who accidentally applied for both CERB and CEWS, PM says

Published On June 9, 2020 | By Rachael Dyal | COVID-19, News
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, seen here on May 13 at a COVID-19-related meeting in the House of Commons, said Canadians who accidentally applied to two benefit schemes won’t face any penalties. (REUTERS/Blair Gable)
Rachael Dyal

People who accidentally claimed both the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will not face any penalties, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today.

“Those people will simply have to pay back the one that they shouldn’t have taken, and we’re not looking to punish people who made honest mistakes. Obviously, this is a time for us to pull together as a country,” Trudeau said in his daily news briefing outside Rideau Hall.

However, he said the government will be reprimanding people who claimed COVID-19-related aid but did not qualify for it.

He said both the CERB and CEWS are benefits that were put in place without “complicated checks” so Canadians could quickly receive money but fraudsters are trying to take advantage of this.

He said those who “knowingly and wrongfully claim the CERB (will) face consequences.”

Trudeau also emphasized the availability of CEWS as an aid to businesses as provinces and territories begin to reopen their economies.

“Over the past few weeks as businesses get ready to reopen, more employers are using the Emergency Wage Subsidy to rehire their employees,” he said.

“As we start to reopen, some businesses will need support to get back on their feet, and our government will be there to help, with programs like the Emergency Wage Subsidy,” Trudeau said.

He said the government will advance more measures to support Canadians experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic.

Trudeau said he shared draft legislation with opposition parties on Saturday to ensure people with disabilities, workers and other struggling Canadians can get the help they need.

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