Green Party welcomes cross-party collaboration to pass the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and improve the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

April 11, 2020

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada applauds the cross-party collaboration that resulted in the passage of the Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) bill today. Substantial improvements to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) have been announced as well. Thanks to the hard work of MPs across the country Canadian businesses will receive financial support to keep workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis, and more individual Canadians will soon be eligible for the CERB.

“Honestly, I had a lot of trepidation about traveling to Ottawa to be in Parliament today –. but I am very glad I made it,” said Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “I was able to raise key issues for my constituents, whether small businesses or individuals, who were falling through the cracks.”

“As I said in the House, our democracy matters and Canadians need to know that even when all MPs are working from home, we are working. I could not be more proud of the work Jenica Atwin is doing for the people of Fredericton, nor of Paul Manly who helped connect the Deputy Prime minister with the Harmac mill in Nanaimo to help resolve the N-95 mask crisis with the US. It is a time for all hands on deck!”

The $73 billion dollar CEWS bill provides for businesses that have lost 30 percent of their revenue due to COVID-19 to receive a 75 per cent wage subsidy for three months.

“I want to echo Elizabeth May’s words in the House of Commons,” said Green Party Interim Leader Jo-Ann Roberts. “We are seeing our government at its best right now. We are grateful that Green voices are being heard. The role of parliament is to serve the common good not just political interest. Democracy works best when politicians work together. I hope this will be a lasting lesson.”

“I’m very pleased to see changes coming to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB),” said Paul Manly (MP, Nanaimo-Ladysmith). “Since CERB was first announced we’ve been advocating in every briefing, and in correspondence with ministers, for an expansion of the program because too many people don’t qualify. It didn’t cover students who can’t get jobs, part-time workers and self-employed owner/operators who have lost significant income but still have some work

“In my riding there are essential front-line workers, including a part-time paramedic on Gabriola Island, who lost the majority of their income and need help paying their bills and supporting their families. No one should fall through the gaps in the safety net, so today’s announcements are good news.”

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