Conservatives Propose Changes to CERB

The back of the Parliament Building in Ottawa taken before sunset. The Peace Tower is in the background and the Library is in the foreground.
The back of the Parliament Building in Ottawa taken before sunset. The Peace Tower is in the background and the Library is in the foreground.

OTTAWA – Conservative MPs in the House of Commons are proposing improvements to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Eric Melillo joined his Conservative colleagues in announcing a new Conservative proposal to improve the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – called the Back to Work Bonus.

“I’ve spoken to many constituents who are eager to get back to work, but still concerned about their financial stability, as well as many local employers who are struggling to recruit workers,” MP Melillo said. “Our proposal would ensure that Canadians aren’t penalized for picking up a shift or gradually returning to work.”

Under the Conservative plan, Canadians who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during the pandemic would continue to receive their full $2,000 CERB.  In addition, as businesses reopen, workers who make between $1,000 and $5,000 per month would qualify for a CERB top-up that would be gradually phased out by 50 cents for every extra dollar earned over the $1,000 threshold.

For a part-time server making $2,000 per month, the Back to Work Bonus would result in a top-up of $1,500, for a total monthly income of $3,500.

Meanwhile, under the current Liberal plan, workers lose their entire CERB when they earn even one dollar over the $1,000 monthly limit. While Justin Trudeau announced he would be extending eligibility for the CERB by eight weeks, he has failed to fix the program so that workers and businesses can get back on the job and contribute to our economic recovery.

Melillo noted that many of his constituents have struggled to access supports introduced by the Liberal government. “Since this crisis began, Conservatives have been proposing constructive solutions to make these programs more flexible and generous,” he added.

“I hope the Liberal government will take our advice and implement the Back to Work Bonus as soon as possible.”