As provinces reopen, Canadians are optimistic about their futures and anxious to get back to work, as demonstrated by May’s job numbers. Despite a global pandemic, the private sector created almost 330,000 new jobs. This continued private sector growth will be integral to Canada’s economic recovery. Canada needs to be firing on all cylinders.
However, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, many employers are facing significant staffing challenges despite record unemployment numbers.
Canadians want to work. Businesses need workers. But the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) penalizes workers for picking up shifts. That is wrong.
Conservatives believe it should always pay to work. Our common-sense policy proposal will give workers the support they need to transition back into the workforce and ensure that local businesses are able to fill shifts and get back on their feet.
Why Action is Needed
Millions of Canadians are currently receiving the CERB.
Under the Trudeau Liberal plan, Canadians can earn up to $1,000 and still receive their full $2,000 CERB, for a total monthly income of $3,000.
However, those who earn $1 over the government’s arbitrary $1,000 limit lose their entire $2,000 CERB, resulting in a massive drop in income (up to $1,999 per month).
This barrier makes it difficult for Canadians to re-enter the workforce as businesses may only be able to offer part-time hours for the first couple of months.
Our Conservative Plan
Canada’s Conservatives are proposing to make the CERB more flexible and more generous to help workers transition back into the workforce.
Under our plan, Canadians who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during the pandemic will 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 the Back to Work Bonus, a CERB top-up that would be gradually phased out (by 50 cents for every extra dollar earned over $1,000).
The Parliamentary Budget Office has estimated that this policy change would cost $3.1 billion, just 5.4% of the Liberals’ unused wage subsidy budget.
Conservatives will keep putting forward constructive solutions to help Canadians get back on their feet.