OTTAWA — Labour groups are asking the federal government to provide workers with extra weeks of pandemic aid with many still out of work and facing the prospect of maxed-out benefits next month.
Although the Canada Recovery Benefit is in place until the fall, recipients are eligible for a maximum of 26 weeks of the $500-a-week aid.
The worry now is that workers who have relied on the federal support since its launch will hit a benefit cliff when they exhaust their eligibility at the end of March.
Larry Rousseau, executive vice-president at the Canadian Labour Congress, says it’s unlikely workers in hard-hit sectors like restaurants and tourism will be back to full-time hours by March, or even the summer.
What his group and others are asking of the Liberals is to extend eligibility at least until the end of the year.
The latest federal figures show the Canada Recovery Benefit has paid out $9.88 billion in benefits to more than 1.7 million people since it launched at the end of last September.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2021.