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New $37B COVID-19 aid package extends CERB, expands EI and adds 'recovery' benefits

The federal government is extending the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) by one more month and revamping the employment insurance program to allow more people to receive financial assistance during COVID-19.

The suite of benefit reforms, aimed at helping Canadians through the transition as the economy gradually reopens, is expected to cost $37 billion.

Measures include greater flexibility on the work hours required for EI, making it easier for people to qualify for a one-year period.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough announced the new measures during a news conference in Ottawa Thursday afternoon.

"We're doing our very best to support all Canadian workers and leave no one behind," Qualtrough said.

CERB, which has already paid out more than $69 billion to more than 8.6 million recipients, will now be in place until Sept. 27, extending the program from six months to 28 weeks.

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Source: CBC News

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