January 15th, 2021
Canadians should not be punished for Liberal’s mistake, says NDP
While the Liberals let rich companies off the hook, they’re going after Canadians for the Liberal’s own mistake
OTTAWA – The Liberal government is still refusing to allow CERB recipients to keep funds they received, after openly admitting they gave out incorrect information. The NDP’s Critic for Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Daniel Blaikie (Elmwood-Transcona), is urging the government to strongly reconsider forcing Canadians in financial distress to pay back money they received through CERB in good faith and after being told they were eligible.
“Canadians applied for this crucial support because they were desperate and needed help to feed their families and pay their bills. Now, thousands of Canadians, who are already facing unimaginably difficult times, are being told to pay back the money they received after the government told them they were eligible,” said Blaikie. “Under the new CRB, the government already has a way to protect the most cash-strapped Canadians from having to repay benefits. With a little compassion, the Liberals could take similar measures to help the people they misled about their CERB eligibility.”
Back in April, the Liberals promised they would not ask people to pay back money received through CERB. Now, during the second wave of this pandemic, when the situation is worse than ever, the government is asking for the money back. They are going after people struggling to get by, while they let big corporations off the hook for taking public money and paying dividends to help make their shareholders richer. “If a bank or big corporation was on the verge of bankruptcy because the government screwed up, the Liberals would be bending over backwards to help them out,” said Blaikie. “Canadians deserve no less when it comes to their individual household finances.”
“The CERB has helped me pay for essential expenses during the pandemic. I spoke with the CRA before applying and was told I qualified. I was completely taken off guard when I received this letter. I don’t know how I could pay this back,” said Pei, from Burnaby, British Columbia.
“When I received the letter from the CRA, it was like I had been thrown off a cliff.
The funds from the CERB have really helped me get through the pandemic. This shouldn’t have happened. I met all the criteria for eligibility for the CERB,” said John from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The NDP is continuing to fight to make sure Canadian workers receive the support they need to stay afloat during these challenging times. No one should be penalized for a mistake made by their government.