Canada's NDP


December 17th, 2020

Jagmeet Singh calls on Justin Trudeau to stop going after honest workers who applied for the CERB in good faith

NDP Leader was joined by a self-employed worker who is facing the Liberals’ unfair CERB clawbacks

OTTAWA – Today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh held a round table to call on Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to stop going after honest Canadian workers who have applied for the CERB in good faith. He was joined by one of the thousands of self-employed workers who are being forced by the Liberals to pay back their CERB — even though they met the criteria for eligibility. When it turned out that the Liberals made a mistake in the CERB eligibility criteria, they started going after workers to pay it back.

“Workers like Valérie, across Québec et Canada, applied for the CERB because they needed help to get through this pandemic,” said Singh. “The Liberals promised they wouldn’t go after people who applied in good faith and needed help to get by during the pandemic – not only did workers apply in good faith, they were told they were eligible by even the Liberals’ own Finance Minister. When the Liberals realized their mistake, they went after workers to force them to repay their CERB. This is wrong. They need to keep their promise and stop with these unfair clawbacks.”

People who applied for the CERB in good faith needed it to take care of their families and pay the bills. Meanwhile, Liberals are turning a blind eye to big corporations benefiting from the wage subsidy and giving away billions in dividends to their shareholders. At a time when things are tough, people expect their government to stand up for them. But instead, the Liberals continue to side with their well-connected and wealthy friends.

“Big corporations are getting away with taking public money and making their shareholders richer by the minute because of this Liberal government’s unwillingness to go after them,” said NDP Deputy Leader Alexandre Boulerice. “It’s clear whose side the Liberals are on as they help rich corporations get richer, and abandon workers struggling to make ends meet. These workers are struggling to take care of their families. Instead of helping families, the Liberals are making it harder for them to get by. Workers who were told they were eligible to apply for the CERB shouldn’t be penalized. The Liberals need to put an end to these unfair clawbacks.”