Every Saturday, boxes of pre-cooked meals fill the downtown Toronto office of the Workers’ Action Centre (WAC).
Except the WAC isn’t a food bank. The worker advocacy organization only began distributing food, personal protective equipment, and other basic essentials to its membership when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March. “It’s been a horrific thing just to witness firsthand what workers have had to go through,” says Deena Ladd, WAC’s executive director.
Many social impact organizations, including WAC, were dreading the end of the $500-a-week Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). On September 24, a day after the Liberal government tabled a recovery-focused Throne Speech, details on the new Canada Recovery Benefit emerged. It offers $500 a week to Canadians left unemployed by the pandemic, mirroring CERB.
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