The Canada Recovery Benefit still leaves out the most vulnerable, social impact organizations say

Undocumented workers, disability benefit recipients, and unhoused Canadians largely don’t benefit from the Liberal government’s new COVID-19 income assistance program

Why It Matters

Millions of Canadians are currently dependent on CERB. While the Liberal government’s new Canada Recovery Benefit is a strong safety net, social impact organizations will still need to provide for their users - and expand their missions.

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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