The CERB money you got at the beginning of the pandemic may be long gone, but there's still a chance that you'll have to repay it. The Government of Canada announced that certain people who received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit continue to owe the government money — and they're about to come asking for it.
A statement issued by the minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion on November 25 says Service Canada will be "reaching out directly" to these people. More specifically, those of you who owe funds will reportedly get a notice from Service Canada outlining how much you owe, the process to repay it and how you can appeal the decision.
If you receive #CERB through Service Canada, you were given an advance payment of $2,000 to get you money ASAP. \n\nTo cover this advance, there will be a 2nd period during your claim for which you will receive no payment or 2 reduced payments.pic.twitter.com/n3LsT0hVCD
In the statement, Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough explains that this applies to people who got CERB early in the pandemic through Service Canada rather than CRA. She says this was considered an "advance CERB payment" meant to "get support out to Canadians as quickly as possible."
Most people made up for this as they continued to receive CERB by getting no payments or reduced payments some months. But, if you went off CERB when you went back to work, you may not have had the opportunity to make up for the advance.
"Service Canada will now begin reaching out directly to those individuals who went off the CERB after returning to work and prior to that payment being reconciled," says Qualtrough's statement. "Over the next number of months, the Government of Canada will be working with Canadians who may be required to make a repayment."
Minister Qualtrough says the goal isn't to place Canadians in a financial hole just because they took advantage of the benefits the system offered at the time. She says the government is ready to "work with Canadians to establish flexible repayment schedules if needed, with an eye to pay."
At the same time, the statement says the government has "zero tolerance for fraud" and is continuing to look for cases of "misrepresentation, abuse or fraud related to the CERB." So you may also hear from the government if you weren't entitled to the benefit but you got it anyway.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
While there's a myriad of possible reasons as to why Trudeau is ahead in the province, his handling of the pandemic could be the biggest. Among the Quebecers polled, 46% believed that health care is the most pressing issue in the upcoming election and 53% said the current prime minister "has performed well on pandemic management."
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"We, the undersigned, demand that the Government of Quebec publicly reject, as of now, the idea of a mandatory vaccination passport and that it commit itself to do like the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has done, that is to say, prohibit the obligation to present a vaccination passport in order to attend certain events and practice certain activities," the petition states.
Samson, a former Coalition Avenir Québec member who switched sides in June, held a press conference about the petition alongside Conservative Party of Quebec leader Eric Duhaime on August 12. They explained that the party had already collected 133,000 signatures on a previous petition that did not meet the criteria of the National Assembly.
"We reviewed the wording [...] So we're going to ask these hundreds of thousands of people to re-sign their petition on the National Assembly website, and we're going to invite Quebecers who don't agree with the vaccine passport to come forward as well," Samson said.
The petition, which was posted to the National Assembly website on August 12, had garnered more than 75,000 signatures at the time this article was published.