Archive for the ‘Social Security’ Category

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Ottawa has the Tools to Replace the CERB

Friday, May 15th, 2020

Two groups of Canadians face particular difficulties – low-income Canadians and families with children. Low-income Canadians have been hit hardest, as they make up the largest proportion of a service-sector led shutdown… Extending the CCB and GSTC boosts will allow low-income Canadians and families with children face the post-CERB knowing that they would have the income security they need to face the likelihood of a slow and uncertain recovery.

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COVID-19 presents lessons in how a guaranteed basic income program could work

Monday, May 4th, 2020

Basic income can be designed to target only those who need a top-up to provide for and maintain a very basic standard of living. And it can be implemented with speed, simplicity and efficiency by the keepers of our tax files, the Canada Revenue Agency… Fifty members of the present Senate (from the left, right and centre) have written to the government recommending that transition planning work be done now…

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Trudeau rejects turning CERB’s $2,000 a month into a universal benefit for Canadians

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

“We feel that targeting the maximum amount of help to the people who needed it quickly was the right way to begin to get through this process.” … A group of 50 senators from different political and partisan backgrounds signed an open letter to Trudeau on Tuesday, also calling for the CERB to be turned into a universal benefit… A universal payment would ensure greater social and economic equity as well as greater efficiency, the senators say.

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Ontario to allow people on social assistance to keep part of emergency benefits

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

More than 960,000 Ontarians rely on social assistance, but only about 75,000 report earned income, according to provincial data. Ottawa began issuing CERB payments April 6 for workers who lost their jobs or are earning less than $1,000 a month due to the pandemic and have earned at least $5,000 in the past 12 months. Payments are expected to continue for four months… The clawback is estimated to be worth about $30 million a month, according to a provincial government official.

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CERB is an unintended experiment in basic income

Monday, April 20th, 2020

… we have a historic opportunity for Ottawa, the provinces and territories to reshape cash transfers for Canadians who have low incomes, regardless of the reason why. COVID-19 could create a legacy: an income-support system that is efficient, non-stigmatizing, encourages work and is sufficient to provide better health outcomes and liquidity for people and communities. This would be a streamlined national reform vital to the economics of rebuilding and recovery.

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Ontario tells social assistance caseworkers to reinstate benefits to those who lost them after receiving emergency relief payments

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

On April 13, Carla Qualtrough, the federal minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion, urged all provinces not to claw back CERB benefits “to ensure vulnerable Canadians do not fall behind.” … Ontario has yet to say how it will treat the CERB. But Lockridge said Minister Todd Smith “had a productive discussion” with Qualtrough on Friday and will be providing more information “in the coming days.”

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Ontario seeks more information from Ottawa on how to treat CERB for people on social assistance

Friday, April 17th, 2020

… until the province determines how to treat the CERB, case workers have been told not to record the income in Ontario’s computerized benefits system, where the extra cash may trigger automatic clawbacks and even termination of benefits, including drug and medical coverage… A coalition of more than 130 health-care workers, community agencies and Ontarians living in poverty … [are] urging Queen’s Park to boost social assistance rates and not to claw back the CERB from those on OW and ODSP.

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Ottawa to the provinces: Don’t claw back CERB for workers on social assistance

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

“Our government believes the CERB needs to be considered exempt by provinces and territories in the same way as the Canada Child Benefit to ensure vulnerable Canadians do not fall behind” The statement comes as some Ontarians on social assistance who have lost their poverty-level jobs are receiving as much as $3,500 in CERB payments to cover wages lost in March and April… While Ontario considers what to do, the B.C. government on April 2 exempted EI and CERB from social assistance clawbacks…

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PM’s COVID-19 aid underlines the potential benefits of universal basic income

Sunday, April 12th, 2020

As Annie Lowrey highlights in her book “Give People Money,” UBI would “ensure that every person had some minimal level of capital and, thus, some minimal level of choice.” This is extremely important for the well-being of society… The economic right, on the other hand, sees UBI as an opportunity to get rid of governmental bureaucracy and inefficiencies. It views UBI as a way to replace existing allowance programs, tailored over many years, with an efficient, one-cheque solution.

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COVID-19 has exposed wide gaps in Canada’s social-safety net

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

This pandemic has shone an unflattering light on how austerity measures have led to fewer investments in supporting individuals and families – measures that would have helped cushion the blow that many people in Canada are now feeling… While governments across the country have rushed to respond to this crisis by investing in social programs and financial assistance, when we reach the other side of COVID-19 those social programs must stay in place – societal inequities that existed before this crisis won’t disappear on their own.

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