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Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is calling for the federal government to phase out the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), criticizing the federal payments for disincentivizing Canadians returning to work.
“CERB is increasingly acting as a work disincentive to some Canadians, as it penalizes them financially for returning to work full time,” said Pallister. “Businesses need workers as they restart. Changing CERB so returning workers can keep some of this benefit, rather than lose it all at once, would help both businesses and workers," said Pallister in a news release published on Tuesday.
Pallister has written to other provincial premiers "urging them to both encourage the federal government to make changes to the CERB to remove disincentives to work and encourage Canadians to transition back to their jobs with the support of an expanded Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy."
Pallister said that while the CERB was a necessary step in the fight against the virus, he argued that it is no longer essential as the province "plans for growth."
“Manitoba is leading in recovery with strong job growth and a safe restart plan for our economy,” said Pallister. “Canada’s national business, academic and economic leaders need to know our plans for growth and the great potential our province has to come out of this pandemic even stronger.”
The statement goes on to say that there was clear consensus from the government meeting that the federal government "must begin to change their focus to economic growth and recovery so Canadians have jobs."