The number of Canadians who have applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit has reached over seven million, according to recent data, and spending continues to grow.
The federal government revealed the most recent numbers Friday morning and found that $22.4 billion has been paid out so far from the $2,000 per month package, according to CP24.
Applications for the CERB relief were made available just over a month ago and since then there have been 7.12 million unique applicants to date. The program has an overall budget of $24 billion.
The CERB was implemented by the Trudeau government as one of several different programs to help Canadians deal with the economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Four of the programs that they have implemented have been met with criticism recently by Parliament's budget watchdog, Yves Giroux.
Yves Giroux said that a $25 billion dollar loan program for businesses will result in expenses to federal coffers of more than $9.1 billion dollars through different costs of interest, defaults and loan forgiveness.
The Trudeau government has additionally created the Canada Emergency Business Account which will offer interest-free loans for as much as $40,000 to help businesses cover their costs of operation. Up to $10,000 dollars of that loan will be forgiven if repaid before the end of 2022.