Ottawa: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his government will soon make emergency benefits accessible for citizens who do not currently qualify.
On Monday, Trudeau said the aid will cover people such as gig workers, contractors and volunteer firefighters who work 10 or fewer hours per week, reports Xinhua news agency.
He added that there will be assistance for those who continue to work but are making less than they would through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, such as home care workers or people caring for vulnerable seniors in long-term care facilities.
“You need support now, and work is underway to get it to you as soon as possible. For people in all of these situations, we see you. We’re going to be there for you. And we’re working as hard as we can to get you the support you need,” Trudeau said at his daily press conference against the COVID-19 crisis.
Trudeau said 240,000 people have applied successfully for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which opened to applications on Monday morning.
The benefit will provide C$2,000 ($1,417) a month for four months for those eligible.
Trudeau said that his government was currently drafting its second piece of emergency legislation and will recall the Canadian Parliament in the coming days to pass a multibillion-dollar expansion to COVID-19 financial assistance measures.
On April 1, Trudeau announced the expanded wage subsidy program — a 75 per cent subsidy for businesses to keep employees on staff, up from the initial 10 per cent.
It is the largest economic program in Canadian history and needs approval by Parliament.
Canada has reported 15,862 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 294 deaths.