Prime Minister Trudeau says those that have lost income due to the coronavirus shutdown will be eligible for $2,000 a month for the next 4 months.
The plan is a repackaging of two previously promised benefits into a single allowance.
Workers eligible for the package are those whose income drops to zero because of the pandemic, including if they have been furloughed by their employers but technically still have jobs.
Speaking in the Senate, Finance Minister Bill Morneau told senators that the move should help get money to affected workers faster than under the previously announced model.
When the Liberals unveiled their response package, they proposed two benefits — one to flow through the employment insurance system and another for those who don’t qualify for EI benefits, such as self-employed workers.
Morneau said the new, combined benefit should be simpler to administer and get to workers with a target delivery date of April 6.
The House of Commons approved the stimulus package in the early hours of Wednesday and the Senate approved the bill this afternoon.
Affected workers will have to fill out an online application and meet what Morneau says will be a few, limited conditions to qualify.
An online portal where people can apply will be active soon and people should get the money within 10 days.
He added that the government has redeployed thousands of civil servants to work on the benefits package so the funds can flow to people as soon as possible.
As Morneau appeared in the Senate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a news conference outside his Ottawa residence that the government has redeployed thousands of civil servants to work on the benefits package so the funds can flow to people as soon as possible.
Trudeau said the new benefit should be in people’s pockets within 10 days of their applications, meaning the help won’t flow until the middle of April at the earliest.
Watch the prime minister’s full comments below