Start processing coronavirus aid applications for struggling Canadians now: Singh

Singh says the government should begin receiving applications now so that it can get the money into the hands of Canadia...

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is urging the federal government to immediately begin accepting applications for emergency financial aid from Canadians struggling during the COVID-19 crisis.

In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Singh says the government should begin receiving applications now so that it can get the money into the hands of Canadians as quickly as possible after Parliament approves the legislation necessary to get a promised $82 billion in direct financial assistance and tax deferrals flowing...

...Singh says he’s alarmed that many people — who are without income now as businesses shut down all across the country to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus — won’t get any of the emergency federal financial help until April or even May.

He says starting the application process now will ensure no one waits “one day longer than absolutely necessary.”...

...Although the NDP will support the legislation, Singh urged the government to do more, including dramatically increasing a promised payroll subsidy of 10 per cent.

“Businesses may choose to keep people employed, with drastically reduced hours, in order to qualify for the subsidy. These employees may be worse off than if they had been laid off and could collect EI,” he said.

Singh also suggested that the government could double payments this month of existing income support programs, like the child benefit, to ensure that getting financial help to those who need it is “fast and easy.”

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