All indications are that the CERB program, which is set to expire in the fall (August 29, 2020 for those that applied mid-March), will switch to the Employment Insurance (EI) program.
With legislation on changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program being passed in the House of Commons July 21, 2020 – with approval by Senate and Royal Ascent pending --details on the alignment between CERB and/or EI and CEWS is still to be confirmed.
Self-employed, independent contractors could be left out.
What happens when CERB ends?
ACTA is concerned that Independent travel agents, who are not currently eligible for Employment Insurance benefits, could be left without aid when CERB ends.
"We are drawing to the government’s attention that the CERB program is a lifeline to this group of travel agents and must continue in some form of sector specific aid," ACTA says.
ACTA’s message to government is that the industry appreciated that CERB included self-employed workers. “As the federal government makes changes to the EI program this summer, we implore the government to include self-employed workers in an EI type program, similar to the United States CARES Act,” said Wendy Paradis, President, ACTA.
ACTA has explained that a large segment of the 24,000 businesses and individuals selling travel are women and small businesses. Over 30% of travel agents are independent entrepreneur contractors who will continue to require financial aid, given that travel advisories remain in place and many borders are closed.
New letter writig campaign
ACTA is launching a new letter writing and phone call campaign urging the government to provide continued financial aid for Canada’s independent travel agents due to the COVID-19 crisis. ACTA is asking industry members to please take the time to download the template from the ACTA website and send to their MP on an urgent basis. There’s also a phone script for phone calls to MPs.
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