News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

July 14, 2020

Province Calls On Federal Government to Redesign CERB Program to Encourage Canadians to Return to Work Full Time

– – –
Must Not Penalize Canadians for Returning to Work: Pallister

Watch news conference

The Manitoba government is calling on the federal government to change the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) so it does not penalize Canadians wanting to return to work, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.
“CERB is increasingly acting as a work disincentive to some Canadians, as it penalizes them financially for returning to work full time,” said Pallister. “Businesses need workers as they restart. Changing CERB so returning workers can keep some of this benefit, rather than lose it all at once, would help both businesses and workers.”
Manitoba recognized this disincentive early on and created the Manitoba Job Restart Program to provide direct payments of up to $2,000 in financial support to those Manitobans who voluntarily came off CERB and took full time work. Over 2,500 Manitobans have applied for the Manitoba Job Restart Program, with hundreds of new applications received daily, the premier noted. Manitobans are encouraged to apply and can find our more information at:
The current CERB rules disqualify all workers who earn more than $1,000 a month, the premier noted. Rather than lose the full benefit all at once, Pallister suggested the federal government consider a phased reduction of CERB as workers returned to their previous or new jobs. This would remove the disincentive to returning to work full time and help business and industry recruit employees at a time when they are trying to stay in business themselves.
Pallister has written all premiers urging them to both encourage the federal government to make changes to the CERB to remove disincentives to work and encourage Canadians to transition back to their jobs with the support of an expanded Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). 
Jobs and economic recovery is the top priority of the Manitoba government. Last week the premier met with representatives of Canada’s major business organizations and leading economic and financial think tanks, as well as the parliamentary budget officer, to solicit ideas and input as Manitoba moves to restart its economy and plan for a strong economic recovery and job creation.
“Manitoba is leading in recovery with strong job growth and a safe restart plan for our economy,” said Pallister. “Canada’s national business, academic and economic leaders need to know our plans for growth and the great potential our province has to come out of this pandemic even stronger.”
The meetings focused on two broad issues:  Canada’s current and forecast economic and financial situation, including the state of business confidence and federal response, and Manitoba’s fiscal and economic situation including Manitoba’s COVID response and recovery initiatives, the premier noted. There was a clear consensus from the meetings that all governments, particularly the federal government, must begin to change their focus to economic growth and recovery so Canadians have jobs.
- 30 -