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‘Relieved’: Canadians who have exhausted EI included in post-CERB plan – Global News

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Kerri Neuburger of Abbotsford, B.C. had been waiting for details on the federal government’s transition from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with unusual trepidation.

The 44-year old human resources and accounting professional says she lost her job in a corporate restructuring just weeks before the novel coronavirus pandemic began to spread across North America.

She made an Employment Insurance claim and started looking for jobs, but just when she was about to sign up for a new position, she says the lockdown came into effect, and the prospective employer rescinded the offer.

Read more:
Liberals unveil $37B for CERB transition to new benefits, EI changes

Like thousands of others, Neuburger had to use up her all EI benefits before moving onto the CERB. This meant that, while usually eligible for regular unemployment benefits, she won’t be able to make another EI claim once the emergency benefits program runs out.

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In the run-up to Thursday’s announcement, Neuburger and many others in her situation had taken to social media to ask: Would the federal government remember about them when laying out plans for the transition after CERB?

As of Friday morning, though, Neuburger says she can breathe easy.

“Pretty much what everybody’s feeling is relief right now,” she says.






1:57
Federal government unveils CERB transition plan


Federal government unveils CERB transition plan

An official from the office of Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough confirmed to Global News that Canadians who were already on EI as the lockdown started in mid-March and have exhausted benefits will be able to transition to the new Canada Recovery Benefit if they continue to be unable to find employment due to COVID-19.

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The benefit will provide $400 a week for up to 26 weeks, or roughly six months. Recipients will have an obligation to be available for work and look for employment while on the benefit.

The new benefits program will be available for self-employed Canadians and others who don’t qualify for EI, including those in Neuburger’s situation, according to Qualtrough’s office.

Recipients will be able to earn up to $38,000 in annual net income from employment or self-employment while receiving payments. Beyond that threshold, they will have to repay 50 cents for every additional dollar earned, like EI recipients need to do when working while on claim.

Read more:
ANALYSIS: A looming coronavirus debt crisis could swamp Canadian households

The Canada Recovery Benefit is part of three new benefits program Ottawa envisions in the aftermath of CERB to cover workers who don’t have access to EI. The Liberals also plan to create a Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit for parents taking care of children who can’t go to daycare or school and a Canada Recovery Sickness benefits for those who don’t have paid sick leave. All three programs would remain in force for one year after the CERB ends.

Ottawa’s temporary social safety-net expansion also includes a four-week extension of CERB eligibility and temporary changes that would make EI more generous and easy to access.s

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Anyone eligible for EI will get a minimum benefit of $400 a week for at least 26 weeks and will need to have worked 120 hours to qualify, well below current EI requirements, since many Canadians have been unable to work due to the pandemic.

The overall plan is expected to cost taxpayers a fresh $37 billion in funding.






1:26
Coronavirus: CERB transition to new benefits, EI changes expected to cost $37B


Coronavirus: CERB transition to new benefits, EI changes expected to cost $37B

Neuburger says her only concern now is whether the Liberal government will be able to adopt the sweeping changes with a minority government.

“People are just worried that, come September 23rd, it’s not going to pass,” she says.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has prorogued parliament until Sept. 23 following the resignation of Bill Morneau as federal finance minister and the WE Charity scandal.

Read more:
Senior public servants repeatedly questioned key parts of WE Charity deal: documents

The uncertainty surrounding whether and how the Liberals will be able to adopt the new measures is “a big caveat,” says Ricardo Tranjan, a senior researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

“At the end of September, in a scenario where the Liberals do not get a vote of confidence, we don’t know what’s going to happen to workers,” he says.

Sources who have been briefed on the government’s plan say the new income supports will be created through regulations, rather than legislation, the Canadian Press has reported.

For small business owners, the uncertainty created by the plan revolves around whether they’ll be able to hire enough part-time staff as they’re allowed to reopen, according to Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“CFIB’s biggest concern is that a worker can now collect $400 per week for a half-year if they’ve been working a part-time job with three hours a week (or less),” Kelly told Global News in emailed comments.

Neuburger, for her part, hopes she may not even need to tap the new benefits program after all.

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After sending out more than 300 resumes, Neuburger says she landed a job interview just as the Liberals announced the post-CERB plan. She says it’s the first call-back she’s gotten from an employer since the start of the pandemic.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Why the Queen herself has twice delivered Canada's speech from the throne – CBC.ca

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Hello, royal watchers. This is your regular dose of royal news and analysis — curated this week by Eva Lam. Reading this online? Sign up here to get this delivered to your inbox.


Our CBC colleague and senior reporter Mark Gollom took a look this week at the two occasions in which Queen Elizabeth opened Parliament in Canada:

This week saw Gov. Gen. Julie Payette carry out one of her more significant parliamentary duties as the Queen’s representative — opening up the new session of Canada’s Parliament by delivering the speech from the throne.

It’s referred to as such because, quite simply, the speech to outline the federal government’s priorities for that session of Parliament is read from the throne, or seat, that is reserved in the Senate chamber for the Queen or her royal representative.

But there have been two occasions in which the Queen herself has sat in that seat and read the speech from the throne in Ottawa.

“Both of Queen Elizabeth II’s speeches marked key events in her reign,” said Toronto-based royal author and historian Carolyn Harris.

The first was on Oct. 14, 1957, and it marked the Queen’s first visit to Canada as a reigning monarch and the first time the monarch opened Parliament in Canada.

The visit lasted four days, limited to Ottawa, and occurred during John Diefenbaker’s first year in office as prime minister.

Prince Philip listens as the Queen reads the speech from the throne opening Parliament on Oct. 14, 1957. (The Canadian Press)

“Diefenbaker’s government had only been elected in June of that year, so the visit was evidently arranged at short notice and was a coup for the minority Conservative government,” said Michael Jackson, president of the Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada.

Diefenbaker “held a deep respect for the monarchy,” and he took “special care to ensure that this event be shared across the country,” according to the Diefenbaker Canada Centre website.

“Television cameras appeared for the first time in the House of Commons and in the Senate as the CBC broadcast the speech nationwide,” the website said.

The Queen began the speech noting that this marked “the first time the representatives of the people of Canada and their sovereign are here assembled on the occasion of the opening of Parliament.”

“This is for all of us a moment to remember,” the Queen said.

Canadian journalist and author June Callwood, writing for Maclean’s about the royal visit to Canada, wrote that the Queen read the speech “in a bath of spotlights that brought the temperature of the room to [33 C].”

Indeed, the strong lights, needed for a National Film Board documentary of the visit, blew all the fuses in the House of Commons just five minutes before the Queen’s arrival, Callwood wrote.

“For four minutes and five seconds, there was total power failure. CBC technicians wept when power was restored, with 55 seconds to go,” she wrote.

The Queen’s second throne speech read in Canada came 20 years later, on Oct. 18, 1977, as part of her Silver Jubilee tour.

This was a five-day visit, again limited to Ottawa, but as Jackson notes, the government at the time may not have been as keen about the event as the Diefenbaker government.

The Queen’s 1977 throne speech in Canada came as part of her Silver Jubilee tour. (The Canadian Press)

It came during Pierre Trudeau’s time in office, and, as Jackson wrote in his 2013 book The Crown and Canadian Federalism, some members of the prime minister’s cabinet supported eliminating the monarchy.

The government “was reluctant” to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee and “grudgingly, it arranged a short visit to Ottawa,” Jackson wrote.

Still, in the opening passages of the throne speech, the Queen remarked how she had “greatly looked forward to being with you here in the Canadian Parliament in my Silver Jubilee year.”

“Whenever I am in this wonderful country of Canada, with her vast resources and unlimited challenges, I feel thankful that Canadians have been so successful in establishing a vigorous democracy well suited to a proud and free people.”

That was the last time the Queen has opened Parliament in the country, something that Robert Finch, dominion chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada, finds regrettable.

“I think we have missed a few good opportunities over the years by not having the Queen deliver the speech from the throne more often,” he said.

“The throne speech gives us one day where we are all reminded of the Crown’s role in Parliament. To have had the Queen do it herself more often would have really helped drive home the reality that Canada is a constitutional monarchy and that she is the Queen of Canada.”

Royal brothers don’t always get along

Prince Albert (later King George VI), left, and Prince Edward (later King Edward VIII) circa 1900. Albert would find himself unexpectedly on the throne after his older brother’s abdication in 1936. (Universal Images Group/Getty Images)

When word spread recently that a statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, will be unveiled next year in a garden at Kensington Palace, some observers wondered if its installation on July 1 — which would have been her 60th birthday — will encourage some sort of rapprochement between her sons.

Much speculation has swirled about the nature of the relationship between Prince William and Prince Harry, particularly as their lives have taken them in different directions: William on the path expected of someone who is a direct heir to the throne, and Harry, farther down the line, finding a new life in California.

Whatever the exact nature of their relationship — and whether there is froideur, if not friction — it would hardly be the first time distance had developed between royal siblings who once were very close.

“When we look at history, often it’s a challenge for royal siblings to all be in the same place … and as they grow older, often, the experience of heirs to the throne tends to diverge from that of younger royal children,” said Harris.

Speculation has swirled about the nature of the relationship between Prince William and Prince Harry, pictured at the annual Commonwealth Service at London’s Westminster Abbey on March 9. (Phil Harris/Reuters)

Take, for example, King Edward VIII, who ruled from January to December 1936. Edward’s younger brother Albert found himself unexpectedly on the throne as King George VI after his older brother abdicated in order to marry the American divorcée Wallis Simpson.

“His younger brothers looked up to him when they were young, but then the abdication crisis happens and that causes a lot of strain,” said Harris.

Edward “was continuing to insist on the details of his income and whether [his wife] the Duchess of Windsor would be addressed as her royal highness … so certainly there’s a great deal of strain between the two brothers,” said Harris.

Royal historian Carolyn Harris says the abdication crisis caused a lot of strain between George VI, left, and Edward VIII. (AFP/Getty Images)

Go back a few generations, and everything was not all sunshine and light among all nine of Queen Victoria’s children.

“The future Edward the Seventh and Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, were associated with much more partying and society life whereas it was actually the younger sons … seen by Queen Victoria herself, as being more responsible,” said Harris.

Victoria leaned on her youngest son, Leopold, “as a kind of private secretary,” Harris said, noting he was a hemophiliac and couldn’t go into the military, a common occupation for royal men at the time.

“There’s some evidence of jealousy, that for the future Edward the Seventh, he was heir to the throne, he would have expected to be in that role of assisting his mother with her state duties.”

WATCH | Why biography of Harry and Meghan could add to deep royal wounds:

A new detailed book about Prince Harry and Meghan may not be as explosive as Princess Diana’s 1992 biography, but royal watchers say the information revealed will add to the deep wounds caused by the couple exiting their senior royal roles. 2:01

Harris sees some parallels among Victoria’s nine children and William and Harry in how the siblings were close when they were young, particularly because they were living in the shadow of parent’s death.

Victoria’s children “had lost their father, Prince Albert, and particularly the younger ones, growing up in this atmosphere of mourning brought them together.”

But there was a sense that over time, Queen Victoria didn’t treat them all equally.

“She had more confidence [in] some of her children’s advice or abilities than others, and so that created some strain within Queen Victoria’s extended family,” said Harris.

Kate documents Britons’ lives under lockdown

Kate Middleton launched the Hold Still photography project in May in collaboration with London’s National Portrait Gallery. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The final selections have been unveiled for Kate Middleton’s Hold Still photography project, which aims to capture life in the U.K. during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project, which the Duchess of Cambridge launched in May in collaboration with London’s National Portrait Gallery, invited people of all ages to submit a photo focused on three core themes: Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness. From over 31,000 submissions, a panel of five judges, including Kate, selected 100 portraits to be featured in a digital exhibition.

“The images present a unique record of our shared and individual experiences during this extraordinary period of history, conveying humour and grief, creativity and kindness, tragedy and hope,” read a message on the Kensington Royal Instagram account announcing the final 100 portraits on Sept. 14.

In the weeks after the project launched, Kate was spotted leaving encouraging messages underneath Instagram posts of people who submitted photos using the hashtags #HoldStill and #HoldStill2020, per Cosmopolitan.

On an image of a health-care worker in full uniform, Kate commented, “Thank you so much for sharing your story and for all the amazing work you continue to do at this difficult time,” signing off with a “C,” for Catherine. On another image of a young child blowing on a dandelion, Kate wrote, “A perfect example of Hold Still … the chance to re-engage and value the simple things around us.”

The final selections for the project reveal the breadth of Britons’ experiences during the pandemic. One shows a five-year-old boy with leukemia receiving chemotherapy at home during lockdown. Another shows a woman at a Black Lives Matter protest at the U.S. Embassy in London holding a sign reading, “Be on the right side of history.”

Others show physically distanced kisses and exhausted health-care workers. Each image comes with text from the entrants themselves revealing the story behind the picture.

The Queen, with whom Kate shared a number of the portraits ahead of the exhibition’s debut, has also released a congratulatory statement on the project, saying, “The Duchess of Cambridge and I were inspired to see how the photographs have captured the resilience of the British people at such a challenging time.”

Royals in Canada

Queen Elizabeth was met by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Gov. Gen. Jeanne Sauvé in Moncton, N.B., after arriving for a two-week visit to Canada on Sept. 24, 1984. (Fred Chartand/The Canadian Press)

Queen Elizabeth is scrupulous about staying out of the politics of the day, and one visit to Canada made that abundantly clear. Her 1984 trip to mark the bicentennials of Ontario and New Brunswick, along with the sesquicentennial of Toronto, was delayed by two months to avoid a federal election.

When she and Prince Philip arrived in Moncton on Sept. 24, they were greeted by a prime minister only just settling into his new job. Brian Mulroney, fresh off the Progressive Conservatives’ landslide victory, welcomed the royal couple and was with them at several points during the visit.

The Queen and Prince Philip depart Parliament Hill in Ottawa for Government House on Sept. 26, 1984, accompanied by RCMP. (Fred Sherwin/The Canadian Press)

Often asked to oversee official openings, the Queen had the chance to do that at two high-profile places: the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Science North in Sudbury.

The 13-day visit also came shortly after the birth of her third grandson, Prince Harry. His arrival, The Canadian Press reported at the time, was recognized by the Province of Ontario with the gift of a natural willow bassinet that was presented to Buckingham Palace officials.

Royally quotable

“The borderless climate, biodiversity and health crises are all symptoms of a planet that has been pushed beyond its planetary boundaries. Without swift and immediate action at an unprecedented pace and scale, we will miss the window of opportunity to reset for a green-blue recovery and a more sustainable and inclusive future. In other words, the global pandemic is a wake-up call we simply cannot ignore.”

  • Prince Charles, in a virtual keynote speech to launch Climate Week NYC 2020 this week. A longtime advocate for the environment, the prince called for a military-style response akin to the U.S. Marshall Plan to rebuild post-war Europe.

Royal reads

  1. With Barbados declaring its intention to remove the Queen as head of state, some residents of the English Berkshire town of Reading — home to one of the largest Barbadian diasporas outside of Barbados — explain why they believe “the time is right.” [The Guardian]

  2. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrated Harry’s 36th birthday on Sept. 15 by donating $130,000 to CAMFED, a charity that supports girls’ education in Africa. [Vanity Fair]

  3. Activist Gloria Steinem revealed in an Access Hollywood interview that she and Meghan Markle cold-called U.S. voters to encourage them to vote in November’s presidential election. [Harper’s Bazaar]

  4. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, had her likeness captured in a clay bust during a live-streamed sculpture session. She was promoting the U.K.’s Vision Foundation and their work for blind and partially sighted people, a cause with which she has a personal connection. [Vanity Fair]


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Canada reports more than 1,200 new coronavirus cases, 7 deaths – Global News

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Winnipeg police say a woman has died and several other people have been injured in a collision involving a vehicle that was fleeing police.

The crash happened at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the area of Salter Street and Boyd Avenue, police said in a statement.

According to police, officers tried to pull over a vehicle for a traffic stop but the driver “took off at a high rate of speed.”

Read more:
Vehicle-pedestrian collision on Portage Ave. leaves one person in critical condition

Seconds later, the vehicle hit another car in the nearby intersection of Andrews Street and Boyd Avenue.

Four people in the vehicle that was struck — including an infant and a child — were sent to hospital.  A woman who was in that vehicle has died from her injuries, police said.

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Two people from the vehicle that had fled police were also transported to hospital.

Police said most of the victims are in critical or serious condition.

The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, which investigates serious incidents involving police, has been called to investigate.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canada's death toll could hit 16000 by the end of 2020, new modelling warns – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Canada could see as many as 16,000 COVID-19 deaths by the end of the year if current public safety measures don’t change, according to new modelling from the United States that has provided accurate assessments of the American death toll.

But a Canadian pandemic modelling expert says that, while anything is possible, the American model may not be capturing the whole picture in Canada.

The model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington suggests Canada could see 16,214 deaths by Jan. 1 based on the current situation. If public safety mandates are loosened, such as physical distancing, the death toll could be even higher, hitting a projected 16,743 lives lost.

Universal masking in public spaces could curb those numbers and save thousands of lives, the model suggests, pointing to countries like Singapore that have successfully put in place masking protocols that are 95 per cent effective. Singapore has reported 27 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

If Canada were to successfully implement similar rules, the modelling predicts a death toll of 12,053.

So far Canada has reported 9,256 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 150,000 cases. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned earlier this week that the country is at the beginning of a second wave of infections as he urged Canadians to take public health guidance seriously.

Quebec is leading the country with new cases of COVID-19. On Saturday, the province reported another 698 cases, the highest daily infection numbers since May.

Dionne Aleman, an associate professor at the University of Toronto who specializes in mathematical models for pandemic prediction, said the IHME model is “simplistic” and does not account for regional differences across the country.

While a second wave of COVID-19 infections has started, Aleman points out that deaths are not in a second wave. COVID-19 deaths in Canada peaked in April and May, when more than 100 people died in connection with the virus daily. Those numbers have remained much lower in recent months, with five deaths reported on Friday.

“The fact that deaths are not tracking with infections as they did in the first wave indicates that vulnerable individuals are taking more precautions to protect themselves now, and it is reasonable to assume those precautions will continue as the second wave gets worse. This model does not account for the fact that some people are behaving differently from others, and thus, the projected deaths are likely overstated,” Aleman told CTVNews.ca on Saturday over email.

The latest modelling by the Public Health Agency of Canada does not offer predictions to the end of the year, but suggests that, based on current rates, the death toll could steadily rise to 9,300 lives lost by Oct. 2.

The IMHE modelling has proven to be accurate. Earlier this year, the model predicted that the U.S. would hit 200,000 deaths in September, a grim milestone that happened earlier this week. Now, the model predicts the U.S. death toll will nearly double by the end of the year, reaching 371,509 by Jan. 1.

The IMHE model also predicts daily infections — a number that includes people who aren’t tested for COVID-19 — could hit more than 19,000 by the end of the year.

Aleman said it’s important to remember that, even if a person doesn’t die from COVID-19, the consequences of getting sick can be serious.

“There are numerous examples of otherwise healthy individuals with severe reactions to COVID taking several weeks and even months to recover, and there are indications that there could be long-term health consequences,” she said.

“We should view these projections of exponential infection increase with great concern, and we as individuals should take every reasonable precaution to stem this increase before it is too far out of control. Wearing masks is easy and effective, and we should do it.”

Infections may be on the upswing, but Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Saturday that limiting personal contacts as much as possible can help once again flatten the curve. She encouraged Canadians to take time this weekend to chat with loved ones about how to keep their bubbles safer.

“Even if people attending an event are part of your extended family, as has been the case with some of these private gathering outbreaks, it doesn’t mean they are not infected, even if no one appears to be unwell,” Tam said in a statement.

“Despite the very real concern of a large resurgence in areas where the virus is escalating, there is still reason to be optimistic that we can get things back to the slow burn.”

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