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Trudeau defends decision to not monitor fraudulent CERB claims

"The choice we made was to get the money out to people immediately," said Trudeau. The prime minister said that fraudsters would get caught "as we move forward."

Posted  505 Views updated 15 days ago
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed media on Thursday outside of Rideau Cottage following a meeting with Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres and the Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness. 

The meeting covered "the important role of Canada and Jamaica" in mobilizing international action to "assist developing countries."

Trudeau announced $470 million towards fish harvesters through the Fish Harvester Benefit, for those expecting a 20% drop of income this season, which covers losses of up to $10,000.

Additionally, fish harvesters who own their own businesses will be eligible for $10,000 government grants.

To cover the next year, fish harvesters will be able to apply for Employment Insurance for next year, based on income.

"For farmers and agriculture fisheries, we're launching $100 million agriculture and food business solutions fund through farm business Canada," Trudeau also announced.

Trudeau ended on some good news, saying that as of June, some national parks will reopen, allowing Canadians to use nature trails to get some fresh air.

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Regarding the US border, Trudeau was asked about the case of an expecting mother whose American partner is unable to cross the border. The American's travel has been deemed non-essential, with the man being told he could only cross if the mother was unable to care for the child, leaving the man to take care of the baby.

Trudeau talked about the extraordinary sacrifices Canadians were making during the pandemic. "We've seen families split up, even internally in Canada because of COVID-19. It is difficult on everyone, and I can't comment on every case, obviously. But I do know that Canadians from coast to coast to coast are making tremendous sacrifices in order to protect their loved ones... and preventing our health care systems from getting overloaded," the prime minister said.

After a report found that the Trudeau government was not screening the CERB for fraud claims, Trudeau defended the matter, stating that the dire situation called for quick action, even if it meant giving funds to those who did not need it.

"Getting that help to 99 percent of the Canadians who needed it quickly and rapidly, if it meant even accepting that one or two percent might make fraudulent claims was the choice that we gladly made. We needed to get help to Canadians immediately, and that's what we did," said Trudeau. 

"If we had asked public service to perform background checks on everyone applying the CERB, we'd still be waiting to get those checks out," Trudeau said on the matter, pointing to "strong measures" put in place to catch those who submitted fraudulent claims.

Trudeau said the fraud measures would kick-in in the coming months.

"The choice we made was to get the money out to people immediately," said Trudeau. The prime minister said that fraudsters would get caught "as we move forward."

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