Coronavirus benefits likely won’t become permanent, Trudeau says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the more generous benefits being provided to out-of-work Canadians during the novel coronavirus pandemic shouldn’t be seen as permanent changes to the social safety net.

Millions of people have received emergency benefits since March, when the first wave of COVID-19 struck Canada and led to widespread lockdowns and historic job losses.

A new round of $500-a-week benefits for the unemployed has since been put in place and extended to next summer.

Trudeau suggests the government is watching to see how things play out before deciding on its next move.

Speaking at a digital event hosted by the Financial Times, Trudeau says just because aid programs are helping during the pandemic doesn’t mean they’ll be useful once the crisis passes.

He also says the extra benefits likely won’t stick around once the crisis finally passes.

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