FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -
April 22, 2020 -
OTTAWA, ON — Today, Dan Albas, Conservative Shadow Minister for Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Karen Vecchio, Conservative Shadow Minister for Women and Gender Equality, and Stephanie Kusie, Conservative Shadow Minister for Families, Children and Social Development, wrote a letter to Ministers Qualtrough, Monsef and Hussen raising concerns with the government’s delivery of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and how expectant mothers and new parents are falling through the cracks.
“Many expectant mothers who applied for Employment Insurance after March 15, 2020, have not received their CERB payments, despite the government’s assurances that individuals who applied for EI after March 15 would automatically be processed through the CERB,” said MP Albas.
“In addition, several pregnant women have reported that Service Canada has told them that they must start taking their maternity benefits immediately, even if their child is not due for several months,” said MP Kusie. “This would reduce the amount of time available for mothers to receive their full benefit after their child is born.”
MP Vecchio added that, “the government has a responsibility to promote gender equality, and we expect that you and your Cabinet colleagues will recognize the disproportionate impact that these gaps in service have on women. We expect you to act quickly to address these issues and to prevent them from happening again.”
In light of these concerning examples, MPs Albas, Kusie and Vecchio are asking the government to answer the following questions for Canadians:
- When will expectant mothers who have applied for EI begin receiving the CERB payments they are entitled to?
- Why is your government advising expectant mothers who have been laid off to use up their maternity benefits?
- What is your government’s plan to assist parents who were on track to qualify for maternity and parental benefits but, due to COVID-19, have been unable to accumulate enough hours to qualify because they were laid off or have had their hours reduced?
To read the full letter, click here.