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QUESTION PERIOD - CANADA EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, my question for the government leader concerns letters self-employed Canadians recently received from the Canada Revenue Agency, telling them to repay their entire CERB payment by the end of the month, which is just a few weeks away. It seems the government has retroactively decided that the CERB qualification of $5,000 income in 2019 was, in fact, $5,000 net income. When former Finance Minister Morneau was here in March and April, he referred many times to the $5,000 requirement, but he never once said that it was $5,000 net. Although CERB has ended, the application website is still online. If you look, it does not contain the word “net.” So all these months later, why did the government change the criteria for the CERB? Entrepreneurs should not face hardship at this critical time because of an arbitrary decision of your
government. Will the CRA stop sending these letters to self‑employed Canadians?

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