Report from Parliament Hill:
Proposing a Back to Work Bonus
Eric Melillo - Kenora Riding MP
To put it mildly, these have been uncertain times for workers and employers alike.
As the Ontario economy reopens, I’ve heard from many constituents who are eager to get back to work, but still concerned about their financial stability, as well as many local employers who are struggling to recruit workers.
That’s why my Conservative colleagues and I are proposing the Back to Work Bonus.
The Back to Work Bonus would improve the Canada Emergency Response Benefit by providing a top-up to workers making between $1000-$5000/month, ensuring that Canadians aren’t penalized for picking up a shift or gradually returning to work
Under the Conservative plan, Canadians who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during the pandemic would continue to receive their full $2,000 CERB. In addition, as businesses reopen, workers who make between $1,000 and $5,000 per month would qualify for a CERB top-up that would be gradually phased out by 50 cents for every extra dollar earned over the $1,000 threshold.
For a part-time server making $2,000 per month, the Back to Work Bonus would result in a top-up of $1,500, for a total monthly income of $3,500.
Meanwhile, under the current Liberal plan, workers lose their entire CERB when they earn even one dollar over the $1,000 monthly limit. While Justin Trudeau announced he would be extending eligibility for the CERB by eight weeks, he has failed to fix the program so that workers and businesses can get back on the job and contribute to our economic recovery.
Conservatives believe that federal COVID-19 support programs need to be more flexible and generous than that.
I’ve spoken to many workers and business owners in the Kenora riding who have been struggling to access existing COVID-19 supports due to restrictive eligibility criteria. Our Party has been urging the government to fix the flaws in these programs to allow more people to qualify.
I hope the Liberal government will take our advice and implement these constructive solutions as soon as possible. If you agree, I encourage you to write to Finance Minister Bill Morneau ([email protected]) to express your support for these reforms.
As always, if there is anything my office can assist you with, or a cause you would like me to take up in Ottawa, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at
807-468-2170 or by email at
Member of Parliament - Kenora riding