Canada COVID-19 News

Trudeau says CERB recipients shouldn’t worry about repayments right now

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told CBC that Canadians who received letters saying they may have to repay emergency relief benefits shouldn’t be concerned right now.

Trudeau said the federal government’s goal at the start of the pandemic was to help Canadians facing financial hardship adding that he understands some people are concerned about possible new debts.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) sent almost 500,000 “educational” letters asking for more information from some recipients to determine if they actually met the income eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Some recipients who were found to be ineligible for the benefit have been encouraged to repay the money by Dec. 31 to avoid any 2021 tax troubles.

“We sent out those letters, but the message that I’m giving to Canadians is — if that letter is causing you anxiety, don’t worry about it,” Trudeau told CBC on Dec. 17.

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