The Federal Government has announced that it will propose legislation imposing tighter rules for those claiming the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Although the text of the Bill has yet to be released, it is expected to include fines and jail time for those who deliberately include false information on their applications.
The Bill, which is expected to be tabled in the House of Commons on June 10, 2020, is expected to indicate that Canadian will not be eligible to claim the benefit if they fail to return to work when it is reasonable for them to do so and after they have been recalled by their employer.
Canadians will also be ineligible if they fail to resume self-employment when it is reasonable to do so, or they decline a reasonable job offer when they are able to work.
Proposed penalties for filing a false or misleading claim or failing to disclose sources of income or other relevant facts in CERB applications may include fines of up to $5,000 plus a penalty of double the amount of income support claimed. False claims could also result in a fine plus a period of imprisonment of up to six months, according to the proposed legislation.
Mathews Dinsdale will provide updates on the details of the proposed Bill as they become available.
If you have any questions about this topic, other COVID-19 related questions, or would like assistance with developing and/or reviewing pandemic plans, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer, or refer to the Firm’s COVID-19 website resources.