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Call to action – Extension to CERB

Let your MP and the Federal Government know that Canadians need ongoing support to emerge strong and resilient from the COVID-19 crisis. Here is a sample letter that you can personalize.

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Copies will also be sent to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance; Hon. Stephen Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage; Hon. Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue; Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board.

Add a personal message
**A salutation will automatically be added at the beginning of the letter and your name as a signature at the end.**

Hello [Member of Parliament's Name],

As one of your constituents, I am a concerned Canadian who supports the position taken by CARFAC, the national association for professional visual artists, regarding the extension of CERB and the establishment of an ongoing guaranteed income program that will ensure low-income Canadians will have a basic monthly income they can rely on as our country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, I support the following clarifications and enhancements to Federal Financial support for Canadians:

1. The extension of CERB is welcome relief to the many Canadians who are experiencing a dramatic loss in income. I support the extension of CERB for at least another 16 weeks.

2. CERB eligibility for low-income self-employed persons should be based on gross income, and the allowable earnings under CERB should be based on net income. This would account for the fact that many low-income self-employed Canadians – artists in particular – earn much less than the average worker, and so their net income after expenses can make them ineligible for CERB.

3. Eliminate fines and other punishments for low-income individuals deemed ultimately ineligible for CERB, if their previous years’ earnings are below the lowest tax bracket ($48,535).

4. Clarify the relationship of CERB to royalties: there should be no cap on earnings for pre-existing works during the claim period.

5. After the extension period, transform CERB into an ongoing guaranteed income program that will ensure low-income Canadians will have a basic monthly income they can rely on. This benefit could be progressively taxed back according to income so that low-income workers could retain the benefit, as a strong incentive to continue working.

Thank you,

[Your name]


Photo Credit: Art Supplies by Celeste Lindell