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Canada’s Economic Recovery Benefit (CERB) Behind Worker Shortage

RCS CERB Behind Worker Shortage
August 22, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

By Karen L. Edwards, RCS Editor. 

Owner of Advanced Roofing in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan is struggling to find workers and blames CERB. 

The CERB provides individuals with a $2,000 payment every four weeks for up to 24 weeks. In mid-June the government announced that it would be extended through the end of the summer. 

Justin Fall, owner of Advanced Roofing, told CJME radio that he cannot find workers saying, “We’ve reached out to past employees to see if they were interested in coming to work and they’ve flat out told us that they’re going to just ride the CERB payments out and may be interested after that’s done. A lot of these guys wouldn’t make much more than that working full-time 40 hours a week so if it’s between that and sitting at home and they’re getting the same money, I think they’re happier to stay at home.”  

A normal year for Advanced Roofing would see about 20 employees working for the company and up to 50 during really busy times. Right now, they have six employees. “We cannot find people anywhere. We run ads on social media, we run ads on the job works website. We have an ad that’s been on there for a week now and we’ve had two applicants and neither of them were qualified,” Fall told CJME. “We would have 25 applicants if we had an ad up for a week last year.” 

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister agrees, having created a $2,000 bonus to encourage Manitobans to return to work and voluntarily drop out of CERB. In an HCA magazine article, he says that the benefit is “actually preventing some Canadians from returning to work on a full-time basis.” 

CERB is coming to an end in September and individuals will be moved to the country’s unemployment system as the government will switch its focus to helping businesses. Hopefully this move will have more people looking for work and roofing companies will be able to fill their open positions.  

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