Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during a meeting of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Opposition parties reject emergency COVID-19 aid bill with fines for CERB fraudsters

The bill includes a proposed expansion of the wage subsidy program to include seasonal workers

Opposition parties have refused to give unanimous consent to speedily pass the Trudeau government’s latest emergency legislation.

They have also rejected the government’s bid to split the bill in two, to allow promised benefits for Canadians with disabilities to go ahead.

Those benefits are now in limbo, along with other measures in the bill.

The bill includes a proposed expansion of the wage subsidy program to include seasonal workers and some additional businesses, as well as proposed penalties for fraudulently claiming the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

It also proposes changes to the CERB in response to concerns that the benefit is discouraging people from returning to low-paying jobs.

Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez says the Liberals will attempt to find other ways to deliver on those promises.

READ MORE: Fines, punishment for CERB ‘fraudsters’, not people who made mistakes, Trudeau says

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