Is CERB Being Extended? What to Do if You No Longer Qualify for Pandemic Assistance

December 06 2021

Canada is getting back to work! The final period for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), formerly known as CERB (the Canada Emergency Response Benefit), ended October 23, 2021, and left many wondering “is CERB being extended in any form?” The short answer is no. The CERB/CRB program is officially extinct. If you continue to be laid off because of the global pandemic your main option at this point is to apply for EI.

With that said, the Canadian government has tabled legislation to provide support to businesses in the hardest-hit industries. What will this look like?

-Support for the tourism and hospitality industry.
-Support for the hardest-hit businesses that have faced the deepest losses.
-Support for businesses facing local lockdowns as a result of COVID-19 regulations.

You can view complete details here:

The above programs help to support businesses to keep their employees working.

Assistance like CERB being extended was, of course, the hope of many but there is good news. There are tons of opportunities out there for job seekers as many Canadian organizations have actually been facing challenges filling new positions.

This past summer, Financial Post released an interesting article on job vacancy rates in Canada, focusing on the fact that Canadian employers are facing challenges filling vacant positions. The article looked at vacancy rates in March of 2021 and the numbers were surprising:

-The hospitality industry reported the highest vacancy rate of 7.4% (68,400 vacancies).
-The construction industry reported 5.8% (58,300 vacancies).
-The healthcare and social assistance sector reported 4.8% (104,200 vacancies).
-The retail industry reported 4% (75,300 vacancies).
-The transportation and warehousing industry reported 3.9% (30,600 vacancies).

High vacancy rates create competition in the job market, and some have speculated that will lead to higher wages. In Georgina, Ont. many businesses are offering more than the minimum wage because of the shortfall of job applicants.

According to an article on, Atlantic Canada businesses are looking for thousands of workers to fill positions in healthcare, restaurants, and retail and are even paying hiring bonuses as a result of competition in the local labour market.

There was a recent article about the tech industry in Toronto, noting that it has seen the biggest job growth in North America with more than 40,000 new jobs added. The Vancouver tech industry ranked for third largest job growth in North America with more then 10,000 new jobs added.

What does this mean for you? The opportunities are ripe for the taking – and you need to be prepared. Many of these industries will require more than a simple resumé to get hired, so if you are jumping back into the job market it is prudent to be ready so that when that interview comes, you walk in with everything you need to land that job.

1.Update your resumé to ensure it has the most recent information.
2.Ensure that you have all your certifications organized and ready to present.
3.Ensure that references know that you will be re-entering the workforce and to expect to hear from prospective employers.
4.Ensure that you obtained your criminal background check so that it is quick and available for consumption. Particularly in hospitality, healthcare, and retail, this is extremely relevant. On this front, fortunately, the days of old are behind us so you do not have to go to the police station to request your criminal background check. Your criminal background check can be obtained quickly and easily online. If you get an offer that requires a background check, this can also let you start that job right away versus waiting the two-to-six weeks that a local police station can take.

If still dependent on pandemic assistance programs like CERB or CRB, the ending of these programs affords you a great opportunity to jump back into the job market, potentially earning more than before the pandemic started.

For more information on how you can be job market ready visit