Canada After complaints, CRA encourages some failed CRB applicants to reapply on Monday
Golden Globes Group Elects 3 New Members – But Not Norwegian Who Sued Over Past Rejections
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has elected three new members: Yulia Charysheva from Russia, Sabrina Joshi from India and Danielle Kool from the Netherlands. Not selected this year was Norwegian journalist Kjersti Flaa, who sued the HFPA in August and accused the organization behind the Golden Globe Awards of antitrust violations and a "culture of corruption" that unlawfully denied her membership despite fulfilling all the requirements for admission. She had applied for membership in 2018 and 2019 and was rejected both times, and applied again this year.
After dozens of Canadians complained to CBC News about problems getting the new Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Revenue Agency is now recommending that some applicants reapply for the benefit on Monday after 6 a.m. ET.
CBC News first reported Friday on thewho were certain they were eligible for the CRB but had their applications rejected. The benefit is supposed to replace the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) for those who are not eligible for employment insurance.
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised that the application process would be "simple" and that no one would be left behind in the transition away from the CERB, many complained they received an error message when submitting their application.
240,000 people apply for new COVID-19 benefit on 1st day despite technical glitches
Slightly less than a quarter of a million Canadians applied for the Canada recovery benefit on the first day applications opened despite some experiencing technical difficulties. The Canada Revenue Agency received over 240,640 applications for the new benefit on Monday, spokesperson Janick Cormier told CBC. The new benefit will pay $500 per week for up to 26 weeks and is open to those who don't don't qualify for employment insurance (EI) because they never paid into it or don't have enough hours.
"I've never felt this hopeless," Hajar Pittman told CBC News after her application was rejected.
The mother of two toddlers said she was laid off from her job in the airline industry and forced to borrow money from friends and family while she tried to sort out the confusion, which seemed to stem from her having received parental leave benefits in the last year.
The CRA now says it may have a solution for frustrated Canadians like Pittman.
"Anyone who applied for the CRB before Oct. 16 and received [error] code 026 should try reapplying again on Monday," the agency said late Saturday in a statement.
"Their application may be approved if our updated information supports their claim. If the applicant reapplies and continues to get code 026, it's because the individual may be eligible for EI or applied for EI earlier this year."
240,000 Canadians applied for new coronavirus benefit on 1st day, Trudeau says
More than 240,000 Canadians applied for a new federal coronavirus relief program that kicked off Monday, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. © THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference as he visits the Public Health Agency of Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, July 31, 2020. Speaking at a media conference on Tuesday, Trudeau gave an update about the program, called the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), which replaced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
The CRA suggests applicants consult the government's EI eligibility criteria, available.
Nearly 600,000 Canadians have been approved for the CRB, which was launched on Oct. 12, according to the statement.
While CBC News has asked how many Canadians applied unsuccessfully, the CRA has not provided a figure.
System offline until Monday morning
But the CRA warns that for the next few days, it may be difficult to receive help by phone.
"We recognize that many Canadians need to reach us. As a result, our wait times are longer than usual. We expect to return to lower wait times by the end of next week, and we ask for Canadians to be patient until that time and only call if it is a time-sensitive issue."
John Ivison: Canadian resident status shouldn't be handed out like a game-show prize
Welcome to the great Canadian lottery of life. The Liberal government’s game of chance to select its new citizens opened on Tuesday, as the foreign parents and grandparents of immigrants bid online to join their families. More accurately, prospective sponsors express their interest over the next three weeks, at the end of which 10,000 lucky winners will be chosen randomly and granted permanent resident status. Numbers are reduced this year because of COVID-19 and Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino has already said the number of arrivals will be increased to 30,000 next year to maintain the Liberals’ annual parent and grandparent target of 20,000.
In addition, the CRA says some of its services, including MyAccount and its automated phone line, are offline over the course of this weekend and until Monday at 6 a.m. ET.
This is due to "scheduled routine maintenance," the agency said.
Change in procedure
The CRA also notes that it has changed the way it shares information with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
The two entities are supposed to share information to ensure Canadians are "not mistakenly applying for both EI and the CRB," the CRA says. Error Code 026 is specifically related to this issue, the statement said.
On Thursday, the day CBC News first asked about the number of people unable to receive benefits, ESDC and the CRA "began a process" to ensure shared information was updated on a daily basis, the CRA said.
"The CRA continues to keep our clients, the individuals who are relying on these benefits for support, top of mind. Our goal is to provide a simple, efficient service experience for Canadians while also taking steps to ensure that benefits payments are going to those who are eligible to receive them."
WestJet to provide refunds, not just credits, for flights cancelled due to pandemic .
WestJet says it will begin providing refunds to passengers whose flights were cancelled due to the pandemic. The Calgary-based airline said it will begin contacting all eligible flyers with WestJet and Swoop on Nov. 2. It will begin with those whose flights were cancelled in March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, to offer refunds in the original form of payment. The process is expected to take six to nine months, the company said. It asked customers to wait to be contacted, in order to avoid overloading its call centre. "We are an airline that has built its reputation on putting people first," said Ed Sims, WestJet president and CEO, in an emailed release.