Central Albertan lobbying government to help those affected by CERB repayments

Catherine Hay says she received a letter in November saying she had to completely repay the benefit

Catherine Hay. Photo Submitted

Catherine Hay. Photo Submitted

A Central Alberta woman is raising her voice to bring attention to what she is calling the CERB Crisis.

Catherine Hay, a hair designer who runs her own shop and a managment consultant, is facing a difficult situation when it comes to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

In November, Hay received a letter from the Government of Canada saying she had to repay the entire amount of the benefit given to her because she didn’t qualify.

Hay applied for the benefit last spring after phone discussions with those at the Government of Canada helping Canadians access the benefit. She says she was unsure if she qualified for the new benefit and wanted to make sure before she applied.

“Work was slow and I recieve funds from a reverse mortgage, which I told them all about. They told me to apply anyway and if I didn’t meet the qualifications they would let me know,” Hay said.

“I believed Trudeau would help me out.”

According to the letter Hay was sent, she was required to repay the CERB payments by Dec. 31, 2020. However, like many others she has been out of work because of COVID-19 lockdowns.

According to Government of Canada’s website, one qualifies for CERB if they: are over the age of 15, stopped working because of COVID-19, had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 and have not quit their job voluntarily.

According to her taxes from 2019, Hays says she made the required minimum, she was out of work and because of government lockdowns, she is over the age of 15 and did not voluntarily leave her job.

“I am scared. I’m shutdown and I can’t pay this back.”

“They are targeting the average Canadian with this. Those that are low-income and are living pay cheque to pay cheque,” she said.

Hay is lobbying to federal government to address this problem.

She says she has spoken to someone with MP Earl Dreeshen’s office, who in turn has spoken with Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier, and she has sent letters to Rachel Notely, Tara Veer and Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the federal NDP.

She is trying to get the federal government to not only address what she is calling a crisis, but also fix it, when members return at the end of January.

“I want Parliament to help those of us that are in this situation. There are 213,000 other Canadian in this same situation,” Hay said.

Those in a similar situation can contact Hay at 403-347-5025.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town of Sylvan Lake. File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council approve 2021 budget with no tax increase

Council approved the budget at its regular meeting on Feb. 22

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anne Kirker is expected to sentence Satnam Singh Sandhu on Friday. Red Deer Advocate file photo
Updated: Sylvan Lake man pleads guilty to manslaughter for strangling wife in 2019

Kulvinder Sandhu was strangled and died in hospital several days later

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 11 additional deaths over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta
Red Deer active COVID-19 cases drop slightly

Province reports 267 additional COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths

On Monday, Feb. 22, Island Health listed Glacier View Secondary on 241 Beacher Drive in Courtenay as having a COVID-19 exposure Feb. 17 and 18. Black Press file photo
Red Deer sets new COVID-19 case record

There are now 565 active cases in Red Deer

File Photo
Sylvan Lake’s pay parking program see highest use in summer 2020

Last summer the program logged its highest revenue and parking session in its four years

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

Minister Rick Wilson poses with Katie at the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin, both wearing her Pink Shirt Day design. Facebook/ Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin Boys and Girls club Pink Shirt day design focuses on kindness

Katie with the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin created this year’s Pink Shirt Day design.

Black Press File Photo
Valentine’s Day shooting in Maskwacis leaves one male in hospital, one male in custody

19-year-old Francis Edward Nepoose from Maskwacis has been charged with attempted murder.

Sentencing delayed in the stabbing death of Samantha Sharpe, of Sunchild First Nation. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Central Alberta man not criminally responsible for killing his father in 2020: judge

Psychiatrist testified Nicholas Johnson was psychotic when he killed his father

The cover of “Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care.” (Submitted)
Ponoka-born author writes history of old mental hospital

“Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care” covers 1911 to 1971

Jacqueline Buffalo. (Photo submitted)
TikTok connects Indigenous women during pandemic

Maskwacis influencers share their stories

Todd Hirsch. (Image: screenshot)
ATB vice president gives financial forecast to Ponoka chamber

Predictions for reopening of the economy and recovery outlined

The 24/7 Integrated Response Hub is currently located in the Wetaskiwin Civic Building. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Wetaskiwin business owners concerned over 24/7 Integrated Hub’s impact downtown

Downtown businesses have had loss of customers, threats, increased property damage and break-ins.

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

Most Read