Central Albertan asked to repay CERB amount

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

Central Alberta’s Catherine Hayreceived a letter from the Government of Canada recently stating she had to repay the government. Photo submitted

Central Alberta’s Catherine Hayreceived a letter from the Government of Canada recently stating she had to repay the government. 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, 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 had just applied for 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, spoken with Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier and 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 Canadians in this same situation,” Hay said.

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

Just Posted

Alberta reported an additional 399 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, on 9,217 tests, for a test positivity rate of 4.3 per cent. (Image courtesy CDC)
Red Deer down to 562 active COVID-19 cases

8 new COVID-19 deaths, 399 additional COVID-19 cases

Stettler Food Bank is well stocked after generous donations during the holiday season. Contributed photo
Numbers being served at the Stettler Food Bank at near normal levels

The Stettler Food Bank is located in the basement of Stettler’s United Church

Ms. Zazulak’s Grade 6 class from Stettler Elementary School discussed all of the ways that they have and could lift each other up as well as how they could also lift themselves up. ‘Our young persons are truly caring individuals who recognize the importance of Pink Shirt Day.’
photo submitted
More Pink Shirt Day photos from Stettler students

‘Our young persons are truly caring individuals who recognize the importance of Pink Shirt Day’

Stettler
Several local organizations land Community Funding Grants from the Province

Heartland Youth Center and the Association of Communities Against Abuse (ACAA) to recieve funds

Students from Stettler Elementary School gathered to celebrate Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 24th in their separate cohorts. photos submitted
PHOTOS: Stettler Elementary School marks Pink Shirt Day!

On Feb. 24th, students are encouraged to practice kindness and wear pink to symbolize they do not tolerate bullying

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

Sylvan Lake's Winter Village lured many visitors to the town this winter. The town has launched a new contest to attract a new business.
(Black Press file photo)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Alberta premier Jason Kenney, right and Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, provide details about Bill 13, the Alberta Senate Election Act., in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday June 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Minister Doug Schweitzer talks on Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit

Provincial government rolling out new benefit this April to better help small businesses.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

Students and staff at Gateway Christian School wore pink Wednesday in support of Pink Shirt Day, a worldwide anti-bullying initiative that was started in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Students, central Alberta community celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Mayor of Sylvan Lake Sean McIntyre supports anti-bullying cause

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.

Most Read