Federal Government Wasting Billions on Poorly Targeted Assistance


  • The federal government has introduced a number of new programs and ad hoc additions to existing programs in response to the COVID recession. Unfortunately, much of this spending appears to have been poorly targeted towards those in genuine need, resulting in the waste of billions of dollars of taxpayer resources.
  • A review of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) for students plus the ad hoc, one-time payments linked to Old Age Security (OAS), the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), and the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) result in a conservative estimate of $22.3 billion in poorly targeted assistance.
  • This represents 27.4 percent—more than one in every four dollars—of the total $81.6 billion estimated to be spent on these programs.

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