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FINANCES DURING COVID-19

Canada extends pandemic benefits through to Oct. 23

The federal government is tapping the brakes on its plans to phase out pandemic aid programs this summer, deciding instead to freeze benefits at current levels and extend help by an extra month beyond the previously planned end date.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, not shown, participate in a virtual discussion from Ottawa on Monday, May 3, 2021, with residents from Shannex’s Losier Hall in Miramichi, New Brunswick. Also virtually in attendance is Minister of Seniors Deb Schulte and Member of Parliament for Miramichi-Grand Lake Pat Finnigan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

From Pattie Lovett-Reid, Chief Financial Commentator

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FILE - This Sept. 11, 2018, file photo, shows a marijuana plant at in the coastal mountain range of San Luis Obispo, Calif. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Monday, July 29, 2019 that softens penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana and allows for the expungement of some past convictions. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)