Mr. Speaker, I would like to take us back to where we were in mid-March and talk about the things that we have focused on for Canadians over the course of the last number of months.
In mid-March, we obviously found ourselves in an unprecedented situation, where Canadians were asked to stay home to protect themselves, their families and other Canadians. Obviously, that was the right decision from a health standpoint, but it had real implications from an economic standpoint too.
As a government, we took the reins at that time and said that we needed to think about how we could ensure that we supported Canadians through this extraordinarily challenging time. The first thing we set out was the reality that we had so many Canadians who would not be receiving a paycheque. That is how we came up with the Canada emergency response benefit. We know that over the course of the last months, this benefit has helped literally millions of Canadians to be able to have enough money for groceries and rent in order to keep their families surviving during a time of immense challenge. That was first and foremost our initiative.
We moved forward with a wage subsidy because we recognized that we needed businesses to have a connection with their employees. They needed to have an incentive to keep their employees, even though in many cases they would not actually have the kind of work that they might normally have because they had been asked to stay home. The wage subsidy has helped millions of Canadians to keep their attachment to their jobs, to keep their ability to make money for themselves and their families through this challenging time.
We did not stop there. We knew that we needed to deal with all of those people who were going through enormous stress. We recognized, for example, that seniors were facing higher costs than they had historically experienced because they might have needed to use delivery services. They might have needed to get their medications or food delivered in a way that they didn't previously have to deal with, so we found a way to support seniors during this time.
We recognized that students would not necessarily have been able to get the jobs they needed during the course of the summertime, so we put in place a benefit that would help students because we knew that we wanted to get them back to—