One business leader is speaking out on COVID-19 benefits and its impact on the recovery.

“Get people off of support,” Michael Cooper, chair and chief executive officer of Dream Office Real Estate Investment Trust said in an interview on Friday before a federal government announcement extending two recovery benefits. “People have got to make their own money. And whether that’s companies or individuals, we’ve got to get people taking care of themselves.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proposed Friday that the Canada Recovery Benefit and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit should be extended for 12 more weeks, pushing the maximum that Canadians can claim up to 38 weeks in total. Trudeau added that employment insurance availability should be expanded to a total of 50 weeks, up from 26 under the existing framework. The government also proposed expanding the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit to four weeks, up from two weeks. 

Cooper’s comments come three days after former federal finance minister John Manley urged the federal government to focus on more targeted relief programs. On Tuesday, Manley told BNN Bloomberg that the government should examine whether this stimulus is required at all at this stage in its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cooper added that drawn-out relief measures could get in the way of the recovery.

“There’s just no way our country can survive, based on the government saying: ‘We’re going to pay everybody instead of getting to work.’”