Finance Minister Bill Morneau detailed the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. The benefit would see the government of Canada pay up to 75% of wages for qualifying businesses for the next three months. The program is retroactive to March 15, 2020.
“We are helping businesses keep their staff on payroll so that businesses will be better positioned to rebound when the current challenges have passed,” Morneau said. Businesses will qualify if they have lost up to 30% of their revenue when compared to March/April/May of 2019.
The subsidy applies to the first $58,700 normally earned by employees, which breaks down to $847/week “This wage subsidy will help keep more Canadians employed and will provide direct support to businesses so they can keep up with their bills,” Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Minister Mary Ng said.
Eligible employers can apply through the Canada Revenue Agency online portal. “With the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, employers- no matter their size- will be supported to weather this storm, to be ready to recover when it passes and to help Canadians keep their jobs,” Innovation, Science, and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains said.
Trudeau to Recall Parliament to Approve Wage Subsidy
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will recall Parliament to pass the additional subsidy. Conservative Leader Andrew accused the Liberals of “focusing on a massive power grab to give themselves new and unprecedented powers,” in a tweet. The Liberals’ initial legislation called for Morneau to have powers to increase or pass any taxes until the end of 2021.
New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh went after the six-week wait period. “Waiting six weeks will force many businesses to close. Our response to COVID19 crisis requires far more urgency,” he said on Twitter. The subsidy will not be available for at least six weeks.
Liberal Leader Pablo Rodriguez has reached out to the other house leaders. “I hope that we can all work together in this time of crisis as part of #Team Canada effort so that Canadians get the assistance they urgently need,” he tweeted.