Trudeau government boosts wage subsidies after additional requests for relief


March 28, 2020

The federal government unveiled a major emergency package on Friday to dramatically increase wage subsidies to help small businesses – the backbone of the Canadian economy – survive the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The package includes $95-billion in loans and tax deferrals, along with billions in wage subsidies, as one million Canadians applied for employment insurance at the beginning of last week.

The move responds to pressure from Canada’s small-business community, which has been urging Ottawa to boost wage subsidies well beyond the 10 per cent announced last week as a way to keep workers on payrolls and avoid massive layoffs.

“It is clear we have to do more – much more – so we are bringing that percentage up to 75 per cent for qualifying businesses,” Mr. Trudeau told his daily news conference Friday. “This means that people will continue to be paid even though their employer has had to slow down or stop its operations because of COVID-19.”

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Source: CBC; The Globe and Mail


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