Parliament approves massive $73B wage subsidy bill
PARLIAMENT HAS APPROVED a massive $73-billion wage subsidy program aimed at helping businesses and workers survive the economic ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy was passed by the House of Commons and the Senate on Saturday.
The aim is to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to re-hire workers who were recently laid off because of the coronavirus and make it easier for Canadian companies to resume normal operations.
Eligible employers can receive a 75 per cent subsidy for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week for each employee. Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, partnerships consisting of eligible employers, non‑profit organizations and registered charities. Public bodies, such as municipalities, are not eligible for the subsidy.
Companies will need to show a 15 per cent loss of revenue for the month of March and 30 per cent for the following months. Companies will also have the option to use January and February as reference points to show a 30 per cent loss in revenue instead of March 2019 figures. This measure is to support expanding companies or new startups.
While addressing Parliament on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is the largest economic policy in Canada since the Second World War.
“This subsidy will enable Canadians to keep their jobs and get a paycheck during this crisis…Once again, here in the House, we are called upon to support those in need. I know we will not let them down,” said Trudeau.
Eligible employers will be able to apply for the subsidy on the Canada Revenue Agency website in the next few days.