Subsidy Stretched: Federal COVID-19 wage subsidy to last through August

Ottawa, Ontario ⁠— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for businesses hit hard by COVID-19 will last at least until the end of August.

Trudeau says the idea in extending the subsidy is to give employers more runway and confidence to resume their operations more slowly if required. He also asked companies to bring back their employees, wherever possible.

The Prime Minister also said the federal government will make adjustments to the program, including changes to thresholds for how much a qualifying company’s revenue has declined, to ensure more help as businesses begin to rev back up.

The subsidy, which had originally been set to expire in the first week of June, covers 75 percent of employee wages (up to $847 per worker, per week) for employers that have seen sharp declines since March.

Parliament Hill’s latest figures show that Ottawa has shelled out $3.35 billion in wage subsidies to more than 120,000 companies, the vast majority of which are for under $100,000 in aid.

Click here for more information on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

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