OTTAWA — The federal government has announced changes to popular income and business assistance programs during the pandemic and are set to expire on Saturday.

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Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland reminded Canadians on Thursday that the measures were always intended to be “temporary”.

“We are moving from very broad-based support that was appropriate at the height of our lockdown to more targeted measures that will provide support where it is needed while judiciously managing government finances,” she said.

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The changes come with a price tag of $7.4 billion.

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will be replaced by the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit for those whose work is directly affected by the government-imposed lockdown.

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The program will be available through May 7, 2022, retroactive to October 24, and will provide eligible workers $300 per week – less than $500 per week through CRB.

“Temporary lockdown is still a possibility in the coming months. We want Canadians to know that we intend to take measures now that spring into action immediately,” Freeland said.

As of October 10, the government had paid out $27 billion to more than two million unique CRB applicants.

Freeland also announced the implementation of two new programs, which are replacing wage and rent subsidies, to help hard-hit sectors.

The tourism and hospitality recovery program and the toughest business recovery program will remain in force until November 20, and when Parliament returns, the government is proposing legislation to extend them until May 7, 2022.

The former, which will apply to operations such as hotels, restaurants, bars, festivals and travel agencies, requires applicants to show an average monthly revenue loss of at least 40 percent for the first 13 qualifying periods of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and a corresponding amount The current one month revenue loss of Rs.

By mid-March 2022, the subsidy rate reflects a drop in revenue to 75 percent, and then drops by half by the end of the program.

The latter program applies to those who do not fit under the tourism and hospitality umbrella but are still facing significant financial constraints due to the pandemic.

Eligible businesses must show an average monthly revenue loss of at least 50 percent in the first 13 qualifying periods of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and a current one-month revenue loss of the same amount.

The maximum subsidy rate will be fixed at 50 per cent by mid-March and halved thereafter.

The government will also expand the Canada Recovery Hiring Program for businesses that can show a revenue loss of more than 10 percent as of May 7, 2022, at a subsidy rate of 50 percent paid to eligible employees.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit will remain in force for the same time and are extended to two weeks – the illness benefit being extended from four to six weeks and the caregiver benefit from 42 to 44 weeks.


This story has been updated to correct the number of unique CRB applicants.