Canada cancelling wage subsidy, announces $7.4B in new COVID-19 supports

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The federal government is spending $7.4 billion to expand and build new COVID-19 support for hard-hit businesses and workers that will take place in the spring.

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Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Thursday that from Sunday, new measures would be taken to replace the comprehensive Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), which expire on Saturday.

Freeland said the new Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, Hardest Hit Business Recovery Program, Lockdown Support Program and Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit will run through Sunday, May 7, 2022.

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“Today, our support needs to be more narrow, more targeted and less expensive and we need to look forward to the day, which is not too far now, when we will be able to eliminate it completely,” he said. said.

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The tourism and hospitality recovery program will provide assistance through wage and rent subsidy programs for hotels, tour operators, travel agencies and restaurants with a subsidy rate of up to 75 percent, the government said in a news release.

The hardest-hit Business Recovery Program will provide assistance through wage and rent subsidy programs for other businesses that have suffered deeply, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 percent.

For those two programs, eligibility will be a two-key system, Freeland said. First, the government will consider whether an employer has suffered a significant revenue loss during the 12 months during the pandemic. The second key is the revenue loss in the current month of the application.

In addition, a lockdown support program has been created in case the pandemic necessitates further lockdowns in parts of the country, Freeland said.

For businesses that face lockdowns, the federal government will provide wage and rent subsidies for the duration of the shutdown, up to a maximum amount.

Those proposed subsidy rates will be available until March 13, and will then be halved by the end of May 7.

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Like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the new Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit will provide $300 per week to workers who are under lockdown, including those ineligible for employment insurance.

Freeland also said the government is extending the Canada Sickness Benefit and Canada Caregiving Benefit through May 7 and will extend the maximum period of each benefit by two additional weeks.

In addition, the government is extending the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7 for qualified employers whose current revenue deficit exceeds 10 percent. Simultaneously, the rate of subsidy will also be increased to 50 percent.

“Our unrelenting aim is to protect and create jobs and accelerate economic growth,” Freeland said. “This is to ensure the strongest possible recovery for everyone.”

Several federal programs designed to support Canadians and Canadian businesses during the pandemic will end on Saturday.

On October 23, benefits such as CEWS, CERS and lockdown support will no longer be active.

Along with the wage subsidies, the government said it has paid out more than $95 billion so far to help employers re-hire workers and avoid layoffs.

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The government said rent subsidies and lockdown support have helped support more than $6.8 billion in rent, mortgages and other expenses to more than 210,600 organizations.

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