THE federal government says it introduced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to protect Canadians’ jobs and support businesses throughout the pandemic. The wage subsidy has protected more than 4 million jobs across the country, giving millions of Canadian families certainty about their next paycheque.
Unanimously supported by Parliament, as of December 13, the wage subsidy has provided more than $54 billion in support to over 368,000 businesses, non-profits, and charities across the Canadian economy. The program provides the rapid, broad-based support Canadians continue to need as we fight COVID-19.
The government says that as part of its ongoing commitment to transparency, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on Monday launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Registry. This web page allows Canadians to identify which employers are using the wage subsidy to support jobs.
The wage subsidy can only be claimed for employee remuneration by eligible organizations that have experienced a drop in revenue. The wage subsidy eligibility criteria are built into the application process and subject to verification by the CRA. Penalties for non-compliance with program parameters can include repayment of the wage subsidy, an additional 25 per cent penalty, and potentially imprisonment in cases of fraud.
In order to support Canadian workers and businesses through the second wave of the pandemic, the maximum subsidy rate has increased to 75 per cent until March 13, 2021, for those organizations most severely impacted by the pandemic.
Analysis in the Fall Economic Statement demonstrates that government support measures offset about half of the negative economic effects of the pandemic on the unemployment rate. This support has helped Canada to recover almost eight in 10 of the lost jobs, compared to just over half in the United States.
Sole proprietors have been filtered out of the published registry in order to protect their personal information.
Any company that believes they have been listed in error should contact the CRA at 1-800-959-5525. Any person who has a concern that a business claimed the subsidy but does not meet the eligibility criteria can report suspicious activity by contacting the CRA Leads Program by visiting http://www.canada.ca/taxes-leads.