Federal NDP wants help for more businesses

MP Peter Julian, NDP Critic for Finance, said on Tuesday that while his party welcomed the announcement that the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program will be extended, it believed that the changes must mirror what it had proposed last month.

He said: “For weeks, we have been calling on the government to extend the CEWS past August 29 and to adopt more flexible criteria so that more businesses can get the help they desperately need.”

Julian noted: “The existing criteria for CEWS is too restrictive and New Democrats are pushing for changes to make the program more flexible. New Democrats have proposed a sliding-scale for the wage subsidy to help more businesses over the summer. Right now, if a business loses less than 30 per cent of their revenue they don’t qualify for the CEWS. This arbitrary number chosen by the government is unfairly leaving too many businesses without the support they need. Under the NDP approach, businesses with a smaller loss of revenue could still qualify for a partial wage subsidy so that more businesses get support.”

He added: “Allowing for greater flexibility in CEWS would help more businesses and lets them plan to bring staff back to work in preparation for their busiest season of the year.

“While this announcement is a step in the right direction, we are also waiting to see what the government will do with the CERB program. People are just weeks away from losing the support they need to make ends meet. Justin Trudeau can’t do what he did the last time and wait until the eleventh hour to explain how the government will continue the program. Canadians are relying on this program and they deserve to know what to expect.

“The government must do more to ensure Canadians are supported while business owners and workers begin to get back on their feet.”