DEPUTY Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, on Wednesday announced that the government intends to extend the current rate structures for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support from March 14 to June 5.
- the maximum wage subsidy rate for active employees would remain at 75 per cent;
- the maximum rent subsidy rate would remain at 65 per cent; and
- Lockdown Support would remain at 25 per cent and continue to be provided in addition to the rent subsidy, providing eligible hard hit businesses with rent support of up to 90 per cent.
These extensions would provide certainty and continued support for workers, businesses and other affected organizations in the face of ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic. With regard to furloughed employees, the government intends to continue to align the wage subsidy rate structure with the benefits provided through the Employment Insurance program from March 14 to June 5. This means employers who qualify for the wage subsidy would be able to continue to claim up to a maximum benefit of $595 per week per employee to support remuneration of their furloughed workers.
Through the pandemic, applicants have demonstrated revenue declines by comparing revenue to the previous year. Given that we are approaching a full year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said applicants would be able to continue to use a pre-pandemic 2019 reference month, effective for the upcoming periods from March 14 to June 5.
Further details are in the backgrounder issued with today’s announcement.
Freeland said: “Workers and businesses have showed incredible resilience over the past year, especially through this difficult winter, and today’s announcement makes clear that they can continue to rely on their government to be there for them, every step of the way. With variants in Canada and many regions still under lockdown, we are giving workers and businesses the certainty they need that strong government support will be there to get them through this crisis and ensure they come out strong.”
Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and employ millions of hard-working Canadians. Our government introduced comprehensive emergency response programs, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and the Lockdown Support, so business owners and their workers have the support they need to bridge through the pandemic. These programs, combined with the incredible resilience of our small businesses, will ensure that we are set up for a strong economic recovery.”
* More than 5 million Canadian employees have had their jobs supported through the wage subsidy with more than $66 billion paid out in wage subsidies as of February 21, 2021.
* The rent subsidy provides direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage interest support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. Since its launch in November 2020, more than 129,000 organizations have been supported with more than $1.6 billion paid out in rent subsidies as of February 21, 2021. This includes amounts paid out to eligible organizations through Lockdown Support.