Wage, rent subsidies to remain in place to June 5, feds announce

03 Mars, 2021, 22:54 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Credit CPAC

Ottawa says two of its key COVID-19 relief programs aimed at helping businesses - the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) - will continue at their current levels until June. An additional top-up to the rent subsidy for businesses forced to close due to lockdowns will be maintained as well. "It's the time to see people through what is hopefully the final stretch of this crisis". But some say the government went too far - spending $20 in transfers to households a year ago for every dollar of regular income that was lost. "We're making sure that the wage and rent subsidies continue through the spring and that the amount of support remains consistent".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $518-million Wednesday he says will support the work of almost 1,000 researchers. The maximum rent subsidy rate will stay at 65 per cent.

"We are on track to defeating the virus", Freeland noted, adding vaccines are rolling out in greater quantities.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland stressed the government will do "whatever it takes" to support Canada's recovery and suggested it's too early to declare victory despite data that show surprising strength in the economy.

Trudeau also announced just over half a billion dollars will be invested in research projects and researchers across the country.

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Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, said he welcomes the announcement.

Kelly noted the CFIB was still waiting for information on "the formula to determine the subsidy levels, including which months one will compare revenue against".

"This isn't the time to pull back on support for workers or business owners", Trudeau said.

Meanwhile, the federal Conservatives say they support Canadians getting help amid this hard time.

"We are constantly, carefully evaluating government spending, government debt, jobs numbers and economic growth", Freeland said.

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