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Government Provides Details on Proposed Wage Subsidy Program

Published on
April 1, 2020

Today, the Federal Government provided much-anticipated details on their 75% wage subsidy for businesses and not-for-profits, the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy program. The details were released in a press conference with Finance Minister Bill Morneau, International Trade and Small Business Minister Mary Ng, and Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains.

The Finance Minister called the subsidy “the largest economic program in Canadian history,” with an estimated cost of $71 billion.

Parliament will need to return to pass these measures into law, and funds are expected to be available within six weeks.

Emergency Wage Subsidy Details

  • Available to all businesses, not-for-profits and charities; that are not publicly funded; and that are facing a 30% or greater revenue decline because of COVID-19.
  • Wage subsidy of 75% available on a maximum salary of $58,700 ($847 per week).
  • The program will be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
  • 30% revenue decline will be based on revenues for March, April and May 2019. (Minister Morneau indicated that the government is looking at options to assess revenue decreases for businesses that were not around in March 2019.)
  • Businesses will need to reapply for the subsidy each month.
  • Employers will need to attest that they are doing their part to contribute the additional 25% of wages, but Minister Morneau recognized that not all businesses will be able to contribute this amount.
  • Employers found to violate the terms of the program will face severe penalties.
  • Eligible employers will include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.
  • Eligible employers will be able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal. More details will follow.
  • The government will continue to work with non-profit organizations and registered charities to ensure the definition of revenue is appropriate to their circumstances.
  • Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may continue to qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10% of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

All measures are proposed and are contingent on legislative approval.

Federal Engagement

A comprehensive resource for all government programs is available from Sussex. Click here.

As the details of the programs announced today become available, let Sussex help connect you with the right people in government to help your organization get through these extraordinary times.

For more details, please reach out to your Sussex representative directly or to the Federal Government Relations Team.

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