Department of Finance Releases Draft Legislation to Increase Accessibility of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency

From: Department of Finance Canada

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support have protected millions of Canadian jobs, helping workers and businesses of every size, across Canada, through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the Department of Finance released draft legislative proposals that would implement technical amendments to ensure these programs better support the businesses and workers who are facing challenges as a result of the pandemic.

The draft legislative proposals released today would:

  • Provide applicants with more flexibility in determining the revenue decline for the wage and rent subsidies for the qualifying period from December 20, 2020 to January 16, 2021.
  • Ensure that Lockdown Support is available to an eligible property owner whose tenant is not arm’s length but has a qualifying business at the property that is subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly restrict their activities under a public health order.

The Canada Revenue Agency will administer the subsidies on the basis of these draft legislative proposals.

Details on the measures proposed today are available in the backgrounder issued with today’s announcement.

Quick facts

  • More than five million Canadian employees have had their jobs supported through the wage subsidy with more than $65 billion paid out in wage subsidies as of February 14, 2021. The wage subsidy protects jobs, encourages employers to rehire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19 and helps position Canadian businesses for a robust recovery when the virus is under control.

  • The rent subsidy provides direct, easy-to-access rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19, and the Lockdown Support is available to eligible organizations that must significantly restrict their activities under a public health order. More than 124,000 organizations have been supported through these subsidies, with about $1.4 billion paid out as of February 14, 2021.

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