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July 27, 2020

Canada Will Consider Changes To COVID Program

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau recently announced that he intends to make changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), that would broaden the reach of the program, providing better-targeted support and enabling more workers to return to their jobs quickly as the economy restarts.

The proposal would:

  • Extend the CEWS until December 19, 2020, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020.
  • Make the subsidy accessible to a broader range of employers by including employers with a revenue decline of less than 30 percent and providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all qualifying employers. This would help many struggling employers with revenue losses below 30 percent get support to keep and bring back workers, while also ensuring those who have previously benefited could still qualify, even if their revenues recover and no longer meet the 30 percent revenue decline threshold.
  • Introduce a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 percent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the pandemic. This would be particularly helpful to employers in industries that are recovering more slowly.
  • Provide certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they would not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have had under the previous rules.
  • Address certain technical issues identified by stakeholders.