Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to be extended until 2020

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As more people are getting back to work, the federal government makes commitments to keep supporting Canadian employers by extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) scheme until the end of 2020.

Businesses and nonprofit groups under the CEWS program will receive funding of up to 75% of their employees’ wages; or a maximum of $847 per week per employee until December.

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau said that during last three months, they had been always maintaining dialogue with the public; that the government tried its best to support families, employers, and local business to deal with this pandemic. At new conference this week Trudeau stressed that they were going to continue to do that important work.

CEWS aims to “give greater certainty and support to businesses as we restart the economy,” he said.

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As of July 14, the program has released over $18bn to 252,370 businesses.

The December extension isn’t the first time for CEWS. In May, the federal government extended the coverage by 12 weeks and set to end on August 29.

Signs of upturn


The economic slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic forced many to downsize their operations. So the wage subsidy scheme is for businesses aiming to rehire workers.

The government estimates the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will require $82.3bn because of the extension, up from the $45bn earlier projected. However, the increase in funding also coincides with an increase in employment.

The number of Canadians returning to work rose sharply in June as the economy showed signs of recovery amid the crisis. The country has regained 41% of the jobs lost during the pandemic, according to BMO’s quarterly labour market analysis.

A total of 953,000 Canadians went back to work last month – more than thrice the number recorded in May when only 290,000 re-entered the workforce. Overall, 1.24 million workers are back on the job after about three million were retrenched between February and April.