On Monday March 30th Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in his daily address that businesses and non-profit organizations that see a drop of at least 30% in revenue due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will qualify for the government’s 75% wage subsidy financial assistance program.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reassures Canadian businesses that the number of people a business employs will not determine its eligibility and that charities and companies big and small will qualify for the program.
With more details about the wage subsidy program to be unveiled tomorrow by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, this is what we know so far:
For businesses that qualify for the program, experiencing a 30% decrease in revenue, the government will cover up to 75% of a salary on the first $58,700 (which is estimated to be a possible payment of up to $847 per week). The wage subsidies will be retroactive, which means it will be dating back to March 15, 2020. Businesses are encouraged to pay employees the remaining 25% of their salaries.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also reemphasized that the program must operate on a basis of good faith and trust, warning businesses that there will be “serious” consequences for those who abuse the wage subsidy financial assistance. The Prime Minister also announced that there will be measures in place to prevent exploitation.
“We are trusting you to do the right thing,” said the Prime Minister. “If you have the means to pay the remaining 25 per cent that is not covered by the subsidy, do it.
“And if you think this is a system you can game or take advantage of, don’t.”
Canada and the Fight Against COVID-19
As information about financial assistance programs start to come in, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, as described this upcoming week as a “crucial week” in the COVID-19 fight. Within this upcoming week, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer will be able to determine whether the physical distancing (previously social distancing) and other related measures to stop the spread of the virus is having a significant effect.
At the moment, Dr. Theresa Tam said she is closely watching the provinces of Ontario Quebec, and Alberta where there has been communal spread of the virus. As of 1:30 pm Eastern Standard Time on March 30, 2020, the COVID-19 case count has shot up by 1,000 bringing the nation wide count to more than 7,200 cases in Canada.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam has said this week’s infection trends will provide key insights into the effectiveness of the Canada-wide isolation measures in place so far to “flatten the curve”.
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