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View Patricia Lattanzio Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Outremont.
Over the past two and a half months, Canadians have faced a common threat to our health and our economy. Since COVID-19 emerged in Canada, our government has taken a coordinated approach that is consistent with our shared democratic values, whereby it puts people first and makes sure that no one is left behind. It is our responsibility to fight the spread of this pandemic and put our country on the path to recovery. We will do whatever it takes.
We are taking action to address the wide-ranging health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. We are doing everything we can to help Canadians and businesses through this pandemic and give them the support they need. This includes taking strong, decisive action to stabilize our economy.
The Canada emergency wage subsidy is a key element of the COVID-19 economic response plan. For employers who have been significantly impacted by this pandemic, our government has put in place a program that will help them keep workers on the payroll and even rehire workers. This program is available for businesses, charities and non-profits alike. It is supporting Canadians at workplaces big and small in sectors across our economy.
The government established the Canada emergency wage subsidy to prevent further job losses and to encourage employers to rehire workers previously laid off because of COVID-19. It is there to make sure that families in every part of Canada know where the next paycheque is coming from. It is there to make sure that in this time of incredible uncertainty, they can benefit, knowing that they will have money for groceries, rent and prescriptions. This program also means that when businesses begin to pick up again, Canadian companies are ready with the right workers who know the businesses to prepare them to get operations up and running again.
The Canada emergency wage subsidy program provides a 70% wage subsidy, or up to $847 per week per employee, for employers in businesses of all sizes and across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenue of at least 15% in March 2020 and 30% in the following months. On May 15, the government announced that we would extend the Canada emergency wage subsidy by an additional 12 weeks, to August 29, 2020. Extending the program will give workers greater confidence that they will continue to get the support they need during these difficult times. It also gives business owners more runway to get back up to speed. We know that reopening needs to be a gradual and careful process.
At the same time, we introduced regulatory amendments aimed at improving the subsidy and extending it to reach more employers. These amendments will ensure that the subsidy meets its objective of supporting the employers hardest hit by COVID-19, while protecting the jobs Canadians depend on.
Regulations have extended eligibility for the Canada emergency wage subsidy to the following employers: partnerships that are up to 50% owned by non-eligible members; indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on business, as well as partnerships in which the partners are indigenous governments and eligible employers; registered Canadian amateur athletic associations; registered journalism organizations; and non-public colleges and schools, including institutions that offer specialized services, such as art schools, driving schools, language schools or even flight schools.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on Canadians everywhere. All sectors of the economy have felt its relentless and disruptive presence. Our government has been working hard to protect jobs across our economy. We have listened to the concerns raised by employers of all kinds, from small neighbourhood businesses to some of Canada's largest corporations that employ thousands of Canadians.
We know that extending the wage subsidy will help more workers. The wage subsidy has meant that, even though our economy has come to a standstill, businesses can afford to keep workers and, as a result, are ready and poised to spring back into action as soon as it is safe. This is protecting jobs now and making sure that there is no sluggish restart. It is making sure that Canada is ready to come roaring back, strong.
This program is complemented by the many actions our government has taken to date to support Canadians and their families. We have provided the Canada emergency response benefit to over seven million Canadians so that everyone who is unable to work because of COVID-19 has money for essentials.
We have provided support for students, including investing in over 116,000 jobs and opportunities this summer to help them access the workplace experience they need to pursue their dreams.
The Canadian emergency business account has provided interest-free loans to over 600 small employers.
All of these measures, including others, have contributed to one of the most comprehensive and ambitious economic support packages in the world. We know that by investing in Canadians, we will bounce back faster and better.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on Canadians and around the world as a whole. It has crippled businesses around the entire planet. It has upended the global marketplace, dashing the hopes and dreams of workers and business owners. In these two and a half months, many business people in Canada and other countries have struggled as never before. Many have succumbed to the ravaging effects of COVID-19. However, through that time, our government has stood steady to take additional actions to stabilize the economy and mitigate the impacts of this pandemic.
Protecting the health of Canadians and ensuring their immediate needs remains the first priority of the government. We will continue to protect Canadian jobs and to support the Canadian economy as it navigates through the present and current crisis. When this crisis is over, we will be ready to work with Canadians to relaunch the economy and to continue to build a stronger Canada for tomorrow.
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