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Results: 1 - 15 of 273
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-08-12 13:15 [p.2756]
Mr. Speaker, it is sort of amazing to hear that member talk about gender parity when the women over there, the most competent ones, all seem to get demoted, booted or have to do the king's dirty work. I do not know, but I guess it is all talk.
I will split my time with the member for Foothills today.
The Liberals are, no doubt, devastating families in Lakeland. There is no federal help for this year's agricultural emergency in my riding, with families facing a third year of damaged crops and a minister who hikes costs on them and dismisses farmers as being emotional. It has been 140 days since the finance minister promised help in hours for oil and gas, but not one application has been made or granted for large employers, not one mid-sized loan has been granted by the BDC, because the conditions are prohibitive, and the methane fund has yet to be launched.
Drillers and oil services are left out, fixed loans will not bridge the year and tens of thousands of Albertans are losing everything in real time, but in two weeks the Liberals were able to approve almost a billion dollars for the Prime Minister's friends at WE, who paid the Prime Minister's family members and campaigned for the Liberals. Moreover, a former Liberal MP recently scored a lucrative contract for ventilators before they were approved by Health Canada.
This is all bad, but what is worse is this: the Liberals' failures and corruption harm Canadian unity. Pierre Trudeau's strategist once said, “Screw the west, we'll take the rest”. It is clear that the second wave just might be worse.
Why are the Liberals intent on sabotaging Alberta?
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Cariboo—Prince George.
Thanks to the New York Times we know at least 17 manufacturers in China use Uighur forced labour to produce PPE. Despite having a budget that far surpasses the times, PSPC officials could not tell us if the government had purchased PPE manufactured by slave labour. Could the minister?
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2020-07-22 12:36 [p.2706]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Saskatoon—Grasswood.
The website iwanttohelp.org is the platform set up for Canadians to apply for the Canada student service grant. When Canadians apply on iwanttohelp.org, is their information kept on Canadian servers?
View Peter Kent Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Kent Profile
2020-07-22 12:41 [p.2707]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Steveston—Richmond East.
My question is for the Minister of Immigration or the Minister of Public Safety, and it is regarding the Auditor General's revelation of a backlog of 50,000 individuals ordered removed from Canada and the 35,000 of these individuals who are now missing across Canada. What is the plan to locate and prepare these missing 35,000 individuals ordered removed in the post-COVID period?
View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Abbotsford.
Per section 25 of the Investment Canada Act, has the minister notified Huawei of his intent to conduct a national security review of Huawei's announced prospective investment?
View Bob Zimmer Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, I will be sharing my time with the member for Beauce.
The list of questions about the Liberal government and its relationship with the WE organization grows, and here is another one.
In 2017, the Liberal government paid over $13,000 to the WE organization to help secure the appearances of Canadian talent at WE California that year. One of the speakers at the event was Canadian Lilly Singh, who in 2015 called the Prime Minister her dashing Prime Minister on Facebook and proclaimed to have a #mancrush on Instagram.
This begs the question: How many friends of the Prime Minister have been paid by taxpayers thanks to his government's relationship with the WE organization?
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Chair, I will be splitting my time with my colleague from Yorkton—Melville.
Does the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion know how many jobs were denied across the country by the over-prescribed Canada summer jobs program in 2020?
View Jag Sahota Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jag Sahota Profile
2020-07-22 13:35 [p.2717]
Madam Chair, I will be sharing my time with the member for Edmonton Manning.
On April 22, the Prime Minister announced funding for the Canada student grant program. On April 23, one day later, the grant was promised to the WE organization and his close personal friend. Therefore, we know it pays to be friends with members in the government.
We can contrast that with the promise the Minister of Finance made to the oil and gas industry. It has been 99 days and still nothing. Where is the support?
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-07-22 13:46 [p.2719]
Madam Chair, I will be splitting my time with the member for Windsor West.
As our economy starts to reopen, small businesses are forced to take on extra debt to adapt to the new normal. In just 10 days, their rent is due again and they will still need help. Although the CECRA has been extended, it has not been fixed. Just 12% of landlords have actually gotten rent relief for their commercial tenants.
Will the government fix this mess of a program and let tenants apply for the CECRA so their businesses can survive?
View John Nater Profile
CPC (ON)
View John Nater Profile
2020-07-22 13:58 [p.2720]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin.
Many families continue to be separated from their loved ones due to the necessary border closures, but while we continue to hear of foreign nationals finding loopholes to sneak across the borders, many family members are still separated from their loved ones. This includes Sarah Campbell from Stratford, whose British fiancé is unable to come to Canada. It was bad enough they had to cancel their wedding, but now, after her recent diagnosis with thyroid cancer, her fiancé is unable to join her here in Canada. Her pleas to the Minister of Public Safety have been met with apathy.
Will the minister commit to providing guidelines to allow for the entry of those in long-term relationships on compassionate grounds?
View Julie Dzerowicz Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dzerowicz Profile
2020-07-21 10:17 [p.2653]
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Vimy, who will be giving her maiden speech in this venerable House.
It is an honour for me to be in the House today and to speak on behalf of the residents of Davenport.
It is also an honour to join my colleagues to participate in this important debate on Bill C-20, which includes three key parts. The first part makes a number of adjustments that will expand the eligibility criteria around the Canada emergency wage. Part two covers a number of changes that must occur in order for us to provide a one-time payment to persons with disabilities for reasons related to COVID-19. In part three are a number of appropriate changes to certain acts that will provide some flexibility to certain time limits that were difficult or impossible to meet as a result of the exceptional circumstances produced by COVID-19. I will be talking to part two.
This bill would allow information sharing among several federal departments and agencies and Employment and Social Development Canada, so that a one-time payment can be made to support persons with disabilities during this pandemic. We have to allow for information to be shared among several departments in order to deliver this one-time payment as soon as we possibly can.
This one-time payment of $600 will help approximately 1.7 million Canadians with disabilities who are recipients of the disability tax credit certificate, CPP disability or QPP disability benefits and/or disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.
Bill C-20 is just one part of a much larger plan that our government has dedicated to supporting Canadians with disabilities. Today I want to talk about the evolution of our plan, the actions we have undertaken and our government's next steps toward creating an inclusive and barrier-free Canada.
In 2015, our government named the first-ever cabinet minister responsible for persons with disabilities and promised Canadians that we would pass legislation aimed at removing barriers to inclusion. This signalled our commitment to doing things differently in order to ensure that all Canadians have an equal chance at success.
One of the key milestones on this journey was the National Disability Summit that we held in May 2019, in the days prior to COVID. The summit provided an opportunity for participants to exchange best practices and to create and build on partnerships. It allowed us to understand the next steps to truly realize an inclusive and accessible Canada.
At the same time as the summit was taking place, the federal government's landmark legislation for the Accessible Canada Act was being finalized, following the most comprehensive consultations with the disability community in our country's history. More than 6,000 Canadians and 100 disability organizations shared their views and ideas about an accessible Canada. As we know, the act received royal assent on June 21, 2019 and came into force in July of that year.
The legislation builds upon existing mechanisms and ensures compliance and accountability. The Accessible Canada Act takes a proactive and systemic approach to identifying, removing and preventing barriers to accessibility in key areas within federal jurisdiction. The goal was to ensure that the act was based on safeguarding human rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The act also created new entities such as Accessibility Standards Canada, which creates and reviews accessibility standards for federally regulated organizations.
I am proud of this legislation because it sends a clear message to Canadians that persons with disabilities will no longer be treated as an afterthought. From the start, systems will be designed to be inclusive for all Canadians. This is because it is our systems, our policies, our practices and our laws that need to be fixed, not our people.
I also want to point out that in the mandate letter of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, a number of important additional measures will continue to ensure that we promote disability inclusion. These include, among other measures, undertaking initiatives to improve the economic inclusion of persons with disabilities, targeting barriers to full participation in the labour force including discrimination and stigma, raising public awareness, and working with employers and businesses in a coordinated way.
As the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion has said, we move from “Nothing about us, without us” to “Nothing without us”, because everything in society touches the lives of Canadians with disabilities.
The Government of Canada is leading the way in ensuring communities and workplaces are accessible and inclusive for persons with disabilities. It is the largest federal employer. It is also the single-largest purchaser of goods and services in the country, and provides vital programs and services to Canadians. As such, we have committed to hiring at least 5,000 persons with disabilities over the next five years in the federal public service. We are also committed to applying an accessibility lens to government procurement and project planning.
Over the last five years, our government has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Canadians with disabilities. I wish to share some of the highlights over our two mandates, which began in 2015.
Our government applied a disability lens to our flagship policies and programs such as the Canada child benefit, the national housing strategy and the infrastructure program. The result is that families of children with disabilities receive an additional amount under the CCB. For example, from 2017 to 2018, 1.75 million children benefited from the disability supplement.
Under the national housing strategy, there is a commitment to promote universal design and visitability. This includes a requirement that public and shared spaces meet accessibility standards, and that at least 2,400 new affordable housing units for persons with developmental disabilities are created.
In the area of infrastructure we have approved nearly 800 accessibility projects, including almost 500 new para-transit buses and improvements to 81 existing transit facilities to make them more accessible to Canadians. This was made possible by ensuring that accessibility was an eligible expense in public transit projects. In just one year, almost $800 million was invested into our public transit systems to make them more accessible.
We have also increased our investments in existing programs such as the enabling accessibility fund, the social development partnerships program and the opportunities fund. All three of these programs were significantly enhanced, allowing people to keep doing the good work they are doing to improve the lives of Canadians with disabilities.
Current COVID-19 supports have been amply covered by my colleagues over the last 24 hours, but I want to bring them to mind briefly. Since the pandemic was declared, our government has taken a disability-inclusive response to the pandemic. This included adhering to the principle of “Nothing without us”, from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the creation of the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group to bring the lived experience of persons with disabilities to our government's response to the pandemic.
We provided additional support to students with permanent disabilities and the one-time payment that is part of the debate today. We invested in mental health for the Wellness Together portal. We launched calls for proposals under two components of the enabling accessibility fund, and created a national workplace accessibility stream of the opportunities fund to help people with disabilities find jobs right now. Finally, we added funding to the social development partnerships program to enhance accessibility communications during this crisis, and invested $1.18 million in five new projects across the country through the accessible technology program to help develop dynamic and affordable technology.
In conclusion, from the Canadian Survey on Disability, we know Canadians with disabilities are underemployed compared with the general population, a situation made worse by this pandemic. As the economy opens up again, this represents an opportunity for a vast and largely untapped pool of talent: people who are available to work, who want to join the workforce and who are ready to apply their innovative ideas to our new normal.
In the meantime, I call upon my colleagues to quickly pass the legislation before us so we can get support out to the people who urgently and immediately need it.
I am now ready to take questions.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-07-21 10:47 [p.2657]
Mr. Speaker, first I want to let you know that I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Manicouagan. I would like to take this opportunity to invite all members of the House to visit that magnificent region this summer. It might be far, but it is worth the trip.
Bill C-20 leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It is the embodiment of everything I most abhor about this federation. It is a reminder that my people, my nation, is still controlled by the nation next door. I am sure my colleagues will have understood by now that I am referring to the Bill C-20 that was passed just over 20 years ago, the clarity act, which set out the majority threshold and was tabled by Stéphane Dion. This bill reminded Quebeckers that Quebec would be ruled by the will of the Canadian majority to the very end. I see the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons applauding that. That is just pathetic.
Twenty years ago, this Parliament came out and said that Quebec is not the master of its own house, so much so that its neighbour decided to give itself a say and even veto power not just over the next referendum, but also over the very definition of a majority, since it felt 50% + 1 was not enough for a majority anymore. So much for a people's right to self-determination. Quebec does not know what is good for it. There are echoes of Lord Durham's lamentable report here. This gets applause to this day.
As for Bill C-20, which is being debated today, the Bloc Québécois will obviously support it. Our logic is straightforward. Quite simply, since the bill is good for Quebec, the Bloc Québécois will support it. However, I would like to address the manner in which the bill was introduced and will likely be passed.
Over the past four months, the pandemic has shaped our daily lives. That is true for all of society and also for this Parliament. Its usual operations were suspended because of health guidelines. For four months, this Parliament and its legislators have no longer carried out their roles as they should. That is also true for the study of this bill. We will pass it with a sham procedure, ramming it through without being able to study it properly. I completely understand that it is urgent that we help those paying the economic price of health measures, namely our workers, businesses and people with disabilities. However, after four months, I feel that it is time to strike a balance and to put an end to this travesty of democracy, I would even say, this quasi-dictatorial government.
I will explain. Here is how it works. The government presents its bill to each party under embargo and then, just a day or two later, it introduces the bill in the House and insists that it be passed as is. In so doing, the government is short-circuiting the usual analysis and study process. We do not have time to examine the bill in detail, but, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. What worries me the most about this flippant approach is that, for the past four months, we have been passing bills without even giving members the opportunity to hear from the individuals and groups that are affected by those bills. The current process is too rushed. It does not make any sense.
I would like to give an example to illustrate this problem, that of Bill C-17. There was a section in Bill C-17 that sought to provide support to people living with disabilities. That support was intended for people who applied for the disability tax credit. However, since this was a non-refundable tax credit, many low-income people did not apply for it because they do not pay taxes. They were not going to fill out all the paperwork for something that did not apply to them. We know that far too many people with disabilities are living in extreme poverty. As written, Bill C-17 excluded the poorest people from the support program. Those who needed help the most were excluded, which was outrageous. This type of problem is usually fixed during the legislative process when committees have time to hear from the groups concerned and provide recommendations on how to improve bills.
In fact, it was groups like those who contacted us to complain about that aspect of Bill C-17. The bill affected their members. They are in the best position to analyze it, and they must be given time to take a close look at it and analyze it so that the government can hear what they have to say and make changes accordingly. As I have said before, the whole process that is crucial to passing good laws has been on hold for four months. That has to change. We need to get back to a democratic process. Let me just remind everyone that the government was unequivocal: Bill C-17 had to be passed as it was, and there was no room for improvement.
Even though it is in a minority situation, the government is behaving like a dictator. That is unacceptable. We said that we were in favour of Bill C-17, but that we needed time to study and analyze it. The government refused, saying that there would be no changes, and it chose to withdraw the bill and pout.
Fortunately for Canadians living with disabilities, just over a month later, Bill C-20 corrects the mistakes of Bill C-17 by adding three flexible elements.
First, individuals receiving a disability pension from the Quebec pension plan, Canada pension plan or Veterans Affairs will be entitled to the payment, even if they have not applied for the disability tax credit. However, this does not include those who receive a disability pension from the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec following an automobile accident, or the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail following a workplace accident. That could be improved.
Finally, individuals who apply for the disability tax credit within 60 days will be entitled to the payment, even if they did not previously claim it. This flexibility was not found in Bill C-17.
I would also like to talk about another point concerning the assistance for people with disabilities, which my colleague was asked about earlier. In his announcement on June 1, the Prime Minister talked about a refundable tax credit. However, Bill C-20 talks about a payment paid out of the consolidated revenue fund. It is not inconceivable that this could mean the payment is considered taxable income for taxpayers. I would like the government to clarify this.
Mr. Speaker, I want to appeal to you and to my colleagues from all parties here, in the House. We need to change how bills get passed. This chamber, its elected officials, its legislators and its committees must be able to actually do their jobs. We need to find a way that complies with health guidelines, but it is possible.
The government is comfortable governing without Parliament, but that infringes on our democracy. This has been going on for four months, which is far too long, and it needs to change.
View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
View Damien Kurek Profile
2020-07-21 11:37 [p.2664]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour once again to rise in the House and enter into debate. It is good to be back in Parliament, regardless of the time of year. Even though summer is not normally a time Parliament sits, we have important business to do, so it is good to be back.
In my 10-minute speech, I hope to cover a whole range of subjects, but I want to bring up something that constituents talk to me on a regular basis about, and that is the deterioration in trust that has taken place between Canadians and their government.
On October 21, Canadians sent a minority Liberal government to Ottawa and a strong Conservative opposition and two other parties. Throughout the last number of months, we have not seen an attitude from the Liberal government that it has clearly had its hand slapped by Canadians for a series of ethical failings, among other things. Rather, we have seen a government that clearly seems to want to maintain an aura of not just majority rule, but one in which the current Prime Minister also feels he has a divine right to rule this country in whatever regard he feels according to the whim of the day.
That has caused a deterioration in trust. What I hear from constituents time and again every day, whether by email or phone or when stopped in a grocery store, is that there has been a deterioration in trust between Canadians and the institutions of government. That trust is a sacred thing. It builds the very foundation of what our democratic process is all about.
We have seen a number of ethical violations. In fact, the current Prime Minister is the only prime minister to have been found guilty of ethics violations not once, not twice, but now one that would seem to be well on his way to a third violation. Yet we have seen investigations stymied and documents not being released and cabinet confidences not being waived, although I note that the parliamentary secretary to the House leader made an impassioned defence of why the Prime Minister did not mislead the House earlier, saying instead that they took unprecedented action to release everything.
The facts simply speak for themselves. There is so much more to the story than what we are learning. We find ourselves in the midst of the WE scandal. We find once again that the Prime Minister does not know the line. He seems to wander back and forth between politics and government, and even seeing his family and friends benefit from the power entrusted to the government to govern the country. That is causing an erosion of the sacred trust that exists between the institution of government, including the House, and Canadians.
It is increasingly clear, and I certainly hear about it on a daily basis, that trust has been lost. In fact, in question period yesterday, I asked the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth if she knew about the Prime Minister's conflict of interest. It was not an hour after question period that an article came out revealing that she had met with WE only a few days prior to this announcement. That deterioration of trust is having a significant impact.
I have the honour of sitting on the ethics committee, where we saw something truly unprecedented. There was a quite simple motion to say that we should shine the light on this scandal and get the information we need, yet we saw government members of that committee filibuster and try to shut down the proceedings. Canadians expect better from their government. I wrote down a number of quotes and checked the minutes of the meeting afterward, and a lot of the things the government members said show a stunning level of hypocrisy.
I will be splitting my time with one of my hon. colleagues from Quebec, and I will not try to pronounce his riding's name out of respect for the French language. I appreciate the reminder to say that.
We have a government that is being rocked by another ethics scandal.
With respect to the bill we are debating today, I have heard a number of the members opposite say that it is all the fault of the Conservatives. In fact, it is probably Stephen Harper. That seems to be the thing they say most regularly. I see the parliamentary secretary to the House leader is probably preparing a question right now. When we were faced with a pandemic that changed the way all of us, all Canadians, and pretty much everybody around the world, lived our daily lives, instead of rising to the challenge regarding where we were as a parliament, we saw a shutting down of Parliament.
The members opposite have said very clearly that we have asked more questions now than we ever have, and it is probably Stephen Harper's fault again. What is very clear is that the government emphasizes style over substance. We admit there were a lot of questions, and we were happy to work within the context of ensuring there was democratic accountability. However, we saw a shutdown of all other aspects of Parliament, including committees. In fact, it was only a few days ago that we saw the opening up of a few other committees.
The ethics committee only met for the first time this past Friday, after a break of a number of months. When I tell my constituents that I am on the ethics committee, their first comment is that it must be really busy or they ask if the Prime Minister actually allows it to do anything. It is unfortunate. I will note that shortly after the ethics committee was struck in this new Parliament, we attempted to have the Ethics Commissioner come to committee to have an honest dialogue about what was found to be a second violation of the Prime Minister with respect to ethics rules and the Liberal members voted against it.
There are so many aspects of the ethical failings of the government. My constituents have continually referred to them as the “cottage chronicles”. Quite often the Prime Minister would make an announcement, with few details and clarification on those details later in the day. A whole host of questions would remain on any of the programs that had been announced and in some cases there would be months of delay before seeing those programs implemented.
Regarding the bill at hand, specifically with respect to the disability portion of this, the Conservatives support ensuring that those who need support get it. The members opposite have said that these delays are the Conservatives fault. Let the record state very clearly that the Conservatives made it clear that we were happy to deal with the legislation and that Parliament should be the body to do so. However, the Liberals played politics with that and shut it down.
There are three main aspects to the bill. We have the wage subsidy, for which a lot of businesses are applying. Some are benefiting, but when I speak to small and medium-sized businesses specifically, they talk about how complicated some of these applications are. When I read through the portions of the bill that deal with the wage subsidy, we see further complications. For a large firm with a corporate office in a large city, that is okay, because it has accounting and legal departments. The accounting and legal departments of the small and medium-sized enterprises, especially in a rural constituency such as mine, is often one person, or a part-time role, or a hired accountant or they simply do the books themselves. Therefore, the unnecessarily complicated nature and aspects of the bill make it more difficult for people to apply.
I have a brief comment on the justice elements of the bill. Certainly, with the times we find ourselves in, it is necessary to have a look at these, but I would note that deterioration of trust, which I mentioned at the beginning of my speech. When I read the aspects of the justice portion of the bill, the thought in the back of my mind was whether the Liberals were trying to sneak something into this that would have that negative impact on Canadians.
I look forward to answering questions on this and trying to dive into many aspects of this important debate today.
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, I ask for the consent of the House to share my time with the hon. member for La Prairie.
View Yves Robillard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Yves Robillard Profile
2020-07-20 16:28 [p.2629]
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Kanata—Carleton.
I am very pleased to be speaking today. This bill that was tabled in the House shows the importance of the Canada emergency wage subsidy and of the adjustments proposed by the government. These changes will provide better support for Canadian workers and employers.
I think that most if not all of the members in the House will agree that the COVID-19 pandemic is the worst crisis our generation has ever encountered. It has caused the largest and most sudden economic contraction since the Great Depression 90 years ago. Fortunately, the Canadian government was quick to show leadership and to help protect jobs and stabilize the economy.
Canada’s COVID-19 economic response plan represents nearly 14% of the country’s gross domestic product. This includes $230 billion in direct measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to deliver support to Canadians, businesses and other employers. It also includes $85 billion in tax and customs duty payment deferrals to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and families. We implemented this plan to assist Canadians, protect jobs, support employers and make sure that Canada is in a better position to rebound in the post-pandemic recovery.
Since the beginning of this crisis, we have not hesitated to take action and improve assistance programs when necessary. That is precisely what the Minister of Finance did last Friday when he announced the proposed adjustments to the Canada emergency wage subsidy. I will get back to that in a minute, but first a reminder.
The Canada emergency wage subsidy is an important part of our COVID-19 economic response plan. It covers 75% of wages paid to workers by eligible employers up to $847 a week. The CEWS came into effect on March 15 and is available to eligible employers that have experienced a revenue decline of 30% or more, except for the month of March, when the threshold was 15%.
Last May, the government announced that it would be extending the CEWS for 12 weeks, until August 29. We also extended eligibility for the CEWS to several types of employers, including indigenous government-owned corporations that carry on a business, registered Canadian amateur athletic associations and private schools and colleges.
Since its inception, the Canada emergency wage subsidy has supported approximately three million jobs. Some three million Canadians were able to keep or return to their job despite the pandemic. This also means that millions of children, spouses and parents benefited from the jobs these breadwinners were able to keep or return to.
Now let us take a look at the changes announced by the Minister of Finance last week and that we will be debating this week.
First, the government is proposing a further extension of the Canada emergency wage subsidy and has provided program details until November 21, 2020. It intends to offer more support until December 19, 2020.
Second, we are proposing to make the CEWS available to employers who have experienced a revenue drop of less than 30%.
Third, the new wage subsidy will be made up of two components, specifically a base subsidy available to all eligible employers that have experienced a decline in revenues, and a top-up subsidy for employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. These changes will make the CEWS more effective, and ensure that it better meets employers’ needs. Employers with a larger revenue decline could obtain a larger subsidy. Employers that get back on their feet sooner will be entitled to a gradually declining subsidy as their business picks up.
It is important to point out that a different structure will apply to employees who are temporarily laid off. In their case, the amount of wage subsidy will stay the same until August 29, at 75% of the employee’s wages or remuneration. Our intention is to adjust the wage subsidy over time for employees who are temporarily laid off in order to align with the level of support provided by the CERB or EI. This will make for fairer treatment and make it easier for temporarily laid-off employees to transition from the CERB to the Canada emergency wage subsidy so that they can reconnect with their employer. The changes we have proposed, which we will be discussing this week, are based on consultations with business and union representatives concerning adjustments that could be made to continue to protect jobs while stimulating economic growth.
We got a lot of feedback, but three things stood out. First, the 30% revenue decline threshold is too stringent and could discourage growth. Second, the hardest-hit sectors need more support. Third, extending the program until August 29, as planned until now, is not enough for some employers that need to get back on their feet.
In conclusion, the changes we are proposing address certain concerns. The adjustments will help employers create and maintain good jobs. They will also increase the number of workers rehired in all sectors, by more employers. That being said, we understand that the situation continues to evolve rapidly. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make additional changes as needed. The current version of the program will be in effect until November 21, and we intend to continue to provide support until December 19.
The opposition parties have read the bill, so they know what our intentions are. I am eager to hear the debates this week, and I hope that every member in the House will support the government’s efforts to help Canadian businesses in these difficult times.
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