Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Thursday, June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be extended until December as the country’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Trudeau announced Monday (July 13).

Trudeau said the extension of the $82 billion program will “give greater certainty and support to businesses” through the fall and winter.

The wage subsidy provides employers with up to $847 each week per worker to help with wages, or up to 75 per cent of weekly pay for each worker, for businesses that have lost up to 30 per cent of their revenues due to COVID-19. The program had been set to expire at the end of August prior to the extension.

So far, approximately 11 million people have received either the wage subsidy or the federal government’s $2,000 per month emergency response benefit (CERB). In the past, federal ministers have admitted that the $2,000 per month benefit for out-of-work Canadians has had a much higher uptake than the wage subsidy program.

As of early July, the wage subsidy had paid out $18.01 billion to 252,370 companies in payroll help.In comparison, CERB paid out $54.8 billion to 8.25 million people by July 5.

The emergency response benefit is set to run out at the end of the summer.

READ MORE: B.C. records 3 new COVID-19 deaths as total test positive cases top 3,000

READ MORE: Recent COVID-19 hotspots show ‘cases can reemerge at anytime’ in Canada, feds warn

– With files from The Canadian Press


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