Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s daily address to the country generally takes place outside of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, but today he spoke to the media outside of a cafe in Chelsea, Quebec.
Outside of this cafe, he pointed out how the cafe he was speaking outside of was able to bring back their employees thanks to the wage subsidy program, and how more employees are set to be rehired due to loosened restrictions and patio services being allowed.
Trudeau is urging employers to utilize the wage subsidy program being offered by the government, as the government believes that this program will increase the number of Canadians returning to work.
The launch of the program has been disappointing in terms of how many businesses have signed up, as the federal government has only given out $13.28 billion to employers, which is far below the expected amount budgeted.
In addition to urging the use of the wage subsidy program, Trudeau also announced that 500 “green jobs” are being created for students using the $9 billion aid package that was announced back in April.
“An important part of this plan was to create jobs for young people in sectors that need an extra hand,” Trudeau said.
Re-openings for businesses have proven to be a challenge for many business owners, as reopening can only be achieved through following the health guidelines put in place by the government.
Measures like protective shields, enhanced cleaning supplies, and more in-store health measures were listed by Trudeau, but there was no mention of the promised COVID-19 aid expansion for small businesses that were delayed.
Instead of that, Trudeau mentioned the $14 billion in funding for provinces and territories that will be used for testing, contact tracing, and keeping workers safe while on the job.
“We want to work with the provinces and territories to implement these measures as soon as possible and make sure we don’t lose the progress we’ve made.
The COVID-19 aid expansion wasn’t the only funding delayed, as Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on June 18 that the Canada Emergency Business Account government loans would not be available on the scheduled release date.
Through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), the program would provide eligible businesses access to up to $40,000 of government-backed loans.
When the CEBA loan account was first announced by the federal government on March 27, the loans were available to businesses with payrolls between $50,000 and $1 million in 2019.
However, since April, the government has expanded the program to allow for businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.
Recently as of May, it was announced that the CEBA program will once again be expanding its eligibility requirements to allow for businesses with payroll of less than $20,000 to be eligible for the loan account.
However, the latest expansion to the CEBA program has now been delayed with no definitive release date.
In the meantime, the Finance Minister and the federal government continues to reassure Canadians that they are working on getting the new expanded CEBA program launched soon.
“Work continues around the clock to ensure the program can securely launch across over 230 financial institutions,” Morneau said via Twitter.
“We know how important the program is for small businesses and want to launch as quickly as possible”.
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