In his daily national address to the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the emergency wage subsidy program put in place to help business owners keep their employees during the crisis has been extended to beyond June.
This announcement comes after it was reported by Statistics Canada that the Canadian economy has seen a total of three million jobs lost around the country, a result of nearly all non-essential businesses being closed for the time being.
This record number of job losses is the reasoning behind the extension, as Trudeau says it is a “difficult” reminder of how many establishments and workers need financial assistance.
“What we’re seeing, even beyond these reports and these numbers, is the reality on the ground, that people who are already vulnerable in the workforce, people who are already disadvantaged or facing extra barriers, are always the first to get hit when we have a difficult situation like this,” Trudeau told reporters.
“That’s why, as a society, not only do we need to do what we are doing in the short term … we need to make sure that as we move forward to rebuilding and creating a more prosperous Canada in the coming months and years, we think very, very carefully about how important the work that is being done by women and vulnerable Canadians is, and how we need to make sure we’re better supporting them,” said the Prime Minister.
The employers who have signed up for wage subsidy program since its launch last week can expect to receive the first wave of payments this week, which will be covering 75 percent of wages for over two million workers.
“Right now, Canadian are hurting because of this pandemic. Everyone has their own story, but it all boils down to a very difficult time for a lot of people,” said Trudeau during his address.
“As provinces and territories start to gradually reopen over the coming months, and the CERB becomes less and less needed, this subsidy will play an even greater role”.
Trudeau has called this $73 billion wage subsidy the largest economic program in the history of this country, sees this as a major part of the $150 billion assistance the government has provided with the last two months.
He has also announced that the government intends to adjust federal aid plans in hopes that “help gets to as many workers, small businesses, families, and young people” as fast as possible.
Additional announcements: Aid for Senior Citizens and Economic Advisory Panel coming very soon
In addition to the announcement regarding aid for businesses, Trudeau also stated that the promised aid for the senior citizens in Canada was coming “very soon”.
Trudeau also announced that a panel of experts and stakeholders is being launched by the federal government in efforts to investigate how the pandemic has affected certain sectors of the economy.
The panel will be led by Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, and the job of this advisory panel will be to investigate the impacted industries and inform the federal government on how to approach these industries when responding to them.
The panel will meet regularly over 90 days according to the government, which means an economic bailout is still months away from consideration.
Written by: Angelo Cruz
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