COVID-19 Update for April 8, 2020 – 12:30pm

April 8, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided an update on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program this afternoon, announcing that government is loosening eligibility criteria.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Trudeau announced that the government has refined the eligibility criteria for the CEWG. The original announcement said that for companies to qualify they would have to show a 30 per cent drop in revenues when comparing this year’s month to the same month in 2019.

The new criteria for the CEWG relaxes the main eligibility criteria based on declining revenue. Companies now only need to show a 15 per cent decline in revenue for the month of March, as the impacts of COVID-19 weren’t felt until half way through the month. Businesses will also now have the option of using January and February to demonstrate a 30 per cent decline in revenue if they choose. In addition, non-profits and charities are now being allowed to exclude government funding in their calculations when applying.

Other details, such as the $847 weekly amount covered per employee and the retroactive date of March 15 remain the same. Trudeau also said his government is confident they will be able to deliver this program within a three-week period.

The PM said Cabinet is meeting this afternoon to discuss the draft CEWG legislation and encourages opposition leaders to support its quick passing. Minister of Finance Bill Morneau is holding a media conference later this afternoon to provide more details on the revised CEWG program. Enterprise will be monitoring and sharing an update after this media conference.

Canada Summer Job’s Program

Canada Summer Job’s employers will now be eligible for a subsidy of up to 100 per cent to cover the costs of hiring students, helping create up to 70,000 jobs for Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30. The timeframe for job placement will also be extended to the winter, as some jobs will start later than usual. Businesses will also be able to hire students part-time as well. Trudeau also noted that government will be doing more for Canada’s young people, hinting that additional announcements are forthcoming in the coming days.

N95 Masks

Trudeau confirmed that government received the expected shipment of 500,000 masks from 3M.

COVID-19 Projections

The Prime Minister was asked about model and data projections and when the government plans on releasing them and noted that he will talk about it “in the coming days.”

Seniors

Trudeau said more support is on the way for seniors, acknowledging that the nation’s elderly are in a particularly difficult position, both because of the impact that COVID-19 has on their age demographic and the post-pandemic economic worries that many will face living off of a retirement salary.

House of Commons Virtual Sittings

Trudeau also noted that he asked the Speaker of the House of Commons to look at methods of recalling Parliament virtually. He said debate and participation needs to happen from all Parliamentarians, not just those within driving distance to Ottawa.

If you have any questions about this update please let us know.

The Enterprise Team

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