Feds extending COVID-19 wage and rent subsidy until June

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government will extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy until June of this year as the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau said while there have been encouraging signs the economy is rebounding and vaccines continue to roll out, support is still needed.

“We’ve come a long way in the fight against the pandemic but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Trudeau while speaking to reporters on Wednesday. “We’re making sure that the wage and rent subsidies continue through the spring, and that the amount of support remains consistent.”

The wage subsidy will continue to provide 75 per cent coverage to eligible employers, while the rent subsidy will remain at 65 per cent. Ottawa is also extending the additional 25 per cent lockdown subsidy top-up until the same date for hard-hit businesses restricted by more severe public health guidelines.

“This isn’t the time to pull back on support for workers or business owners, it’s the time to see people through what is hopefully the final stretch of this crisis and it’s time to get the whole economy ready to come roaring back,” Trudeau said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland expanded on the announcement saying at this point, the government can’t declare Canada has “turned the corner,” which is why support will continue.

“Our government will continue to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to help Canadians through this bleak time, to prevent economic scarring,” said Freeland.

The president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business Dan Kelly, tweeted in reaction that this is “good news for small business owners & will help them plan staffing levels.”

More to come…

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