Businesses with revenues that have dropped by 30 per cent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for the government's 75 per cent wage subsidy program, Ottawa has confirmed.
Additionally, the subsidy will apply to companies both big and small (the number of employees doesn’t matter) and it will also extend to charities and non-profit organizations.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared these updates at his daily press briefing from his home in Ottawa on Monday (March 30th).
“This is about making sure people are still getting paid whether they work for a business that employs 10 people or 1,000 people,” Trudeau told reporters.
What this means for workers is that the Canadian government will cover up to 75 per cent of one’s salary on the first $58,700 earned, Trudeau said, for an amount of up to $847 per week.
“This subsidy will make a real difference in your lives and help everyone affected bridge to better times,” the Prime Minister said.
The new measure will be backdated to March 15th, Trudeau noted.
The Prime Minister said this approach aligns with “best practices” as seen in other countries.
However, Trudeau issued a stern note of caution to businesses applying for the subsidy: “We are trusting you to the do the right thing,” he said.
“If you have the means to pay the remaining 25 per cent that’s not covered by the subsidy, please do so,” he said. “If you think this is a system you can take advantage or game, don’t. There will be serious consequences for those who do.”
The update shed more light on what the government is calling a “three-point plan” to help Canadian businesses weather the financial impact of COVID-19.
This includes an Emergency Wage Subsidy, an Emergency Response Benefit, and guaranteed loans for businesses of all sizes for helping people access credit. For more details on these programs, click here.
Trudeau’s Monday press briefing follows the introduction of a domestic travel ban for those showing symptoms of COVID-19, a measure that began at Noon today.
The move will restrict symptomatic passengers from boarding domestic flights and intercity passenger trains with additional screening measures in place.
As of Monday morning, Canada's provinces and territories reported more than 6,600 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19.