The federal government’s 75 per cent emergency wage subsidy program will be extended another three months, until the end of August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday (May 15).
“You now have some runway to catch your breath as you get started, so please, bring back your employees,” Trudeau told businesses from outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau is also expected to detail later Friday how eligibility for the wage subsidy program will be broadened.
Under the program, the federal government is currently picking up the tab for 75 per cent of an eligible company’s payroll — up to a maximum of $847 per week per employee — retroactive to March 15.
Eligible companies are those that saw revenues drop by 15 per cent in March or 30 per cent in April and May.
The government has billed the subsidy as the largest economic program since the Second World War, with the cost pegged at $73 billion.
But so far, it has paid out only $3.4 billion for some 1.7 million workers.
Meanwhile, 7.5 million Canadians have received Canadian Emergency Response Benefit payments so far.
More to come.
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