OTTAWA – Several of the Canadian government’s pandemic supports for individuals and businesses will end this week, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed Thursday, as Ottawa moves on to new programs for those most affected by the crisis.
As The Star reported Wednesday night, the Canada Response Benefit (CRB) will end on Saturday. Freeland said Thursday that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rental Allowance (CERS) will officially expire on the same day.
Eligibility for two other individual benefits, Ottawa Sick and Care benefits, will extend through May 7, 2022. The maximum duration for which those benefits can be received will be extended by two weeks, which means that people can claim the care benefit for up to 44 weeks and sickness benefit for up to six weeks.
“Our economy is recovering and we are winning the fight against COVID. However, it is also true that the recovery is uneven and that health measures that are saving lives continue to restrict some of the economic activity, “Freeland told reporters Thursday morning, while meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. in front of a children’s hospital in Ottawa.
“That is why today we announce what we expect and believe is the final pivot to provide the necessary support to ensure a strong recovery.”
Starting October 24, Canada’s new lockout benefit will run through May 7, providing $ 300 per week to workers facing local lockouts, including those who are not eligible for employment insurance.
And while Parliament doesn’t return until November 22, the federal government is using its authority under the budget implementation law to propose two specific support programs for crisis-hit businesses.
The first is the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, which is aimed at hotels, tour operators, travel agencies and restaurants. Eligible businesses must be able to demonstrate an average monthly revenue reduction of at least 40 percent during the first 13 CEWS qualification periods, plus a revenue loss of at least 40 percent during the current month. The maximum subsidy rate for salary and rent subsidies is capped at 75 percent until March 12, at which point subsidy rates will be cut in half until May 7.
The second support measure, the Hard-hit Business Recovery Program, would help other businesses that have experienced severe pandemic losses. Eligible organizations must meet the same criteria as those receiving the tourism and hospitality benefit, except that they must show monthly income reductions and current month income losses of at least 50 percent.
The maximum grant rate for this program will be set at 50 percent and will be cut in half after March 12.
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