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Government Assistance - Program Changes

Posted on November 25, 2021

Government Assistance - Program Changes

As of today, the government has announced changes to several of its assistance programs.

The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) were terminated on October 23rd, 2021, while the Canadian Recovery Hiring Program, as currently structured, concluded effective November 20th, 2021.
The government is proposing the following changes to business support programs:

1. Extending the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7, 2022, for eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10%, year-over-year and increasing the subsidy rate to 50%.

2. Delivering targeted support to businesses that are still facing significant pandemic-related challenges. This support would be available through two streams:

  • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, to hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, and restaurants, with a subsidy rate of up to 75%.
  • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, would support other businesses that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50%.

Applicants for these programs will use a new “two-key” eligibility system whereby they will need to demonstrate significant revenue losses over the course of 12 months of the pandemic, as well as revenue losses in the current month.

Businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns will be eligible for up to the maximum amount of the wage and rent subsidy programs, during the local lockdown, regardless of losses over the course of the pandemic.

These programs will be available until May 7, 2022, with the proposed subsidy rates available through to March 13, 2022.

From March 13, 2022, to May 7, 2022, the subsidy rates will decrease by half.

Additionally, the government proposes to:

  • Extend the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit until May 7, 2022, and increase the maximum duration of benefits by 2 weeks.  This would extend the caregiving benefit from 42 to 44 weeks and the sickness benefit from 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Establish the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit which would provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers should they be unable to work due to a local lockdown anytime between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022.

With the extensions noted above, the government aims to provide additional support to businesses to allow them to hire back staff that were laid off, as well as to hire additional staff to fuel the economic recovery in Canada.

For more information, please visit Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

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