FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Editor’s note: The details have now been released. You can read the story here: Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for another six weeks.

Canadians won’t get any details Tuesday (March 31) about the eagerly awaited wage subsidy program announced on Friday (March 27), despite the prime minister’s promise of more details.

The recently announced wage subsidy for COVID-19 affected businesses has expanded to all Canadian companies and charities that have seen at least a 30 per cent drop in revenues, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Canadians Monday.

Trudeau made the announcement from the steps of Rideau Cottage on Monday (March 30), where he remains in self-isolation. Finance Minister Bill Morneau was expected to announce details and costs Tuesday, but that press conference has been moved to Wednesday.

Companies who qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be able to get 75 per cent of each employee’s salary covered, on the first $58,700 earned this year, Trudeau said. This amounts to a maximum $847 per week, he noted. The program will be backdated to March 15.

“The number of employees you have will not determine whether or not you get this support,” he said. “It will apply to non-profit organizations and charities, as well as companies both big and small.”

Trudeau urged companies that could top up employee salaries the additional 25 per cent to do so.

“We are trusting you to do the right thing,” he said.

The prime minister said there would be “serious consequences” for any companies that try to game the system, although he did not expand on what that would entail. A verification system will be set up before the program is rolled out and Trudeau said Finance Minister Bill Morneau would announce more details on Tuesday (March 31).

The wage subsidy is one of several programs introduced by the federal government. Trudeau has also promised $2,000 to coronavirus-affected workers who have been laid off, or cannot work, due to the pandemic. That application portal is scheduled to be available on April 6.

Trudeau said more measures to help business could be unveiled as the situation unfolds but did not commit to specific aid to help businesses pay rent on April 1.

At a press conference following the prime minister’s address, Deputy Minister Chrystia Freeland said Ottawa was working hard to work out any issues.

“I really apologize, sincerely, for some of the kinks in these systems,” Freeland said.

As of Monday morning, there were 6,671 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 66 deaths in Canada. There have been more than 220,000 tests done.

READ MORE: Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

READ MORE: Trudeau unveils new $2,000 per month benefit to streamline COVID-19 aid


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronaviruseconomy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Nisga’a Lisims Government has extended its state of local emergency. (File photo)
Nisga’a state of local emergency extended, vaccines delayed

There are 21 active COVID-19 cases in the Nisga’a Valley Health Authority

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Terrace continues to have a high rate of COVID-19 infections per 100,000 people, according to this map which shows data from Jan. 3 to Jan. 9. (BC Centre for Disease Control)
Terrace, Nisga’a regions continue to have high rate of COVID-19 cases

Two more exposure notices posted for Terrace schools

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Most Read