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3 takeaways for employers from Trudeau’s daily remarks

Prime minister defends evolution of wage subsidy, CERB and addresses how businesses can pay rent

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s daily briefing was light on details for employers — but Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to walk employers through the fine points of the 75 per cent wage subsidy later today.

Talent Canada will continue to monitor updates throughout the day and bring them to you.

Wage subsidy

Trudeau was pressed about the changes in the wage subsidy, which started out at 10 per cent and was only for small employers, later to rise to 75 per cent and be opened to all employers who experienced a 30 per cent decline or more in revenue.


Had the more aggressive measures been in place earlier, some layoffs could have been avoided and employers wouldn’t now have to decide whether or not to recall staff.

“This situation has been evolving rapidly,” said Trudeau. “We’re putting in place unprecedented measures to respond to the needs that people are expressing on how we’re going to be able to get through this together.”

Ottawa opened the program up, and expanded the subsidy, so workers could stay on the payroll while they stay home and self isolate, he said. That should enable the Canadian economy to “bounce back strongly” once the pandemic is over, he said.

CERB and minimum wage jobs

He also addressed the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which provides a payment of $2,000 per month for workers who lose their jobs due to COVID-19 — and whether or not that was a disincentive for someone at a minimum wage job to either keep working or take on a new role.

“It was really important for us to get money into people’s pockets quickly,” said Trudeau. “We recognize that there are going to be challenges around certain essential services, and we’re going to work with the provinces and we’re going to encourage people to find solutions that will allow people to stay safe while they continue to do the job they need to do.”

Help for businesses paying rent

Tomorrow is April 1, which means for many businesses rent is due — or perhaps a mortgage payment on their facilities. Trudeau said the 75 per cent wage subsidy should free up cash to help employers make those payments.

Plus, there are $40,000 loans for small businesses available through the banks that is interest free for the first year and, in some cases, $10,000 will be non-repayable.

“There are direct measures for companies to be able to get the liquidity necessary to get through the coming months,” he said.

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6 Comments » for 3 takeaways for employers from Trudeau’s daily remarks
  1. Robin Currie says:

    first paragraph under Wage Subsidy has an error… you state 25% instead of 75%… some people might get confused…

  2. maryann desrochers says:

    what was wrong with trudeau automatically depositing into old age
    accounts the promised increase in money? Why did he have to pay
    money to someone to pay us? Majority have direct deposit and those
    who don’t should wait for their money, i mean why would you not get
    direct deposit? It’s faster and safer.

  3. WAGDI TADROS says:

    1. How can we apply for the small business benefits proposed by the Prime Minister?
    2. How can a self employed benefit from this?
    3. I have been working for 14 years, I paid taxes and CPP, but was exempt from EI contributions, can I collect unemployment since I am laid off and have no income, because of Coronavirus?

  4. Centre du comptoir unique says:

    Thank you for keeping us up to date. Please keepus in the loop.

  5. Because The PM has not majored in Business Development or Modern Economic Growth, it is advice that he learns to listen to what the professionals in the industries are suggesting, without listening to his special social and Islamic advisers — in the best interests of Canada and its productive people.
    As well, the last PM had the best record of growing the Canadian Economy, so beyond politics it is better that our acting PM does start working for all Canadians and serving Canada 1st. (Even maybe taking less wages for himself)
    I think that how Canadians think of Canada is more important than how others see us, National Trading Friends or not.

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