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Conservatives propose plan to get wage subsidy to small employers faster

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April 13, 2020
By Todd Humber

The interior of the House of Commons in Ottawa. Photo: Steven Kriemadis/Getty Images

The opposition Conservatives are calling on the federal government to make the 75 per cent wage subsidy available to small business starting next week.

While the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) was passed over the weekend and received royal assent, it could take anywhere from two to five weeks for the cash to start flowing to employers, according to finance minister Bill Morneau.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre is calling on Ottawa to give small business more flexibility to access the funds sooner than later.

“Right now the government has set up an emergency business account which unfortunately has a limit of $40,000, which is not even close to enough to cover the bills let alone pay the wages of the business,” he said. “We propose to lift that limit for businesses that want to spend on wages. Businesses would then spend the money on wages and reimburse the banks or credit unions as soon as the wage subsidy arrives from the Canada Revenue Agency.”

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