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‘Essential’ workers to receive wage top-ups from federal, provincial governments

But who gets wages topped up, and by how much, will vary by province as part of $4 billion federal program


May 7, 2020
By Talent Canada Staff

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Photo courtesy Walmart.

Low-paid essential workers across Canada will be getting a wage top-up, but exactly who gets it and how much they receive will be determined by the provinces and territories, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The federal government is investing $4 billion in the program. Ottawa will pick up 75 per cent of the cost of the top-up and provinces will cover the remaining 25 per cent, said Trudeau.

“If you are risking your health in order to get us through this crisis, and you’re receiving minimum wage, you deserve to earn more,” he said. “We’re relying on these workers now more than ever.”

It’s not clear yet which workers will be receiving the top-ups, because it will vary by jurisdiction. Many provinces have put together lists of what they consider to be essential workers, and others are drawing up plans, said Trudeau.

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“We are now finalizing the details with some provinces, but I want to point out that this is a joint effort,” he said. “All the premiers agree we must support our essential workers.”