Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy extended into winter

Jul 28 2020, 4:13 pm

The Senate passed a bill on Monday that will extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) well into the winter.

An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures, passed on its third reading, allowing for the wage subsidy to last until December, if needed.

The amendments to the bill were broken into three parts.

The first of which amends the Income Tax Act. According to the government, this revises the eligibility criteria for the  in order to support those “employers hardest hit by the coronavirus.” This also is what allows the extension to CEWS. The amendment sets a November 21, 2020, expiry date, with the “ability to extend the CEWS by regulation to no later than December 31, 2020.”

Part 2 focuses on the Pension Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs Act, the Children’s Special Allowances Act, and the Veterans Well-being Act to allow programs access to the information needed to provide one-time payments to Canadians with disabilities for reasons related to COVID-19, as well as funding sources for the program.

The final portion enacts the Time Limits and Other Periods Act (COVID-19) which creates some flexibility to certain time limits established by parliament that are “difficult or impossible to meet as a result of the exceptional circumstances produced by COVID-19.”

This will include an extension of up to six months on certain time limits related to proceedings before the courts. It also will give ministers temporary powers to suspend or extend time limits and other periods for specified acts and regulations for up to six months, while calling for a “transparent exercise of the powers it confers and for parliamentary oversight over the exercise of those powers.”

After going through the senate, it was given royal assent by the Governor General, officially passing it into law.

The legislation was passed during an emergency recall of the House of Commons in April, in what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said is the “largest economic policy” since World War II.

The subsidy gives eligible employers 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks. The maximum benefit is $847 per employee each week.

Peter SmithPeter Smith

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