The Chamber welcomed the news on July 13 that the federal government is extending its wage subsidy program until the end of the year. Businesses need certainty and they don't have that when programs run month to month and extensions are granted at the last minute.
Confirming that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be available until Dec. 31 allows employers to better plan their recovery. However, government needs to do more to make sure the program is transparent and easy to access.
The wage subsidy, which was set to end by the beginning of September, has not engaged businesses as much as expected. The government estimated the cost of the program would be $45 billion but, as of July 8, only $18 billion had been paid to about 250 thousand businesses. The Canada Revenue Agency estimates that, between May 10 and June 6, the program subsidized wages for 2.3 million Canadians.
The week before, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau increased the budget for the program to $82.3 billion in a move that foreshadowed today's announcement.
"The Chamber would like to see the government help workers move off of the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit and onto the payroll of employers," says Chamber CEO Bruce Williams. "The wage subsidy is the right vehicle to do that but we're hearing that many businesses find the process too confusing and they aren't sure if they qualify. "
To help our members learn more about how they can benefit from the wage subsidy program, as well as its tax implications, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams is hosting Matthew Hohnsbehn, Liaison Officer at the Canada Revenue Agency, and Kris Wirk, Partner, at Dusanj & Wirk Chartered Professional Accountants, on Aug. 11.
Business Restart Series: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (Online)
Tuesday, Aug. 11, Noon to 1 pm