Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily press conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Friday, April 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

More than 10,000 businesses apply for wage subsidy on opening morning: Trudeau

Program will cover up to 75% of each employee’s salary

More than 10,000 businesses have already applied to Canada’s wage subsidy program on the morning it launched, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday (April 27).

Businesses who lost at least 15 per cent of their revenue in March can qualify for the first month of the subsidy, which will cover 75 per cent of each employee’s salary up to $847 per week. Companies are asked to fill in the remaining 25 per cent and Ottawa has said harsh penalties will apply to companies who misuse the funds.

Following March, businesses must show a loss of 30 per cent per month, typically compared to the year before. The program will be retroactive from March 15 and is scheduled to run for 12 weeks.

Trudeau said the first payments will flow on May 7 via the Canada Revenue Agency.

Employees who receive the wage subsidy will be disqualified from receiving the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB), a $2,000 per month payment for out-of work Canadians.

Trudeau acknowledged that in the rush to roll out both the emergency benefit and the wage subsidy, some workers could end up double-dipping.

“When the CERB came in, many people didn’t know if they would get the wage subsidy,” he said.

“If people are now getting wage subsidy [now] they shouldn’t reapply for CERB.”

The prime minister said anyone who is getting both, for the same time periods, will have to pay one back.

Another program, a $1,250 monthly payment for students, will be discussed by Parliament on Tuesday.

To apply for the wage subsidy, businesses can visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy/cews-how-apply.html.

READ MORE: Businesses can apply for wage subsidy April 27, calculate payments on new website

READ MORE: Trudeau says too early to discuss ‘immunity passports’ for people recovered from COVID


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