Trudeau to release new details on emergency aid

By | April 1, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to provide more details Wednesday on the massive emergency aid package to help Canadians and businesses get through the COVID-19 crisis, but Conservatives say Parliament must be recalled in order to get the money moving.

Trudeau is scheduled to give a daily briefing at 11:15 a.m. ET. CBC News will have special coverage beginning at 11 a.m. Watch it here.

The federal government had initially pledged a package worth $82 billion, including income supports, wage subsidies and tax deferrals.

But that figure quickly swelled as the government expanded the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and increased the proposed 10-per-cent wage subsidy to 75 per cent.

The wage subsidy program will also be offered to all-sized businesses, non-profits and charities rather than just small and medium-sized companies as originally proposed. Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to provide more details on that program this afternoon.

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre said the legislation that was passed last week in Parliament does not allow for the enhanced benefits.

“Parliament will need to be recalled to salvage the government’s wage subsidy promise,” he tweeted late Tuesday. “Trudeau’s announcement is not legal under the law his government wrote last week.”

Trudeau said Friday that a business must have lost 30 per cent of its revenue to qualify for the wage subsidy, but Poilievre said that requirement is not written in the legislation. 

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