As millions of Canadians formed virtual lines to apply for government benefits through much of last week, a handful of politicians gathered on Parliament Hill Saturday in an emergency sitting to deliver a giant subsidy package for Canadian businesses, designed to keep employees working.
The $73-billion Canada emergency wage subsidy (CEWS) program is designed to discourage companies from laying off workers at a time when social and economic life has ground to a halt because of The COVID-19 pandemic.
It offers a 75 per cent wage subsidy to all businesses that have lost 30 per cent of their revenue.
In a story published Monday, the CBC’s Kathleen Harris reports that close to six million people in Canada have now applied for federal COVID-19 aid benefits.
The figures–from Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough’s office–show that 3.5 million of the claims were filed since last Monday, the first day the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) began taking applications–a day that saw almost a million people file claims.
Harris reports that 5.4 million of the six million claims have already been processed for the program that will pay people about $2,000 a month for up to 16 weeks.
The six million claims include applications through the Employment Insurance program, which will be streamed through CERB over the next four months.
With files from RCI (Levon Sevunts), CBC News (Raisa Patel, John Paul Tasker, Kathleen Harris)