Statement on the revised Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program

by Goldy Hyder – President and Chief Executive Officer, Business Council of Canada

The Business Council of Canada welcomes the passing of legislation to revise the federal government’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program.

The CEWS was originally designed as a short-term, emergency relief program for companies that had suffered a dramatic loss of revenues as a result of COVID-19. The revised program – expanding the eligibility requirements, extending the length of the program, and introducing a sliding scale for the wage subsidy – effectively transforms the CEWS into a broadly based economic stimulus program.

The revised CEWS will create incentives for many more companies to bring back employees and to create new jobs as demand picks up. It will inject money quickly and efficiently into the economy in a way that is directly tied to employment. It will provide increased assistance to companies in sectors that have been hit the hardest, such as travel, tourism and hospitality. And it will ensure that the level of subsidy available to each employer tapers off as revenues increase.

We all need to do our part to help the economy as it reopens.  That includes bringing people back to work safely and responsibly, and rebuilding confidence through programs such as the private-sector-led POST Promise/Promesse APRÈS.