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March 27th, 2020

New Democrats, Business and Union Leaders Win Increased Wage Subsidy for Workers

OTTAWA – This week, New Democrats worked with business and labour leaders to successfully push the federal government to increase the wage subsidy to support workers and small and medium-sized businesses, and to keep Canadians working.

“Canadian businesses are suffering. They are struggling to survive. Therefore, many workers are suffering too – hundreds of thousands of them are already laid-off and many more are worried about losing their jobs,” said Singh in a joint letter to the Prime Minister. “In the coming weeks, millions of Canadians may be without work and countless businesses may close their doors across the country due to the public health measures intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. The government’s announcement today will hopefully help businesses stay open, and most importantly, help people keep their jobs.”

Singh’s letter that was sent to the Prime Minister was co-signed by NDP Small Business Critic Gord Johns, the President, CEO and Chair of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Dan Kelly, the National Director for Canada United Steelworkers, Ken Neumann, the National President for UNIFOR, Jerry Dias, and the National President of UFCW Canada, Paul Meinema.

The Prime Minister’s announcement today that they are responding to this call is good news for workers across Canada. By raising the wage subsidy, there is greater incentive to keep workers on payrolls instead of resorting to layoffs. Keeping more workers actively employed will make the transition back to normal after physical distancing ends easier and ease the burden on the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit program.

“Our skilled workforce is one of Canada’s proudest assets. Maintaining our workforce is critical to maintaining demand in our economy and supporting our communities,“ added Singh. “You can count on NDP collaboration to implement a wage subsidy of above 75%. Workers need this measure to protect their jobs and employers need this measure to protect their businesses.”