This morning’s Labour Force Survey release showed 2 million jobs lost in April, bringing the total to 3 million new unemployed Canadians since the start of the pandemic. In addition, 2.5 million Canadians saw their work hours cut by more than 50% since February. Against this backdrop, the Prime Minister made some major announcements today in support of workers. In summary:
- The Canada Emergency Wage subsidy will be extended past June to boost job creation and stimulate the economy. The program has supported 2 million workers to date. More details on this will be made available next week. The Prime Minister said he wants businesses to know this subsidy will still be in place for a while as they look at re-opening.
- Trudeau said that new support packages for the “hardest hit” sectors will be rolled out “in the coming days.”
- The Prime Minister also announced the creation of a new Industry Strategy Council, chaired by former Desjardins President and Investissement Québec board chair Monique Leroux, to study the effect of the pandemic on specific sectors. The government is also creating two new Economic Strategy Tables focused on the retail and transportation sectors.
- Canadian Heritage Minister Stephen Guilbeault provided details on how the government is allocating the previously announced half billion dollars for arts, sports and culture sectors. The government is working with the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund, FACTOR, Musicaction and Telefilm Canada to provide cash flow to impacted cultural organizations.
- The Prime Minister reported that over 500,000 Canadian businesses had accessed the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).
The Prime Minister noted that women, vulnerable people and young people have been hit the hardest by the current recession, with recent figures showing that those earning low hourly wages have been most impacted by job losses and reductions in work hours. As the government considers how to rebuild in the coming months, it will focus on how to support these workers in the new economy.
As always, our federal team is standing by to answer your questions:
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