Ottawa expands eligibility for certain benefits to respond to Omicron

Ottawa is improving part of the new emergency services by expanding the local containment support program, in particular, to businesses that can remain open, but need to cut their capacity in half or more, such as restaurants.

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In addition, the minimum income shortfall for the current month due to the benefit ranges from 40% to 25%. These new criteria will allow eligible companies to earn between 25% and 75%, proportional to the losses incurred.

The government is also working to expand access to Canada’s Workers’ Insurance benefit, which will be available to workers in lower-capacity businesses. They will be able to receive $300 per week.

These changes, whose bill is estimated at $4 billion, include redefining the term “containment” as provided in Bill C-2, which was adopted at the end of Parliament’s session last Friday.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Wednesday during a virtual press conference that businesses will “be able” to follow through on the new regional restrictions knowing the federal government is there to support everyone.

‘Big improvement’

These amendments “will help tens of thousands of small and medium businesses across Canada achieve this over the next few weeks, even months,” said Yasmine Genetti, vice president of national affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“Does this solve all the problems?” No. Is it enough for everyone? No. “But to say the least, it’s a very good improvement,” he said in an interview.

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M. Guénette croit toutefois que l’annonce d’Ottawa laisse de côté un bon nombre d’entreprises qui pourraient aussi faire les frais d’Omicron, soit celles où la réduction de être ne s’applique palisageprises de come capacite for transportation.

The CFIB believes Ottawa should recalculate the contingency for Canadian businesses, a grant-based loan program that expired in June. This program has helped nearly 900,000 companies and organizations across the country.

Companies founded after the pandemic began will not deserve the announced programs, an “injustice” in the eyes of Yasmine Genetti.

Public companies that increase the salaries of their top executives or pay dividends in 2022 are also excluded from the federal aid.

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