CEWS improvements will help get Canadians back to work, says Canadian Chamber of Commerce

(OTTAWA) – July 17, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Economist and Vice President of Policy, Trevin Stratton, issued the following statement about the improvements to the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program announced today:

“Expanding the revenue loss eligibility criteria and timeline for the wage subsidy is the first step towards economic recovery as businesses reopen. The changes announced today will be instrumental in getting Canadians back to work.

Keeping employees and employers connected is critical to the reopening of our economy, and CEWS has been an essential tool in helping to accomplish this. Businesses throughout Canada will be relieved that the government will be prorating the CEWS subsidy when revenue loss is less than 30% so that they can bring more employees back to work and providing a subsidy of up to 85% for businesses whose struggles are even more serious.

As businesses re-open, their revenues will slowly grow but they will still need support to build on this momentum. The next step toward recovery will be winding down subsidies that create distortions in the labour market. To be sure, many Canadians will still need assistance and reforming the EI system to include a strong reskilling and upskilling component should provide this support.

Looking forward, our members will also be looking for a swift passage of Bill C-17 to also enable greater flexibility for businesses (many of which are not-for-profits) who use third-party payroll providers to qualify, as well as companies that acquired other businesses earlier in 2020, and had an increase in consolidated revenue for the months prior to the COVID-19 crisis as a result.

Bill C-17 would also temporarily relax certain statutory regulatory and legal time limits that are difficult or impossible to meet as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.”

For information on the Canadian Chamber’s 51-point roadmap to recovery, click here.

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.


For more information, please contact:

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Phil Taylor at [email protected]