The government introduced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to protect Canadian jobs, encourage employers to quickly rehire workers previously laid off because of COVID-19, and help bridge the Canadian economy to the other side of this unprecedented crisis. The wage subsidy program was put in place for an initial 12-week period from March 15 to June 6, 2020, providing a 75 per cent wage subsidy to eligible employers. On May 15, 2020, the government announced a 12-week extension, to August 29, 2020. On July 17, 2020, the government unveiled a redesign allowing more employers to access wage subsidy support while ensuring that support is better targeted to their needs, and proposed a further extension to December 19, 2020.
The government is proposing to further extend the wage subsidy program until June 2021 and implement other enhancements to the program to better respond to the evolving economic and health situation. These proposed changes will make the program more flexible and more generous, and ensure that the program provides continued support to employers.