OTTAWA — The federal government is extending its program to subsidize wages for companies hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic until December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

The program covers 75 per cent of wages, up to a weekly maximum of $847, for workers at eligible companies and non-profits affected by the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This week, we’ll be announcing an extension to the wage-subsidy program until December, to give greater certainty and support to businesses as we re-start the economy,” said Trudeau during a briefing Monday.

As of July 6, the wage subsidy had paid out $18.01 billion to 252,370 companies in payroll help. The government’s fiscal and economic “snapshot” last week boosted the budget of the wage-subsidy program to $82.3 billion, in a sign of impending changes.

Trudeau isn’t saying today how the government will re-shape the eligibility rules for the program that critics have said stop some employers from getting aid they need.


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