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Canadian COVID-19 Update | Wednesday, April 8

April 8, 2020

TIAC’s Work

  • TIAC’s President and CEO, Charlotte Bell, will be presenting to the Parliamentary Finance Committee (FINA) later today. This committee studies and reports on all matters relating to the management and operation of federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Finance, and conducts consultations with selected industry experts. Her opening remarks will focus on the industry’s need for immediate access to liquidity, access to programs already announced, and the need for a comprehensive recovery plan. 
  • The Government of Canada further expanded the wage subsidy program (CEWS) today, as well as new funding to support hiring students during the summer through the Canada Summer Jobs program. Further details can be found in the Government Announcements update below. 
  • Tourism Vancouver Island announced yesterday that they will support nearly 3,500 tourism businesses on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through the launch of the Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program. TIAC applauds these efforts, and the innovative ideas to support the resiliency of Canadian tourism businesses. 
    • An introductory webinar will be hosted Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. PST and participants can sign-up at
  • Member of Parliament for Central Nova, Sean Fraser, has created a COVID-19 benefits tool for Canadians to find out what government support they qualify for –
  • To build on the ongoing feedback we are getting from members through the survey and direct communications, we are also analyzing and segmenting priority topics that help us inform our relief requests and recommendations to Government. As such, we will be reaching out to members that can provide additional input. Please see the survey link below.

Government Announcements

  • Today, the government discussed pending changes to the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy program. The Prime Minister also recognized the barrier to receiving these supports for businesses.
    • The government has relaxed the qualification metrics, with businesses now needing to prove a 15% decline in revenues as opposed to the original 30% and can choose to use January and February as a reference point as opposed to March to show this loss
    • Charities and not for profits can choose to include or exclude any government funding when showcasing loss year over year. 
  • Significant changes were made to the Canada Summer Jobs program to help students. The government will now give a subsidy of up to 100% to cover the cost of hiring students and extend the time for job placement until the winter.
    • Businesses will also be able to hire students on a part-time basis for those that have had to scale back operations.
  • The government is calling on the opposition parties to join and get this legislation passed. Cabinet will be meeting this afternoon to discuss the upcoming reconvening of Parliament
  • The Prime Minister reiterated the importance of following WHO guidelines and social distancing, even more so over the upcoming holiday weekend. 
  • There are now 18,447 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with 401 deaths. 
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