Parliament of Canada

A bill to extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has passed all three readings in the Senate and received Royal Assent.

This means that the federal government’s 75 per cent emergency wage subsidy for businesses that have experienced a loss in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been officially extended until November 21, 2020.

The Act also gives the federal government the option of further extending the benefit to December 31, 2020 if needed.

The bill that allows this extension, Bill C-20, amends the Income Tax Act, revising eligibility criteria for the CEWS and thereby allowing for this extension.

Another amendment allows government to access the information necessary to provide a one-time payment to people with disabilities to cover costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A third section of the Bill uses the Time Limits and Other Periods Act (COVID-19) to suspend or extend certain time limits established by parliament for things like court proceedings, allowing for extensions of up to six months.

The CEWS was originally slated to run until June 6th, but was extended until the end of August, and will now run well into the winter.

All small and medium-sized businesses whose revenue has decreased by 30 per cent or more because of the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for the 75 per cent wage subsidy.

Through it, the government covers up to 75 per cent of employee salaries on the first $58,700.