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Trudeau promises 'relaxed' standards for wage subsidy

Last Updated Apr 8, 2020 at 10:08 am MDT

Parliament Hill is seen without any visitors in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal wage-subsidy program for employers hit by COVID-19 will have looser standards than previously announced.

Rather than having to show a 30-per-cent decline in revenues, he says they can show a 15-per-cent decline in March, and can compare their revenues to previous months rather than the previous year.

Charities can also choose whether to include revenues from governments in their calculations when they apply.

He says businesses need to survive and workers need to get paid if the economy is to “come roaring back after this crisis.”

Trudeau also announced the federal government will cover 100 per cent of wages for students hired under the Canada Summer Jobs Program.

He says he hopes this will encourage businesses to hire students to allow them to get the work experience they need and earn incomes during the downturn.