Feds extend wage subsidy to end of August

CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDY

The federal government is urging companies to rehire laid off staff after announcing its COVID-19 emergency wage subsidy is being extended to the end of August.

The announcement comes with take-up for the 73-billion-dollar Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy below federal expectations as the program was set to expire in early June.

Less than four-billion dollars in benefits have been paid out to date for 1.7-million workers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also changing a threshold of at least a 30 per cent drop in revenue to qualify for the program -- saying he doesn't want companies holding back on growth to keep getting wage subsidies as the economy re-opens.