Federal wage subsidy to be extended to December, Trudeau says

CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDY

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is extending its program to subsidize wages in companies hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic until December.

The program is the heart of the government's promise to help Canadians get back to work, even if has to be at a slower pace, as the pandemic wanes.

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 reshape the eligibility rules for the program that critics have said acts a barrier to receiving the aid.

The wage subsidy program covers 75 per cent of wages, up to a weekly maximum of $847, for eligible companies and non-profits.