Liberals introduce new targeted pandemic aid bill for businesses, workers

Parliament 2

The Trudeau Liberals have outlined their latest aid package for an economy recovering from COVID-19.
     
They're proposing targeted support to severely affected businesses, locked-down workers, and extra weeks of benefits that expired just days ago.
     
The legislation introduced in the House of Commons today is one of four bills the government wants MPs to pass before the middle of December ahead of a scheduled winter break.
     
The Liberals are proposing to send $300 per week to workers who find themselves off the job because of a ``COVID-19-related public health lockdown in their region'' between now and spring of 2022.
     
Those payments would be retroactive to Oct. 24 when the Liberals let a pandemic-era benefit for the unemployed expire.
     
The Canada Recovery Benefit's sickness and caregiver benefits would each get revived after expiring this past weekend with two more weeks of eligibility until May 7th.
     
Wage and rent subsidies for businesses would be more generous and  targeted over that same period to still-hurting tourism, culture and hospitality sectors, as well as a long list of establishments like movie theatres, arcades, casinos and gyms.
     
All would need to prove a deep and prolonged revenue loss to qualify.
     
Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, praises the extended list of eligible companies but says the high bar for revenue losses would leave out too many small businesses.