It’s a new year, and I hope you are staying healthy. I am thinking of how you are coping at this stage of the pandemic. We did not expect to start the year with a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, and as a result (yet again) we have gone through more school closures and restrictions. It’s been very tough for businesses, for workers, for parents and kids, for students and beyond. Check in with your loved ones and seek help if you need it. There are great organizations in Ottawa Centre that can offer support and assistance.
I want you to know that there is hope. The best way to prevent further lockdowns and keep the economy growing is by finishing the job on vaccines. That is why we put in place mandatory vaccine requirements for federally regulated workplaces and for people wanting to travel on a train or plane. If you haven’t yet, please book your first, second or booster shots, and get vaccinated.
Leading up to the holidays, our federal government took swift action and passed critical legislation to provide financial support to Canadians and businesses impacted by the pandemic, so that no Canadian is left without support when they need it most.
The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit, providing $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly impacted by a COVID-19-related public health lockdown in their region up until May 7, 2022. Eligible workers can apply to receive this support retroactively from October 24, 2021.
The Local Lockdown Program, providing businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns up to the maximum amount available through the wage and rent subsidy programs.
Extending the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit until May 7, 2022 and increasing the maximum duration of benefits by two weeks. This extends the caregiving benefit from 42 to 44 weeks and the sickness benefit from four to six weeks.
The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, providing support through wage and rent subsidies to, for example, hotels, tour operators, travel agencies and restaurants, with a subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent.
The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, providing support through wage and rent subsidies to other businesses that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 per cent.
Extending the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7, 2022, for eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10 per cent and increasing the subsidy rate to 50 per cent. This extension will help businesses continue to hire back workers, increase hours, and create the additional jobs Canada needs for a robust recovery.
Extending the Canada Emergency Businesses Account (CEBA) and Regional Relief and Recovery Fund repayment deadlines to the end of 2023 for eligible businesses.
You can find more details on all these programs at www.canada.ca/coronavirus, and please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 613-946-8682 or email us at Yasir.Naqvi@parl.gc.ca if you have any questions. We will get through this, Ottawa.