Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be extended beyond June. He also commented on the Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey released this morning, which reported two million jobs lost in April – bringing the total jobs lost in Canada since the COVID-19 shutdown to three million. Trudeau noted that the numbers confirm what was already apparent, and that his government will continue to focus on programs to provide aid to those out of work.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be extended beyond June, with more details to be announced next week. Trudeau said that “Canadians want to work” and urged employers to use the subsidy to keep employees on the payroll or re-hire them.
Industry Strategy Council
The Prime Minister also announced that Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains will be leading a new Industry Strategy Council, which will “will take a deeper dive into how the pandemic is affecting specific sectors and how to best support them.” More details are expected in the near future.
Details Coming on Art, Culture and Amateur Athlete Aid
Trudeau teed-up Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault to provide more details today about how the government’s $500 million package to support art, culture and amateur sports is being rolled out. The Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations was announced in April and is being administered by Canadian Heritage and its partners.
Essential Worker Pay Top-Up Agreement Finalized
The Prime Minister announced that an agreement has been reached between the federal government and with all provinces and territories, with the federal government covering 75 percent of the cost of the program, or $3 billion, and the provinces and territories covering the remaining $1 billion.
Trudeau noted that it is up to each province and territory to determine which professions will qualify for the top-up, but said “the bottom line is this…if you’re risking your health to keep this country moving and you’re still making minimum wage, you deserve a raise.”
You can read the official news release here.
Canadian Armed Forces Update
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) sent out a news release this morning updating the country on the work they are doing in long-term care facilities and in remote communities across the country.
Approximately 1,350 CAF members will be deployed in 25 facilities across Quebec, with many of them located in and around Montreal. In Ontario, 265 CAF members are providing assistance in five facilities while over 1,200 Canadian Rangers have been deployed in remote areas in Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
You can read the Canadian Armed Force’s news release here.
$77M to Support Food Processors
The government will be allocating more than $77 million to Canadian food processors to help them purchase personal protective equipment and adapt to new health and safety protocols going forward.
$125M for Cattle and Hog Producers
Trudeau announced the creation of the National Agri-Recovery Initiative, which will provide $125 million for beef and pork producers who are keeping livestock on their farms longer than usual.
$50M Surplus Food Purchase Program
The government will also spend $50 million to buy and redistribute surplus food from growers and farmers, such as poultry and potatoes, and provide it to organizations addressing food insecurity such as Food Banks Canada.
City of Calgary
Calgary Transit Layoffs 430, Service Reduction: City Manager Duckworth announced 430 layoffs within Calgary Transit (CT) today. The City has laid off 15% of our workforce (1800) since start of the Pandemic. CT will reduce frequency of routes by 30% & stop 20 routes on May 25. CT will monitor the situation. Ridership down 90% but still have ridership of 100,000.
Enforcement: Certain areas continue to have issues with large crowds. The City encourages citizens to avoid these parks and visit others: · Sue Higgins Park · Nose Hill Park · Eau Clair Promenade · Princes Island Park Please maintain physical distancing. Crackdown on unlicensed business selling masks & hand sanitizer at price-gouging prices: Fine $1000.
Preparing for Flooding: Gates across Glenmore Reservoir are complete, reservoir has been lowered. Preparations & supplies ready for possible spring flooding. Visit calgary.ca/floodinfo for resources including links to the Alberta Environment and Park’s river basin website or their downloadable app to find out current river flows, forecasts and advisories.
Illegal Dumping: Mayor was asked about a surge of illegal dumping in Rockyview and Foothills over the last two weeks. Mayor pointed out the fines for being caught far exceed the fee to the Landfill. We need to change the culture and he recommended citizens exercise caution when hiring waste removal companies to haul away waste and ask for a receipt from the Landfill before giving full payment.