GATINEAU – The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, issued the following statement today following the release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey:
“Since the start of the pandemic, the federal government has moved quickly to support Canadians and the Canadian economy.
“Government action has already helped Canadians stay safe and buffered the worst economic impacts. Programs like the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Business Account were put in place to protect jobs through this crisis. The wage subsidy has protected over 4 million Canadian jobs to date and recent data shows that small businesses and not-for-profits receiving the Canada Emergency Business Account have used nearly a third of those funds to keep workers on payroll. In addition, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit supported close to 9 million Canadian workers at a time of great difficulty and uncertainty.
“Unprecedented federal support helped ensure that nearly 80% of the jobs lost at the start of this crisis had been recouped by the fall. Our programs have worked to keep Canadians connected to their jobs. But we know many Canadians continue to face unemployment or significantly reduced hours through no fault of their own, particularly as provinces and territories adjust public health restrictions and make difficult but necessary decisions on lockdown measures to control the virus.
“To continue supporting workers and businesses, we have increased the maximum base wage subsidy rate to 75%, expanded the Canada Emergency Business Account, and launched the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support for businesses, among many other measures. We have also transitioned workers who still need income support to a more flexible Employment Insurance program and created three new benefits for workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance, including: the Canada Recovery Benefit, the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit. Our government is committed to creating a million jobs, restoring employment to pre-pandemic levels, making the largest training investment in Canadian history, and creating opportunities for young people.
“The coming months will be difficult, and that’s why we are unwavering in our commitment to support workers and businesses through this crisis for as long as it lasts, whatever it takes. Effectively dealing with the health crisis is the best thing we can do for the economy. We will continue to be there for Canadians, to keep them safe, to prevent economic scarring, and to invest in a strong economic recovery once the virus is defeated.”