Trudeau’s daily coronavirus update: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy extended to August [Full transcript]

In his May 15 briefing to Canadians, the Prime Minister announced $450 million for researchers and research institutions, as well as an extension to the wage subsidy and a promise to fine-tune the program

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks to the podium for a daily briefing outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Thursday, May 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks to the podium for a daily briefing outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Thursday, May 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a daily update on the coronavirus crisis each day in front of his home in Ottawa. Here are his remarks for May 15, 2020.

Bonjour tout le monde.

No matter who you are, the last few months will have changed your daily routine in ways big and small. Canadians in every sector have faced challenges and tough choices at work — and that includes people at research institutes who are making the discoveries that keep us safe and healthy. Science and research is our door to a brighter future, and that has never been clearer. But because of the pandemic, many labs have closed, or are at risk of imminently closing. So understandably, people are worried about their jobs, and their future. So today we are announcing $450 million to help researchers and research institutions bridge to better times. For universities and affiliated research institutes that have been affected by this pandemic, we will provide temporary support on wages. By delivering this money through federal granting agencies, we will get help out as quickly as possible to the people who need it.

Far too many Canadians have lost their jobs because of COVID-19. As our economy gradually reopens, wherever we can do so safely, we need you back. We need you in your job, on your team, bringing life into our communities and our economy. That’s exactly why we brought in the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy back in March. Because wherever possible, we wanted to keep you connected to the job you love, and to the workplace where you can contribute, every day. When we launched this program, I talked about the neighbourhood spots it would support — the local restaurant, the salon, the gym that had been forced to close, or had seen business dry up. Well today, a lot of those places are looking towards reopening, and they need to be able to bring back workers — and even hire more as this happens. So this morning, I can confirm that we will extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by another three months to the end of August. Business owners, please take confidence from this announcement. You now have some runway to catch your breath as you get restarted. So please, bring back your employees.

Going forward, we need to make sure that this program keeps working for people. That it keeps encouraging employers to rehire staff, and even expand where possible. So over the next month, we’ll work with business and labour stakeholders on any adjustments that might be needed. One of the things we’ll be looking at is the 30 percent revenue decline threshold for eligibility. As businesses start up, needing a decline shouldn’t be a barrier to growth. I know we’ll figure out solutions where needed, while continuing to support employers and employees because that’s who this is all about. If you’re a business owner, if you’re a worker, we’re here for you — now, and throughout the summer. At the same time, we’ve also broadened eligibility for this benefit. Minister Morneau will have more details shortly, but these changes will get even more people back on the job. So to business owners who haven’t applied yet, go online and do so. The help is there for you.

Today kicks off this year’s hiring period for Canada’s summer jobs. The first set of job postings are up on the job bank website, and thousands more will be posted over the coming weeks. If you’re a student or recent grad, go to, or download the job bank app to check it out. And tell your friends about it too if they don’t already know, there are lots of opportunities available. These placements mean a paycheque and valuable experience in jobs that are key to our fight against COVID-19. Of course, no one program can single-handedly solve the fact that there are fewer jobs out there because of the pandemic. So, for students and recent grads who still need help, starting today, you can apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. Go to to sign up.

For parents who receive the Canada Child Benefit, and people who get the GST/HST credit, we also have more news to share today. Although everyone should do their best to file their taxes in time for the new June 1st deadline, your benefits won’t automatically be cut off if for some reason you miss that date. Your CCB and GST/HST benefits will continue until the end of September. But be sure, in order to keep getting them, you need to file your taxes as soon as you can so there’s enough time for the paperwork to be processed and you’ll be able to continue receiving those benefits beyond September.

[speaking in French] People are going through difficult times. But by working together, and by staying there and supporting each other, we’ll make it.

Thank you very much.