Trudeau’s daily coronavirus update: Employers will see wage subsidy payments starting May 7

In his April 27 briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic, the PM reminded everyone that they can’t keep both the wage subsidy and the CERB, and said the feds are working with provinces and territories on guidelines to reopening the economy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Saturday, April 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on April 25, 2020. (Justin Tang/CP)

Hello everyone. From coast to coast to coast, there are Canadians working long hours to keep each other safe and keep our country moving. But for everyone putting in an extra shift right now, there’s someone else who wants to work but can’t. Maybe you’ve been laid off because of the pandemic. Maybe you still have a job, but aren’t sure if your employer is going to keep you around next month. Whatever your situation may be, we’re in your corner.

Earlier this month, we introduced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to help protect your job or help you get back to work. And as of this morning, applications for this program have opened. Employers can now submit a claim for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency. To access the 75 per cent wage subsidy for your employees, go online through to reach this portal. Whether you’re a charity that employs 200 people or a fast-growing startup that employs just 20, you will be eligible to up to $847 per week per employee.

And you can expect to see this money soon. The CRA has partnered with financial institutions, so make sure you register for direct deposit to get your money quickly. The first payments should begin to arrive on May the 7th. For organizations like Focus on Nature who sent me a letter last week, that’s huge. Because of COVID-19. This charity from Guelph would have been forced to lay off all of their staff. But thanks to the wage subsidy, they can now keep their employees on the payroll and keep teaching kids about nature.


And there are so many more stories just like this one. There have been over 300,000 views of the online calculator we launched last week to help businesses prepare a claim. And since the portal opened at 6 a.m. this morning, almost 10,000 businesses have already applied for it. That gives you a sense of just how many people this program will help.

Right across the country, it’s going to keep businesses and workers connected, and that gives people certainty that they’ll have a job now and in the months to come to support themselves and their family. And it means employers will not just have the help to stay afloat through the tough time, but they’ll be ready to gear back up when things get better. We all know a local salon or a gym that’s had to close, a neighbourhood, restaurant or shop that’s really struggling. And more importantly, we all know people who work there. They deserve a hand to get through this. And that’s what the wage subsidy is for.

People are facing different challenges right now and no single program can reach everyone. So we’re coming at this from every angle. If your employer can’t hire you back, if you’re a seasonal worker, if you can’t find a job right now, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit is there for you. You’ve probably already received your first cheque. And if you need the help again for the coming month, go online and reconfirm that you’re still eligible.

I want to remind everyone you won’t be able to keep both the wage subsidy and the CERB. It’s one or the other, not both. If you’re a student, there’s support for you, too.

Right now we’re working with the other parties on legislation to get this help flowing. Parliament will have its first virtual sitting tomorrow and an in-person sitting on Wednesday. And if you’re an essential worker, you deserve to be paid properly for your incredible work. Our government is doing its part to make that happen.

Ontario came out with a plan over the weekend and we’re working with them to provide the support they need to deliver results. And we’re currently in discussion with all the other provinces and territories to get their plans for central workers in place.

I’ll have more updates for across the country in the coming days. As I said, Saturday, we’re also collaborating on shared guidelines for reopening the economy once the time comes. Different provinces and territories will be able to move at a different pace. But we need clear, coordinated efforts from coast to coast to coast. And no matter where you live, you need to continue following the recommendations from public health officials that will keep everyone safe.

[translated from French] We are also working with the provinces and territories with their view to gradually reopening the economy. Every province and every territory has a different reality. But we must work together to ensure the safety of all Canadians. We are all very anxious to return to a normal life, but we have to do that right. Otherwise, we risk losing all the progress we’ve made thus far.

So, you know what to do. Stay home, continue to wash your hands frequently and if you have to go out, keep a two-metre distance from you and others. Every day, we get closer to the time when all of this will be behind us. We get closer to the time when we can all celebrate together, but we are not there yet. Let’s persevere together, friends. Thank you.