Minister of Finance Dashes Hopes of CEBA Deadline Extension

Chrystia Freeland
Chrystia Freeland, Finance Minister

Even as ACTA and other travel industry stakeholders ramp up a last-ditch effort to get Ottawa to provide relief on pandemic-era loans, Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland appears to indicate Ottawa will stand firm on end-of-year repayment deadlines.

When asked by the Ottawa Business Journal, a spokesperson gave little hope the government's deadlines will change.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the federal government acted swiftly to provide emergency support and ensure that Canadians and Canadian businesses could weather the storm. The (Canada Emergency Business Account) programme, which delivered over $49 billion to more than 890,000 small businesses and non-profits across the country, was an essential part of that effort,” said the minister's spokesperson's statement.

“To continue helping those hardest-hit by the pandemic, we announced that the CEBA repayment deadline was extended by one year to Dec. 31, 2023. This programme was central to ensuring Canadian small businesses were able to not only survive the pandemic but thrive in the recovery.”

Earlier this summer, ACTA released results of a survey of travel businesses showing that many still fear for their own survival, and doubt their ability to repay government loans on time. On 30AUG, the organization announced the launch of a campaign to urge Ottawa to provide debt relief.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is echoing the travel industry's position. It's also been urging Ottawa to extend repayment deadlines by at least another year.

“It’s a difficult situation,” the CFIB's vice-president of national affairs Jasmin Guenette said. “A huge number of businesses have a huge amount of debt because of the pandemic.

“On the one hand, you have businesses making less sales, on the other, you have them in debt and, on top of that, inflation, interest rates going up, salary expenses going up. You have a recipe for disaster almost,” she continued.

“The right policy is for the government to extend the CEBA deadline to provide more time for businesses to repay and to really get back on two feet following the pandemic.”

However, the CFIB says, “We have not heard anything” from the minister.

Lynn Elmhirst


With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

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