Government Tables Legislation for 'Last Step' of Canada's COVID Support Programs

The federal government has tabled legislation to create a set of new, more selective pandemic programs, in what it says is a more targeted approach to economic recovery for the next - and final - stage of pandemic support. "I see this legislation as very much the last step in our COVID support programs," said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland. According to Freeland, recent positive developments like high vaccination rates and continued economic recovery mean that broad government support is no longer necessary. Ottawa estimates the cost of the new measures at $7.4b for the period of 24OCT 2021 to 07MAY 2022. Among the new supports for workers and businesses includes the tourism and hospitality sector with access to some wage and rent subsidies with rates as high as 75 per cent. The government says businesses such as "hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, and restaurants" will be among those with access to these subsidies. Other businesses experiencing what the government describes as "deep losses" will have access to similar subsidies capped at 50 per cent.

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