Legislation to create jobs and implement targeted COVID-19 support receives Royal Assent

December 17, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, welcomed the Royal Assent in Parliament of Bill C-2. This bill ensures that workers and businesses have the urgent help they need to deal with the impact of the Omicron variant:

  • The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit, providing $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly impacted by a COVID-19-related public health lockdown in their region up until May 7, 2022.
  • The Local Lockdown Program, providing businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns up to the maximum amount available through the wage and rent subsidy programs.
  • Extending the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit until May 7, 2022, and increasing the maximum duration of benefits by 2 weeks. This extends the caregiving benefit from 42 to 44 weeks and the sickness benefit from 4 to 6 weeks. Individuals will be able to apply retroactively back to the week of November 21, 2021. Applications for period 61 will launch on December 20, 2021.
  • The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, providing support through wage and rent subsidies to, for example, hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, and restaurants, with a subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent. The eligible types of businesses are detailed in the legislation and related backgrounder.
  • The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, providing support through wage and rent subsidies to other businesses that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 per cent.
  • Extending the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7, 2022, for eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10 per cent and increasing the subsidy rate to 50 per cent. This extension will help businesses continue to hire back workers, increase hours, and create the additional jobs Canada needs for a robust recovery.

The Royal Assent of Bill C-2 provides certainty to Canadians and Canadian businesses in the face of the Omicron variant. Critical emergency lockdown support will help workers and businesses that are unable to work or do business, should the public health situation necessitate future lockdowns. It also provides essential, targeted support for businesses still deeply affected by the pandemic. The government will continue to help Canadians through the pandemic and ensure Canada’s economic recovery leaves no one behind.

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