Dear neighbours,

This past Saturday, April 11, Parliament reconvened once again to pass legislation to introduce additional flexibilities to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). On the same day, our government passed Bill C-14the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2 and it received Royal Assent, bringing this measure into law. I again offered to return to Parliament on behalf of our community of Parkdale—High Park to help move forward these critical changes to the CEWS, but only a limited number of MPs closest to the Ottawa region were called upon.

For more information about the updates to the CEWS and what happened in Parliament this past weekend, please see the following resources:

I will continue to provide you with updates about the CEWS, including the application process, and other supports for businesses as new information becomes available.

Watch the Prime Minister’s speech in the House of Commons from this past Saturday about our government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and support for Canadians here.

Last week we announced enhancements to the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program to support employers and youth and adjusted the delivery of the program to better support our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are an employer in Parkdale—High Park that did not apply for Canada Summer Jobs, but you are an essential service or you plan to run a program or initiative in response to COVID-19, please CONTACT MY OFFICE ASAP. Organizations that did not apply earlier this year but could benefit from the changes to CSJ in response to COVID-19 now have a limited window to apply to the program. Interested employers must contact my office for more details.
We had already earmarked $263 million in funding for the program, but we have now made changes to CSJ to support our government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

These critical changes include:

1) Increasing the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can receive up to 100% of the provincial minimum hourly wage for each employee.

  • Previously, private and public sector employers were only eligible to receive up to 50% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage.

2) Extending the end date for employment to February 28, 2021.

  • All funded employers may offer job placements between May 11, 2020 and February 28, 2021.
  • Employers can offer part-time employment to youth who want to work during the academic year.
  • Previously, all CSJ-funded positions had to be completed no later than August 28, 2020.

3) Allowing employers to adapt projects and job activities to support essential services.

4) Allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis.

  • Previously, all CSJ-funded employment had to be full-time at a minimum of 30 hours per week for at least 6 weeks.
With these enhancements, our government believes CSJ can play an important role in supporting employers and young workers during this unprecedented situation. It is our top priority to keep youth and employers safe while participating in CSJ.

Examples of workplaces and/or programs that respond to the COVID-19 pandemic could include:

  • Supporting community programming: This could include jobs with small businesses or organizations that are using digital tools for preparation and delivery of programming, such as youth education and recreation activities, or community support services such as telehealth and online health services.
  • Supporting Canada’s food security: This may include jobs at local co-ops, food distribution centres, and more that play a critical role in Canada’s food security.
  • Filling temporary vacancies due to COVID-19: This could include clerical or administrative positions in small businesses or not-for-profits where some staff are staying home with children and/or avoiding the workplace due to other COVID-19 related issues.
  • Supporting vulnerable populations: This may include local activities to support populations facing new vulnerabilities under COVID-19, such as seniors or persons with disabilities.

Find a list of COVID-19 resources on my website here.

You can find the most up-to-date information on the official Government of Canada website at Canada.ca.

Here are the official online resources for COVID-19 information from each level of government:

For additional COVID-19 questions not answered on the federal website or its FAQ section, please contact:

Learn more about Canada’s response to COVID-19 here.

Rest assured, as information becomes available, I will continue to provide you with regular updates.

Arif Virani, MP
Parkdale—High Park