Trudeau to highlight interest-free loans to help small businesses overcome the COVID-19 pandemic

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As Canadian businesses wait for Parliament to approve a $ 73 billion wage subsidy program, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to highlight another measure today that will interfere with some businesses in the meantime.

During his daily briefing on the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, Trudeau is expected to draw attention to Canada’s emergency business account.

As part of this program, the federal government provides interest-free bank loans of up to $ 40,000 to small and not-for-profit businesses that have seen their incomes decline as the economy deteriorated.

Eligible businesses must be able to demonstrate that they paid between $ 50,000 and $ 1 million in payroll last year.

Canada’s banks and credit unions began offering the loans on Thursday. A quarter of each loan will be repayable if the rest are repaid by the end of 2022.

Parliament recalled to vote on wage subsidy program

The loans are intended to give small businesses operational liquidity to stay afloat until other measures come into effect, including the massive wage subsidy program.

The government reminded parliament on Saturday to vote on the legislation necessary to implement the program, under which companies can get a subsidy of 75% on the salary of each employee.

Over the past week, the Liberals have been trying to get unanimous consent before calling Parliament back, to ensure it can be passed in hours, without going through the usual lengthy legislative process. .

But although there is a broad consensus among all parties on the bill itself, negotiations are bogged down on the Conservatives’ insistence that there be regular and in-person sessions of the House municipalities to hold the government to account throughout the health crisis.

Scheer requires regular small sessions

The issue is still unresolved, but the government still decided to move forward with a Saturday session of the Commons. Liberals hope Conservatives, like all other parties, will agree to quickly pass wage subsidy bill and continue separate discussions on longer-term issue of how Parliament should operate during the crisis .

Trudeau said he favors Commons virtual sessions, which would allow more MPs from across the country to participate and keep Commons staff safe.

For Saturday’s sitting, only 32 deputies – mainly within driving distance of the capital and in proportion to the share of seats of each party – must be in the House.

Scheer proposed a similar arrangement for regular sessions four days a week.

To help curb the spread of COVID-19 and in accordance with public health advice that all Canadians should stay at home as much as possible, Parliament has been adjourned since March 13.

He was called back two days ago to deliver the first phase of emergency assistance to Canadians and businesses.

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