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Trudeau confirms date for $2K-a-month benefit launch, warns businesses not to cheat on subsidies

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned again of “severe consequences” for businesses who try to cheat the new wage subsidy system introduced amid the COVID-19 crisis.

He also implored businesses that can to pay the remaining 25% of salaries that are not covered by the new program.

It subsidizes 75% of employees’ wages, up to $58,700 per worker.

That will amount to as much as $847 a week per employee.

<who> Photo credit: Contributed

Businesses, regardless of size, whose revenues have decreased by at least 30% because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are eligible for the subsidy, which is to be backdated to March 15.

Trudeau also said that the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – which will pay people unable to work due to COVID-19 $2,000 a month – will be open for applications on April 6.

If you have not already applied for EI, you can apply online at that point, the prime minister said.

But those receiving the wage subsidy will not be eligible to apply.

The benefit will be paid either by post or through a bank account, Trudeau added.

Once a month, those on the CERB must tell the government whether they have found a job.

Trudeau also said precautions have been taken to ensure the system is not overwhelmed by applications.

More on the scheme, including eligibility, will be revealed later today.

He also said he has reached out to other parties about bringing back Parliament.

“This must be a Team Canada effort,” Trudeau explained.

Earlier today, the deputy minister of Health Canada said the COVID−19 pandemic will likely lead to shortages of drugs and medical devices that treat other conditions.

A lack of medications to fill ordinary prescriptions is an ongoing issue in Canada, but deputy health minister Stephen Lucas, the federal department’s top public servant, said COVID−19 is worsening the problem.

In a House of Commons health committee meeting on Tuesday, Lucas explained the pandemic has had an impact on global supply chains.

He said there is a dedicated government team trying to predict which drugs will be affected and respond accordingly.

The Canadian Pharmacists Association has encouraged its members to limit patients to 30−day supplies of their prescriptions.

– With files from the Canadian Press
Health Canada has also warned Canadians not to stockpile drugs in an effort to avoid unnecessary shortages.

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