July 21, 2020 / 8:16 PM / 24 days ago

Canada legislators approve proposal to expand emergency wage subsidy program

FILE PHOTO: A woman shops in the Eaton Centre shopping mall, as the provincial phase 2 of reopening from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions begins in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 24, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s House of Commons elected chamber on Tuesday voted to approve the expansion of an emergency wage subsidy program so all businesses suffering losses from the coronavirus outbreak will benefit.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau last week said Ottawa would drop a requirement stipulating businesses needed to show a 30% drop in revenue to be eligible.

The upper Senate chamber is set to give its final endorsement later on Tuesday.

Some firms had complained the eligibility rules were too onerous and could prevent them from fully reopening for fear they would lose access to the subsidy. The changes will come into effect in July and will run to Dec 19.

Canada has provided more than C$212 billion ($158 billion) in direct COVID-19 aid for those hit by the outbreak and nearly 14% of gross domestic product in total support.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Tom Brown

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