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Temporary Support for Businesses & Workers Impacted By COVID Restrictions


  • By Cory Crossman


ShArE


Temporary Support for Businesses & Workers Impacted By COVID Restrictions

A note from the Canadian Live Music Association. The federal government announced it will temporarily expand eligibility for key support programs to ensure Canadians are protected and workers and businesses get the help they need to sustain them through new and necessary public health restrictions.

Using regulatory authority provided in Bill C-2, the government intends to introduce new regulations that would:

  • Expand the Local Lockdown Program to include employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more; and reduce the current-month revenue decline threshold requirement to 25 per cent. Eligible employers will receive wage and rent subsidies from 25 per cent up to a maximum of 75 per cent, depending on their degree of revenue loss. The 12-month revenue decline test continues to not be required in order to access this support.
  • Expand the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to include workers in regions where provincial or territorial governments have introduced capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more. As announced previously, this benefit will provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly affected by a COVID-19-related public health lockdown, and who have lost 50 per cent or more of their income as a result.

These updated regulations will apply from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022, during which time it is expected that public health authorities will continue to implement “circuit-breaker” restrictions that limit the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 across Canada.

More details on the expansion of these support measures are available in the backgrounder associated with today’s announcement, where btw the Prime Minister specifically singled out “hardest hit sectors like arts and culture”.

I will also take this moment to remind us all that the following was also announced through the Fall Economic Statement on Dec. 14th regarding ‘workers in the live performance sector’ and I know that Heritage is working on the details, but I don’t know what the details are.

Support for Workers in the Live Performance Sector (page 21)

Restrictions on gatherings and the closure of venues has meant that tens of thousands of workers in the live performance sector continue to face significantly reduced incomes. Despite the gradual easing of public health restrictions across the country, many of these workers continue to face financial hardship. The lag in the sector’s recovery is also due to sector-specific factors like the time it takes to finance, develop, and rehearse the performances these workers rely on for income. The government is committed to ensuring Canada’s recovery includes a vibrant live performance sector.

To support workers in Canada’s live performance industry, the government proposes $60 million in 2022-23 to establish the new Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund. This temporary program will aim to fund new or enhanced sector-led and -delivered initiatives that improve the economic, career, and personal circumstances of individual Canadian workers in the live performance sector. The government will provide Canadian Heritage with $2.3 million to administer the fund.

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