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Federal parties tap wage subsidy program to avoid layoffs as donations dry up

Last Updated May 22, 2020 at 4:24 pm EDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau steps out of Rideau Cottage as he makes his way to a news conference in Ottawa, Friday May 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — Federal political parties are tapping into the emergency wage subsidy program to avoid laying off their staff as donations dry up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Liberal and Conservative parties have both been approved to receive the 75 per cent wage subsidy.

The NDP and Greens have both applied but have not yet been approved.

The Bloc Quebecois says it has not applied for and does not need the subsidy.

Under the $73-billion program, the federal government will cover 75 per cent of wages — up to $847 per week, per employee — for eligible companies and organizations.

The program was initially intended to apply to payrolls between March 15 and June 6 but has now been extended to the end of August.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2020.

The Canadian Press