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Senate meets to vote on bill on wage subsidy, disability payments for COVID-19

Last Updated Jul 27, 2020 at 1:16 pm EDT

The Senate of Canada building and Senate Chamber are pictured in Ottawa on Feb. 18, 2019. CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Summary

The package passed by the House of Commons last week also includes one-time payments for people with disabilities


Wage-subsidy program extension is the core of the feds' plan to help the economy back into shape through the fall


The Senate is meeting Monday to vote on extending the federal government’s emergency wage subsidy for employers hit hard by COVID-19.

The package passed by the House of Commons last week also includes one-time payments for people with disabilities facing higher expenses, and extensions to legal deadlines for some court matters that the pandemic has made hard or impossible to meet.

The extension to the wage-subsidy program is the core of the Liberal government’s plan to help the economy back into shape through the fall, assisting employers with labour costs so they can operate even if business is slow.

The bill would increase the maximum support available to the hardest-hit employers, but start scaling back subsidies until ending them in December.

The special sitting is also a chance for Conservatives and other senators critical of the Liberal government to criticize its handling of the months-long crisis.

That especially includes the aborted decision to hand management of a student-volunteering program to the WE organization.