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What happened to the wage subsidies the government gave to businesses?

Website for application of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program. CITYNEWS

In today’s Big Story podcast, thousands of small businesses used the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to keep afloat and avoid laying off their staff. But they weren’t the only type of business to qualify for and receive the CEWS. Among some of the companies that took government money are companies that bounced back after a bad month, companies who fared well during the pandemic and publicly-traded companies who were even able to payout dividends to shareholders in the same year they accessed this emergency funding.

All these companies qualified, so they can’t be blamed for taking the funds. Should the policy have been clearer? Should the amounts and recipients be public? What could have been done to make this program more targeted and efficient?

GUEST: Patrick Brethour, Tax and Fiscal Policy Reporter, The Globe and Mail

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