OTTAWA — Facing a big drop in donations in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal NDP has utilized for the Trudeau authorities’s wage subsidy so as to maintain the party’s employees employed.
The National Post has confirmed data first revealed on Friday afternoon by Karl Bélanger, a former NDP nationwide director and now advisor and radio columnist for Gatineau’s 104.7 FM.
“I’m not sure I would have made the same decision, but at the same time, I understand why they’re making it. If they are indeed facing the situation where they would have to layoff employees, then their own workers shouldn’t be excluded because of who they work for,” Bélanger later stated in an interview with the National Post.
“But politically, it sends the message that you are still in financial trouble,” he added.
He was referring to the truth that the party has been in troubled water financially in the previous few years. In 2018, the party took out a $12 million mortgage on the Jack Layton constructing, its nationwide headquarters in downtown Ottawa.
At the tip of the autumn 2019 election, the party had $7 million in debt. At the time, it promised to pay off all loans by the tip of 2020.
If the NDP’s utility is permitted by the Canada Revenue Agency, the cash from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will serve to pay the party’s roughly 35 full and part-time staff, and never MPs and their political employees. The latter are paid by means of an impartial finances from the House of Commons.
According to sources, members of the NDP’s caucus had been suggested two weeks in the past that the party was critically contemplating making use of for this system.
But questions stay as to whether or not the party is even eligible for CEWS.
Opened on April 27, the CEWS covers 75 per cent of eligible employers’ payrolls — up to a weekly most of $847 per worker — for up to 12 weeks, beginning March 15.
To be eligible, a corporation’s income will need to have dropped by a minimum of 30 per cent in a single month for the reason that starting of the COVID-19 pandemic. Private companies in addition to most non-profits are eligible. The NDP as a party falls below the latter class.
But CEWS doesn’t apply to “public institutions,” corresponding to colleges, universities and hospitals, that are primarily funded by means of taxpayers’ cash. Eligible political events are largely funded by means of donations, but additionally obtain cash from the federal government within the type of election expense refunds, for instance.
“If they are considered non-profits, then they will meet the criteria set out by the government. Some could argue that they are more of a public institution, but fiscally, political parties are considered non-profits,” the NDP’s former nationwide director analyzed.
More to come.