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Liberal, Conservative, New Democratic parties claim COVID-19 federal wage subsidy to pay their workers

Liberal, Conservative, New Democratic parties claim COVID-19 federal wage subsidy to pay their workers

OTTAWA – Facing a big drop in donations through the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal Liberal, Conservatives and New Democratic parties have all utilized for the Trudeau authorities’s wage subsidy.

The data first started trickling out publicly on Friday afternoon when Karl Bélanger, former NDP nationwide director and now marketing consultant and radio columnist for Gatineau’s 104.7 FM, revealed that his former celebration had utilized for the subsidy.

“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.

When later approached by media, the Liberal Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada additionally confirmed that that they had additionally utilized for — and obtained — cash from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

Only the Bloc Québécois stated it had not utilized for the federal program, nor did it plan on it sooner or later.

Launched 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 company’s income will need to have dropped by a minimum of 30 per cent in a single month because the starting of the COVID-19 pandemic. Private companies in addition to most non-profits are eligible. Political parties are the latter.

All 4 federal parties stated that the cancellation of in-person funding occasions and a drop in donations as hundreds of thousands of Canadians misplaced their jobs led to a big fall in income over the previous two months.

“As an organization, we rely heavily on the donations of individuals, especially for our day-to-day operations which are 100% funded by our donors,” Conservative spokesman Cory Hann defined. The celebration employs about 60 folks each full and half time.

“We understand that many Canadians are not able to give at the moment, which is why we’ve been taking a different approach on donation asks and operations that take that into account,” he continued, including that distant work has additionally led to “unexpected expenses.”

“The health and safety of Canadians is always our top priority, and all in-person fundraising events were paused as of early March,” Liberal Party spokesperson Braeden Caley wrote in an announcement. “The Liberal Party of Canada has met the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy in recent weeks and received that support.”

“Support was definitely staying strong following the election and into this year. And then in March, when the pandemic was declared and everything kind of shut down, we saw a drop in our numbers in March, and then a more significant drop in April. We anticipate the same for May and for the next little while,” NDP National Director Anne McGrath defined in an interview.

Her celebration was the one one which accepted to element how a lot its income had dropped because the starting of the pandemic.

According to McGrath, the celebration collected roughly $297,000 in March 2020, in contrast to $375,000 in the identical month final 12 months.

The lower was even steeper in April, when the celebration registered $275,000 in donations, in contrast to $400,000 on the similar time final 12 months.

“I wouldn’t identify it as drastic, but it is significant enough,” McGrath stated. “We want to maintain our staffing levels and not layoff people. Many of the people on our staff are single parents, students and people who are new Canadians.”

If the NDP’s utility is accredited by the Canada Revenue Agency (it must be), the cash will serve to pay the celebration’s roughly 35 full and part-time workers.

As is the case for all political parties, MPs’ and their political workers’s wage should not eligible to be coated by CEWS, since they don’t seem to be employed by their celebration. They are paid by means of an unbiased price range from the House of Commons.

“The program is there to prevent layoffs, right? And everybody is experiencing a downturn in their in their revenues. And so I think it makes sense (for political parties to apply). From my point of view, it’s the responsible thing to do,” McGrath added.

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