Bill C-2 prolongs pandemic relief for hardest hit businesses
The Canadian Live Music Association was among the first to break the news. On December 16, the Senate approved Bill C-2 following a appeal by Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, to pass the bill extending support to businesses and individuals hardest hit by COVID-19.
The approval couldn’t have come at a better time for Ontario businesses, including live music venues and their workers, who face an uncertain holiday season following new restrictions imposed by the province, and the threat of the Omicron variant looming large.
Bill C-2 includes the extension of subsidies under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), and the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7, 2022.
“Obviously many details to be sorted, but at its core, this bill will be a lifeline,” remarked Erin Benjamin, President of the Canadian Live Music Association in an email to members. “It is not a complete catch-all, but on the heels of the last 24 hours, it’s a definite bright spot.”