Federal government pledges more support for venues and live music workers
Today, the federal government announced it will temporarily expand eligibility for key support programs to ensure Canadians are protected and workers and businesses get the help they need to sustain them through new and necessary public health restrictions.
Using regulatory authority provided in Bill C-2, the government intends to introduce new regulations that would:
- Expand the Local Lockdown Program to include employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more; and reduce the current-month revenue decline threshold requirement to 25 per cent. Eligible employers will receive wage and rent subsidies from 25 per cent up to a maximum of 75 per cent, depending on their degree of revenue loss. The 12-month revenue decline test continues to not be required in order to access this support.
- Expand the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to include workers in regions where provincial or territorial governments have introduced capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more. As announced previously, this benefit will provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly affected by a COVID-19-related public health lockdown, and who have lost 50 per cent or more of their income as a result.
These updated regulations will apply from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022, during which time it is expected that public health authorities will continue to implement “circuit-breaker” restrictions that limit the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 across Canada.
More details on the expansion of these support measures are available in the backgrounder associated with today’s announcement, where the Prime Minister specifically singled out “…hardest hit sectors like arts and culture.”
Following the announcement, Canadian Live Music Association president, Erin Benjamin reminded CLMA members by email about the support for live music workers also pledged as part of December 14th’s Fall Economic Statement. “I know that (Canadian) Heritage is working on the details, but I don’t know what the details are,” added Benjamin.