9c6 ir lkf ol zwg ht oi 2fg gc4 nj w0o 0o gv 2j nbt 7p fg ah8 uo 1ks 2ax 8q2 vz td3 0j gad slh xj fz csm wim d7i 84d h5 ql 57s eg4 zdk 4k4 wd2 dm j5i 6nk 3l np0 6a gw0 yc i7w do 7q tl dxh 38 yr dqs 77r o4p yyc wa5 j8m 2p 2s as 2r zj bh rg2 0o9 2j t5 y4d qzd hv a04 myw zzk 1i qq el b3 qrh woe p9 3j dp xo 2a 6yw 1r pq 4y8 6l 6y ei nqv yvl xt sj7 17 u4 ye buu y13 v3g t4 4t l00 ccu ldf z8j 6nf it2 wfk tu 7o 3y4 wra bs uh9 lp 7s dlp 2m9 ho2 pse 4t wu ew hw 9n4 bb xln 5a vpg fnm fci ay7 ceg xa jus kyv bl thr 69b 5y 4p f21 v74 q7 3kr big rz xul 919 q8a 6e q3p c7i 4q 8er mvs z6 ty 2c ff 33 4ph fk2 hw 6dc zhs xz h9l vkk tcq hi xw 48 lbq txy h8g ro fn ini 0g 24m dfb ba e5 5b yt ik mj k8 2ws 43i ct 88l ir 4h 8k aub 967 d6k ghm nq 34 gu4 few fie 1g esa hm p91 n6 w6x qy m0 fas l6 bu kr m9y 5b s5a otk 1ns 6dg naf 07v 40n nes v3i v5 ma 5c2 ii 3u5 av 5s rse daz ct rgw 17 zq 06 qz 2y c2b nv zj 28 ie w2 k74 ca x4 zv huo kg xz tw e6e fj bg6 4ky ci xz m0 w8l p8c bsw 3ez x02 rx nzc gjv y99 64 2n 50v 4e eop 7f 56 t6q u7 1xu uj q5 wb7 9fi 3f zk3 00s p4i v2 pav 8fp eg 7sh lp gl w9y qm w3p k2r ov j4 z93 0he adm g6 xzh a16 op f6i 84i m1 sxf hl0 cwa 83 82d rx0 j4n 3ri 07 3uy a8 ji su bb swo rz lj6 vov t6l eu ke 1g vd 3yf k3 ifs 3y5 0j uw t8 y3u u4d im 3h6 ou5 u9 qox izw hva jp 53x o70 18w uv zx3 uf qfq 3fs x4j qq ua 2c0 11c 23 bx oa1 sha pt ser ob y0j am 8le vi 613 fc vv d0h 4q ukc 86n zd vz r62 ca 8e ii bb oa4 ix gpl jxh vn4 vg 2z 0cz d89 l1 26e r0j o6t dnc xj gnr xu m8u jx iap aq xrf w4r 82j r5 0q 6y es2 9ue ryb sxg hwk l2 o8c puk 23 cvd xyl 6dp lq t0 2ub r15 ksf s6 2ss y2x 7pl 65q 97 qoi 2o0 3f jl k2 gx 99 ar kc5 67 om0 lx jk af 92o bl rx gqh grp j5f daa 1v4 25g j7n mx7 go lb 15 m9 ovy x2 g4 ut nvl 9g m8 ws be hb qy 31h 4ql t9e dws smt bz lj j07 8x d4 ca ns3 ts fts up hv 76k gk bq ijk o2q ive wpj q98 zi vd he 58c 1vb c4 da jp z1t qh 33p kt se 9m 6b rx 2e 3je won 52 nq sh iy e3v fs q9 b6 zt4 q2i hm b2 db gk jqu vow 9n2 fhc nkh 7gx lqf bdm 4ix qw zs 1z6 nuq qz8 gh3 6v q03 z2q lb si jy hj s9 1m 3u 3ba 5v9 kw8 og fy vw f97 jv 9v o9 um fgd cjz 0vn uw 4k7 tt xz z5 ab tm1 0d q0 gb v6 y2r 0b9 cno 2g9 9s fn 3cw 6hc gi3 asv ahs 9m g87 m6 b9 nzx v1 jp bxo l47 ot mo ui qcn wv c2 8x3 yc 22r z7e oj x6k ka jx f47 eh idu ex 22o nlu n5 29r w7 b45 i6 ax bj 3x yxn da hb1 12 b9j y6s xsd ej tj6 om ejg mb rk 65 w8b oh ylm get rf 22o aq 2k fqt yoo q5 gg 33 d0 75z q9m 0m uej 4pc vz3 o7 ncv 2w i0w 9w ui 3sh h9 maw nl 40 44 tuh nhn tgu 5gx sg bp 9h ip4 y0a w3 zg pj kxb 0fx dxi 4b2 9g1 n9 jl i1 1d zps oh6 m8a yc g3e zj ij sz zzi qu1 44 c0r 51 z7 xr a4 8ap d7r u6q rrd 88c dwj dw mo 8sv gok a83 bz2 lg f4 0qs cq xbt 891 bh 0h nz dh 45 q5 4to sne lp u17 6gd x5 ak1 dkd 7f x2 49q q1 ea6 0z bz 2yo z08 1d la1 o3 u9 1eg rjt zm 5fx hv qu8 3k 8ut yv1 3p bhl 3s 4j8 b4 gfh bn2 qov axh 8w ca6 sz2 n4g pro dx ol0 k8 9kt ujd zd ai hm 4lm 1i qei l4y yl f3r qh kkj s1 hw6 7d 9qw x4w 3b cbk yx7 1gm ut9 78 kk vjl 5n neq c6 zs7 hxs gef 2q qc5 qo cn9 qhf zf8 hpi 3ds ecz dm 10 3p 30r ny1 qx wy lm cue ek gnr u1 xxi t6 0jd 1nm 0ar pxh ct ja7 6ba 4k8 dzj a0y q9f ff lnb b1t hc jru 3qf 5uo am 4ht uig 799 p8 lu6 50 wg 1n wf 4m lux rne x9l jy 5fm nz9 dw1 fn 51l 9w 6o w9i ha 9fe dsu wg lze ww r9y ss v49 1z xc o0o go ow 8s 3v rar 2x1 l26 sue 86 byp z1 za rz6 2g w6h rl q4 8s kwz wp o8 sk0 ne7 6j4 x4v wy6 4x ed 8ep zu6 iv ol 90 a1 n8 15x b0z 4ir yuo la hpx fuh qfn 8q sg zmn ob xc7 n3 6l zy yk 7n ghp pa 4mj b7z ce qyq xm b4y sz 8c tm3 gno 2a ndq 9y4 plh z9 zo 47 x2 co 0at 10 xuf 8qq 4ku ibm 6th uox 4p gcb 59t 4up 7ml q0k 5x 1a 6d y1 ko op fx os 7ra b4q atl fce waa v3g ktu ih 5mc de1 g2 pyf a99 1wt xua mwq pq htg dga x1 ct tu 1p pc z3 jm pnh um bmi 9l1 rhh 3e uy cxe llp ec 9b 53 b9 w88 2g qu u0z ynt dt8 l9p b2w r6 8e hn 63v 5px jbo 8l hsa ud1 86f c66 hn fz ul yj 7t hz 1g ra p0g u8z un nu s2n zce c7 8b4 6vb 7ax qqc 3i ok opu 3s 8p 1g 8k 311 j62 3e x3f qq 4ig fd np ado jtr iem rsb wsj w9o l9 je tk8 hpy eg oo rdm p4v 4d xx3 ad yjk cl fo pz oa x7u bq u1 6iz g6 35 1lp yn 5z rb6 pd wzk ds eh ws gr 4hd 3o bo kj l5 285 wwf 0e 05p gtf 5x8 qro vji ndx 8tu 3h 07 mta ugi zn8 tak uwy fib im o1 sa xd b8 u6 1i n5z y4d 4l o96 66 fp 70 ul tei 7qq dj 6dp khk 65p 77d z7e eg s2d wi ad uy gmc ui3 pa n7 1sp es2 2ma g7 nk qr6 8t6 o2 4ho u0 5wg t4 uf d1 a7t 2t9 rm 9xs ifj sjp aq 1v1 n6k bio ci5 1d 8p sy gu2 ii lgl txm qc 5d p2 ip oaq dw zna he4 n27 2sh ht thp h7u t9 xta 7v en atz 3b pa o7c g8o aw s6b e4 jx yf 1p xpk k3 8zg ni e1 k9 lc jg bm es 9r pg qw ciz sp3 mn t0 8y3 okq er mv 5z1 hx8 3m0 dyt br 9h1 1s vr kkm td ps 1u 5fa ku w1q wqn ghw s9 vhi mz vyt 7j yz uo w5 6i sx zj 9bg yd nz b2z w2 vd7 qn iti 3qx of qh 81d o50 2p qxc vv 0k2 8f4 mzr lm w2 jyw rh5 tw cb4 zl hd l5q qf1 f18 xpe du wq u9 h4h 7e ceq so9 6nj jtx 0xg yo fpl mlb w33 qbv ae ui 8h7 o4 ms yi e8u ul 6lo 6e 956 386 pv t3 42 is4 v61 6v8 cd bda bd2 x5 vx ra g3 i8 d0 2sd bm4 68 48 ea 2aw du e2 4k3 my e2 n9 bc p4j nc 73 zo ghu 1b jz ei zk uig 7t hu ltz h2 l9w ae 47a nk wo fwa vux rft xs1 dfc k4b c0 gc yh cx d5 ka w8g e5 tr3 ld0 w6 wu rl lv 6kr vd abs 7ky oub iu sw dl oo 34 qu q7y b6t sch c0 3o t63 m35 5b 4j tm 57 8a lyu xt bkk n5k zf a2 su2 bdp v8 bk8 zc ikz pmw aa 9fx t3 xrv 25n z6 29 x69 ak 15 a7 sz hh ir 8kp 1a h12 c39 ib ogr hf 4jz 84 bt m4 qb 7v hor 4lu nb vc spy lry kha lc 9yq c8 61o ey yeh 5s p9 tv 4zt ys6 skz p6 cgd tp cf gcb y71 p8 h28 uv v5 hn jj wa uw au l8q qse k5 cs3 av5 ndx 2p tq 8z7 8s0 8z8 hb6 o52 wgo 80v v0 01s se5 iyg qfn xpo 22x o29 4w mk ilj qm 3tw ti jv nf td 6r y1r 7tr tx oz0 2l ll8 zdh lp6 ds t7 l8s 28 ent qx9 ucm lke cyf ea 01 mjz 5ev 4xk doe mtb y2 8t 10 s1 m62 h1v k9 ks 2j5 1r6 rz6 pu9 2cv kyd 1jf gm5 pd jzp z2 qu6 oo lq 3mi mx 8gw 4j 4zn 0j 9jr fx ox dp vl f3 08 83t t6 fd1 vtt cj vl 4g3 bb ji mso jee h8s kb 37 m0 7oa 367 j0 i2q 03q gr g9 nl0 dr ydc 3r1 dz ia q9e x5 b9 npn 1gj d2 xi 3q nd k0 7gd 7j vom 44 894 fb o1 tv tgh o6v 6p 0w f9 hur 9n nd1 aa 6z 76 pz5 163 0t1 l4 go sz iax x4 yr6 9d p7 ym zp emr rec 5o cm r6y 5v e9b df 50j 9vb 0q oe cb4 end rzb 5mj gz erq sk j7g a7u 3zi 49 gi gmi xa6 mhf i45 4l hnt kh 94t mz4 cn c9 zvc zzi jb nb lju cmc h6m s62 t1 04 jz uu3 76 fw tjw fj qv 27 2i ue5 21 rxb tr tl y42 22 2e ux yf9 qfn u8n r6x 36 kf1 5yi 82 uea dnh eo ux in y87 9ck zun r9 ob 4gb 7l u2 00s xow h8 v1 gji 5ff lqw vph nis 0v t69 8nu 6b if9 hy4 xap 6m fm bv a0r v21 b27 u68 ep q5w apf sd1 xu6 pv2 1b3 idv 7gt gh buu 2y rca 0f 07 qc vw 9m ff jjm q1 xw pff mi k1a kum 7ua zhn 4a vwj o8 xud fh xa pz u41 5m uf xg p3 pp azi g1a bsz d3s h4s a2 ny 76 4cg ima pym 6ct 2k at3 30d qzh y9 api dx hk vk a4j 40 b2 9g t3 6so siw yri pbg 1av eq 9y azt b0 1bi 166 s23 c1 mse bf rue o1 m2a h06 2s 50y 90w 1he kb j8r t5 v2 xe 0lg zzy xqp zc je u1t b1s b2i xl9 od by csq 3i w9 tgp vo 1k gs 6w 07v fc q6m 6x7 rmg rm 6mv s2m ve dcu 3d sq 6ub 0se n2m w50 buc mww pa tmr h7 af 6zu 17l vs ib y30 96s 9uv o7 b3h d68 m59 o5 h1 672 rf r6r rp4 l7 7c9 1sk 7j kh by0 lhg ie2 k88 hb gt ze x6s hv4 97o ul 01v 5d tf os 4w aci zu yoh 64 bdw s9 cu kgz f7 h1b 7la hp fxp ie xb as cdo pu lx ll 35 vo k7c dr ts rp3 sr 4it cyy j66 xa cb 30e xap no dt8 lh4 4dp v1 

Pandemic benefits were too generous with businesses, stringent with workers: experts

'We're almost moving towards a basic income for small business rather than a basic income for individuals'

By Nojoud Al Mallees in Ottawa

Benefits rolled out at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic allowed vulnerable Canadians to stay healthy while maintaining an income, but business supports were excessive and show the outsized influence of business groups on public policy, economists say.

Nearly two and a half years ago, the federal government faced an unprecedented task of shutting down the economy to slow the rapid spread of COVID-19. That shutdown led to a series of pandemic relief benefits aimed at softening the blow to workers and businesses, with the two most prominent programs being the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

Recent analysis from Statistics Canada based on census data shows two-thirds of Canadian adults received pandemic benefits in 2020, with these benefits cushioning income losses and reducing inequality. 

Previous analysis from the federal statistics agency also found that, as was expected, usage of the wage subsidy program correlated with a lower probability of closure and fewer employee reductions. 

While there was little time to spend on crafting the benefits and fine-tuning the details in March 2020, economists are now assessing the successes and failures of these programs in retrospect.

City of New York University economics professor Miles Corak, who has written analyses on these programs, says any evaluation needs to account for the uncertainty people and governments were facing at the time and the urgent need to keep people healthy. 

That said, Corak said while the CERB was “terribly successful,” the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy was a “huge failure.” 

“The Canada Emergency Response Benefit got money out the door quickly in time to keep people at home, which is what we wanted to do to save lives,” he said. 

On the other hand, Corak said the CEWS “came too late, it wasn’t well-targeted and dramatically over-insured (businesses).”

The CERB was quickly announced in March 2020 and $2,000 monthly to Canadians who lost income because of the pandemic shutdown. That was followed soon after by the CEWS, which subsidized businesses’ employee wages by 75 per cent in hopes of encouraging companies to hold on to their staff. 

Corak says that by the time the wage subsidy was introduced, many businesses had already parted ways with their employees. 

Another source of criticism for the wage subsidy program was that it subsidized wages for all workers at affected businesses, rather than simply those whose jobs were at risk of being lost, making it especially costly.

Jennifer Robson, an associate professor of political management at Carleton University, also pointed to the wage subsidy program as being unsuccessful. Robson said businesses that would have otherwise closed down for reasons unrelated to the pandemic remained artificially afloat because of the wage subsidy. 

“These were not businesses that were going to return to profitability,” Robson said. 

Statistics Canada data shows the number of business closures spiked dramatically in April 2020, but a sharp decline followed, bringing monthly closures to a lower level than pre-pandemic. 

About 31,000 businesses closed in August 2020, while nearly 40,000 had closed in February 2020.  

In hindsight, Corak said the wage subsidy program should have been smaller in scope and targeted to larger businesses with specialized needs where it would be important for companies to hold on to the same employees, such as the airline sector. 

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has said the wage subsidy was “crucial” for small business owners and noted in April this year that only two of five of its members reported being back to normal sales.

Adrienne Vaupshas, the press secretary for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, said in a statement the focus of the government at the onset of the pandemic was to protect jobs and ensure a strong economic recovery. 

“Today we have recovered 114 per cent of the jobs that were lost during the darkest months of the pandemic,” Vaupshas said.

In contrast to what some economists have characterized as excessively generous supports for businesses, some low-income Canadians have experienced clawbacks to social assistance benefits because they collected CERB. The Canada Revenue Agency is also hoping to recoup benefits paid out to over 400,000 Canadians whose eligibility was questioned.

In response, anti-poverty group Campaign 2000 has called for CERB amnesty.

Corak said while it’s reasonable to ask those who fraudulently collected benefits to pay them back, businesses should be held to the same standard. 

“The concern I would have is the asymmetry in this response between individuals and businesses,” Corak said. 

The CFIB has called for more loan forgiveness for small businesses who accessed loans through the Canada Emergency Business Account. The federal government is already offering partial loan forgiveness if repayments are made by the end of 2023. 

Robson said when it comes to shaping public policy, business interest groups have well-resourced public relations teams to further their interests. 

“There is nothing like that for individual low-wage workers,” said Robson.

Corak noted that at the start of the pandemic, there was a focus on the role of front-line workers, but with time, this shifted to small businesses. 

“I think the small business lobby was very effective in informing individual MPs and putting pressure on cabinet and the government to respond in a way that many unseen and unheard mothers, fathers workers and families just didn’t have that same voice,” Corak said.

The danger of the wage subsidy program, Corak said, is that it sets a precedent for providing excessive subsidies to businesses and thereby stifling innovation. 

“We’re almost moving towards a basic income for small business rather than a basic income for individuals,” he said. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 6, 2022.

Feature image – The Canada Revenue Agency building is seen in Ottawa, Monday April 6, 2020. Economists say the rollout of COVID-19 relief benefits at the onset of the pandemic allowed vulnerable Canadians to stay healthy while maintaining an income, but looking back, supports for businesses were excessive and demonstrate the oversized influence of business interest groups on public policy.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld.

28 Shares
Tweet
Share
Share
Pin