COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2 receives Royal Assent to help businesses keep Canadians in their jobs

News release

April 11, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is a key measure in the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. It will provide a strong incentive for employers to pay employees who have been sent home for health and safety reasons or due to lack of work. It will enable employers to retain employees who are still on the payroll and to rehire workers previously laid off. With the CEWS program, families across Canada will be able to count on a steady income.

Today, Bill C-14, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2, received Royal Assent, bringing this measure into law. This legislation includes additional flexibilities announced on April 8, 2020, and refined as part of the legislative process. With these improvements, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will provide effective support to those eligible employers that are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and will help protect the jobs Canadians depend on during these difficult times.

The government continues to monitor all developments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and will take further action as necessary to protect Canadians and the economy.


“I want to thank my colleagues in the House of Commons, as well as Honourable Senators, for working quickly and cooperatively together to pass this vital legislation that will support Canadians during this critical time. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will provide the needed support to help workers and businesses through this crisis and to position them to recover more quickly when it is over. The government will continue to do whatever it takes to support Canadians and the economy during this unprecedented global pandemic.”

Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

“Today, all parties came together to pass the wage subsidy bill to support our country’s workers and employers. Canadians are better served when we work together.”

Pablo Rodriguez, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Related products

Associated links


Media may contact:

Maéva Proteau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230

Page details

Date modified: