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Senate adopts pandemic relief bill for Canadian businesses

Bill C-9 received Royal Assent on Thursday.

Legislation designed to help struggling Canadian businesses through the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic received final approval in the Senate.

Bill C-9 extends the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until summer 2021 to help businesses cover part of their employees’ wages. The legislation also creates the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to help businesses cover rent and mortgage costs.

The Senate developed a plan for an in-depth study of the bill while also recognizing the urgency of the legislation for Canadian businesses, agreeing to a pre-study of the legislation even as it was still before the House of Commons.

The Senate Standing Committee on National Finance heard from 17 witnesses over the course of its study and reported that “all witnesses were appreciative of the financial support provided by the federal government and, without exception, they recommended that Bill C-9 be passed quickly to provide support to businesses as soon as possible.” The committee tabled its report in the Senate on Tuesday, and the bill received final approval on Thursday.

Senator Marc Gold, the Government Representative in the Senate, thanked Senator Pat Duncan for sponsoring Bill C-9 in the Senate.

Senate adopts pandemic relief bill for Canadian businesses