OTTAWA, ON – Today, Bob Zimmer, Conservative Shadow Minister for Northern Affairs and Northern Economic Development Agency, along with Jamie Schmale, Conservative Shadow Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Gary Vidal, Conservative Shadow Minister for Indigenous Services, issued the following statement calling on the government to take further action to help businesses in the North:
“Canada’s North faces many challenges unique to the rest of the country and the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be no different. Unfortunately, the federal government has currently chosen a one-size-fits-all approach to its emergency business measures which has left many of the North’s vital industries unable to qualify for much needed assistance.
“Business leaders from across the North continue to put forward recommendations on how the government can help support Northerners. These recommendations include:
1) Changing the qualifying periods of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to recognize the different operating period in the North.
2) Amending the wage subsidy formula or creating a new program that helps non-revenue generating businesses such as junior mining, exploration, and construction companies.
3) Changing the wage model for the Canada Emergency Business Account to enable companies whose payroll are solely build on contractors to qualify.
4) Ensuring that airlines that provide critical services to remote, fly-in communities, such as supplying food and providing access to health services, can continue these services uninterrupted.
“This week during Question Period, Conservatives asked the government to listen to leaders in northern communities and make changes so that our businesses in the North have a fighting chance to survive.
“Conservatives are calling on the government to listen and work with business and Indigenous leaders in the North to ensure that no one falls through the cracks in getting the help they need.”