Kenora MP Eric Melillo says he was glad to see Bill C-20 get passed in the House of Commons last week, which will provide more supports for small businesses, their employees and those with disabilities.

Bill C-20 expands the number of companies that can qualify for Canada’s federal wage subsidy, will extend the program to the end of 2020, and will send a one-time $600 payment to those with disabilities through Canada’s Pension Plan. It was passed in the House of Commons with unanimous consent.

"Many of these programs are extremely rigid, and it's been extremely difficult for many businesses to apply for wage subsidies or different levels of support. Bill C-20 was actually just passed in the House of Commons, which does create some expansions to the programs,” said Melillo.

Ottawa’s original wage subsidy covered up to 75 per cent of an employee’s wages, for companies that showed a 30 per cent drop in revenue. The revised program will pay revenues out on a sliding scale, and businesses will be eligible for an extra 25 per cent increase in payments.

“However, we are also hoping to see some plan from the federal government on how we're going to transition away from these programs, as the economy reopens. Unfortunately, we have not seen anything yet," he added.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa will work to transfer CERB applications to regular Employment Insurance payouts, which will include access to training and the ability to work more hours.

Ottawa says they’ve paid out $62.75 billion to nearly 8.5 million applicants. The final CERB payment period is expected to end on September 26.

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