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Bill C-2, which received Royal Assent on December 17, 2021, included a new Local Lockdown Program to provide businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns with up to the maximum amount available through the wage and rent subsidy programs.
As the Omicron variant spreads and new regional public health restriction are put in place to limit capacity, the government is proposing to temporarily expand the Local Lockdown Program to better support workers and businesses. Under current rules, employers must face a lockdown to be eligible for the program. The government intends to use regulatory authority approved by Parliament in Bill C-2 to temporarily amend this requirement so employers can also qualify for the program if they are subject to a capacity-limiting public health restriction.
The government is temporarily expanding the Local Lockdown Program such that a business can now also qualify if:
- one or more of its locations is subject to a public health order that has the effect of reducing the entity’s capacity at the location by 50 per cent or more, and
- activities restricted by the public health order accounted for at least 50 per cent of the entity’s total qualifying revenues during the prior reference period.
In addition, the government intends to temporarily lower the current-month revenue loss threshold from 40 per cent to 25 per cent. Employers would continue to need to demonstrate current-month losses only, without the requirement for a historical 12-month revenue decline.
The rate would start at 25 per cent for eligible organizations with a 25-per-cent current-month revenue decline, increasing thereafter in proportion to current-month revenue loss up to a maximum rate of 75 per cent for those with a current-month revenue decline of 75 per cent or higher.
These temporary changes would be in effect for qualifying periods from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022 (Periods 24 and 25).
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