March 18th, 2020
NDP MP urges quick action and more help for Small businesses and Tourism
Parksville – Today, NDP MP and Critic for Small Business and Tourism Gord Johns responded to the government’s long overdue announcement on financial aid for Canadians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement comes as many small businesses and their workers struggle to pay their bills as people practice social distancing to slow the spread of the virus.
“People are very worried about making ends meet. People are losing their jobs and many business owners are facing the difficult reality of having to close their doors during their typically busy spring months without knowing how they’ll pay their bills. The government shouldn’t have made Canadians who need help now wait this long before presenting a plan,” said Johns. “We’ve been calling for this for weeks and we’re ready to work with the government to get that money to Canadians as quickly as possible.”
The Liberal government is asking Canadians to stay home which means many businesses are closing their doors. Today, the government announced that it is offering a 10 per cent wage subsidy to help with wages. This falls well short of other countries that are offering up to 75 per cent. New Democrats are worried that this may not be enough to protect jobs and keep Canadian small businesses from shutting down permanently.
“The tourism industry here on Vancouver Island will face significant obstacles over the coming months and the Prime Minister is still asking people to wait weeks for the possibility of more help,” said Johns. “These small businesses are showing real leadership and doing what’s best for public health – they deserve real support now.”
New Democrats will continue to listen to workers and small business owners to make sure that the government funding works for the people who need it most.
“It’s encouraging that the government has responded to a number of NDP recommendations, but more needs to be done to make sure that no one falls through the cracks,” said Johns.