OTTAWA — Today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was in Ottawa, joined by NDP candidate for Ottawa Centre Angella MacEwen, to visit small businesses that were hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses in Ottawa, like so many across the country, struggled during COVID-19. The NDP had to push Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to deliver the help small businesses needed to keep their doors open and their workers employed. When the Liberals proposed a 10% wage subsidy, the NDP fought back and increased it to 75% and saved millions of jobs.
“So many small businesses hard hit by the pandemic are hanging by a thread, especially in the hospitality and tourism sectors here in Ottawa,” said Singh. “From the very beginning, New Democrats had to push Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to increase the wage subsidy and put in place a rent subsidy to help small businesses. Left alone, the Liberals would have settled for the bare minimum. New Democrats will continue to fight to ensure small businesses get the most help for as long as they need it.”
Last week, the Liberals announced that they will extend the wage subsidy into the fall, but this will not be enough. Small businesses in the entertainment, tourism and hospitality sectors will need much more time before they can rebound from the pandemic. To allow small businesses to hold to their workforce and afford rent, New Democrats will keep fighting to make sure the wage and rent subsidies are maintained until the pandemic is over.
“We are still in a pandemic and the threat of a fourth wave is looming before us,” said MacEwen. “These small businesses that rely on international visitors will need government support to stay open. The Liberals let big companies take millions in public COVID relief and pay millions in dividends to their ultra-rich shareholders. Meanwhile, New Democrats had to push Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to deliver help for small businesses. Our priority will always be the interests of the small businesses our communities rely on.”