The local lockdown program provides increased support under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) programs for businesses whose activities are restricted by public health measures. As enacted in Bill C-2, the increased subsidy rates were applicable to businesses whose activities stopped due to a public health restriction that accounted for more than 25% of baseline revenues.
A proposed Order in Council expands this measure between 19 December 2021 and 12 March 2022. Specifically, the measure is extended to all businesses with any location whose capacity has been reduced by 50% or more due to a public health measure, and whose activities restricted by the public health order account for at least 50% of the entity’s total qualifying baseline revenues. For this period, the threshold to qualify for the CEWS and CERS is revised to a 25% revenue reduction and subsidies are increased to be proportional to revenue declines up to a maximum of 75%. This costing focuses only on the period during which the expanded lockdown eligibility is in effect.
We expect the Local Lockdown Program to cost an additional $885 million in subsidies under the CEWS and an additional $338 million under the CERS programs. This represents a net cost to the federal government of $1,058 million after accounting for incremental corporate income tax revenues.