The global economic downturn has slowed the export of many Canadian products. Less demand has forced companies to lay off employees causing hardships for many families.
Our Government’s 2009 Budget “Economic Action Plan” has delivered measures to help Canadian families and employers. The Work-Sharing program has been extended by an additional 14 weeks to a maximum of 52 weeks to help keep more employees on the job and keep more companies in business. This program allows businesses, going through challenging times, to apply to have their employees paid for part of their work week with Employment Insurance (EI) Funds. Workers who qualify for the Work-Sharing program agree to work a reduced work week and have the salary they receive from their employer augmented by EI income benefits.
If an employer even with this help cannot continue to operate and layoffs are inevitable, our Government has also increased the eligibility to collect EI by an additional five weeks.
Another challenge that our government’s ‘Economic Action Plan’ addresses is ensuring Canadian families and businesses access to credit. The economic crisis has tightened credit markets to the point that families and businesses with good credit have difficulty obtaining financing. Without business investment and consumer purchasing the economy will not recover.
To address this credit crunch Minister Flaherty announced $200B in existing and new measures to improve access to financing. Among other initiatives, it includes:
- The new Canadian Secured Credit Facility, to support financing of vehicles and equipment for customers and businesses;
- Providing additional support to small business through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada;
- Increasing the amount a small business can borrow under the Canada Small Business Financing Program;
- Helping more families and businesses get lending from the private sector by expanding the Insured Mortgage Purchase Program.
Our government does have a plan and we are implementing this plan quickly so that we can assist Canadian families as we work together through this economic downturn.
Colin Mayes MP Okanagan-Shuswap