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Coronavirus: Trudeau says wage subsidy program to be extended past June

WATCH ABOVE: Trudeau says bleak job numbers in Canada 'tell us what we already knew'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government’s wage subsidy program for employers will be extended past June.

The move, he said, would help “kickstart” Canada’s economic re-opening and boost jobs.

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Trudeau did not say how much longer the benefit would be available.

“We’ll have more details next week,” he said. “But to businesses hit by COVID-19, know this: The wage subsidy will continue to be there for you.”

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Trudeau made the announcement in an address outside Rideau Cottage on Friday, hours after Canada posted its second-worst unemployment rate on record.

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READ MORE: Canada shed 2 million jobs in April amid COVID-19: StatCan

The $73-billion program allows businesses affected by COVID-19 to receive a subsidy of 75 per cent of an employee’s wages for up to 12 weeks. It was originally set to end on June 6.

The prime minister said that employers have applied for subsidies for almost 2 million workers. As provinces begin to reopen their economies, this subsidy would play an even greater role, Trudeau said.

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