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Saskatchewan Party, NDP not applying for emergency wage subsidy

Saskatchewan NDP CEO John Tzupa says despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the party hasn't struggled with donations. Via Zoom

The heads of the Saskatchewan Party and provincial NDP say they won’t apply for the federal coronavirus wage relief program.

Saskatchewan Party executive director Patrick Bundrock declined an interview, but confirmed they don’t plan on applying for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. It subsidizes 75 per cent of workers’ wages, up to $847 per week.

READ MORE: Liberals face heat over political parties using emergency coronavirus wage subsidy

John Tzupa, Saskatchewan NDP CEO, said his party also won’t use the program.

Despite a temporary halt in fundraising because of the pandemic, he said the party isn’t strapped for cash to pay its employees.

“In the first quarter of this year, we actually raised more than twice as much as we did in the first quarter of last year,” Tzupa told Global News.

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“We’ve been working very hard in 2020. We’ve been getting ready for an election.”

The federal NDP applied for the wage subsidy, but Tzupa said the Saskatchewan new democrats are “not in the same circumstances.”

READ MORE: Alberta’s United Conservative Party to apply for federal emergency wage subsidy program

On Monday, federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said it makes more sense for his party to receive the subsidy and keep workers on the payroll, instead of laying them off and forcing them to apply for other emergency government benefits.

The federal Liberal, Conservative and Green parties also applied for the program.

-With files from Beatrice Britneff

Click to play video 'Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau pressed on political parties’ access to emergency wage subsidy program' Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau pressed on political parties’ access to emergency wage subsidy program
Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau pressed on political parties’ access to emergency wage subsidy program – May 25, 2020