Why the wage subsidy was ‘the right way to go’

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is one of the federal government’s priciest COVID-19 relief programs, with more than $77 billion in subsidies approved as of May 2. The program covers part of employee wages for businesses, allowing companies to retain workers while navigating the pandemic.

But an investigation by the Globe and Mail into the rollout of CEWS is raising questions about whether the program was an effective and efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Sean Speer, fellow in residence at the Public Policy Forum, says that while the program may have been designed better, he believes it was “the right way to go” in terms of helping businesses through the pandemic.

On this episode of Crisis Management, host Alicja Siekierska and Speer discuss the program and what it might mean for the COVID-19 recovery.