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Government announces support program for large employers is open for applications

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May 20, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to support Canadians and protect jobs during the global COVID-19 outbreak.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains, today announced the opening of the application process for the government’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF). The program will support Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing. LEEFF will help successful applicants keep their operations going.

The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic challenges, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible. This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis.

The additional liquidity provided through LEEFF will allow Canada’s largest businesses and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time, and position them for a rapid economic recovery.

The government’s support for large employers through LEEFF will be delivered by a subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV), in cooperation with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the Department of Finance. Additional information on the application process is available on the CDEV website. Broader sectoral dynamics for LEEFF applicants will be considered through processes led by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

These measures are part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which has helped protect Canadian jobs, and committed billions in support to Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the pandemic. The government will continue to monitor and respond to the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19, and take additional actions as needed to protect the health and safety of Canadians and stabilize the economy.

Quotes

“We know that times have been tough, and Canadians are concerned about their jobs. We continue to make sure government action responds to the significant needs of Canadians and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. LEEFF will help protect jobs, safeguard workers’ benefits, and protect our economy. It will help businesses keep workers on the payroll, and put more Canadians in a position to recover quickly once we make it through these uncertain times.”

—The Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

“Companies of all sizes throughout the country are facing economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. LEEFF is a complement to support measures already in place for workers and businesses, all with the common objective of protecting Canadian jobs. Combined with our ongoing analysis of the pressures that are facing our sectors, we will work to make sure this program is delivered in an efficient and responsible manner.”

—The Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts

  • The LEEFF program will be open to large for-profit businesseswith the exception of those in the financial sectoras well as certain not-for-profit businesses, such as airports, with annual revenues generally in the order of $300 million or higher. To qualify for LEEFF support, eligible businesses must be seeking financing of $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada, and not be involved in active insolvency proceedings.
  • The LEEFF program will be designed to protect the interests of taxpayers and will require the cooperation of applicants’ private sector lenders, to ensure government financing is focused on sustaining operations.
  • In addition, recipient companies would be required to commit to publish annual climate-related disclosure reports consistent with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, including how their future operations will support environmental sustainability and national climate goals.

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