The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the many gaps that exist in Canada’s social security, emergency response, healthcare, and supports for small businesses in times of crisis. Over the course of the pandemic, I have heard countless stories of how individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, and communities have struggled with the hardships of the pandemic, and how they have fallen through the cracks of the government’s patchwork responses.
By listening to the stories of constituents and organizations in Vancouver East, I have been advocating for better and more comprehensive pandemic supports for struggling individuals, families, and businesses. Going forward, I will continue to bring the voices and needs of the community to parliament so that no one is left behind.
….deep concern over the lack of support for self-employed individuals and sole-proprietors across Canada. In my home province of British Columbia, one-third of small businesses don’t believe they’ll qualify for the support that the government has given. This is especially true for businesses with less than 5 employees, of which nearly half don’t qualify for government support.
Several sole-proprietors have reached out to me personally for help because of the lack of assistance available to them. Many do not qualify for the business supports because they do not meet the payroll requirements, they rely on contract workers, are family-owned, or pay themselves in dividends. Your government has designed the current programs to exclude them. They cannot access the loan, wage-subsidy, or work-share programs. The only support they may qualify for is the individual CERB, which is not enough to get by with the overhead costs these businesses must continue to pay.