OTTAWA — Opposition parties are pushing the federal Liberals for targeted COVID-19 relief for some badly hit sectors.
The Conservatives advanced a motion Tuesday calling on the Liberals to implement supports for the hospitality, tourism and charity sectors decimated by the pandemic.
“We cannot allow the pandemic to permanently kill these jobs,” Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said.
The Conservatives also want airlines to commit to providing consumer refunds, restrict executive pay and restore regional routes in exchange for repayable loans.
The Liberals have already promised some sector-specific support and have accused the Conservatives of deliberately holding up those programs by stalling on passing measures through the House of Commons.
O’Toole said his party is doing its job by pressing to ensure the existing programs are meeting existing needs, which he said they aren’t.
“There are thousands of family-owned businesses today holding on by a thread,” he said.
“They need access to programs now.”
The New Democrats also reiterated their ideas for small business relief Tuesday.
Among them, a call for Ottawa to pick up the tab for employment insurance and Canada Pension Plan contributions to provide an incentive for businesses to hire workers and an extension of the federal wage subsidy program until the pandemic is fully over.
“There seems to be a big focus on big business, but there’s been an ignoring of the place and the struggles of small businesses,” NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said.