CME encouraged by the CEWS; flags challenges with wait time, eligibility

OTTAWA (April 8, 2020) – Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters applauds the government for taking swift and decisive action to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, set to be debated in the House of Commons soon, will keep Canadians employed and businesses afloat. CME, however, has flagged some challenges with wait times and eligibility.

“We hope the government listened to industry feedback and made changes to maximize the impact of the historic $71 billion program” said Dennis Darby, President & CEO of CME.

“Manufacturers are concerned about the 6-week timeline for the benefits to arrive. Businesses are facing unpreceded cash flow issues and many will have to consider lay-offs,” added Darby. “This measure is a lifeline for businesses but the support is needed now.”

“Additionally, the 30% decline in revenue condition may be, in some situations, difficult to show even though that company might be facing severe challenges caused by the crisis. We urge the government to put in place an adjudication mechanism so all struggling businesses can make their case and have access to the subsidies,” stated Darby. “No Canadian business should have to fail, or take on crushing debt, because of COVID-19.”


Since 1871, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been helping manufacturers grow at home and, compete around the world. Our focus is to ensure manufacturers are recognized as engines for growth in the economy, with Canada acknowledged as both a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing and a global leader in exporting. CME is a member-driven association that directly represents more than 2,500 leading companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports.


Stefi Proulx
Director of Communications
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
C:  613-292-6070 | | @CME_MEC