At least eight federal and provincial parties have received money through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), according to the Canada Revenue Agency’s recently published database of recipients.
iPolitics previously reported that, by Nov. 9, four federal parties – the Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats, and Greens – had collected at least $2.9 million from the CEWS, which is taxpayers’ money.
A search of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s database, which was published on Monday, shows four provincial parties have also received CEWS money: Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party (UCP), the Alberta Liberal Party, the Prince Edward Island Liberal Party, and the British Columbia Green Party.
The database doesn’t show how much money recipients have collected from the subsidy.
The program, launched in March, covers a percentage of payroll costs for businesses and non-governmental organizations based on how much their revenue dropped since before the pandemic. As of Dec. 13, Ottawa has paid out $54 billion in wage subsidies to 368,240 businesses and organizations.
But federal parties shouldn’t be allowed to collect the CEWS, said Aaron Wudrick, the federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
« This (program) is obviously designed for businesses and non-profits that need the money, » he said. « The reason that political parties are different is they already benefit from a whole raft of subsidies and favourable policies that businesses and other non-profits don’t get. »