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Wage subsidy program opening for applications

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Some key developments are coming this week in the country's relentless struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

They begin today with businesses being allowed to apply for the federal government's $73 billion wage subsidy program.

Companies that qualify will get a subsidy worth 75 per cent of each employee's wages, up to $847 per week, retroactive from March 15 to June 6. And for those organizations that can, the government is asking employers to fill in the remaining quarter.

First payments are expected to arrive next week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be talking about that, as well as some other coming initiatives, today at his daily coronavirus briefing.

Quebec and Ontario, which account for the vast majority of Canada's COVID-19 cases, will begin laying out their plans for recovery today.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is set to unveil a framework for reopening the province's locked down economy, while Quebec Premier Francois Legault is slated to focus on schools, with economic plans expected tomorrow.

Despite evidence of some flattening COVID-19 curves, both politicians and public health officials are stressing the need for a cautious, go slow approach to guard against a surge of second wave infections.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also said that none of the recovery plans hinge on people being immune to catching COVID-19 twice.

Yesterday the country reported more than 1,200 new cases of COVID-19 and at least 95 additional deaths.

The national toll to date stands at 46,895 confirmed cases, including 2,560 deaths and 17,334 cases resolved.

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