Certain Chinese enterprises, owned by the state and operating in Canada, are making use of Ottawa’s wage subsidy program, designed to save jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.
A Canadian government online database lists the units of China Petroleum and Chemicals, also known as Sinopec, CNOOC, PetroChina, the Bank of China, Air China and China Southern Airlines. It does not reveal the value of the subsidies received by these companies. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government launched the wage subsidy last spring and the program has so far paid out C$57 billion ($44.9 billion) in claims, including hundreds of multi-million dollar claims. The subsidy can cover up to 75% of a worker’s wages, at a maximum benefit of C$847 per week.
Chrystia Freeland's office said the purpose of the wage subsidy was to protect Canadian jobs and applies to businesses of all size.
“We recognize that some state-owned enterprises have accessed the program to support jobs in Canada. We continue to actively assess adjustments to the Wage Subsidy,” said one representative.
CNBC reached out to the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa on the issue and received no response.