News for Rural Employers re. CEWS Expansion & Extension

The BC Rural Centre has just received this letter from Kirsten Mattison, Canada’s new Director General for Rural Economic Development. It includes potentially important information for rural employers and their employees.


Good morning,

As the new Director General of the Centre for Rural Economic Development supporting the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, I look forward to working with you. Today, I have some important news to share with you.

The Government of Canada has just expanded and extended the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). This program helps private sector employers impacted by COVID-19 keep workers on their payroll or bring previously laid-off employees back to work. Since first announcing the CEWS program in April 2020, the Government of Canada has consulted widely on any adjustments required to ensure it is meeting business owners’ needs.

Please see the attached for details on the resulting changes. Among the changes is a CEWS calculator that will assist employers in making informed decisions about retaining or re-hiring workers. Other changes include:

  • An extension until November 21st, 2020
  • Expanded eligibility; and
  • A potential top-up to the base subsidy.

Questions about the CEWS program should be directed to 1-833-966-2099, Monday to Friday from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm.

I hope that you will also share this news through your communications channels with any businesses in your catchment.  Our social media plan is also attached in case it is easier to like and share the details.

The Centre for Rural Economic Development continues to work collaboratively with rural community leaders, industry, not-for-profits, Indigenous groups and academia across the country to support rural economic development and sustainability and to bring rural needs and perspectives to federal Cabinet discussions. Through a whole of government approach, the Centre is helping ensure that rural needs and realities are taken into account in federal policy development and program design through a rural lens aimed at improving rural relevance and access.

The Centre also serves as a single point of contact for rural communities looking to access federal programs. I invite you to contact us with ideas or concerns about federal programming by email at, follow us on Twitter at #RuralOpportunity, or reach us by mail:

Infrastructure Canada, Centre for Rural Economic Development

180, Kent Street, 11th floor Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 0B6


Kirsten Mattison,

Director General Centre for Rural Economic Development, Infrastructure Canada