Canada's NDP


January 16th, 2024

With the CEBA loan repayment deadline just 48 hours away, Jagmeet Singh is urging the Liberals to act

OTTAWA — Canada’s NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is asking the Liberal government to step in to help small businesses owners and their workers by extending the deadline to repay the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans.

Since July, New Democrats have been calling for a year-long extension so small businesses can have more time to repay their loan and avail of the $20,000 in loan forgiveness that the Liberals promised.

“People who start their own businesses put a lot on the line,” said Singh. “NDP MPs have been hearing from people across the country who’ve invested their life savings; they’ve remortgaged their homes; they haven’t taken a paycheque—all to save their small businesses. And these business owners aren’t just fighting to save their own livelihoods, they have employees depending on them for the jobs they need to take care of their families.

“From the hard years of the pandemic to the current cost-of-living crisis, small businesses have been through a lot and, right now, they need someone to have their backs.”

In October, all 13 provincial and territorial premiers wrote a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau calling on the Liberal government to extend the CEBA loan repayment deadline, a move that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has also repeatedly requested.

While the Liberals have refused to provide the one-year extension, they have paid out $21.6 billion to large consulting firms – often opting to outsource work that the federal public service can do.

“It always seems like the Trudeau government is quick to step in with public money for massive, profitable companies and their wealthy CEOs, but when small, local businesses need help—the Liberals won’t give them a break,” said Singh. “And, while Poilievre’s corporate-controlled Conservatives are quick to help the ultra-wealthy make record profits, they have failed to stand up for small businesses.

“Everyone goes through times when they need a little help, a little understanding. If the government refuses to extend the deadline they’re telling thousands of small businesses, their employees and their communities that they just aren’t a priority.”