Ottawa beefs up loans for hard-hit sectors — but big airlines not included for now

Published November 30, 2020 at 11:32 pm


Ottawa is rolling out a wave of new funding for pandemic-battered industries including tourism, the arts and regional aviation, with smaller companies top of mind — and large airlines notably absent.

The Liberal government’s fiscal update sketches out a program that will provide low-interest loans of up to $1 million for badly hurt entrepreneurs.

The fall economic statement says the program, which comes on top of a newly expanded emergency loan program already in place for small businesses, will offer interest rates below the market average.

Meanwhile the devastated tourism sector will have access to one-quarter of the more than $2 billion that Ottawa is doling out to regional development agencies through June 2021, including the $500-million top-up announced today.

The fiscal update reveals that another $181.5 million will flow to show business and performers via the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Rent relief and nearly $700 million in capital investments are en route to airports over six years, while $206 million in support is bound for regional airlines, but an aid package targeting big players such as Air Canada remains in the works as talks with Ottawa continue.

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