How taxpayers stand to benefit from federal support for big business amid COVID-19

Erwin Oropesa

Finance Minister Bill Morneau provided details about the federal government’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) on Wednesday. The program, announced last week, gives financial support to big businesses that need help get them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Companies with annual sales of at least $300 million can apply for the program designed to protect businesses and jobs.

“These terms ensure that this financing facility provides financing to bridge through this difficult time, but not bailouts,” Morneau said during a news conference.

Public companies must issue warrants with the option to purchase the borrower’s common shares totalling 15 per cent of the principal amount, or receive cash consideration equivalent to the value of the warrants.

“The idea behind the warrant is to make sure that if a firm does well, that Canadians and Canadian tax payers share in that upside,” Morneau said.

Morneau also said Ottawa won’t sit on

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