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Dollarama says that all of its stores with street access will remain open in the two provinces.

Fred Lum/the Globe and Mail

Two more retailers are joining other companies that have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic in paying their employees more during the outbreak.

“Our ability to provide everyday essentials to millions of Canadians is only made possible through the hard work of the Dollarama team working in our stores, in our warehouses, and in our distribution centre,” said Neil Rossy, CEO of Dollarama Inc., in a statement Tuesday.

“We recognize the challenges they are facing and appreciate the incredible work they are doing to serve Canadians in these truly unprecedented circumstances.”

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The discount store announced a 10 per cent pay increase for its store employees, as well as hourly workers at its distribution centre and warehouse.

Dollarama’s announcement came as it was recognized as an essential business in Ontario and Quebec, where the governments have mandated non-essential businesses close in an effort to slow the COVID-19 pandemic. All Dollarama stores with street access will remain open in the two provinces, the company said, as well as its Montreal-based distribution centre.

Walmart Canada, meanwhile, announced Tuesday a bonus and premium pay program.

The company’s 90,000 store and supply chain employees will receive a $200 March bonus for active full-time workers and half that for part-time ones, the company said in a statement.

Walmart will also pay each store and supply chain worker who is paid hourly an extra $2 per hour between April 3 and 30, and they will receive an additional 10 per cent discount for two days next month to help them purchase essentials.

The company said it is “incredibly proud” of its employees who are “rising to the challenge of these unprecedented times.”

In recent days, a number of major companies announced similar measures. Maple Leaf Foods Inc., Cargill Ltd. and Mondelez Canada all say they will pay employees more as they work to ensure the country’s food supply remains strong.

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Canada’s major grocers, including Loblaw Companies Ltd., Sobeys and Safeway Canada, have taken similar action.

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