Former prime minister Stephen Harper’s consulting firm, Harper and Associates, has received payments from the federal emergency wage subsidy for companies that lost revenue due to the pandemic, government disclosures show.
Mr. Harper’s company name is listed in a public database administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. The firm’s own website says it uses “the global network, experience and insight of a G-7 Leader to create value for clients.” Mr. Harper, a past leader of the Conservative Party, was Canada’s prime minister from 2006 to 2015.
Harper and Associates has not responded to a request for comment from The Globe.
The federal subsidy is meant to help companies respond to the economic fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping employees paid and covering 75 per cent of wages for employees of eligible employers, including non-profit organizations and registered charities.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s office told the Globe recently that the program has helped four million Canadians stay on the payroll.
Many political parties, including the Liberals, New Democrats and Greens, had applied in the spring for the taxpayer-funded subsidy, citing at the financial challenges caused by the pandemic at the time. The Conservative Party also received money under the program, though leader Erin O’Toole later vowed to pay the funds back.
A recent Globe and Mail analysis showed that thousands of companies part of large corporate groups have also taken advantage of the program. Companies that have accessed the subsidy range from small business to large companies, all which have qualified by attesting to their revenue having declined enough to meet the program’s requirement.
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