Canada to create bridge financing for big companies, including airlines and energy
Canada on Monday said it would create a bridge financing facility for large employers including in the airline and energy sectors that need help to get through the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus. The bridge lending facility will be for all companies, except those in the financial sector, with an annual revenue of about C$300 million ($215 million) seeking financing of about C$60 million or more that have “significant operations or workforce in Canada.” “This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis,” the statement said. Companies that use the lending facility will have to commit to respect collective bargaining agreements, protecting workers’ pensions, and support “national climate goals”. The government is also expanding its credit program for mid-sized companies, which will include loans of up to $60 million and guarantees of up to $80 million. “The measures we are announcing today will add to the supports currently available to large employers in Canada to help them weather the storm during this difficult time,” Innovation and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains said in a statement. Canada shut down non-essential business starting in mid-March because of the coronavirus, throwing millions out of work. The government has already created emergency economic aid worth about C$150 billion since March. Several provinces now are moving to gradually reopen businesses that were shut down to fight the outbreak.