Updated April 30
The dramatic measures taken by governments and businesses to slow down the spread of COVID-19 has created a tidal wave of layoffs in Canada and around the world. In March employment fell by more than one million, according to Statistics Canada, while April is expected to bring millions in additional lost jobs.
As of April 28 Service Canada had received applications from 7.3 million Canadians for federal aid through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. So far, $25.6 billion has been paid out. Both figures are set to climb. A report released by Statistics Canada found one-in-five Canadian businesses had laid off more than 80 per cent of their staff.
We’re tracking the layoff announcements as they come in. The list below is drawn from media reports and press releases announcing major layoff, and we’ll be updating the list as new job cuts are announced across the country in the coming days, weeks and perhaps months. The vast majority have been described as temporary layoffs.
It’s important to note that this is far from a comprehensive list. Many thousands of small and medium-sized businesses have been forced to close their doors and hand out pink slips to workers, and the vast majority of those cases don’t make the news. A survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which represents 110,000 small- and medium-sized businesses, found one-third of businesses fear they may close within a month without financial assistance.
If you’re aware of a big layoff announcement that’s not on this list, send us an email and let us know.
Roughly in order of when they were reported
Calgary Stampede: The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth temporarily cut 900 staff, or 80 per cent of its workforce.
General Motors: Announced all production will be suspended, impacting 4,000 jobs.
Ford Motors Co: Shut down all production in Canada, affecting 6,900 workers.
Toyota Motor Corp: Suspended all operations in Canada affecting 8,000 workers.
LNG Canada: The company behind liquified natural gas project in Kitimat, B.C. laid off 750 workers, half its staff.
Porter Airlines: Suspended all flights and laid off most of its 1,400 workforce.
Cirque du Soleil: Quebec circus entertainment giant suspended all shows and lays off 95 per cent of its workforce, or 4,679 people.
Fiat Chrysler: Suspended operations and lays off 8,900 workers.
Irving Shipbuilding: Suspended operations at its Halifax shipyard and lays off 1,370 workers.
Air Canada: The carrier said on March 20 it would lay off 5,150 flight attendants, followed by a decision to put 600 of its 4,400 pilots on unpaid leave. On March 30 Air Canada said it would lay off an additional 16,500 employees effective April 3. UPDATE: On April 8 the Toronto Star reported the company will rehire 16,000 workers by taking advantage of Ottawa’s 75 per cent wage subsidy.
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Temporarily laid off 400 staff, about 75 per cent of its workforce.
Stratford Festival: Laid off nearly 500 employees after cancelling all shows until May 2.
Freshii: Restaurant chain closed all locations and lays off “hundreds” of employees.
Stratford Festival: Issued 500 temporary layoff notices.
Transat: Airline laid off 3,600 staff, about 70 per cent of its workforce.
Bombardier: Quebec transportation giant laid off 12,400 workers in Canada.
City of Saskatoon: Laid off 126 temporary staff.
La Co-operative nationale de l’information independante: Quebec newspaper chain laid off 143 staff.
New Flyer Industries: Winnipeg-based bus maker temporarily laid off 6,500 employees and permanently cuts 300 jobs.
Quebec City: Laid off 2,000 city workers.
Saltwire Network: Atlantic Canada media chain laid off 250 workers.
White Spot: B.C.-based restaurant chain laid off 3,000 workers.
Airbus: The French aircraft manufacturer laid off 1,400 workers, half its workforce in Mirabel, Que where it builds the A220 aircraft.
Leon’s: Furniture retailer shut its Leon’s and The Brick stores and lays off 3,900 workers.
TC Transcontinental: Laid off 1,600 people in its printing unit.
Vancouver Aquarium: A week after closing its doors, laid off 343 employees, or 60 per cent of its workforce.
Resort Municipality of Whistler: Laid off 200 casual and auxiliary staff.
Steve Nash Fitness World: Fitness chain shut down and terminates roughly 1,200 employees.
Boston Pizza International: Laid off half of its 192 corporate staff and said franchised restaurants have made similar cuts.
Sunwing: Airline laid off 1,063 flight attendants and 470 pilots.
Calgary YMCA: Laid off 1,400 staff amid closure of all facilities.
Casinos Regina and Moosejaw: Will lay off 550 staff as of April 3.
Lush: Laid off an undisclosed number of employees at its 258 cosmetic stores across North America.
Province of Alberta: Redirected $128 million in education funding to Covid-19, forcing the lay off of more than 20,000 support staff life substitute teachers and educational assistants.
Reitmans (Canada) Ltd: Laying off 90 per cent of its retail store employees and 30 per cent of head office staff. Reitmans has 7,000 employees in total.
Palliser Furniture: The Winnipeg company laid off 72 per cent of its workforce, or around 2,200 employees.
City of Calgary: Will lay off 1,200 part-time and casual staff, though exact numbers haven’t been made public.
City of Regina: Laid off 360 casual employees and postponed the recall of 500 seasonal jobs.
Gap Inc: Laid off 80,000 employees in Canada and the U.S.
Mullen Group: The oilfield services and trucking company expects to give short-term lay off notices to half its 6,100 workers.
Canada’s restaurant industry: A survey by Restaurants Canada of its members found 800,000 restaurant jobs have been cut since March 1.
City of Windsor, Ont.: Laid off 500 city employees.
Ritual: The food ordering and pickup app laid off half its staff, or around 200 workers.
City of Vancouver: Laid off 1,500 employees, mostly at community centres, theatres and libraries.
City of Guelph, Ont.: Laid off 600 casual and part-time employees.
City of Mississauga, Ont.: Laid off 2,000 part-time and non-essential employees.
City of Ottawa: Laid off 4,280 part-time city workers.
City of Kamloops, B.C.: Laid off 100 staff.
City of Thunder Bay, Ont.: Laid off one-third of its workforce.
Mogo: The Vancouver fintech laid off 30 per cent of its staff, or around 80 people.
City of Delta, B.C.: Laid off 500 employees from its parks and recreation and infrastructure departments.
City of Surrey, B.C.: Laid off 2,000 employees, including recreation and library staff.
City of Waterloo, Ont.: Laid off 430 part-time staff.
City of Cambridge, Ont.: Laid off 400 part-time staff.
City of Barrie, Ont.: Laying off 470 part-time theatre and recreation staff.
Vancouver Bard on the Beach festival: Cancelled its 2020 season, resulting in the loss of 240 jobs.
Torstar: Publisher of the Toronto Star eliminated 85 positions amid a collapse in ad revenue.
City of Kitchener, Ont. Laid off 842 casual and part-time workers.
Organigram Holdings: Cannabis producer laying off 45 per cent of workforce, or about 400 jobs.
Royal Ontario Museum: Laid off half its 323 full-time staff and put remainder on reduced hours.
Strathcona County, Alta.: Laid off 500 employees working in recreation, parks and culture.
Canadian auto dealers: A survey by the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association of its members found 96 per cent have laid off employees. Of 862 dealerships that responded to the survey, 76 per cent had laid off 10 or more people, equal to at least 6,500 jobs.
City of Kawartha Lakes, Ont.: Laid off 200 part-time and contract staff.
City of Peterborough, Ont.: Laid off 326 mostly part-time workers.
City of Winnipeg: Laid off close to 700 workers.
City of Gatineau, Que.: In second round of job action it is laying off 160 employees, bringing its total to more than 700.
Fast Trucking Service: Saskatchewan oil services company 250 of its 350 employees.
Burnaby, B.C.: City laying off 1,500 workers in the parks and recreation department.
Shaw Communications: Laying off 10 per cent of its staff, or around 1,000 people.
Halifax Regional Municipality: Will lay off 1,500 casual, temporary and seasonal employees.
Cargill meatpacking plant, Calgary: Shut plant and laid off 1,000 workers after 38 employees tested positive for COVID-19.
TransLink: The Metro Vancouver transit authority is laying off 1,500 workers.
Winnipeg School Division: Laid off 330 of its 6,000 employees.
River East Transcona School Division, Winnipeg: Laid off 600 employees.
Toronto Transit Commission: Laying off 1,200 employees over the coming weeks.
HBC: Laid off 90 Toronto-area staff.
Postmedia: Laid off 80 staff and shut 15 papers.
Algoma Steel: Laid off 70 full-time employees.
Vancouver Airport Authority: Announced an undisclosed number of layoffs of its 500 staff.
University of Saskatchewan: Announced an unspecified number of layoffs to begin May 4.
Resolute Forest Products: Will lay off 1,000 workers in Quebec.
Calfrac Well Services: Announced 70 per cent of its 1,600 North American field personnel.
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