Economic Measures

Many in our community are wondering how to pay the bills during the COVID-19 outbreak. The federal government has unveiled a number of economic measures to stabilize the economy during the COVID-19 outbreak. These will be available in the coming weeks; some of the measures require Royal Assent, only achieved through the votes of Members of Parliament and the Senate in the House of Commons and Senate. We are expecting to sit in Ottawa during the week of March 23 to pass these measures to help Canadians get the relief they need.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • Canadians who have suffered job loss are eligible to receive $2,000 monthly for four months.
  • This money will be deposited directly into bank accounts by the CRA.
  • This benefit covers Canadians who are sick with COVID-19, have lost their job, are quarantined, taking care of someone who is sick and working parents who have to stay home with their children.
  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through Canada.ca or by calling the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 on Monday, April 6.
  • Recipients can choose to get the money by a mailed cheque or through direct deposit. It will take about 10 days for approved applicants to see the first deposit into their account.
  • The government says Canadians who have already applied for Employment Insurance due to COVID-19 do not need to apply for the CERB.
  • As well, employees who are receiving a wage subsidy through their employers are not eligible for the CERB.

 

Small Business Help

  • Small- and medium-sized businesses are eligible for a 75% wage subsidy backdated to March 15 (announced by the government on March 27).
  • Eligible businesses can receive this subsidy for up to three months.
  • A special emergency business account for small businesses has been established, allowing banks to offer $40,000 of government-guaranteed loans (interest-free for the first year). If certain conditions are met, the first $10,000 will be forgiven.
  • These loans are for businesses with payrolls of less than $1 million.
  • An additional $12.5 billion is dedicated to “operational cash flow requirements” and HST and GST payments are deferred until June 2020.
  • Applications will be processed through the Canada Revenue Agency online site. More application details have yet to be announced. 

 

 

GST Credit

  • Adults currently receiving the GST credit will receive up to $300, and up to $150 per child.
  • We will update this page as more details become available.
  • It will be available in April 2020.

 

Enhanced Canada Child Benefit

  • The government is increasing the maximum annual CCB payment by $300 per child for the 2019-20 benefit year.
  • We will update this page as more details become available.
  • Parents will likely see this benefit in early May 2020.

 

Canada Student Loan Payments

  • This is a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans.
  • We will update this page as more details become available.
  • It will be effective in early April 2020, after receiving Royal Assent.

 

Support for Indigenous Communities

  • A new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation Communities.
  • We will update this page as more details become available.
  • This will be effective in April 2020.

 

Support for people experiencing homelessness (through Reaching Home)

  • Additional funding for the Reaching Home Initiative, for supplies like additional beds and physical barriers for social distancing, to continue to support people experiencing homelessness.
  • We will update this page as more details become available.
  • This will be effective in April 2020.

 

Support for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres, including on reserve

  • Supporting women and children fleeing violence to help shelters with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities.
  • We will update this page as more details become available.
  • This will be effective in April 2020.

 

Lower Registered Retirement Income Fund Minimum Withdrawal Amounts

  • Reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020.
  • This benefit is available immediately, with supporting legislation to follow.

 

Other supports:

  • Flexibility for individual and corporate taxpayers (tax payment deferral until September)
    • New individual tax filing deadline: June 1, 2020
    • Deferral of any income tax owing until August 2020.
  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) through BDC and EDC
    • Available immediately
  • Credit and liquidity support through financial Crown corporations 
    • Available through the Bank of Canada, OSFI, CMHC and commercial lenders (e.g., Domestic Stability Buffer, Insured Mortgage Purchase Program, Banker’s Acceptance Purchase Facility)