The government of Canada announced the following significant updates on its response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus:

  • Canada and the U.S.A. have mutually agreed to restrict all non-essential travel across the border. The restriction does not affect commercial or other trade related travel;
  • $27 Billion in direct support to workers and business and $55 Billion to meet liquidity issues of Canadian businesses through tax deferrals;
  • Expanded access to EI benefits for employees who have fallen ill, been placed in quarantine, in self-isolation, or are taking care of someone affected by COVID-19.
  • The amount available to these employees will be comparable to the current EI benefit and will be paid every 2 weeks for a period of 14 weeks;
  • An emergency COVID-19 support benefit for those who lose their jobs (including the self-employed) but do not otherwise qualify for EI benefits;
  • Introduce a temporary wage subsidy for employers equal to 10% of wages paid to employees for a period of three months;
  • For those owing taxes, extending the deadline to pay to August 2020;
  • More targeted assistance to be announced in the coming months;
  • A boost in the existing government Child Care Benefit;
  • A GST rebate/credit for low income earners and their children;
  • A moratorium on interest payments for government student loans;
  • Support for farmers and primary food producers, with supports for other vulnerable sectors in the coming days;
  • $450 per week through emergency care benefit for part-time, gig economy, self-employed and other vulnerable workers;
  • For those who do not qualify for EI benefits, an Emergency Care Benefit of $900 every 2 weeks for up to 15 weeks;
  • No medical documentation required to qualify;
  • Any worker who loses their job and does not qualify for EI, emergency support benefit - $5 billion made available for 14 weeks of support at comparable level to EI;
  • GST credit averaging close to $400 for singles and $600 for couples;
  • Special Canada child benefit of $300 per child.
  • For small businesses, a 10% wage subsidy up to $25,000 per employer for up to 3 months;
  • Tax payment deadline extended to September 1, 2020 ,and the filing deadline extended to June 1, 2020.

The Prime Minister also indicated that future measures will be considered and implemented as needed and strongly encouraged employers to allow employees to work from home where possible.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.