Our federal, provincial and municipal governments are working together to respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Yesterday, the federal government announced an $82 billion package of aid and economic supports in response to the COVID-19. My team and I have summarized the proposals below, and will provide more information and updates as soon as they are available.
Here’s what we know so far about the proposals in the federal government's aid package:
The federal government announced benefit programs for people who have lost their jobs or are away from work due to COVID-19:
Emergency Care Benefit: will provide up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks. This benefit is for people in one of the following categories:
- Workers, including the self-employed, who are sick or have been ordered to self-isolate, and don’t qualify for EI sick benefits;
- Workers, including the self-employed, who are actively taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, and don’t qualify for EI sick benefits;
- Working parents who must stay home from work without pay to care for children who are sick, or who need additional care because of school closures.
The application will be available in April through the Canada Revenue Agency website.
Emergency Support Benefit: will provide up to $450 per week for workers who do not qualify for EI, and who have lost their jobs or are facing reduced work hours due to COVID-19. We are waiting for more details on this program and how people can apply.
For workers who have lost their jobs but do qualify for EI, the government will:
- Waive the mandatory one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for workers in imposed quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate
- Waive the requirement for a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
- Emergency Care Benefit: will provide up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks. This benefit is for people in one of the following categories:
A 6-month, interest-free moratorium on Canada student loan payments.
An increase to the Canada Child Benefit of up to $300 per child, coming in May 2020.
Additional assistance to individuals and families with low and modest incomes through a top-up of the GST tax credit (approx. $400 per individual; $600 per couple), coming in May 2020.
The deadline for filing income taxes has been extended to June 1, 2020 and the deadline for payments on any tax owing has been extended to September 1, 2020.
- Up to six month deferral on some mortgage payments. It is recommended that you contact your bank to discuss credit relief on mortgages, auto loans, etc.
Please note: Some benefits will be distributed to people through the Canada Revenue Agency (where you file your taxes). This means that the CRA needs to have your current contact information.
You can update your address and other info here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/cra-login-services.html
If you have not filed your taxes in recent years, you may miss out on these benefits. Please reach out to our office if you need assistance.
The federal government is also providing relief to small businesses, through a 10 percent wage subsidy for the next 90 days.
The government is also increasing funding for homelessness services, women’s shelters and sexual assault centres, and creating an Indigenous Community Support Fund.
My team will continue to provide you with regular updates as the news progresses.
At this time, all residents are encouraged to listen to our public health experts and practice safe hygiene, including thorough hand washing, and social distancing, in order to protect everyone in our community.
We’re all in this together.