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$82 billion in new supports to help Canadians, workers and businesses deal with Covid-19 economic impacts

By Julie King |

Today the Federal government announced an additional $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households in direct response to the economic uncertainties being created by the Corona virus outbreak.

“In Canada, public health should never hinge on financial considerations,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his announcement.

Self-employed workers who would not traditionally qualify for employment insurance (EI) benefits will now be able access the new Emergency Care Benefit and Covid-19 Emergency Support Benefit.

Small employers will receive a Temporary Wage Subsidy to help them keep people on payroll.

Economic Development Canada (EDC) will provide support to Canadian businesses affected by the global situation while farmers and primary food producers the government will be able to access assistance through a boost to Farm Credit Canada.

Plans are expected to be announced in the coming days for how the government will boost support to business sectors that are particularly impacted by Covid-19 emergency measures.

In addition, the government has announced that it will:

  • Provide tax deferrals until August 2020 for people who have filed their taxes and have a balance owing
  • Introduce a GST benefit supplement for low income Canadians of up to $300 with $150 for every child.
  • Boost the Child Care Benefit (CCB) in the coming months
  • Place a 6-month interest free moratorium on their Canada student loan
  • Double the reach in of the Home Program that supports homelessness
  • Boost funding for shelters that provide support to people affected by domestic or gender based violence
  • Support First nations, Inuit and Metis communities through a distinctions based indigenous community support fund

In all this funding represents 3% of Canada’s GDP. Here is an overview of the programs that will support small businesses:

Emergency care benefit

The Emergency Care Benefit Program will provide money every two weeks for 14 week for an amount comparable to what be paid would be paid through EI. The program will be available to people who don’t qualify for EI who need to either look after themselves because they fall ill, be quarantined, have to self isolate or have to care for an ill family member.

Covid-19 Emergency Support Benefit

The Covid-19 Emergency Support Benefit is a new program being launched to help people who lose their job, but do not qualify for EI. This program will also apply to self-employed Canadians who have to close shop because of Covid 19.

Temporary Wage Subsidy

The Temporary Wage Subsidy is another new program that will help small employers by providing 10% of salary paid to employees as a wage subsidy for a period of 3 months.

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