Highlights of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
In our previous commentaries, we have discussed our views on the role of our federal government in supporting the economy and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Here in this article, we summarize the economic measures the Canadian Federal Government is proposing as part of its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to help Canadian individuals and business owners who are facing hardship due to the impact of COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information on the steps our federal government is taking, please visit this Department of Finance page dedicated to the COVID-19 response.
Some of the measures listed in the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan include:
- Waiver of the one-week waiting period for Employment Insurance
- The Emergency Response Benefit of $2,000 per month for up to four months for workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19 or taking care of a child because of school and daycare closures
- Enhanced GST Credit in the form of a one-time special payment in May
- Extra Canada Child Benefit for those receiving benefits for the 2019-2020 benefit year
- A deferred tax deadline for individuals (other than trusts) of June 1, 2020, and for calendar-year trusts, a deadline of May 1, without incurring interest or penalties
- Increased duration of the Work-Sharing Program, which is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers
- Access to Credit through the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide support primarily for small- and medium-sized businesses
- Payroll Subsidies for eligible small employers
- Mortgage Support, including payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements
- Reduced Minimum Withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds for 2020
- A moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans effective March 30
We will continue to share updates, insights and information on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our economy here. Please check back often, and as always, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.
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