March 18, 2020

Prime Minister Trudeau Announces an $82 billion Support Package

Moments ago, the Prime Minister provided an update on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Prime Minister Trudeau informed Canadians that he and President Trump have decided to temporarily restrict all non-essential travel over the border. Travelers will no longer be able to cross for recreation and tourism. However, essential travel will continue to ensure supply chains are protected, and that people who must travel for other urgent reasons will not be impacted.

The Prime Minister also announced $82 billion in additional support measures. This includes $27 billion in direct support to workers and businesses, and $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of businesses and households to stabilize the economy through tax deferrals.

For people and business:

  • Those who do not qualify for EI or paid sick leave will receive an Emergency Care Benefit which will provide EI-equivalent payments every two-weeks to those who must stay home for 14 weeks.
  • The COVID-19 Emergency Support Benefit will support those who do not have access to EI and lose their job. This will also apply to self-employed workers who must cease activities because of illness.
  • Employers will have access to a temporary wage subsidy to pay employees for a period of 3-months to keep staff on the payroll.

For those who’ve filed taxes and have money owed, they will have until August 2020 to pay.

  • The Canada Child Benefit will receive a temporary boost for the next few months.
  • Low income individuals will see an increase in the GST credit. In May adults who are eligible will receive $300 with an additional $150 for every child.
  • A 6-month interest free moratorium will be placed on student loans.
  • There will be an increase in funding for shelters so that those experiencing domestic violence do not have to isolate at home.
  • $305 million in support will be provided to indigenous communities.
  • More targeted assistance will be coming in the months to follow.

Additional mesures for businesses:

  • Allowed to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.
  • Provide flexibility on the Canada Account limit, to allow the Government to provide additional support to Canadian businesses, when deemed to be in the national interest, to deal with exceptional circumstances.

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