COVID-19 Updates

Relevant Topics (up-to-date as of May 12, 2020):

 

Seniors
The federal government has committed $2.5 billion to assist seniors. Details include:

  • Support will come in the form of a one-time tax-free payment of $300 to those who qualify for Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
    • Those who also qualify for Old Age Security (OAS) will get an additional $200
  • Payments are expected to be distributed within a few weeks

The New Horizons for Seniors program will receive an additional $20 Million for community programs
link:https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/12/prime-minister-announces-additional-support-canadian-seniors

 

Large Businesses
The federal government has created the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide financial assistance to large sized businesses. Details include:

  • Providing bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing
  • The program will partner with private sector lenders and set up an emergency credit for companies that can’t get support by other means
  • *Oil and gas will be eligible but subject to meeting government’s climate change commitments through emissions plans

Link: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/11/prime-minister-announces-additional-support-businesses-help-save

 

Small Business
The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy program will be extended beyond June

Economy
The federal government will create an industry strategy council. In collaboration with government and industry, the council will study what can be done to support industry and workers.
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2020/05/minister-bains-announces-new-industry-strategy-council.html

 

Essential Workers
The Federal Government announced a deal with all provinces and territories for wage top-up of essential workers. They are finalizing details, and will have further information shortly.

  • The provinces and territories will deliver the top-up and decide who will be qualify for this wage top-up
  • The federal government will provide 75 percent of the top-up for a total investment of $4 Billion

 

Tourism/Hospitality
A broad coalition of hospitality industry stakeholders have launched the Canadian Hospitality Worker Relief Fund to support workers in the restaurant and hospitality industry impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

  • Applications Open on May 6th at 12pm EST

To apply please visit: https://chwrf.ca/

 

Employment

To apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit(CERB), please reference the link below on program details and how to apply:
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html?utm_campaign=not-applicable&utm_medium=vanity-url&utm_source=canada-ca_coronavirus-cerb
*New changes to CERB to enable applications to those who:

  • Make up to $1,000/month
  • Have had EI run out since Jan 1st
  • Would have had seasonal work this summer that is now affected by COVID

 

The federal government announced a $9 billion aid package for post-secondary students, including:

  • The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (for students in post-secondary, starting post-secondary in Sept, or graduating this year:
    • $1,250/month from May-Aug
    • $1,750/month if have a disability or are caring for someone else
  • 76,000 jobs to be created for students in sectors needing help or contributing to the response
  • $291 million for scholarships and grants
  • Canada Student Service Grant of $1,000-$5,000/month for students volunteering on the fight against COVID
  • Doubling student grants for the 2020-21 school year, including $75 million for First Nations/Inuit/Metis students specifically

Link: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/22/support-students-and-new-grads-affected-covid-19

 

Small Business

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Applications open on Monday April 27, 2020
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html

budgets will be increased for Regional Economic Development Agencies for Community Futures organizations across Canada to help small businesses who don’t qualify for the other supports which have been announced

The federal government has committed $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses.

  • The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Metis businesses. These measures will help 6,000 Indigenous-owned businesses get through these difficult times

The federal government announced a Commercial Rent Subsidy of 75% for Small Businesses
Coverage breakdown:

  • Government will cover 50% (75% of this by federal government, 25% by the provincial government)
  • Property owners to covers 25%
  • Small business still responsible for the remaining 25%
  • Applicable for rents of $50k or less per month
  • Applies for April, May, and June

Additional details to follow
Link: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business

The federal government announced the following support for small businesses:

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy(also applicable to non-profits and large businesses)
  • Government will also guarantee bank loans for small businesses of up to $40,000
  • An additional $12.5 billion through Export Development Canada & the Business Development Bank to help small & medium-sized businesses with operational cash flow requirements
  • GST and HST payments, duties and taxes owed on imports, will be deferred until June

Link: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/27/prime-minister-announces-support-small-businesses-facing-impacts
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/additional-support-for-canadian-businesses-from-the-economic-impact-of-covid-19.html

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

Effective immediately, BDC will provide new relief measures for entrepreneurs:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans

Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry specific support, to be announced in the coming days.
Link: https://www.bdc.ca/en/about/mediaroom/news_releases/pages/bdc-announces-additional-measures-provide-relief-canadian-entrepreneurs.aspx

 

Economic Measures

The federal government has committed $252 million to help the agri-food sector. Details include:

  • $77 million for food processors for employee protection including PPE and to assist in social distancing measures
  • $125 million to AgriRecovery fund to assist cattle and hog producers adapt to market changes including having to hold onto stock for longer with too much food being produced
  • $50 million in funding to fight food insecurity – a surplus food purchase program to help it go to food banks (examples include excess milk and butter, which is currently being dumped)
  • The government will work with partners to have a $200 million increase to the credit line for the Canadian Milk Commission

New funding of $500 million has been announced to support arts, culture, and amateur sports
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/news/2020/05/backgrounder-emergency-support-fund-for-cultural-heritage-and-sport-organizations.html

Those receiving the Canada Child Tax Benefit, will receive an additional $300 per child in May
Link: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/03/families-receive-increased-support-through-canada-child-benefit

The federal government has committed $62.5 million to support the fish and seafood processing sector.
Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/fisheries-oceans/news/2020/04/government-of-canada-announces-new-canadian-seafood-stabilization-fund-to-help-canadas-fish-and-seafood-processing-sector.html

The Alberta government has released details on how they will be dispersing the $1 billion allotment for orphaned wells in Alberta.
Program eligibility and details: https://www.alberta.ca/site-rehabilitation-program.aspx

The federal government is committing $50 million to help the agriculture sector put in place measures needed to maintain the 14-day mandatory isolation requirements for all workers arriving from abroad.
Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/agriculture-agri-food/news/2020/04/keeping-canadians-and-workers-in-the-food-supply-chain-safe.html

Through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, the federal government has committed $100 million to support food banks and local food organizations:

  • $50 million to Food Banks Canada
  • $20 million divided evenly between Salvation Army, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada, and Breakfast Club of Canada
  • $30 million to be awarded at a later date

http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/agricultural-programs-and-services/local-food-infrastructure-fund-infrastructure-and-equipment-improvement-projects/supporting-people-experiencing-food-insecurity-in-canada-because-of-covid-19/?id=1585855025072

The Canadian government will provide an additional $5 billion in credit for farmers through Farm Credit Canada
Link: https://www.fcc-fac.ca/en/about-fcc/media-newsroom/news-releases/2020/lending-capacity-increases-to-alleviate-industry-financial-pressure.html
Policy Update: Advance Payments Program loans due by April 30th will be deferred by six months

Funding update:
$20 million to Canadian Food Inspection Agency to increase inspections
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/food-inspection-agency/news/2020/04/government-of-canada-provides-20million-to-safeguard-canadas-food-supply-by-supporting-critical-food-inspection-services.html
$130 million for the northern territories to ensure food supply is maintained
Link: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/14/prime-minister-announces-health-and-social-support-northern

 

Health

Quarantine Act
Effective midnight April 14,2020 – those arriving in Canada from outside our borders will be required to have a credible plan for self-quarantine. If this is not possible, they will be placed into a quarantine center.

For immediate assistance regarding COVID-19 and any questions you may have please contact:
Phone-: 1-833-784-4397
Email: phac.info.aspc@canada.ca

Health Canada has set up a new App, called the Canada COVID-19 App, this can be downloaded for free to stay up to date
App link: https://ca.thrive.health/

Health – Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer is now recommending the use of non-medical masks when out in public

Through United Way Canada, the federal government has committed $9 million in funding to provide support services for seniors. Services include:

  • Grocery delivery, medications, and outreach services to assess needs and connect them to community support

Details: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/29/prime-minister-announces-support-vulnerable-canadians-affected-covid

The Government of Canada has committed $7.5 million in funding to Kids Help Phone to provide young people with mental health support
Details: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/29/prime-minister-announces-support-vulnerable-canadians-affected-covid

 

Travel

Either me or my family member is outside of Canada and is affected by travel bans. What should we do?
Canadians travelling outside of Canada in need of emergency consular assistance can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613 996 8885 or email sos@international.gc.ca.

Travel Update: Under the federal Quarantine Act – All travellers returning to Canada are required to enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine
Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html?topic=tilelink

The federal government has banned domestic air travel and inter-city train trips for people with COVID-19 symptoms
Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/03/government-of-canada-announces-new-domestic-transportation-measures.html

Travel Advisory:Effective March 21, 2020 – The Border between the USA and Canada will be temporarily closed to non-essential travel.

  • This does not affect trade. Supply chains between Canada and the US are still running

Air travel into Canada
Effective March 18, 2020

  • Canada will deny entry to those who aren’t Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or U.S. citizens. Exceptions made for diplomats, air crews, and immediate family members of Canadian citizens.
  • Anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms will not be able to board a flight into Canada.
  • Non-domestic flights will be restricted to four international airports located in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal.

Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/03/new-measures-for-covid-19-response.html

 

Alberta

The Alberta government has released a plan to relaunch the province

The Alberta government has announced $53million in COVID related mental health funding
Details: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=70099FD5A018B-07BD-2B06-3BD3E6BD3108AF41

For information about current restrictions and closures in Alberta due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please visit:
https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx