The measures announced in today’s package represent the first phase of our economic response and includes up to $27 Billion in direct support for Canadians, to establish the following measures:
➡️The Emergency Care Benefit – this benefit will support Canadians who become sick, need to self-isolate, or need to take time away from work to care for a child. This benefit will provide direct assistance to Canadians who do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) of up to $450 per week for up to 15 weeks. This benefit will be available in early April and you will be able to apply online from your home in order to follow public health advice. We will not require a doctor’s note, which would only further add to the burden facing our public health care system.
➡️The Emergency Support Benefit – this benefit will provide direct financial support to Canadians that are laid off or experience a decline in hours. Importantly, this new benefit will provide coverage for individuals that are self-employed or that do not otherwise qualify for Employment Insurance.
➡️An enhanced GST Credit – this measure will support Canadians that have modest incomes by doubling the maximum credit for over 12 Million families. This credit top-up would mean an average of $400 for single adults, and $600 for couples. This measure will inject $5.5 Billion into the Canadian economy and will be available as soon as May 2020.
➡️An enhanced Canada Child Benefit that will see an additional $300 per child for the 2019-2020 year to assist with unexpected challenges tied to raising children, including disruptions to child care.
➡️A new Wage Subsidy for Small and Medium sized businesses. This will equate to 10% of their employees’ salary for a period of 3 months and will be delivered by granting a holiday on a portion of tax withholding remittances that would ordinarily be due to the federal government. It will give up to $1,375 per employee and up to $25,000 per employer. This measure will apply not only to businesses, but also to non-profits and will help them avoid layoffs.
➡️A 6 month moratorium on all Canada Student Loans payments – during the period of this deferral, no student loan payments will become due, and no interest will be charged on amounts owed during this time. This relief will save 1 Million young Canadians an average of $160 per month.
➡️Additional support to assist Canadians without access to housing. For many of these individuals, self-isolation is an impossibility and we need to ensure they have the support to protect their health. This will include funding to help shelters implement public health measures to ensure vulnerable individuals, including women and children fleeing violence, will have a safe place to seek refuge.
➡️Changes to help protect the retirement savings of Canadian seniors in light of market volatility, we are reducing the mandatory withdrawal from RRIFs by 25%.
➡️A new $305 Million Indigenous Community Support Fund to help First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities that will help provide them address immediate needs that many Canadians take for granted.
We have been working with Canada’s major banks, who have determined they will work with Canadians on a case-by-case basis to provide support for those who have experienced disruptions to their pay, interruptions to child care, or unexpected health needs. This will begin with a deferral of mortgage payments for affected Canadians by up to 6 months.
In addition, we have advanced $55 Billion in immediate support for Canadian businesses and worked with other organizations or agencies to help protect against potential negative economic consequences of the spread of COVID-19, including:
⏺An extension of the tax filing deadline to June 1. This tax deferral will allow businesses that owe taxes at the end of the year to delay the time at which taxes would ordinarily become due until August 31. No interest will accrue during this period.
⏺Support of more than $10 Billion in loans for businesses of all sizes through the Business Credit Availability Program.
⏺Increased Liquidity for lenders in the Canadian economy to help businesses stay afloat through $50 Billion in mortgage purchases that will allow banks to free up additional lending capacity.
⏺A reduction of the interest rate through the Bank of Canada to 0.75%. Additionally, the Bank of Canada will free up lending capacity by approximately $50 Billion.
⏺Doubling the lending capacity of Farm Credit Canada.
⏺The Superintendent of Financial Institutions has changed the rules regulating Canada’s major banks that will allow them to increase lending capacity by approximately $300 Billion.
⏺Additional support through EDC’s Canada Account for items that are in Canada’s national interest.
To the extent we need to take further action in the coming days, weeks, or months, we will. We will be there for Canadian families and businesses in their time of need and we will get through this together.
Take care of yourselves, and take care of each other.
For more information and how to access these supports visit: www.canada.ca/economic-response-plan
To keep informed about the evolving situations with COVID-19, check in with: https://jmurray.liberal.ca/page/covid-19-coronavirus/