Government of Canada announces $82 Billion Emergency Response Package for Canadians

Breakdown of the $82 Billion dollars in Direct Aid and Economic Stimulus: 

  • Sickness benefits beyond EI (Employment Insurance) 
  • Unemployment benefits beyond EI
  • Wage subsidy
  • Income supports
  • Tax Deadline Postponed 
  • Moratorium on Student Loan Payments
  • Help for Canadian Businesses

Earlier wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the federal government is prepared to spend a combined $82 billion dollars in direct financial help and an economic stimulus. 

“These are extraordinary times, our government is taking extraordinary measures,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. 

“The measures we are announcing today will provide up to $27 billion dollars in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy”, Trudeau stated. 

Sickness Benefits Beyond EI

  • Canadians without paid sick leave or access to Employment Insurance sickness benefits will now have access to a new Emergency Care Benefit
  • Through the program will be providing up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks
  • The benefit is for workers who must self-isolate, those who are caring for a family member sick with COVID-19, and parents who are unable to earn income while schools are closed as a result of childcare duties 
  • The government estimates this could cost up to $10 billion and will be available April 2020

Unemployment Benefits beyond EI

  • Ottawa will be extending income supports to workers who lose their jobs or see hours reduced as a result of the pandemic 
  • The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) will be providing up to $5 billion for unemployed workers without access to EI through the Emergency Support Benefit

Wage Subsidies

  • To help prevent lay-offs the government is considering to enact a measure that provides subsidies businesses struggling with the impact of COVID-19
  • The subsidy will provide equal to 10% of employee wages, up to $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer
  • The wage subsidy would cost up to $3.8 bullion 

Income Supports

  • PM Trudeau announced that the government will temporarily boost the Canada Child Benefit (CBB) over the coming months 
  • The government is proposing boosts to the annual CBB payment by $300 per child for the 2019-2020 benefit year
  • The government will also be doubling the maximum annual Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) providing an income boost for $400 for low-income individuals and close to $600 for couples

Tax Deadline Postponed

  • Ottawa is moving the tax-filing deadline from April 30 to June 1 for individuals 
  • Canadians who discover they owe taxes will be allowed to postpone payment until August 31

Moratorium on Student Loan Payments

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is announcing that the government is also proposing a six-month, interest-free moratorium on the repayment of federal student loans

Help for Canadian Businesses

  • Canadian government will allow businesses to defer payments of income tax amounts until after August 31, 2020
  • No interest or penalties will accumulate 
  • The government will also increase tax credits available to small, medium, and large businesses

After the Prime Minister’s address this morning, Finance Minister Bill Morneau is said to be outlining the details of the government’s package which is designed to help workers and businesses weather out the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The government also announced it will augment the credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada. Lastly, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced that the government will launch an Insured Mortgage Protection Program to purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation). 

Image Credit: Art Babych

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