Dear Bay of Quinte,
As some of you may already know, the Government of Canada in consultation with the opposition parties, worked late into Tuesday night to enact Bill C-13, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act.
This bill has activated all $82 billion dollars of support measures to assist Canadian families, and Canadian businesses within the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which were previously announced last week.
As you may recall from those announcements, there will be a total of $27 billion dollars in direct support offered to Canadian workers and businesses and another $55 billion dollars to meet the needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals which will also help us stabilize the economy.
To help make sure that you and your family members are fully aware of these support provisions, I’d like to provide the following overview and links for each support measure to help clarify and simplify the process of applying for measures that fit your needs.
1. Canada Child Benefit payments
. $2 billion in extra support is available for families.
. $300 top-up, per child, will be added to the May payment.
2. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will comprise of both the care and support streams announced on March 18, 2020. The CERB will include the:
. Emergency Care Benefit
$10 billion dollars allocated to provide income support to workers who must stay home and who do not already have access to paid sick leave. This measure will give up to $900 dollars bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks.
You’re eligible if you are:
Sick, or directed to quarantine/self-isolate, but do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
Taking care of a family member with COVID-19.
EI-eligible or non EI-eligible working parent who must stay home without pay because of children who are sick or who need additional care because of school closures.
. Emergency Support Benefit
o $5 billion dollars allocated to provide support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
o You’re eligible if you are:
Self-employed, employed on a contractual or part-time basis and have lost your job.
An employee who has lost their income but remains attached to an employer.
3. Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit
. $5.5 billion dollars to deliver a special top-up payment to individuals and families with low and modest incomes.
. $400 per individual or $600 per couple.
. As one-time special payment will be delivered by May 2020.
4. EI sickness benefits for workers
. Waiving the mandatory one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits.
. Waiving the requirement for a medical certificate to apply for EI sickness benefits.
o You’re eligible if you’re:
A worker directed to quarantine or to self-isolate due to COVID-19.
5. Extend the tax filing deadline for individuals to June 1.
. All taxpayers may defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
6. Payment deferral for homeowner/government-insured mortgage loans and relief on other credit products.
. For borrowers in financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
. Insurers will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately.
. A six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products for personal and small business banking customers.
7. Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs)
. Reduce minimum withdrawals by 25% for 2020 in recognition of volatile market conditions and the impact on many seniors’ retirement savings.
8. Canada Student Loan (CSL) payments
. Initiation of a six-month long, interest-free period for all individuals who are actively repaying their CSL loans.
9. Indigenous Community Support Fund
. $305 million dollars to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
10. Support women and children fleeing violence
. $50 million dollars to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities. This includes funding for facilities within Indigenous communities.
11. Reaching Home program
. $157.5 million dollars to address the needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness who would otherwise have limited access to preventative measures or supports for COVID-19.
12. Business Credit Availability Program
. $10 billion in credit support for small, medium, and large Canadian businesses.
. For businesses experiencing cash flow challenges, support will be provided through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.
13. A 10% wage subsidy for eligible small businesses.
. To help small businesses keep their staff on payroll.
. Available for a period of 90 days up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer to
14. Canada Emergency Response Benefit
. Income support to workers who are furloughed.
. This benefit will complement the wage subsidy and help both workers and employers avoid a formal layoff situation.
15. Flexibility to provide further support and stimulus to the Canadian economy, including:
. Capacity for further financial support to businesses through EDC, BDC, and Farm Credit Canada.
. Flexibility for the Canada Account to better support specific businesses and sectors.
. Ability to give additional support to provinces and territories facing significant economic or financial distress.
16. Business Income Tax
. Allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any business income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.
. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Each of these measures will help us tackle the most pressing challenges in our ongoing COVID-19 situation. I look forward to providing further on our national efforts to prioritize the health and safety of Canadians and stabilize the economy. Until we connect next, thank you for everything that you’re doing in your own capacity to help our riding get through this situation.
Member of Parliament, Bay of Quinte