Government of Canada Economic Response Plan  (Alberta support plan included)

Government of Canada Economic Response Plan  (Alberta support plan included)


Support to Canadian Individuals and Families

  • Long-term income support for workers (for those that lost their job or face wage reduction)
    1. $5 billion is made available for those that are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment
      1. Payments to start in April and will be retroactive to Mar 15, 2020
      2. Visit the CRA website in April to apply

  1. EI Work-Sharing Program for those that have reduced working hours as a result of developments beyond their employers control
    1. Designed to help employers avoid layoffs by sharing the available work with all their employees
    2. For those eligible for EI
    3. Provides income support to employees while all workers share the available work temporarily reducing work week hours
    4. This option requires employers and employees to agree to participate in a Work-Sharing program
    5. An application for Work-Sharing must be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to requesting the start date
    6. Employers can call 1-800-367-5693 for more information
    7. Application guide link is
  2. For Individuals
    1. Income Support for Individuals Who Need it Most – for low income and modest income families
      1. Goods and Service Tax credit (GSTC) & Child Support Benefit (CSB)
        1. GSTC
          1. One time special payment by early May through the GST tax credit
          2. It will double the maximum annual payment for the 2019-20 benefit year
  • The average boost will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples
  1. Child Support Benefit (CSB)
    1. Families with children
    2. Increase the maximum Child Support benefit payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year
  • $300/child
  1. Starts in May
  1. On average the GSTC & CSB together will provide a single parent with 2 children an extra $1,500 in additional short-term help
  2. There appears to be no application for these and will automatically occur for those already receiving these benefits
  1. Emergency Care Benefit
    1. Provide $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks
      1. For workers, including self-employed, who are sick or quarantined due to COVID -19 but do not qualify for EI
      2. For workers, including the self-employed, who are caring for family sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI
      3. For parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or day closures and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective if they qualify for EI or not
    2. Applications will be available in April
    3. Applicants will be required to attest they meet eligibility and re-attest every 2 weeks thereafter
    4. Apply by 1 of 3 ways
      1. Access it on their CRA MyAccount secure portal
      2. Access it from their My Service Canada account
      3. Call toll free number not yet designated
  • Targeted help to vulnerable groups
    1. Indigenous Community Support Fund
      1. Details are not yet available
    2. Canada Student Loans
      1. A 6 month interest free moratorium to all individuals currently repaying these loans
    3. Retirees
      1. Reducing the minimum withdrawals from RRIF’s by 25% for 2020
      2. Designed to help the retirement funds recover from the recent market loses
    4. Homeless People
      1. To help providers for the homeless in acquiring and providing adequate recourse social distancing and secure accommodations and reduce overflow of shelters
    5. Women & Children fleeing violence
      1. To help women’s shelters with their capacity or prevent outbreaks within families


  • Flexibility for Taxpayers
    1. Deferring tax filling dates
      1. For individuals deferred to June 1st
        1. If you expect to receive benefits under the GSTC and/or CSB file your taxes ASAP to ensure your entitlements are properly determined and arrive on time
      2. For Trusts
        1. With year ending dates of Dec 31, 2019 are deferred to May 1, 2020
      3. CRA is allowing owing tax amounts for 2019 to be deferred to Aug 31, 2020
        1. No interest or tax penalties will accumulate during this period
      4. CRA will temporarily recognize e-signature’s on tax documents to reduce the need for taxpayers and preparers to meet in person
      5. CRA Outreach Program to help individuals understand their tax obligations and receive their benefits will be now done by phone and through webinar. Details to follow


  • Role of Financial Institutions
    1. Banks have been encourage to show flexibility in helping their customers whose personal or business finances are affected by COVID-19
    2. Banks will use additional lending capacity provided by the recent government actions to support Canadian businesses and households
    3. Banks have affirmed their commitment to working with customers on a case-by-case basis
      1. This includes Canada’s largest banks confirmations to defer  mortgage payments up to 6-months
      2. An opportunity for relief on other credit products (loans, credit cards, lines-of-credit etc)
  • Contact your bank for this support


  • Mortgages Default management Tool
    1. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other mortgage insurers to assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These tools include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses and special payment arrangements
    2. CMHC is also providing increased flexibility for homeowners facing financial difficulties to defer mortgage payments on homeowner CMHC-insured mortgage loans
    3. Payment deferral programs will begin immediately
    4. Contact your lender for this support


Support to Canadian Businesses

  • Supporting business through the Canada Account
    1. Additional support for businesses the federal government changed the Canada Account to provide additional support to Canadian companies through loans, guarantees or insurance policies


  • Helping Businesses Keep their Workers
    1. A temporary wage subsidy was created to help businesses facing revenue loss and to prevent lay-offs
      1. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration up to a max of $1,375/employee or $25,000/employer
      2. This support is to be deducted from their income tax withholdings
  • This subsidy is for small businesses, non-profit organizations and charities


  • Flexible for Business Filing Taxes
    1. The CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until after Aug 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today (Mar 16, 2020). No interest or penalties will accumulate during this period.
    2. CRA will not conduct any small or medium business to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next 4 weeks.
    3. Most audit interactions will be suspended
    4. Liaison Office to help business understand their tax obligations will suspend all in person meetings and move to using the phone


  • Ensuring Businesses Have Access to Credit
    1. The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium sized businesses
    2. BDC & EDC are also cooperating with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses
    3. Farm Credit Canada will increase near term credit for farmers and agri-food sector


Government of Alberta’s Support for Albertan’s

  • Emergency Isolation Support
    1. A temporary program for Albertans who must self-isolate because they meet the Government of Alberta’s criteria for self-isolation
    2. This including persons who are the sole caregiver for a dependent who must self-isolate
    3. And will not have another source of income
    4. Self-isolation criteria is found on this link
    5. A one-time payment of $1,146 will be distributed to bridge the gap until the federal program emergency plan begins
    6. A simple online application will be available next week (Mar 23 – 27)


  • Utility Payment Deferral
    1. Residential customers can defer electrical and natural gas payments for the next 90 days
    2. Call your utility provider


  • Student Loans Repayment Deferral
    1. The government is implementing a 6-month, interest free, moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans
      1. Moratorium begins Mar 30, 2020
      2. Interest will not accrue during this period
  • Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause
  1. Borrowers may continue to make payments by their own choosing during this time. They will still receive this repayment pause benefit if the find they require it at a later date


  • Banks and Credit unions
    1. Credit unions will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan repayments and short-term cash flow
    2. Contact your credit union to work out a plan for your personal situation
    3. Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB, lines of credit and mortgages for up to 6 months