FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS:
The Canadian government has announced the following initiatives for individuals:
Temporary: Employment Insurance and Emergency Care Benefit
For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is:
- Waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure is in effect as of March 15, 2020.
Longer-Term Income Support for Workers
For Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID’s impact, the Government is:
- Introducing an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the CRA to provide up to $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
- Implementing the EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, by extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, easing eligibility requirements, and streamlining the application process.
Child Care Benefit
- Temporarily increased by $300 per child (for eligible low-income persons)
- One-time payment of approximately $400 for an individual, or $600 for a couple, to be paid in May 2020 (for eligible low-income persons)
Income Tax Deferral
- For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. However, the Agency encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.
- The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or before September 2020 (need to pay by August 31st). No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Student Loan Repayment Deferral
- Placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans.
FINANCIAL INSTITUTION SUPPORTS:
- Canada’s six major banks (BMO, CIBC, National Bank, Royal Bank, RBC, TD, Scotiabank) announced that they will provide up to 6 months suspension of mortgage payments. It is not clear if these banks will waive interest accumulation during this period.
- Please contact your individual financial institution to find out how to apply for a suspension of payments, and the terms that will be applied. It is not automatic so do not just stop paying your mortgage.
- If your mortgage is with a financial institution other than the big 6 banks, please contact them directly to determine if they are permitting a suspension of mortgage payments.
- This initiative applies only to mortgage payments. If you have personal loans, lines of credit, RRSP loans, credit cards, or car loans, please contact your financial institution to determine if they are providing flexible payment options.
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS:
Your provincial governments may introduce assistance programs that will apply in your specific province. You can access your provincial government website at these links:
Newfoundland and Labrador: https://www.gov.nl.ca (English)
Nova Scotia: https://beta.novascotia.ca
Prince Edward Island: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en (English)
New Brunswick: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en.html (English)
Payment of Rent
- Payment of rent and tenant and landlord rights are regulated by provincial governments. The New Brunswick government has announced that tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent until at least May 31, 2020. It’s possible that deadline will be extended.
- We are currently not aware of any specific rent relief measures in NS, NL or PEI. If you have questions about the rights of tenants in those provinces, please contact your government rental office.