COVID-19: Help for families, workers, and businesses

March 25, 2020

Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government are committed to doing whatever it takes to protect and support Canadians during this challenging time.

After an overnight session, Parliament has passed the new COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, ensuring that Canada has the tools and flexibility to respond quickly to these emerging challenges.

That includes the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which will provide $2000 a month for the next 4 months to workers who lose their income as a result of COVID-19.

We will always put the health and safety of Canadians first, and the measures outlined in the Act will provide immediate help to the Canadian workers, businesses, and families that need it most.

Here’s a quick summary of the plan’s highlights:

New Canada Emergency Response Benefit
$2000 a month for up to 16 weeks for Canadians who lose income due to COVID-19

Boosting Canada Child Benefit payments for families

6-month, interest-free moratorium on Canada Student Loan payments

Top-up payments for low & modest income Canadians, with the GST credit

Extended tax filing deadline to June 1
And taxpayers can defer until Aug. 31 income tax that becomes owing before Sept. 21

Waiving the mandatory 1-week wait-period for EI sickness benefits, for a minimum of 6 months
For those in quarantine/self-isolation

Waiving requirement for medical certificates to access EI sickness benefits

Helping seniors access retirement savings
By reducing minimum withdrawals from RRIFs by 25%

Flexibility to lenders to defer mortgage payments

$157 million in added funding for Canadians experiencing homelessness

$305 million for a new Indigenous Community Support Fund

Supporting women and children fleeing violence
$50 million for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres

More credit available to small, medium, & large businesses
New Business Credit Availability Program ($10 billion for cash flow challenges)

Increasing credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada

Supporting continued lending to Canadian businesses through Export Development Canada and the Bank of Canada

Prevent shortages of patented drugs or medical devices

Temporary wage subsidy for small employers to help keep employees on the payroll

$500 million to support provinces and territories in dealing with COVID-19

For full details, see the Finance Minister’s full news release or the Government of Canada’s Economic Response Plan resource page.

UPDATE: On March 27, 2020, Justin Trudeau announced important new steps to support Canadian small businesses and the workers who count on them, including a 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses.

No Canadian should have to worry about paying their bills, having the money for rent, or putting food on the table at a time where many parts of life remain uncertain. And our Liberal government will continue to take strong action to keep Canadians safe, support our healthcare system, and stabilize our economy.

For more information on COVID-19, and to stay up-to-date on what Canadians, our families, and our communities can do to be prepared and support prevention, you can also visit Canada.ca/Coronavirus.

We’re all in this together. Thank you for your support, and for all that you are doing to help keep your family, your community, and all Canadians safe at this crucial time.

Liberal Party of Canada