Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Support for individuals

Support for individuals and families

  • Increasing the Canada Child Benefit

    We are providing an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family.

    This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May.

    Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply.

    Apply for the Canada Child Benefit

  • Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment

    We are providing a one-time special payment starting April 9 through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families.

    The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.

    There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

  • Extra time to file income tax returns

    We are deferring the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals.

    For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.  

    We will also allow any new income tax balances due, or instalments, to be deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties.

    Learn more

    Note: If you expect to receive benefits under the Goods and Services Tax credit or the Canada Child Benefit, we encourage you to not delay your 2019 return filing to ensure that your entitlements are properly determined.

  • Mortgage support

    Canadian banks have committed to work with their customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19. Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship as a result should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral. This allows flexibility to be available − when needed − to those who need it the most.

    Learn more

    Contact your financial institution for further mortgage assistance.

    The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.

    Canada’s mortgage insurers are committed to providing homeowners with solutions to mitigate temporary financial hardship related to COVID-19. This includes permitting lenders to defer up to six monthly mortgage payments (interest and principal) for impacted borrowers. Deferred payments are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage.

    Learn more: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)

Support for people facing unemployment

Support for people who are sick, quarantined, or in directed self-isolation

  • The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

    We will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.

    The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible online in early April.

    Learn more

  • Improved access to Employment Insurance sickness benefits

    If you are sick, quarantined or have been directed to self-isolate, we will waive the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.

    Apply for Employment Insurance sickness benefits


Support for people who are unable to work

  • The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

    We will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.

    The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible online in early April.

    Learn more

Support for people who need it most

  • A new Indigenous Community Support Fund

    We will provide $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.

    Learn more

  • Enhancing the Reaching Home initiative

    We continue to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing $157.5 million to the Reaching Home initiative.

    The funding could be used for a range of needs such as purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.

    Learn more about the Reaching Home initiative

  • Support for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres

    We are supporting women and children fleeing violence, by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities.

Support for seniors

  • Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds

    We are reducing the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020.

    Learn more about Registered Retirement Income Funds

  • Practical services: delivery of items and personal outreach

    We are contributing $9 million through United Way Canada for local organizations to support practical services to Canadian seniors. These services could include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports.

    Contact your local organization

Support for students and recent graduates

  • A moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans

    Effective March 30, we are placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time.

    Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

    Learn more about the moratorium on the repayment

Support for youth

  • Mental health support

    We are giving $7.5 million in funding to Kids Help Phone to provide young people with the mental health support they need during this difficult time.

    Get the support you need


Support for businesses

Avoiding layoffs

  • Extending the Work-Sharing program

    We are extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

    Apply to the Work-Sharing program

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

    We have proposed the new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy that would cover 75 per cent of salaries for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy would be eligible with the exception of public sector entities.

    This program is designed to help employers hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic to keep and retain workers.

    Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, 2020.

    Eligible employers would be able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal. More details on how to apply will follow soon.

    More information about this measure

Access to credit

  • Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program

    We established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide $40 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

    BDC and EDC are working with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, exports and tourism.

    This program includes:

    Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

    EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.

    Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

    BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.

    Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.

    These programs will roll out in the three weeks after March 27, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

    Learn more about the Business Credit Availability Program

  • Canada Emergency Business Account

    The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.

    This program will roll out in the three weeks after March 27, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

Supporting financial stability

  • Launching an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program

    We launched an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program, in which we will purchase up to $150 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

    This action will provide long-term stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders, help facilitate continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses, and add liquidity to Canada’s mortgage market.

    Learn more

  • Bank of Canada actions

    The Bank of Canada is acting in several ways to support the economy and financial system and stands ready to take any and all actions that it can to protect the well-being of Canadians during this difficult time. The Bank has responded by lowering interest rates, intervening to support key financial markets and providing liquidity support for financial institutions.

    Learn more

  • Lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer

    The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions announced it is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25% of risk-weighted assets. This action will allow Canada’s large banks to inject $300 billion of additional lending in to the economy.

More flexibility

  • More time to pay income taxes

    We are allowing all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.

    No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. 

    Learn more

  • Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments

    We will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), as well as customs duties owing on their imports.

    The deferral will apply to GST/HST remittances for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods for monthly filers; the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period for quarterly filers; and for annual filers, the amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.

    For GST and customs duty payments for imported goods, deferral will include amounts owing for March, April and May.

    These amounts were normally due to be submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of this month.


Support for industries

Support for farmers

  • Increasing credit available

    We are supporting Farm Credit Canada by allowing an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors. This will offer increased flexibility to farmers who face cashflow issues and to processors who are impacted by lost sales, helping them remain financially strong during this difficult time.

    Learn more

Support for the air transportation sector

  • Waiving ground lease rents

    We are waiving ground lease rents from March 2020 through to December 2020 for the 21 airport authorities that pay rent to the federal government. We are also providing comparable treatment for PortsToronto, which operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and pays a charge to the federal government.

    Learn more

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