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.

On this page

Support for individuals

Individuals and families

  • Increasing the Canada Child Benefit

    We are providing up to 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 CCB 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

    The filing due date for 2019 income tax returns for individuals has been deferred until June 1, 2020. Any new income tax balances due, or instalments, are also being deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties.

    Consult all tax and payment dates

    Note: If you expect to receive benefits under the Goods and Services Tax credit or the Canada Child Benefit, we encourage you not to delay filing your 2019 income tax return 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. This includes permitting lenders to defer up to six monthly mortgage payments (interest and principal) for impacted borrowers. 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 gives flexibility to be available − when needed − to those who need it the most. You are encouraged to visit your bank’s website for the latest information, rather than calling or visiting a branch.

    Consult your bank's dedicated COVID-19 page

    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)

People facing loss of income

  • 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.

    A portal with a simple questions will help us direct you to the service option that best fits your situation (i.e. eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits or not).

    Apply for the CERB

    You can also apply over the phone: 1‑800‑959‑2019 or 1‑800‑959‑2041

Indigenous peoples

  • Indigenous Community Support Fund

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

    These funds could be used for measures including, but not limited to:

    • support for Elders and vulnerable community members,
    • measures to address food insecurity,
    • educational and other support for children,
    • mental health assistance and emergency response services,
    • preparedness measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    Learn more

    A call for proposals from Indigenous organizations serving urban or off reserve Indigenous peoples is now open.

    Apply now

    The deadline to submit an application is April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

  • Supporting preparedness in First Nations and Inuit communities

    We are providing $100 million to support a range of federal health measures, including support for preparedness in First Nation and Inuit communities. These funds will:

    • respond to identified needs to update and activate pandemic plans
    • support an effective allocation of public health and primary health care capacity to respond to the COIVD-19 outbreak
    • align response efforts with scientific evidence as determined by a medical officer of health
    • address immediate needs in the short term

    Learn more

In addition to the measures above, Indigenous peoples can also access benefits listed under Support for individuals and Support for businesses.

People who need it most

  • Improving access to essential food support

    We are providing $100 million to national, regional, and local organizations across Canada to:

    • Purchase, transport and distribute food and other basic necessities
    • hire temporary help to fill volunteer shortages
    • implement safety measures, such as the purchase of personal protective equipment, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among volunteers and clients.

    These organizations – including but not limited to Food Banks Canada, Salvation Army, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada, and Breakfast Club of Canada – will work with partners to meet the urgent food needs of Canadians.

  • 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

  • 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, including facilities in Indigenous communities, to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities.

    Learn More
  • Youth support: mental health

    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

Seniors

  • Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds

    We reduced the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for 2020.

    Learn more about Registered Retirement Income Funds

  • Supporting the 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

  • Immediate and essential services through the New Horizons for Seniors Program

    We announced that organizations who received funding under the 2019-2020 New Horizons for Seniors Program community-based stream will be able to use their funding to provide immediate and essential services to seniors impacted by COVID-19.

    Activities can start immediately and can include:

    • supporting seniors in staying connected with their community and family by providing electronic devices, virtual activities and remote tutorials;
    • supporting the delivery of food and medication to self-isolated seniors at home;
    • assisting seniors to undertake essential activities, such as visits to the doctor;
    • hiring staff to replace a loss of a senior volunteer due to the outbreak;
    • providing information to seniors regarding how to care for themselves during the pandemic.

    Learn more

Students and recent graduates

  • Suspend repayment and interest on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans

    All student loan borrowers will automatically have their loan repayments and interest suspended until September 30, 2020.

    Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

    This moratorium applies to the federal portion of student loans. Borrowers should check with their provincial or territorial student loan provider to see if payment is required on the provincial or territorial portion.

    Learn more about the moratorium on the repayment

  • Temporary changes to Canada Summer Jobs program

    The Canada Summer Jobs program provides opportunities for youth to develop and improve their skills within the not-for-profit, small business, and public sectors, and supports the delivery of key community services.

    We are making temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program to allow employers to:

    • receive an increased wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee;
    • extend the end date for employment to February 28, 2021;
    • adapt their projects and job activities;
    • hire staff on a part-time basis.

    Learn more


Support for businesses

Avoiding layoffs and rehiring employees

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

    We are proposing a new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to support employers that are hardest hit by the pandemic, and protect the jobs Canadians depend on.

    The subsidy would cover 75 per cent of an employee’s wages – up to $847 per week - for employers of all sizes and across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15 per cent in March, and 30 per cent in April and May.

    The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

    We are also proposing that employers eligible for the CEWS be entitled to receive a 100-per-cent refund for certain employer contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan paid in respect of employees who are on leave with pay.

    Learn more about the proposed Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

  • Extending the Work-Sharing program

    We are extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19. This measure will provide income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

    Apply to the Work-Sharing program

  • Temporary changes to Canada Summer Jobs program

    The Canada Summer Jobs program provides opportunities for youth to develop and improve their skills within the not-for-profit, small business, and public sectors, and supports the delivery of key community services.

    We are making temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program to allow employers to:

    • receive an increased wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee;
    • extend the end date for employment to February 28, 2021;
    • adapt their projects and job activities;
    • hire staff on a part-time basis.

    Learn more

Reduced and deferred payments

  • 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. 

    Consult all the tax and payment dates

  • Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments until June

    We are allowing businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the GST/HST, as well as customs duty owing on their imports.

    Any GST/HST payment that becomes owing from March 27 until the end of May can be deferred until the end of June. 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 March 2020.

    Learn more

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 mid-April, 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 mid-April, 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

  • Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions actions

    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.

Support for self-employed individuals

  • 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.

    A portal with a simple questions will help us direct you to the service option that best fits your situation (i.e. eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits or not).

    Apply for the CERB

    You can also apply over the phone: 1‑800‑959‑2019 or 1‑800‑959‑2041

  • Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments until June

    We are allowing businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the GST/HST, as well as customs duty owing on their imports.

    Any GST/HST payment that becomes owing from March 27 until the end of May can be deferred until the end of June. 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 March 2020.

    Learn more

  • 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. 

    Consult all the tax and payment dates


Support for industries

  • Increasing credit available for agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture

    We have enabled Farm Credit Canada to provide an additional $5 billion in lending 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 sound during this difficult time.

    Learn more

  • Support for airports

    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
  • Support for broadcasters

    The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will not issue letters requesting payment for Part I licence fees by broadcasters for the 2020–21 fiscal year.

    We will provide the CRTC with an equivalent amount to the waived Part I licence fees to support CRTC’s operations.


 
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