Minister Fortier Highlights Government Support for Businesses at Ottawa Board of Trade

News release

April 14, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

The Government of Canada is taking strong, immediate, and effective action to protect Canadians and businesses from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, Minister Fortier addressed the virtual town hall of the Ottawa Board of Trade to discuss the challenges facing Ottawa’s economy and to outline the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which is addressing the needs of Canadians and businesses during this time of global uncertainty. The Minister was joined by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, and the Hon. Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and MPP for Nepean.

Some of these key measures include:

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), with a 75 per cent subsidy for up to 12 weeks for qualifying employers, retroactive to March 15;
  • The Canada Emergency Business Account, with $25 billion of interest-free loans through private financial institutions to qualifying organizations;
  • The Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending to meet operational cash-flow requirements;
  • Deferral of all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as GST and customs duty payments owed for imports;
  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit that will provide $2,000 monthly for up to 4 months to eligible workers who have lost employment because of the COVID pandemic.

The government continues to assess and respond to the impacts of COVID-19, and stands ready to take additional actions as needed to stabilize the economy and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.


“Canada's economic response plan to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is the largest and most rapidly deployed peacetime investment in Canadian history. In this unprecedented time, we will continue to work hard to ensure businesses get the support they need to pay their bills and retain or rehire employees so that they are better poised for success in the post-pandemic recovery.’’

- Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • The government has taken many actions to support Canadian businesses through the outbreak of COVID-19, with targeted new initiatives that:

    • Increase credit available for farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.
    • Extend the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program, from 38 weeks to 76 weeks, for workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.
    • Defer the payment of income taxes. The government is allowing all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief will apply to new 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.

Associated links


Media may contact:

Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance  

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230

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