A Decisive and Rapid Response

The federal government has used its strong fiscal position to stabilize the economy and support Canadians by putting in place the largest economic aid package in generations.

While the toll of COVID-19 on the broader economy in 2020 is expected to be the largest and most sudden economic contraction since the Great Depression, measures to flatten the pandemic curve in Canada are paying off, and efforts are underway across the country to safely and gradually reopen the Canadian economy.

Millions of Canadians have lost their jobs, with vulnerable groups amongst the hardest hit. Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan is ensuring Canadians have the support they need to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head.

Representing nearly 14 per cent of GDP, the Plan includes more than $230 billion in measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians and provide direct support to Canadians, businesses and other employers, and up to $85 billion in tax and customs duty payment deferrals to meet liquidity needs of businesses and Canadian families.

The decisive and substantial support provided by the government helped prevent further damage to the economy by replacing lost income and avoiding even higher unemployment. Programs like the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit have helped keep money in the pockets of Canadians so they can pay for housing, groceries and medicine, while also helping businesses stay in place as Canadians get through this together.

Protecting Canadians Health

Since the beginning of March, the government has made a number of key investments to help provinces and territories ensure that hospitals, clinics, and public health agencies across the country are able to respond to the critical health needs of Canadians caused by COVID-19 and to limit the spread of the virus in Canada. Canada recognizes that the best economic policy continues to be containing the virus.

The government is also working with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation leaders to provide direct support to their communities so they can continue to work to prevent, control and stop the spread of the virus in their communities. The Government of Canada is making investments to build on innovative community-led solutions and support public health, social and economic responses in Indigenous communities. But there is always more to do.

Delivering Support to Canadians and their families

Protecting Canadian jobs has been a priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as businesses have slowed down in accordance with public health guidance, finding solutions to preserve the connection between employees and employers is critical to Canada’s continued economic resilience. Through a variety of programs, tailored to the varying needs of Canada’s diverse economy, the federal government is making sure that businesses can get flexible support, so that Canada’s economy is stable and so that Canadians’ jobs are protected.

Vulnerable groups are experiencing some of the most significant health, social and economic impacts. Amongst other actions, the government is providing special one-time payments to individuals eligible under existing programs—the Goods and Services Tax Credit, the Canada Child Benefit, Old Age Security with its Guaranteed Income Supplement and more.

Building a Bridge for Businesses

The COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has been focused on creating bridge financing for businesses of all sizes, and helping them deal with their fixed costs during this crisis, so they can remain solvent and keep Canadians employed. Supports for businesses have been tailored by firm size and relative access to other sources of financing. They are designed to provide a continuum of financing support across the economy to make sure that, no matter where Canadians work, the government is providing support.

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