COVID-19 Updates & Resources

This page was last updated at 9:30am on September 1st, 2020

The Government of Canada general COVID-19 website is: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html

The Province of Alberta general COVID-19 website is: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx.

 

Financial Supports - Individuals:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit - Apply.

- Apply through your My CRA Account or by calling 1-800-959-2019.

- Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;

- Who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;

- Who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and,

- Who have not quit their job voluntarily.

- When submitting your first claim, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim.

- When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim.

Low-Income Canadians– GST / HST - More information.

- Canadians receiving the GST/HST credit will receive a one-time boost in May 2020: $400 for individuals, $600 per couple, and $150 per child.

Alberta Utility Bills - More information.

- The Alberta government has promised no one will be cut off from electricity or heat during this public health emergency. Albertans can defer their utility bills (residential and small commercial bills) for the next 90 days.

Canada Child Benefit - More information.

- Increased by $300 per child into the existing amounts for the CCB.

Seniors - More information.

The government is providing a one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guarnteed Income Supplement (GIS).

- The government has committed to releasing payments on July 6th, 2020.

Student Loan Payments - More information.

- All student loan payments are suspended for 6 months.

Canada Student Service Grant - More information.

- Will provide eligible post-secondary students and recent graduates the opportunity to serve their communities and receive a grant of between $1,000 and $5,000. Volunteer service hours from Jun. 25th to Oct. 31st can be applied.

- "I want to help" platform will provide post-secondary students and recent graduates access to volunteer service opportunities. Volunteer opportunities must be for a minimum of 2 hours a week for four weeks. 

Canada Emergency Student Benefit - More information.

- This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities.

- This benefit would be available from May to August 2020.

- Applications for this benefit are now open, apply through your My CRA Account.

Payment Deferrals for Mortgages - More information.

- Effective immediately, the six largest banks in Canada (Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD) will offer up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. Contact your bank directly to request a deferral.

 

Financial Supports - Businesses:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit - More information.

- Apply through your My CRA Account or by calling 1-800-959-2019.

- Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;

- Who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;

- Who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and,

- Who have not quit their job voluntarily.

- When submitting your first claim, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim.

- When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim.

- On June 16th the Prime Minister announced that eligibility for this benefit will be extended by 8 weeks. 

Canada Emergency Business Account - More information.

- The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) 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 $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.

- Business owners can apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions.

- On May 19th the Prime Minister announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the CEBA. These changes will come into effect on June 19th. 

- To qualify under the expanded criteria, applications with a lower payroll than $20,000 would need: a business operating account at a participating financial institution, a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, and non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as a rent, property taxes, utilities and insurance.

- Finance Minister Bill Morneau has announced that the expanded criteria will be available through Canada's large banks as of June 26th. 

- The deadline to apply for the CEBA has been extended to October 31, 2020. On August 31st, 2020 the government announced that they are working with financial institutions to make the CEBA available to some businesses that operate using a personal account.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy - More information.

- The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) supports employers that are hardest hit by the pandemic, and protect the jobs Canadians depend on.

- The subsidy covers 75% 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% in March, and 30% in April and May.

- The program will be in place until December 2020.

- Employers eligible for the CEWS are entitled to receive a 100% 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. For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for a period, any benefit from the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period will generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.

Business Credit Availability Program - More information.

- The Government of Canada 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 are now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.

Canada Emergency Commerical Rent Assistance - More information.

- The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

- The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, June and July.

- The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.

- Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

Applications will be accepted through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website beginning on May 25.

- On July 31st, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced this program would be extended by one month to help eligible businesses pay rent for August.

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) - More information.

This program will provide emergency funding support for large Canadian enterprises facing financial challenges in light of the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. CEEFC has been formed to administer this mandate.

LEEFF will be open to large Canadian employers who (a) have a significant impact on Canada's economy, as demonstrated by (i) having significant operations in Canada or (ii) supporting a significant workforce in Canada; (b) can demonstrate approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues; and (c) require a minimum loan size of about $60 million.

For a full list of measures from the Government of Canada visit https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses

 

Assistance for Canadians Abroad:

All Canadians abroad must register online with Global Affairs Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration AND email sos@international.gc.ca or call +1 613-996-8885

Financial Assistance for Canadians Abroad: 

The Government of Canada has introduced a Loan program of up to $5,000 per person to assist Canadians who need to either book an emergency flight or extend their stay abroad.

Canadians currently outside Canada who need financial assistance can contact the nearest Government of Canada office: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates OR Contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa by calling +1 613-996-8885 (call collect where available) or by sending an email to CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca

COVID-19 Emergency Loan Request Form:

https://www.international.gc.ca/covid-19-loan-pret/form-formulaire.aspx?lang=eng

The loan will be repaid to the Receiver General of Canada within 180 days of receipt of invoice. No interest shall apply. If the individual fails to repay this amount, money may be deducted from any money that may be owing to the borrower by the Government of Canada.

 Canadians Abroad in Need of Medication:

Global Affairs Canada has and will continue to try to coordinate between the local Embassy or Consulate to ensure that the Canadian receives the medicine that they need. Canadians in this situation should reach out to the nearest Government of Canada office if possible: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates

If you are unable to register a medical need with the local consulate, please contact our office directly at 403-320-0070.

  

Travellers Returning to Canada: 

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. Full information. 

  • If they are asymptomatic –they can travel on to their home to self isolate there. This includes staying at a commercial hotel or taking public transit home. They should still observe social distancing while in transit and not stop to shop etc.
  • If they are symptomatic – there are a few things that could happen
    • If they are symptomatic upon arrival in Canada, but they are just transiting through one airport (e.g. Montreal) to a final destination in Vancouver they will not be allowed to travel on to Vancouver. They will be required to stay in a federal facility (hotel) in Montreal for the duration of their self-isolation.
    • If they are flying in to an airport and are symptomatic upon arrival, but they have a private vehicle at the airport (park and fly) they may drive their own vehicle straight home.
    • If they are flying into an airport and do not have a private vehicle but live within a 12 hour driving radius of the airport, we can facilitate medical transportation to their home.  
    • If they are symptomatic traveling across a land border in a private vehicle (Essentially in self-isolation) they may continue home but may not stop anywhere.
    • If in any of the cases above it is clear that sending a symptomatic person  home would put a vulnerable person they live with at risk (e.g. an elderly person, a person with respiratory issues or immune system issues) public health will work with them to find alternate accommodation or keep them in the federal isolation hotel.