As the COVID-19 situation evolves so quickly, I know it can be difficult to keep track of all the tools available to Canadians to help get through this time. Here is a list of resources I hope you will find useful:
For the latest public health information:
- Federal updates:
- Provincial updates:
If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please take the online self-assessment first before calling Newfoundland and Labrador Teleheath at 1-888-709-2929 (or 811).
- Federal self-assessment:
- Provincial self-assessment:
Video chat options are also available at https://www.nlchi.nl.ca/index.php/ehealth-systems/telehealth
- There is now a mental health portal available on the web or through the Canada COVID-19 app (iOS or Android) to support those suffering from mental health concerns. The website can be found here: https://ca.portal.gs/
Employment Insurance and support for workers:
- General overview of our economic response plan:
- Specifically the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):
- Specifically the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):
Support for business:
- The government has reached an agreement with provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA):
- The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
- The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months 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 to25 per cent 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 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations
- Increased wage subsidy from 10% to 75% for qualifying businesses, non-profits, and other eligible employers (and up to 100% for CSJ recipients, see above):
- eligible employers would be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal as well as a web-based application. Employers would have to keep records demonstrating their reduction in arm’s-length revenues and remuneration paid to employees. More details about the application process will be made available shortly.
- wage subsidy eligibility and calculation info from CRA can be accessed here.
- wage subsidy info from Finance will be updated here.
- Additional $12.5 billion through BDC and EDC for their credit facilities for business loans
- Deferral of GST/HST payments, as well as duties and taxes owed on imports until June. Equivalent of $30 billion in interest-free loans.
- For information on the Government of Canada’s efforts to support Canadian businesses through COVID-19, please visit: ca/covid-19-business
If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, please visit: https://canada.ca/…/maintaingrowi…/manufacturers-needed.html
- For low and modest income seniors, we are providing a supplementary payment under the GST Credit of $400 per adult and $600 per couple.
- Withdrawal flexibility from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs), reducing minimum withdrawals from RRIF’s by 25% for 2020.
- Boosting federal aid for at-risk Canadian seniors, contributing $9 million through United Way Canada to help the country’s older population get groceries, medication and other critical items.
- We are allowing any new taxes owing to be deferred until August 31 and extending the deadline to file your income taxes to June 1, 2020
Students and new grads (CESB):
- Eligible postsecondary students receive $1,250 a month from May to August. If you are taking care of someone else or have a disability, you’ll receive $1,750 monthly.
- You are eligible if you are a college or university student currently in school, planning to start in September, or if you graduated in December 2019.
- Working students earning less than $1,000 per month can apply.
Further help includes:
- Broadening eligibility for financial assistance and raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350
- Launching a new Canada Student Service Grant of between $1,000 and $5,000 for students volunteering in the COVID-19 fight to go towards their fall tuition
- Doubling the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21.
- Suspending student loan and interest payments until September 30
- 76,000 student jobs will be created – visit www.jobbank.gc.ca/home to browse the postings.
- View the backgrounder here.
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) & taxes:
- The deadline for filing your 2019 tax return has been extended to June 1, 2020.
- If you are prevented from making a payment when due, filing a return on time, or otherwise complying with a tax obligation because of circumstances beyond your control, you can submit a request to cancel penalties and interest. Here is the form: https://canada.ca/…/se…/forms-publications/forms/rc4288.html
- If you are a Canadian stranded abroad, you need to be in touch with Global Affairs Canada:
+1 613 996 8885 (call collect where available)
- Register as a Canadian abroad to stay connected with the Government of Canada:
- For information on financial help for Canadians outside Canada, please visit: https://travel.gc.ca/…/financial-as…/covid-19-financial-help
Persons entering Canada are required to self-isolate for 14-days upon return to Canada, whether they are showing symptoms or not. This measure is mandatory; failure to comply can result in fines or jail time.
- For more information: canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html#f
These are resources for some of the questions we are getting most frequently, but this list is certainly not exhaustive. If you cannot find the answer to your question in the above resources, please contact my office and we will get you the answer as quickly as we can:
We will continue to support businesses, workers and their families throughout this time. We are in this together.