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Bulletin Letter - April 23

April 17, 2020

The Prime Minister announced a further $1.7 billion in financial aid for business and organizations impacted by COVID-19. The aid package includes:

  • $675 million targeting small- and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures, provided through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies.
  • $287 million targeting rural businesses and communities, including access to capital through the Community Futures Network.
  • $250 million targeting innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access existing COVID-19 support measures, through the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program.

April 16, 2020

The Prime Minister announced expanded eligibly for the Canada Emergency Business Account (“CEBA”). Eligible businesses now include those with payroll spending between $20,000 and $1.5 million, expanded from between $50,000 and $1 million. CEBA loans are accessed through Canada’s private financial institutions. They are interest-free and underwritten by the federal government.  

The Prime Minister also announced that the government will introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (“CECRA”). The CECRA will provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April, May, and June. The federal government expects the provinces and territories, which regulate tenancy relationships, to provide further support.

April 15, 2020

The Prime Minister announced expanded eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”). The changes are retroactive to March 15, 2020. The following individuals may now access CERB, if otherwise eligible: 

  • Those earning up to $1,000 per month.
  • Seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work as a result of COVID-19.
  • Workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.

The Prime Minister also announced the federal government will work with the provinces and territories to provide a temporary top-up to the salaries of low-income workers who are earning less than $2,500 per month and whose services have been deemed essential in response to COVID-19. The federal government will share the costs of this top-up through a transfer to the provinces and territories. 

April 14, 2020

The Government of Ontario extended the provincial state of emergency for another 28 days, until May 12, 2020.