On September 23rd, in a speech delivered by Governor General Julie Payette, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlined the Federal government’s priorities focused on four foundations:
Fighting the pandemic and saving lives;
Supporting people and businesses through the emergency “as long as it lasts, whatever it takes”;
“Building back better” by creating jobs and strengthening the middle class;
Standing up for Canadian values, including progress on reconciliation, gender equality, and systemic racism.
Below, we highlight the support programs that help those Canadians who are struggling financially due to the pandemic.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy extended to next summer
The Canada Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be extended to summer 2021. Under new program criteria, businesses with ANY revenue decline will be eligible. However, the amount of the subsidy will be based on the revenue drop rather than the original 75%.
The day after the Throne Speech, in a bid for opposition support, the federal government announced it will increase the new Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) to $500/week for up to 26 weeks.
In order to qualify for this program, Canadians must be looking for work and had stopped working or had their income reduced by 50 per cent or more due to COVID-19, but are still making some money on their own.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500/week for up to 2 weeks for workers who are unable to work because they are sick or must isolate due to COVID-19.
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
The Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit will provide $500/week for up to 26 weeks per household to eligible workers who cannot work because they must provide care to children or family members due to the closure of schools, day cares or care facilities.
Creating a new Canadian Disability Benefit
The government pledged to bring in a new Canadian Disability Benefit (CDB) that will be modelled after the guaranteed income supplement (GIS) for seniors.
The CRB, CRSB, CRCB and CDB are pending the passage of legislation in the House of Commons and Senate.