IDEAS & WORK

COVID-19 Policy Updates

We are committed to providing Albertans and Canadians with accurate, up-to-date information on actions the federal and provincial governments are taking to protect people, business and the economy in this health and economic crisis.

Both the provincial and federal governments have taken important and positive action to respond to COVID-19 and the resulting health and economic crisis. We have gathered all the assistance measures announced by both the provincial and federal governments in one place to help you navigate the various supports available to Canadians and businesses.

You will find the specifics of each announcement below as it relates to Canadians/Albertans, businesses and the economy overall. 

As new measures to keep our communities safe and healthy and our economy afloat are announced, we will update and share this page. 

FEDERAL POLICIES

April 1, 2020 – Further Information on Wage Subsidy

  • Some details provided on the 75% temporary wage subsidy, now called the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
    • The program will last for three months
    • All businesses – including non-profits and charities whose monthly sales have decreased at least 30% year-over-year will qualify
    • The subsidy covers 75% of each employee’s pay up to $847 per week and will be backdated to March 15
    • The subsidy is meant to encourage businesses to keep their employees on payroll or rehire workers recently laid off.
    • It is expected to take 3-6 weeks for the program to get running and companies will have to reapply for the subsidy every month
    • The estimated cost of the program is $71 billion

March 27, 2020 – New Benefits for Small & Medium Businesses

  • Offers temporary wage subsidy, equal to up to 75% of workers pay for any business – including non-profits and charities – whose monthly sales have decreased at least 30% year-over-year due to COVID. Specific details to come (see April 1 announcement).
  • Offers up to $40,000 in interest-free loans to small and mediums businesses for one year (More details are expected shortly.)

March 18, 2020 – Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
More Info: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

  • Provides $10B in credit support, targeting small and medium-size businesses through the Business Credit Availability program
  • Allows deferral of tax filing & payment until September 1 interest-free
  • Offers a temporary wage subsidy equal to 10% of workers pay for a maximum of $1,375 per employee & $25,000 per business for eligible small business
  • Increases flexibility in the Canada Account to support exporters deemed to be in the national interest with loans, guarantees, or insurance

March 11, 2020 – $1B COVID-19 Emergency Response Package
More Info: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

  • Doubles the time employers and employees can use Canada’s Work-Sharing program, a program which encourages a small reduction in hours of many workers rather than layoffs ($12M)

PROVINCIAL POLICIES

March 31, 2020 – Provincial Investment in Keystone XL

  • Invests $1.5 billion to begin construction on the Alberta portion of the Keystone XL pipeline to create an estimated 6,800 jobs in Alberta during construction and an estimated $30 billion in tax revenue over time

March 23, 2020 – Alberta’s Property Tax Deferral Announcement & Other Updates
More Info: COVID-19 Support for Employees and Employers

  • Reverses the 3.4% education property tax increase, announced in Alberta’s 2020 Budget, to save businesses $32M a year, with the intent that this will be passed onto tenants through reduced or deferred payments
  • Defers half of the property tax businesses would have been responsible for this year to save businesses $458M
  • Allows for deferral of payments:
    • Electricity and natural gas payments for 90 days for those who qualify for financial support
    • Corporate income tax balances and installment payments until August 31
    • Workers’ Compensation Board premiums so employers will only pay half of the 2020 compensation

FEDERAL POLICIES

March 29, 2020 – Supports for Mental Health and Seniors

  • Provides $7.5 million in additional support for the Kids Help Phone which provides mental health support by connecting kids with professionals and volunteers. The program has seen demand more than triple since the outbreak.
  • Provides $9 million in support to seniors in the community through The United Way by providing delivery of groceries and other items and reaching out to determine other needs

March 18, 2020 – Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
More Info: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

  • Closes gaps in existing worker support programs:
    • Emergency Care Benefit for those who are sick, caring for a sick family member but did not qualify for EI or taking care of children due to school closures (up to $10B)
    • Emergency Support Benefit for longer-term support for affected workers (up to $5B)
    • On March 25th, these programs were merged into the Canada Emergency Response Benefit which provides workers with $2,000 a month for up to four months. The CERB will not be available until early April.
  • Provides temporary income support for targeted group:
    • Goods & Services Tax Credit doubled for qualifying families
    • Canada Child Benefit also doubled (+$300) for families most in need
    • Tax deferrals for filing & payment interest-free until June 1st
    • Mortgage deferrals for qualifying individuals
    • Student loan deferral options for 6-months interest-free
    • Additional support for Indigenous communities ($305M), homelessness ($157.5M), and domestic violence victims ($50M)
    • Reduced Minimum Withdrawal for RRIFs by 25% for 2020 to give more flexibility to Seniors

March 11, 2020 – $1B COVID-19 Emergency Response Package
More Info: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

  • Waives the 1-week wait period for individuals in quarantine applying for Employment Insurance, as well as the need for a doctor’s note
  • $500 million directly to provinces and territories to determine best use
  • $275M in new funding for vaccine and antiviral research and development, and clinical trials. Additional supports for public health measures such as increased surveillance & testing at the National Microbiology Lab
  • Provides $200M of federal medical supplies, supports for Indigenous communities, and education efforts
  • Dedicates $50M to the international response, including collaboration with international organizations such as the World Health Organization

PROVINCIAL POLICIES

March 23, 2020 – Alberta’s Property Tax Deferral Announcement & Other Updates
More Info: COVID-19 Support for Albertans

  • Reverses the 3.4% education property tax increase, announced in Alberta’s 2020 Budget, to save households $55M a year
  • Provides emergency isolation support for working adults who must self-isolate with a one-time payment of $1,146
  • Allows for deferral of payments:
    • Electricity and natural gas payments for 90 days for those who qualify for financial support
    • Alberta student loan payments, paused for 6 months interest-free

FEDERAL POLICIES

March 27, 2020 – Bank of Canada

  • Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate by a half of a percentage point to 0.25%, a historic low

March 18, 2020 – Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

More Info: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

  • Lowers the Domestic Stability Buffer which is the amount of cash banks need to have on hand to cover their loans, freeing up banks to loan more money
  • Allows the Federal Government to purchase up to $50B in insured mortgage pools to provide long-term stable funding to banks and mortgage lender
  • Notes the Bank of Canada’s recent action of cutting the interest rate to 0.75% to increase liquidity 

PROVINCIAL POLICIES

March 23, 2020 – Alberta’s Property Tax Deferral Announcement & Other Updates

  • Encourages businesses and individuals to work with ATB and Alberta Credit unions to apply for individualized payment plans and support, including access to additional capital for businesses, to ease short-term cash flow limitations

join the movement

Sign up to stay updated on our work and join the movement toward a better Alberta for all.

 

Ⓒ Copyright Business Council of Alberta | Privacy Policy

Pin It on Pinterest