CHRIS LEWIS COVID-19 UPDATE

Today the Prime Minister announced economic support for workers and small and medium sized business owners facing hardship due to the nationwide effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Please see the summary below for the latest updates.

ECONOMIC SUPPORT

• The government has allocated $27 billion for support to Canadians and $55 billion to meet liquidity needs through tax deferrals. This is a total of $93 Billion in financial aid.

EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
• The Office of Employment and Social Development states that Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits will provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work.
• Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance sickness benefits. EMERGENCY CARE

PROGRAM/EMERGENCY CARE BENEFITS
• In addition, funds will be provided in the form of an Emergency Care Program or Emergency Care Benefits for those who would not normally qualify for Employment Insurance.

ENHANCED CHILD TAX BENEFIT
• Families can receive further funds through top ups on their Canada Child Benefits and the GST Credits.

EXTENDED TAX FILING DEADLINES
• Tax filing deadline is extended until June 1st, 2020 and tax payment deadline extended until July 31, 2020. SMALL

BUSINESS – TEMPORARY WAGE SUBSIDY
• For employees and small businesses, the government of Canada has now provided a Small Business Temporary Wage Subsidy of 10% to keep employees on the pay roll.
This will provide up to $25000 per employer. The government has also established other funds to help businesses listed below.

SMALL BUSINESS/FARM SUPPORTS

• Export Development Canada will provide further support for businesses. Farmers can gain a financial boost from Farm Credit Canada, other businesses can receive help through instruments like the Canada Account. Canadian Banks are committed to support businesses further and Union leaders are being consulted.
• On March 13, 2020 the federal government announced that the government is establishing a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to support financing in the private sector through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

BORDER TO REMAIN OPEN FOR COMMERCE
• Commerce will continue for goods coming into Canada.
FUNDS SET ASIDE TO ENHANCE HEALTH CARE
• The health and safety of all Canadians must be the government’s top priority.
• $1Billion has been set aside to enhance health care in the provinces and territories and indigenous communities, specific to their COVID-19 response.
IMPORTANT LINKS

Employment Insurance & COVID-19: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

 

Support for Canadians and Businesses: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

 

The Trade Commissioner Service Help for  Businesses:  https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/maintaingrowimprovebusiness/resources-for-canadian-businesses.html

 

Business Credit Availability Program: https://www.bdc.ca/en/financing/business-loans/pages/small-business-loan.aspx

https://www.bdc.ca/en/financing/business-loans/working-capital-financing/pages/working-capital-loan.aspx

Travel Loan for Canadians Abroad: https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2020/03/government-of-canada-to-provide-financial-assistance-to-canadians-abroad.html

TRAVEL (new directives)

The Canada US border is closed to all non-essential travel.

Essential Travel is defined as: a) for work if your employer has not asked you to self-isolate and you are not sick, for trade or commerce purposes only; b) essential workers like nurses, doctors and medical support staff. c) Temporary Foreign Workers have been deemed essential and will be permitted to cross with proper documentation. At the border, CBSA will be monitoring each person and vehicle crossing to determine if it is essential or not.
Recommend workers contact the CBSA or Border directly before attempting to cross if not sure if they qualify. Phone number below.
CBSA Helpline Windsor +1 800-461-9999

PROTOCOL WHEN A CANADIAN CROSSES THE BORDER BY LAND OR AIR If Canadians are returning to Canada via the land border or one of the four airports open they will be granted access but they will have to self isolate; and, if they are received from a nation with high infection rates, they may have to go to one of the government quarantine facilities for the next 14 days. They will also have to do this if they get to the border and exhibit symptoms. https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html

TRAVEL – Existing directives

• Canada closed the border to non-citizens and non-permanent residents as of March 18 at 12:00 pm.
• Airlines have received a formal order to not allow anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to board planes.
• Canadians who are unable to secure flights to Canada, or who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and were not able to return to Canada at this time, are urged to contact the closest Consulate. They will be eligible for a loan of up to $5000.00 to cover costs that may arise while abroad.
• Canadians abroad to come home and voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.
• All other Canadians are asked to stay at home as much as possible.
• As of noon, Wednesday, March 18th only four airports are open for international travel: Toronto Pearson International Airport, Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal, Calgary International Airport and Vancouver International Airport.

PARKS CANADA

• As of Wednesday, Parks Canada will suspend visitor services at all national parks and historic sites.

RECALLING PARLIAMENT

• Parliament stands ready to recall the House whenever necessary to pass emergency economic measures.
I recognize that my constituents are concerned for their health and the health of their loved ones. The situation is evolving quickly and I know it can be stressful, especially for the elderly. Please continue to reach out and check on your neighbours. Together we will pull through this.
May God bless and protect our nation.

Further information and updates can be found on these Government of Canada websites:

Healthhttps://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
https://www.wechu.org/newsroom/news-release-march-15-public-health-updates-related- coronavirus-covid-19
Travel: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
Canadian Embassies and Consulates: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates
Canada Border Service Agency: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html