Justine Trudeau canada families aid plan COVID-19 $82B coronavirus self employed low income

Canada unveils $82B plan for families, self-employed & more

“Public health should never hinge on financial considerations.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke earlier today about the aid package that will be released to Canadians in order to help relieve the financial stress from COVID-19. Totalling $82-billion, this aid will include up to $27-billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, and $55-billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households. This amount of support represents more than 3% of the GDP of Canada. Below are some of the key segments of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s speech pertaining to families in Canada, along with self-employed, lower-income, marginalized people and more.

Support for people who don’t qualify for E.I. or are self-employed

“Let’s start with people who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance or don’t have access to paid sick leave. Our government will introduce the Emergency Care Benefit which will provide money every two weeks to workers who have to stay home. People will receive this benefit for up to 14 weeks for an amount comparable to what should be paid through E.I. This applies to people who fall ill, people who are placed in quarantine or have to self-isolate. It also applies to those who have to take care of a family member with COVID-19, but fail to qualify for E.I. If you lose your job and do not qualify for E.I, we will be introducing a COVID-19 support benefit to help you. This will apply also to people who are self-employed and have to close shop because of the virus.”

The Prime Minister later clarified that those who don’t qualify for E.I. or have access to sick leave will be eligible for up to $900 bi-weekly for 15 weeks.

Protecting jobs

“Our government will take additional steps to protect jobs. We will provide employers of small businesses with the temporary wage subsidy equal to 10% of salary paid to employees for a period of three months. This will encourage employers to keep staff on the payroll during these uncertain times.”

Tax season

“I know a lot of people are wondering what COVID-19 means for their personal finances. For those who filed their taxes and find out that they owe money, they will have until August 2020 to pay.”

Support for families in Canada

“Families in Canada with young kids are going to find the coming months especially difficult, with school closures and additional childcare responsibilities. Parents already know how much the Canada Child Benefit helps with the cost of raising kids. To take some of that pressure off, our government will temporarily boost the CCB in the coming months.”

Suport for lower-income people

“With this plan, we are also going to do more for lower income people. In May our government will supplement the GST credit, a tax-free payment to low income Canadians every few months to offset the consumer tax they pay. Every adult who qualifies will receive up to $300, with $150 for every child.”

Support for the homeless and most vulnerable (including student-loan debt relief)

“While all Canadians are feeling the impact of COVID-19, some groups are particularly vulnerable. For people who are still paying off their student loans, including young people and those who are starting a family, our government will put in place a six-month interest free moratorium on their Canada student loans. For people experiencing homelessness, we are doubling the Reaching Home Program which provides funding to communities to help them address their local needs. For anyone fleeing domestic or gender-based violence, we will boost funding for shelters that provides sanctuary when self-isolating at home is simply not an option.”

Support for First Nations communities

“And to support immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis nation communities, we are setting up a distinctions-based indigenous community support fund. This list is by no means exhaustive, but these are some of the things our government is doing to make sure that no matter where you live, what you do or who you are, you will get the support you need during this time period in Canada. Public health should never hinge on financial considerations.”

Additional support for businesses

“To help businesses navigate these uncertain economic times, Export and Development Canada will provide support to Canadian companies affected by the global situation. For farmers, and our primary food producers, we will boost Farm Credit Canada. And we know some sectors in our economy are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. That’s why in the coming days we will be looking at ways in which we can support them all, including through instruments like the Canada Account.”

International considerations

“Our team is paying close attention to the economic impacts of decisions we make across-the-board to slow the spread of this virus. On Monday I announced that Canada was closing its air borders to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents with some exceptions. We also announced a range of other measures on travel. But travel restrictions will not apply to commerce or trade. We are working continuously to ensure the supply of important goods to Canada. We are also working with our international counterparts. Over the last number of days, I’ve spoken with leaders from around the world including with fellow G7 leaders. Working together is how we will get through this. As families. As a community. As a country.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau closed by thanking those individuals on the front lines who are making the self-quarantine more manageable.

“I want to close by recognizing everyone on the front lines who is doing an incredible job of keeping Canadians safe and healthy: Grocers in Canada keeping their shelves full and our families fed; postal workers helping us stay home; pharmacists filling out prescriptions; healthcare professionals caring for our most vulnerable; and public health officials and first responders looking out for our safety. I know it’s a hard time but that’s exactly why we need to keep supporting each other. Our government is here for you. Your fellow Canadians are here for you, too. Merci, thank you everyone.”

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