In light of the current COVID-19 situation, we recognize that individual businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. We believe it is vital to ongoing operational success to have access to accurate and reliable information with respect to COVID-19 and its relevance to commercial business operations. Accordingly, to help navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, we have centralized related materials and information in our COVID-19 Knowledge Centre. As the situation is rapidly evolving, this information hub will be updated regularly.
As of March 18, 2020, the Alberta and federal governments have taken steps to assist Canadian businesses during this time, through a number of different initiatives. We have compiled the following announcements which we believe to be relevant to your business. However, we encourage you to visit both the Alberta and federal homepage for the most up to date information.
The Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals. This support includes:
- allowing businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020;
- an extension of Work-Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks, for a total of 76 weeks;
- a 10 percent wage subsidy for small businesses between March 18, 2020 and June 20, 2020;
- Who can apply: You are an eligible employer if you:
- are a non-profit organization, registered charity, or a Canadian-controlled private corporation;
- have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and
- pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an employee.
- How to apply: Once you have calculated your subsidy, you can reduce your current remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax that you send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy.
- Who can apply: You are an eligible employer if you:
- a Business Credit Availability Program which will provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses through Business Development Bank of Canada (“BDC”) and Export Development Canada (“EDC”); and
- How to Apply: Contact your financial institution, which will contact BDC and/or EDC where appropriate.
- a new Canada Emergency Response Benefitprovides a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to support workers who lose their income as of result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Note: The previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit have been merged into the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
- Who can apply: This benefit is open to:
- wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for employment insurance; or
- workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19.
- How to apply: The portal to access the benefit is expected to be available April 6, 2020, and applications can be completed: (1) by accessing your CRA MyAccount secure portal; or (2) by accessing your secure My Service Canada Account; or (3) by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process.
- Benefits are expected to be delivered 10 days after you submit your application form.
Financial assistance programs are targeted to Albertans generally, as well as to employers and employees. Applications for financial relief, specifically for emergency isolation support, is available on alberta.ca.
In addition, six banks in Canada (BMO, CIBC, National Bank, RBC, Scotiabank and TD Canada Trust) have offered specific financial relief programs for their clients, including up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.
Canadian Securities Administrators
The COVID-19 situation has also impacted a number of market participants. The Canadian Securities Administrators have recently published an article providing guidance on conducting annual general meetings for reporting issuers during this period. We have also discussed the issue of providing relief from certain regulatory filings as well as certain risk factors and disclosure during this time period.
At Fasken, our team of lawyers are available to guide you through these turbulent times. We have a great deal of experience in dealing with commercial uncertainty and are available to assist you in overcoming these extraordinary economic conditions. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any inquiries you may have.
General Information on Support Programs
- COVID-19 Information for Albertans
- COVID -19 Information for Businesses and Employees
- Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Government introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers and businesses
- Department of Finance Canada - Latest Announcements
- A dedicated COVID-19 tile has been added to the Canada Business App, providing links to government announcements and information for businesses
- Frequently Asked Questions – Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers
Active Government Programs Available to Support Business
- Additional Benefits and Services offered by the Government of Canada
- Application for Canada Emergency Response Benefit through CRA My Account
- Business Credit Availability Program
- Business Development Bank of Canada Small Business Loan
- Business Development Bank of Canada Working Capital Loan
- Business Development Bank of Canada – Venture Capital
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- CRA: Helping Canadians with the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
- EDC-BDC Purchase Order Financing
- Employment Insurance Benefits
- How the Business Development Bank of Canada Plans to Support Entrepreneurs
- How the Export Development Canada Plans to Help Businesses
- Resources for Canadian Businesses
- Start Alberta
- Support for Albertans
- Support for Employers and Employees
- What Canada's Regional Development Agencies are doing to help businesses
- Work-Sharing Program – Temporary Special Measures
- Work-Sharing - Income Support to Avoid Layoffs
- British Columbia’s Economic Response to COVID-19
- Saskatchewan’s Financial Support Plan
- Labour, Employment & Human Rights Bulletin
Impact on Market Participants
- Guidance on Conducting Annual General Meetings during COVID-19
- Canadian Securities Regulators Will Provide Blanket Relief to Market Participants due to COVID-19
- Risk Factors and Disclosure in the Time of COVID-19
- Proposed Tax Measures to Stabilize the Economy during COVID-19 (Canada)
Fasken Information Hub