COVID-19 - Important Details from the Prime Minister

Dear Client and Friend,

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the federal government announced additional economic assistance in response to COVID-19. Today, Prime Minister Trudeau provided important details. Below, I have highlighted how you fit in, and when you can expect to receive assistance if deemed eligible. I have included real time experiences along with a new section called Silver Linings.

  • For businesses to avoid layoffs, the 10% wage subsidy originally introduced on March 23 will be increased to 75% for up to three months, covering salaries up to $58,700, or $847 per week ($58,700/52 weeks x 75%), retroactive to March 15. Eligible criteria announced by the Prime Minister Trudeau today include a 30% drop in revenues. A verification system will be set up before the program is rolled out, and serious consequences were warned by the Prime Minister for “gaming the system”. Further details will follow from Finance Minister Morneau.
  • For businesses to access credit, a new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans up to $40,000. Eligible criteria include payroll of $50,000 to $1 million in 2019. You should work with your current financial institution to access this credit, which will be rolled out in the three weeks after March 27. I also have a contact at Business Development Bank of Canada should you decide that you require their service.
  • For businesses, there is more tax flexibility as remittances for HST sales tax are not due until June 30, 2020. However, you must still report and file your HST tax return on time.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-businesses.html#wage_subsidies

 

 

Real Time Experiences

  • Which is better, applying for EI or applying for the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit)?
  • As income rises, the CERB becomes less attractive. The maximum payment under the CERB is $500 a week, but EI weekly payments top out at $572 – a 14-per-cent gap. Once a worker’s annual income exceeds $47,272, he or she would be better off under EI than the new program.
  • For individuals who have been asking me if they have to pay interest on their mortgage deferral that they’ve arranged with their banks, the answer is “yes”, since banks still have to pay interest to their deposit holders. Below is an informative link by the Canadian Bankers Association regarding mortgage deferral, which includes links to the six largest banks in response to COVID-19:

See the Web Pages Developed by the Six Largest Banks in Response to COVID-19.

 

  • For individuals who are afraid of losing their jobs due to COVID-19, the Ontario government has provided this protection:

https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/job-protection-for-workers-during-the-covid-19-situation.html

 

  • For businesses, WSIB Ontario has provided a financial relief package deferring both reporting and payment of premiums until August 31, 2020: No interest will accrue on the outstanding premium payments.

https://www.wsib.ca/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-update

 

  • A business client called his insurance agent for possible business interruption insurance coverage and was informed that his coverage only included physical damage. I refer you again to the link from the Insurance Bureau of Canada which should guide you in determining if you are covered or not:

http://www.ibc.ca/bc/business/covid-19

 

Silver Linings

  • In China, two months of reduced pollution is likely to have saved the lives of 4,000 children under the age of 5 and 73,000 adults over the age of 70, writes Marshall Burke, an assistant in Stanford’s earth system science department. (New York Times, March 29, 2020).
  • Dolphins and swans are appearing in the newly clear Venice canals (New York Times, March 29, 2020).
  • In Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta, the fog of pollution has lifted (New York Times, March 29, 2020).
  • Canada’s Margaret Atwood says, “We’ve been here before. We’ll be here again. And we will get through this” (Globe and Mail, March 28, 2020) as she describes the familiar quarantine signs in the 1940s for diphtheria, scarlet fever, whooping cough, and polio, and an in my recent memory, AIDS in the 1980s and SARS and the swine flu in 2000s.

 

Thank You,
Dean Constand
Chartered Professional Accountant
Licensed in Giving Trust
www.deanconstand.ca
416-575-8271

 

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