Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this morning that the federal government will be spending a combined $82 billion on direct financial help and economic stimulus for Canadians during the COVID-19 crisis.
The new economic emergency measures include $27 billion in direct assistance to workers and families and $55 billion in liquidity for businesses through wage subsidies and tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy.
The $82 billion represents more than 3% of Canada’s GDP.
The government is introducing the Emergency Care Benefit for those who don’t qualify for sick leave or Employment Insurance (EI). It will supply money every two weeks for up to 14 weeks to workers who have to stay home, to an equivalent amount comparable to EI.
For those who lose their job or work from home and don’t qualify for EI, there will be a new COVID-19 Emergency Support Benefit.
The government will supply employers of small businesses with a temporary wage subsidy equal to 10% of salary paid to employees for up to three months.
The government has extended the tax filing deadline to June 1st.
They are also temporarily boosting the Canada Child Benefit by $300 per child for this year, and doubling the maximum annual GST Tax Credit, providing an income boost of $400 per low-income individual, and up to $600 per couple.
The federal government is also putting in a 6-month, interest-free moratorium on the repayment of government student loans.