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Economic response to COVID-19 by Trudeau government for Canadian families and businesses – in simple words

Trudeau has announced an emergency economic relief package for distressed Canadian families and small businesses. This is an extra ordinary situation and the government is gearing up to support the an uncertain slowed-down economy.

Finally, a sigh of relief for Canadians affected by COVID-19 scare.

Today, the Prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau announced an economic aid plan in wake of an alarming Covid-19 situation in the country.

This is an 82 billion dollars package (about 4% of GDP) focused on supporting the already much affected low-income individuals, households and small businesses, in every part of the country. The aim is to give a shoulder to (suddenly) slowed down economy and people who are feeling the heat of it.

We have listed down the highlights of this package (as we understand) in simple words refraining from using the economic lingo. The purpose is to make it simple for people what’s in it for them.



Temporary boost to Canada Child Benefit

There will be an extra payment of $300 per child to families. This amount is on top of Canada Child Benefit (CCB) they are already receiving for year 2019-20.

GST Credit

Government will boost (almost double) the annual Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) given to low income individuals and families.



Emergency Care Benefit

An Emergency Care Benefit has been introduced to consolidate the already in place unemployed worker support mechanism (Employment Insurance). This program extends to those who currently do not qualify for EI. Following are the relevant highlights. These benefits will generally apply in following situations.


A payment of $900 biweekly for up to 15 weeks will be given to someone who:

  • has to leave work for self-isolation
  • has to care for a COVID-19 patient, who is a family member
  • is a parent who cannot go to work and has to take care of children, due to school closure

This will apply to self-employed people as well.


Employment insurance is already there to serve those who are eligible for it. The government has beefed up the EI to make sure employees who are (or will be) laid off get the EI support.

EI for Self-employed

This program is designed to increase the scope of Employment Insurance (EI) to workers who do not (traditionally) qualify for EI support. Under Emergency Care Benefit, self-employed, part time and gig economy workers will be considered for EI. The eligibility, requirements and application procedures are not defined and put in place yet.

For example, Uber drivers, freelancers or amazon sellers are self-employed, they should be able to apply for EI if requirements are met, fingers crossed.


The deadline for filing tax returns has been extended to June 1, 2020. So, there is one more month till you can file your tax return.



Paying wages

Businesses, especially small and medium sized with few employees are under a lot of pressure. They are or might face going concerns. In order to help them to stay afloat and keep their employees, the government will give them 10 percent of what they pay to the employee (maximum at $1,375 per worker) for three months. The maximum a business can get will be capped at $25,000.

Support for Exporters

Businesses that are exporters will have access to more finance to continue and expand their operations. The financing options will be provided through Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development bank of Canada (EDC).


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Deadline for Tax return filing

The deadline for filing tax returns has been extended to June 1, 2020. So, there is one more month till you can file your tax return.

Tax payment deferral

Businesses that have tax payments due from today, can defer the payments to August 31, 2020.

Student loan repayment

Those who have to make student loan repayment are given six months interest-free break.

Indigenous Community

The government has also created Indigenous Community Support fund to address immediate needs of the community.


Seniors will be allowed to make smaller withdrawals. The minimum withdrawal from registered retirements income funds will be reduced by 25 percent.


Let us know what you think about the government’s aid package in comment section below.


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