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CAFN COVID-19 Bulletin 8: Summary of Canada Supports

Message from the Chief

We know that this pandemic is creating financial hardship for Citizens, and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) has provided some financial relief to our Citizens. This is Dän K’e – Our Way.

Canada is also providing financial support for individuals and businesses. Please refer to the information and links below to learn more about the supports you can access.   Please watch for more information to come on new Yukon supports.

REMEMBER: We must all stay home to isolate and do all that we can to avoid bringing this virus to our friends and family.  We must act now to save lives.

Government of Canada COVID-19 Financial Relief

Please click on the text in red below for more information.

FOR INDIVIDUALS

The New Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The Canadian Federal Government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:

  • Workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • Workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.   
This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.

New Employment Income Applications

Canada is waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine who claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure is in effect as of March 15, 2020.   The requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits is waived.

Increasing the Canada Child Benefit

The Canadian Government is providing an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family.
This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May.

Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment

The Canadian Government is providing a one-time special payment by early May through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families.  The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.
There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically. Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply.

Extra time to file income tax returns
Canada Revenue Agency is deferring the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals.
For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.  

CRA will also allow any new income tax balances due, or instalments, to be deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties.
Note: If you expect to receive benefits under the Goods and Services Tax credit or the Canada Child Benefit, we encourage you to not delay your 2019 return filing to ensure that your entitlements are properly determined.

Mortgage Deferral to Help Canadians Experiencing Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19

All customers who are currently in good standing and have been impacted by COVID-19 can apply for mortgage relief from their bank. Customers will answer a few questions to help their banks direct applications appropriately.  COVID-related mortgage deferral is available for an indefinite period and customers do not face a deadline for having to seek relief. They can approach their bank as the need arises.

Deferred is the key word here, you will have to make the payments up at a later date.

Canada Student Loans

Effective March 30, the Canadian government is placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time.
Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

Interest Rates on Credit Cards

The Canadian Government is talking with the banks about lowering credit card interest rates.  Please watch for more details.

FOR BUSINESSES

Flexibility for Businesses Filing Taxes

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.  This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. 

The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.

The Liaison Officer Service offers help to owners of small businesses to understand their tax obligations. Traditionally available in-person, this service is now available over the phone and will be customizing information during these challenging times by ensuring small businesses are aware of any changes such as filing and payment deadlines, proactive relief measures, etc.

Helping Businesses Keep their Workers

Any Canadian businesses whose revenue has decreased by 30 per cent or more due to the pandemic will be eligible for the 75 per cent wage subsidy promised, regardless of the number of employees they have. The increased subsidy will be retroactive to March 15. The subsidy will be on the first $58,700 earned, meaning up to $847 a week.

Extending the Work-Sharing program

We are extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

Business Loans
Storefront businesses will also qualify for up to $40,000 in loans, with up to $10,000 forgiven, he said.

GST, PST and Import Tax payments
Business owners will have until June to pay GST and HST payments while taxes on Imports will also be suspended.

A New Indigenous Community Support Fund

The Canadian Government will provide $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.

Ensuring Businesses Have Access to Credit

The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses. This will be an effective tool for helping viable Canadian businesses remain resilient during these very uncertain times. BDC and EDC are cooperating with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses,

including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation and tourism. The near term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will also be increased through Farm Credit Canada.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced it is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25% (from 2.25% to ow 1%)of risk-weighted assets, effective immediately. This action will allow Canada’s large banks to inject $300 billion of additional lending in to the economy.

The Bank of Canada also took a series of actions to support the Canadian economy during this period of economic stress, Bank of Canada implemented an unscheduled cut to interest rates, bringing it down to 0.25 per cent.

The government is talking with the Banks about the credit card interest rates being lowered.  More to come…

Supplementary Unemployment Benefit Plan (SUBP)

A supplementary unemployment benefit plan (SUBP) is a plan established by an employer or group of participating employers to top up employees’ employment insurance (EI) benefits during a period of unemployment due to a temporary or indefinite layoff for:

  • health-related benefits
  • maternity, parental, compassionate care, family caregiver leave
  • sickness, accident, or disability
  • temporary stoppage of work
  • training

A SUBP may be registered or unregistered. A SUBP may be registered with:

  • Service Canada, if the plan meets the requirements of article 37 of the Employment Insurance Regulations
  • the minister of national revenue (Canada Revenue Agency), if the plan satisfies the conditions for registration under section 145 of the Income Tax Act.

Registered SUBPs offer certain advantages for the employee and the employer over unregistered plans.

If an employer’s contributions are made to a SUBP that does not qualify for registration with the minister of national revenue (Canada Revenue Agency), then any top-up amounts paid out of the plan to the employee by an employer or a trustee out of the plan are considered to be income from an office or employment. This is true whether the SUBP is registered with Service Canada or not.

What is the status of COVID-19 in the Yukon? Please visit Yukon.ca

What is the status of COVID-19 in Canada?  Please visit Canada.ca

Please watch for CAFN news here:

COVID-19 bulletin  ·  CAFN.ca  ·  Champagne and Aishihik First Nations on FB  ·  E-mail

Door-to-door deliveries in CAFN communities  ·  Posted at community halls

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