Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

Chris Ball - Aug 27, 2021

The COVID-19 outbreak has had an immense impact on everyone. In response, the Prime Minister has announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period, by providing direct support to individuals, businesses, and sectors of the economy. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the inflow of information right now, and whether something has been implemented that could help you out in these times of need. Thankfully, the Government of Canada has created a page on their website which organizes the benefits by who they apply to and how to access them, making it easier to digest. We have included a summary of these groups below. If you see something that applies to you, please visit the following link for more information on the benefit, and how you can access it: Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

The benefits are broken down as follows:

Support for Individuals

Individuals and families
  • Temporary salary top-up for low-income essential workers
  • Increasing the Canada Child Benefit
  • Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment
  • Extra time to file income tax returns
  • Mortgage support
People facing loss of income
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Indigenous peoples
  • Addressing immediate needs in Indigenous communities
  • Supporting Indigenous communities’ public health needs and preparedness
  • Making personal hygiene products and nutritious food more affordable

People who need it most

  • Improving access to essential food support
  • Supporting people experiencing homelessness
  • Supporting women and children fleeing violence
  • Providing youth with mental health support
  • Delivering essential services to those in need
  • Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds (by 25%)
  • Supporting the delivery of items and personal outreach
  • Providing immediate and essential services to seniors

Students and recent graduates

  • Suspending repayment and interest on student and apprentice loans
  • Temporary changes to Canada Summer Jobs program


Support for Businesses

Avoiding layoffs and rehiring employees

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) (75% wage subsidy)
  • Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy
  • Extending the Work-Sharing program
  • Temporary changes to Canada Summer Jobs program

Access to credit

  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
  • Rural businesses and communities
  • Assisting innovative and early-stage businesses
  • Young entrepreneurs
  • Businesses in the Territories
  • Small and medium-sized businesses unable to access other support measures

Deferred payments

  • More time to pay income taxes
  • Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments until June

Support for self-employed individuals

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments until June
  • More time to pay income taxes

Indigenous businesses

  • Funding for small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and Aboriginal Financial Institutions

Supporting financial stability

  • Relief for federally regulated pension plan sponsors
  • Launching an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program
  • Bank of Canada's actions
  • Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions actions


Support for Sectors

Agriculture, agri-food, aquaculture, fisheries

  • Keeping workers in the food supply chain
  • Increasing credit availability

Cultural, heritage and sports

  • Addressing the financial needs of cultural, heritage and sport organizations
  • Waiving payments for Part I licence fees

Air transportation

  • Continuing the supply of essential goods and services to remote and fly-in communities
  • Waiving ground lease rents
  • Deferring payments on commercial leases and licenses of occupation


  • Cleaning up orphan and inactive oil and gas wells
  • Launching the Emissions Reduction Fund

Non-profit and charitable

  • Delivering essential services to those in need


As always, we suggest you work closely with a financial advisor to see how these measures will work for you.


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