McCay Duff continues to monitor the Federal and Provincial governments COVID-19 announcements. On March 25, 2020, the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Act received Royal Assent and the Ministry of Finance of Ontario introduced Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.

Government of Canada

Bill C-13 – The COVID-19 Emergency Response Act received Royal Assent on March 25, 2020.

The Bill introduces the Canada Emergency Response Benefit which replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months to the following individuals:

  • Workers who had to stop working due to COVID-19 and who don’t have access to paid leave or other income support;
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined or caring for someone who has COVID-19;
  • Working parents who are required to be at home without pay to care for their children who are sick or require care as a result of school and daycare closures;
  • Workers who are still employed, however are not receiving pay as a result of insufficient work and their employer has requested that they not come in for work;
  • Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who otherwise would not be eligible to collect Employment Insurance.

The benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in April. Applicants can also apply by telephone.

All other measures previously announced remain unchanged. Further details are provided on the Department of Finance’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website.

Ministry of Finance of Ontario

The Ontario Minister of Finance introduced Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 which includes $3.7 billion to support people and jobs and $10 billion in support for people and business to improve cash flow including:

  • Temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million and a five-month relief period for Ontario business that are not able to file or remit their provincial taxes on time due to circumstances caused by COVID-19. The exemption would return to $490,000 on January 1, 2021.
  • Providing a five-month interest and penalty-free period to make payments beginning April 1, 2020 for provincially administered tax programs including: EHT, Tobacco Tax, Fuel Tax, Gas Tax, Wine and Spirits Tax, Mining Tax, Insurance Premium Tax, International Fuel Tax Agreement, Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts and Benefit Plans, Race Track Tax.
  • The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will allow employers to defer payments for a six-month period. All employers covered by the WSIB workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial relief.
  • Assisting families with extra costs associated with school and daycare closures by providing a one-time $200 payment per child up to 12 years of age, $250 for those with special needs.

Further measures are outlined on the Government of Ontario website.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact your McCay Duff advisor.

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