COVID-19: Cross country update (July 25-27, 2020)

July 27, 2020

Federal

The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Extension of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

On July 27, 2020, Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures, received Royal Assent.  This legislation:

1. Expands and extends the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) as follows:

  • extending the CEWS until November 21, 2020, with the ability to extend the CEWS by regulation to no later than December 31, 2020;
  • making the subsidy accessible to a broader range of employers by including employers with a revenue decline of less than 30% and providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all qualifying employers;
  • introducing a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25% for employers that have been most adversely affected by the pandemic; and
  • providing certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules.

2. Authorizes the disclosure of information for the purpose of providing a one-time, non-taxable payment of $600 to persons with disabilities; and

3. Extends time limits that are difficult or impossible to meet as a result of COVID-19, including:

  • suspending, for a maximum of six months, certain time limits in relation to proceedings before courts;
  • temporarily enabling ministers to suspend or extend time limits and to extend other periods in relation to specified Acts and regulations for a maximum of six months; and
  • providing for the transparent exercise of the powers it confers and for Parliamentary oversight over the exercise of those powers.

For more information, see our July 21, 2020 article, Some good news for employers: Expanded and extended Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

Extension and Relief for Tax Debts

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is further extending the payment due date for individual, corporate and trust income tax returns, from September 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020, which means that payments and interest will not be charged if payment is made by September 30, 2020.  The CRA will also not impose late-filing penalties where a current year individual, corporation, or trust return is filed late, as long as it is filed by September 30, 2020.

Additionally the CRA will be waiving interest on existing tax debts related to individual, corporate, and trust income tax returns from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020 and from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 for goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax returns.

Funding for COVID-19 Initiatives

As part of the Federal Government’s $19 billion Safe Restart Agreement, $4.28 billion will be provided to further expand COVID-19 testing and contact tracing capacity, and the associated data management and information sharing systems.  This will ensure Canada has the ability to conduct 200,000 tests per day.  In addition, there will be a $7.5 billion investment in personal protective equipment.  To access the funding, each province and territory will need to outline how they plan to invest the funds.

 

British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

New Child Care Spaces

In addition to the new child care spaces announced last week (see our July 23-24 update) for Victoria, Port Hardy, Gabriola, Qualicum Beach and Comox, the B.C. Government has announced the following new spaces as part of its commitment to increasing child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond:

  • 400 spaces in Abbotsford and Langley;
  • 211 spaces in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam;
  • 157 new spaces in Richmond;
  • 140 news spaces in Vancouver and North Vancouver;
  • 508 new spaces in Surrey and Delta;
  • 67 new spaces in Sechelt; and
  • 59 new spaces in Pitt Meadows.

 

Ontario

The Government of Ontario announced the following measures:

$4 Billion of Support for Municipalities and Public Transit

The Ontario Government, in partnership with the Federal Government, will deliver up to $4 billion in one-time assistance to all 444 of Ontario’s municipalities to help local governments maintain essential services, including public transit.  The funding will be provided over the next six to eight months and is part of the made-in-Ontario plan for economic recovery and the Federal Government’s Safe Restart Agreement.

Specifically, $777 million from the Federal Government and $1.22 billion from the Ontario Government will be provided to municipalities to address budget shortfalls related to COVID-19.  The Ontario and Federal Governments will also each provide up to $1 billion to support transit operators address the financial impacts of COVID-19 and to continue their operations in a safe manner.

 

Quebec

The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

Montréal – State of Emergency Renewal

On July 25, the Montréal agglomeration extended the state of emergency on its territory until July 30.

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Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Montréal – Renouvellement de l’état d’urgence

Le 25 juillet, l’agglomération de Montréal a renouvelé l’état d’urgence jusqu’au 30 juillet sur l’ensemble de son territoire.

 

Miller Thomson is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation to ensure that we provide our clients with appropriate support in this rapidly changing environment. For articles, information updates and firm developments, please visit our COVID-19 Resources page.

Disclaimer

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