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Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Information from the Office of Dr. Helena Jaczek, MP for Markham—Stouffville

Our government is taking significant action to protect the health and safety of Canadians, stabilize our economy, and help workers and businesses during this difficult time.

To implement many of the new economic measures, we need to introduce legislation and seek the approval of Parliament. Today, the House of Commons was recalled to introduce those urgent measures.

This is part of our $82 billion response to support workers and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to have quick passage of this legislation to ensure Canadians have the financial support that’s needed during this crisis.

Economic Impact and Response

As the first phase of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, we’re providing immediate help to Canadians and businesses that are most in need. These measures represent over $27 Billion of direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, and an additional $55 Billion kept in the economy. This support will help ensure Canadians can pay for rent and groceries, and help businesses continue to pay their employees and bills. We are committed to helping Canadians get through this.

Support for Business

Our Government is taking action to help Canadians and businesses through this challenging time. As a next step in our COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, our Government is helping Canadian businesses protect jobs, and pay their bills by:

  • Providing an up to 75% wage subsidy for qualifying employers for up to 3 months;
  • Allowing businesses to defer GST/HST payments, and customs duties until the end of June;
  • Launching the new Canada Emergency Business Account to help provide interest-free loans to small businesses and not-for-profits.
  • And providing SMEs with guaranteed loans to help cover operational costs.

These new measures will provide immediate help to Canadian businesses so they can weather the impacts of COVID-19. Together, they represent an additional $65 billion in direct support, and $30 billion in additional tax deferrals.

This builds on our work so far to expand work sharing, launch the Business Credit Availability Program, and stabilize our financial markets. Our Government will continue its efforts to support workers, businesses, and our economy as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/27/prime-minister-announces-support-small-businesses-facing-impacts

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

Support for Farmers and Agri-Food Businesses

Canadian farmers and food businesses work hard to ensure Canadians have quality food on their tables. We understand that for farmers, and people across the agri-food business, these are hard times, too. It is more important now than ever to make sure they are supported to provide healthy food to Canadians. That’s why the Prime Minister announced new measures to support farmers and agri-food businesses in Canada.

• We are opening up $5 billion in additional lending capacity.
• Farmers and food producers can apply through Farm Credit Canada for the support they need to keep food growing and getting to Canadian table.
• All eligible farmers who have an outstanding Advance Payments Program (APP) loan due on or before April 30 will also receive a Stay of Default, allowing them an additional six months to repay the loan.

For more information: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/23/prime-minister-announces-support-farmers-and-agri-food-businesses

Mobilizing Industry to fight COVID-19

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve rapidly, the government is mobilizing Canadian businesses and manufacturers to help fight the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of all Canadians. Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19 will create pathways to deploy resources to domestic manufacturers and businesses so they can help during this critical time. The Plan introduces new measures to directly support these businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada that will help in the fight against COVID-19. These products could include critical health and safety supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment, sanitization products, diagnostic and testing products, and disease tracking technology. The Plan builds on the Government of Canada’s more than $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund and the support that has been provided to our health care system since the beginning of the outbreak. It focuses on domestic capacity building, innovative solutions, and procurement of essential supplies. It will:

• Build the industrial capability needed to manufacture critical supplies at scale in Canada. This will be done either by re-tooling the manufacturing lines of existing Canadian businesses or rapidly scaling up the production of others that already produce these products.
• Refocus Canada’s existing industrial and innovation programs, by adding to their mandate a requirement that they prioritize the fight against COVID-19. This includes:
a) the Strategic Innovation Fund to deliver direct support to Canadian companies for large-scale projects
b) National Research Council of Canada to expedite research and development with small and medium-sized enterprises
c) Innovation Superclusters to tap into a national network of 1,800 members, and Innovative Solutions Canada to help companies commercialize products more quickly
• Deliver direct support to key Canadian companies that are working on large-scale and later-stage research and development projects aimed, in the immediate term, at producing countermeasures to COVID-19.
• Challenge innovative companies to develop research-based solutions, technologies, and products that can address a variety of COVID-19 issues.
• Source equipment needed to support Canada’s response to COVID-19 here in Canada. The Government of Canada will use existing supply arrangements and innovative, flexible procurement approaches. It is also reaching out to suppliers to identify and purchase equipment, supplies, and services needed for Canada’s response to COVID-19. With a view to longer-term support, the Government of Canada will ensure procurement flexibility to support innovation and build domestic manufacturing capacity to supply critical health supplies to Canadians.

These measures are part of a larger strategy the Government of Canada is implementing to protect Canadians and prevent the spread of the virus. This strategy prioritizes the health and safety of Canadians, ensures the capacity of our health care system, and mitigates the economic impacts on Canadians and Canadian business.

For more information: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/20/prime-minister-announces-canadas-plan-mobilize-industry-fight-covid

Temporary border agreement with the United States

Canada and the United States have agreed to temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border. The agreement took effect on March 21st. This collaborative and reciprocal measure will restrict non-essential travel across the border, including for tourism and recreation. Canadian and American citizens and permanent residents who are currently visiting each other’s country can still return home.

All essential and business travel will continue. Both governments recognize the importance of preserving vital supply chains between our two countries. These supply chains ensure that food, fuel, and life-saving medicines continue to reach people on both sides of the border.

We will continue to take measures to prioritize the health and safety of Canadians, ensure the capacity of our health care system, support international and domestic efforts, and mitigate the economic impacts on Canadians and Canadian business.

For more information: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/20/prime-minister-announces-temporary-border-agreement-united-states