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Canada’s Economic Response Plan

Posted by Thomas on April 7, 2020
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VIP Condos Toronto sincerely hopes that you and your loved ones are remaining safe and healthy throughout this difficult time. In recognition of the extraordinary circumstances in which we now find ourselves, the Government of Canada has taken action to lessen the impact of the crisis on families and individuals. We have taken the liberty of providing information regarding the programs and incentives that are now available.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your real estate investments, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Intended for those who have lost their primary source of income due to the pandemic, CERB is a taxable benefit that provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks, and will be available from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020. The eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Must be at least 15 years old and residing in Canada.
  • Must have stopped working as a result of COVID-19, or are eligible for Employment Insurance (regular or sickness benefits).
  • Had at least $5,000 in income during 2019 or in the 12 months before their application date.
  • Are unemployed, or expect to have no employment income, for at least 14 days during the first four-week period.

The $5,000 in income may come from these sources:

  • Employment
  • Self-employment
  • Maternity and parental benefits under Canada’s Employment Insurance program (or under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan)


To apply, go to either CRA MyAccount or call 1-800-959-2019. When calling, you will need your SIN number, your postal code and the dates of the period for which you will be applying. Both services will be closed from 3:00am to 6:00am for maintenance.

If your unemployed status continues, in order to keep receiving benefits you will need to re-apply every 4 weeks. This can be done for a maximum of 16 weeks.

Q & A: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

As per the orders issued by the Province of Ontario, eviction proceedings at the Landlord Tenant Board have been halted temporarily. Contrary to the large amounts of miscommunication on the topic, tenants are still required to pay rent during this time. Landlords are highly encouraged to work with tenants who are facing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic, but eviction notices may still be given. However, all eviction hearing are on hold until further notice.

For more infomation, click here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-information-landlords

The Government of Canada has made a number of programs available to assist businesses through this time. These include:

  • Wage subsidies through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
  • Extensions to the work-share program
  • The establishment of a Business Credit Availability Program
  • Extension of income tax deadlines
  • The use of CERB benefits by self-employed persons

CEWS subsidies are currently valid until August 29, 2020.


Learn more at: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses

The City of Toronto has worked to expand the options available to tenants who are unemployed or whose self-isolation has affected their ability to work. A detailed list of available financial aids can be found here: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-financial-social-support-for-people/covid-19-tenants-property-owners/

A full description of the rights afforded to tenants can be found there-along with their responsibilities, such as paying rent if they are able to. While evictions are on hold, paying rent is still required. As a result, tenants are encouraged to come to an agreement with their landlords.


Sick Leave

For people claiming EI sickness benefits due to being quarantined, a medical certificate will not be required. The one-week waiting period will also be waived. Those who cannot apply due to sickness will have their claim backdated to cover the delay.

To be eligible:

  • You must be sick from, or quarantined as a result of, the COVID-19 virus
  • Your regular weekday earnings must have decreased by more than 40% for at least one week.
  • You must have accumulated 600 insured hours of work in the 52 weeks before your claim, or since the start of your last claim-whichever is shorter.

Applications can be made online via the federal government’s EI portal.

Work Closure-Related Layoffs

You can apply for regular EI benefits. However, the one-week waiting period will remain in effect. The Record of Employment is still required, but you will be able to apply first and provide it later.

Applications can be made online via the federal government’s EI portal.

  • The deadline for individuals to file their personal income taxes has been extended to June 1, 2020.
  • The deadline for self-employed persons and their spouses/partners remains unchanged at June 15th.
  • For both, the payment date has been extended to September 1, 2020.

Click here for more information.

Property Tax Deferrals

The Government of Ontario has announced that they will allow municipalities to delay the collection of property taxes for up to 90 days. Many cities have taken advantage of this new policy, and have put in place deferrals or penalty-free grace periods for residents.

The City of Toronto has suspended all pending automated withdrawals that had been scheduled for the 60 days following March 16, 2020. Customers who still wish to make payments can do so through their bank or other financial institution, including online or telephone banking.


For more info on these topics, click here: https://www.oreacovid19info.com/financial-relief-for-homeowners/

Federal Canada Child Benefit:

Those already receiving this benefit may be able to receive up to $300 more per child. This is only for the 2019-2020 tax year and will come into effect in May 2020. To be eligible you must:

  • Live with a child who is under 18 years of age
  • Hold primary responsibility for raising the child
  • Be a resident of Canada for tax purposes
  • You or your spouse must be one of the following: Canadian citizen, permanent resident, protected person, a temporary resident of Canada for the past 18 months who holds a valid permit for the 19th, or an indigenous person

Ontario: One-Time Child Support Payment

All Ontario families are eligible to receive a one-time payment of $200 for children aged 0-12 and $250 for children/youth under the age of 21 who have special needs. If you have more than one child, you must submit a separate application for each of them. Only one parent can apply for each child, and the one that does must have custody of them.

To apply, you must have the following information on hand:

  • The name of your child’s school or school board
  • Your child’s date of birth
  • Banking information
  • A valid e-mail address


Applications can be submitted online here.

Beginning on April 9, 2020, a one-time payment of GST/HST credits will be made. You must meet at least one of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be at least 19 years old
  • Have a spouse or common-law partner
  • A parent who lives (or lived) with their child.


Eligibility (and the amount of money received) will be determined based on 2018 tax filings. If you did not file your taxes for 2018, you will not be able to take advantage of this credit. For more information, click here.

For the convenience of homeowners and commercial property owners, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRRB) has compiled a list of property tax deferral schedules for all municipalities under its jurisdiction, as well as contact information for each one. This list can be found here: http://trreb.ca/files/news_releases/news2020/property_tax_deferral-2020.pdf

Student loan payments have been deferred for six months nationwide. No payments will be required, and no interest accrual will occur during this time. To apply, contact the National Student Loans Service Centre.

Ontario Students: OSAP loan payments have also been suspended. In this case, no action needs to be taken.

If you currently have a mortgage, you may be eligible for:

  • A 6-month payment deferral
  • Deferrals on business loan payments
  • Waivers on the minimum payments for credit cards
  • Increases to limits on lines of credit
  • Other opportunities for credit relief


Eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Contact your bank to apply.

TD: https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/covid-19/

Scotiabank: https://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/personal/scotia-support/latest-updates/coronavirus-covid-19.html

CIBC: https://www.cibc.com/en/personal-banking/advice-centre/covid-19.html

RBC: https://www.rbc.com/covid-19/

The minimum withdrawal amount for Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) accounts has been reducted to 4.37%  of the value on January 1, 2020. This is a decrease of 25%.

Electricity Price Relief

As of March 24, 2020, the provincial government has set electricity prices at “off peak” rates until May 31st, 2020. As a result, the average consumer can expect savings of around $20 on their next electricity bill.

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

Ontarians who are behind on their utility bills may qualify for financial aid under LEAP. More info can be found here: https://www.oeb.ca/rates-and-your-bill/help-low-income-consumers/low-income-energy-assistance-program

Suspension of Disconnections

In order to ensure that customers are not without electricity, Toronto Hydro has suspended all disconnections until July 31, 2020. Additionally, Enbridge will not be disconnecting any customers until August 1st, 2020.

For more info on Toronto Hydro’s policies, visit: https://www.torontohydro.com/for-home/financial-assistance

For more info on Enbridge’s policies, visit https://www.enbridgegas.com/covid-19

The City of Toronto is providing free emergency daycare services for the children of frontline healthcare workers and first responders. Applications can be submitted via the city’s website.

Via an agreement between the federal government and all provinces, the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) will be provided for small businesses. Lowering rent by 75%, it will offer forgivable loans to property owners that cover up to 50% of monthly rent payments-payments that would normally be made by small businesses. The program is expected to be operational in mid-May, and will cover monthly payments for April, May and June.


The loans will be forgiven only if property owners agree to lower their tenants’ rent by at least 75%, and tenants cannot be evicted while the agreement is in place. The small-business owner would then pay the remaining 25%.

Qualifiying businesses are those paying less than $50,000 in rent per month, and who have either temporarily closed or have seen a drop in revenue of 70% or more. Non-profits and charitable organizations also qualify.

More info can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is a $1 billion fund that is intended to help businesses stay afloat during the pandemic. This includes meeting payroll obligations, as well as supporting new projects that help them prepare for a successful recovery. The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario is the regional agency for the GTA. To see if your business is eligible, contact them at http://www.feddevontario.gc.ca/eic/site/723.nsf/eng/home

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