I hope that you are all enjoying the warm summer months and spending some socially distanced time with family and loved ones. Although this summer was not what we expected, I have been pleased to see Manitobans enjoying many of the local destinations our province has to offer.
Throughout the summer, our government has been hard at work as we continue to provide numerous support programs for those in our community, and across the country. Recently, we have announced a number of changes that will help make our support programs more flexible, as we look towards a safe economic recovery. We’ve announced extensions to the wage subsidy program, and commercial rent assistance, so that we can continue to support small businesses and protect jobs. We’ve also announced our $19 billion Safe Restart Agreement, which will provide the provinces and territories with the money needed to safely re-open and restart our economy. Funds provided through this agreement will help with PPE supplies, expand testing capacities, provide additional support for long-term care homes, as well as emergency funding for child care services.
This week, we also announced a significant step in COVID-19 vaccine procurement. The federal government has signed deals with two companies which will provide access to vaccine candidates, so that Canadians will have access to this vaccine when it becomes made available.
Locally, I’ve been pleased to see numerous investments in Winnipeg, including $500,000 to The Forks Market to ensure they can welcome guests safely, $1.18 million to the Lake Winnipeg Basin Program, $251,850 to the Bear Clan Patrol to support their work with vulnerable citizens, and $8.3 million to help women-led businesses across Western Canada.
More details on recent announcements and support program changes are available below. As always, we welcome any comments, questions or suggestions you may have for us. We can be reached at [email protected] or 204-984-6787.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
Extension of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Several changes have been made to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program to help protect jobs, support businesses and make the program more flexible, including:
Extending the wage subsidy program until December 19, 2020;
Extending the eligibility criteria to allow the subsidy to apply for employers who’ve suffered revenue losses under 30%;
Provide a gradually decreasing subsidy to employers whose revenues have recovered and no longer meet the 30 percent revenue decline threshold;
Introduce a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 percent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the pandemic; and
Provide certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they would not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have had under the previous rules.
More details on changes to the wage subsidy program are available, here.
Businesses who want to apply for the wage subsidy program, can apply, here.
Extending the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
The CECRA program, which offers up to 75% rent relief to eligible businesses, is being extended until August 2020 to help more small businesses that we hard hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information, visit the following link, here.
Safe Restart Agreement
Canada’s Safe Restart Agreement is a $19 billion-dollar agreement with our provincial and territorial partners, to help restart Canada’s economy safely. As part of Canada’s safe restart, we are investing:
$7.5 billion to ensure that there is enough supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect health care and essential workers;
$4.28 billion to expand our testing and contact tracing capacity, with a goal of conducting 200,000 tests per day to help manage future COVID-19 outbreaks;
$700 million to support health care system capacity, to help us prepare for a potential resurgence of the virus;
$740 million to support one-time costs over the next six to eight months for infection prevention and control measures in long-term care, home care, and palliative care facilities;
$625 million in federal emergency support for Canada’s early learning and child care sector, so parents have access to safe and sufficient child care;
$500 million to address immediate needs and gaps in the support of people experiencing challenges related to mental health, substance abuse and homelessness.
Canada Child Benefit Increased in July
The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) increased once again this July, to help keep up with the cost of living.
This benefit helps over 18,000 families in our community with purchasing things like clothes, healthy food, or school supplies for their children.
Those who are already receiving the CCB will have seen this increase automatically in their July payment.
CERB Transition to EI System
Last week, our government announced that in the weeks ahead, we will be sharing more details about our transition following the end of the CERB program.
Our goal will be to transition everyone that continues to require the CERB to Employment Insurance. For those who don’t qualify for EI right now, including gig or contract workers, we will be creating a benefit that is similar to Employment Insurance.
We will also have a sickness and caregivers benefit for Canadians not covered at work if they get COVID-19, or if their kids or parents get sick and they have to take care of them.
CRA Extension on Existing Debt
The CRA is extending the payment due date for individual, corporate and trust income tax returns to September 30, 2020. Penalties and interest will not be charged if payments are made by the extended deadline.
The CRA is also waiving interest on existing tax debts related to individual, corporate and trust income tax returns from April 1, 2020 to September 430, 2020.
More information on these payment deadline extensions, here.
One-time, special payment for disability community
The Government of Canada is expanding the one-time, non-taxable payment of $600 to 1.7 million Canadians with disabilities, to help them with extraordinary expenses incurred during the pandemic.
The payment will automatically be issued to persons who have a valid Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate or who are eligible for the DTC and apply for it within the 60 days following the adoption of legislation. Those who are eligible for the DTC will have until September 25, 2020 to apply for the credit.
The payment will also be automatically issued to persons with disabilities who, as of July 1, 2020, are beneficiaries of any of the following:
Canada Pension Plan Disability;
Disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada, including:
Pain and Suffering Compensation;
Critical Injury Benefit;
Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program;
Income Replacement Benefit; and/or
Canadian Forces Income Support.
Payments are expected to be issued beginning this fall.
Canada-US Border Closures
The federal governments of Canada and the United States have agreed to keep the Canada-US land border closed to all non-essential traffic until at least August 21, 2020.
Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members (parents, dependents, spouses) are exempt from this travel restriction.
More information on travel between the Canada and the US is available, here.
$1.18 Billion to Support Lake Winnipeg Basin Program
Our federal government was pleased to announce $1.18 billion to support 15 new projects under the Lake Winnipeg Basin Program.
This funding will help with water quality issues, reduce nutrients in the lake, enhance collaboration and encourage Indigenous involvement
Funding to support The Forks Renewal Project and the Churchill Chamber of Commerce
The federal government is providing $600,000 to support businesses and staff at the Forks, as well as in Churchill, as they continue to ensure that their tourist destinations are safe to use for visitors.
Support for Women-Led Businesses
Our government is providing $8.3 million through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to support women-owned and women-led businesses in Western Canada.
This funding will help businesses across Western Canada recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and will be an important step in economic recovery.
Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program
This week, our government announced that the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program will open for applications for four weeks, from August 24, 2020 to September 21, 2020.
This program is intended to support Canada’s self-employed commercial fish harvesters, who are affected economically by the pandemic, and who are unable to access other federal measures.
More details available on this program, as well as how to apply, here.
Manitoba Health Links: 204-788-8200 or toll free at 1-888-315-9257
Latest Updates on Provincial State of Emergency: http://manitoba.ca/covid19
Western Economic Diversification Regional Office in Manitoba: 204-983-4472 or toll free at 1-888-338-9378, and via email at [email protected]
For mental health support, visit: https://ca.portal.gs/
For all the latest news, please visit: http://canada.ca/coronavirus