Trudeau Unveils COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Dear AED Member:

Yesterday, the Canadian government announced a robust stimulus package to help stabilize the economy during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

These measures will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet the liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy.

The initiatives are the first phase of stimulus designed to support incomes and keep cash in the economy. The government’s stated objective is to help individuals keep a roof over their heads and food on the table while working toward more sector-specific supports.

Highlights of the initial stimulus wave include:

  • Providing an Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks for income support to workers who are sick, quarantined or have been directed to isolate, but don’t qualify for Employment Insurance sickness benefits, who must stay home and do not have access to paid sick leave.
  • Giving eligible small businesses a 10 percent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Employers benefiting from this measure would include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as not-for-profit organisations and charities. This will help employers keep employees on their payroll.
  • Allowing all businesses to defer until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that are owed between now and September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as installments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This measure will result in businesses having more money available during this period.
  • Increasing the credit available to small, medium, and large Canadian businesses. As announced on March 13, a new Business Credit Availability Program will provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses experiencing cash flow challenges through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. The Government is ready to provide more capital through these financial Crown corporations.

For a detailed analysis by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, visit

AED will provide regular updates, including further information on how to apply for these programs and other measures the Canadian government takes to assist businesses to get through these unprecedented times.

Contact AED’s Senior Director of Canadian Engagement Mike Dexter with questions or input.


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