Fed. government launches Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, announces new supports

The federal government announces measures to support individuals, families, communities and businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


May 2021

No updates.

April 2021

No updates.

March 2021

  • Increase to the maximum number of weeks available to workers through EI regular benefits. Read more
  • Introduction of plan to better protect foreign workers in order to secure Canada’s food supply chain. Read more
  • Investment of $25.2 million in 52 COVID-19 research projects across the country. Read more

February 2021

No updates.

January 2021

  • Additional $380 million for the Indigenous Community Support Fund. Read more
  • $1 million to support the COVID-19 Evidence Network, which will bring together experts to collaborate and synthesize the best available evidence across Canada’s pandemic response. Read more

December 2020 

  • $1.8 million to fund research that will evaluate the outcomes and impacts of practice interventions and policy options in long-term care and retirement homes. Read more
  • Maximum wage subsidy rate increased to 75%. Read more
  • $100 million in added support to food security organizations. Read more
  • Additional $70 million to the Red Cross for ongoing COVID-19 response. Read more

November 2020 

  • Extension of support program for farmers and processors to protect temporary foreign workers’ health and safety during pandemic. Read more
  • $20 million in new funding to create a temporary Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund. Read more

October 2020  

  • Up to $50 million in funding to support organizations providing supports and services to those experiencing gender-based violence. Read more  
  • Launch of applications for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit. Read more 
  • Investment of more than $10.2 million in COVID-19 mental health and substance use research. Read more 
  • Launch of applications for the Canada Recovery Benefit. Read more
  • $796,000 in funding for research and development to address COVID-19 gaps and challenges. Read more 

September 2020

  • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund support for Western Canadian businesses tops $154 million. Read more
  • Over 1,000 new projects delivered by community organizations across the country to support seniors during the pandemic. Read more
  • Justice Canada supports increased access to justice for LGBTQ2 Canadians amid COVID-19 challenges. Read more
  • Transition from the CERB to a flexible and more accessible EI program to start September 27, 2020. Read more 
  • Relief and recovery funds for Atlantic businesses tops over $63 million. Read more

August 2020

  • Infrastructure program expands to support COVID-19 community resilience. Read more
  • Launch of updated Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator to support employers. Read more
  • Additional $305 million to support Indigenous Peoples during the pandemic, through the Indigenous Community Support Fund. Read more
  • Canada Revenue Agency opens applications for enhanced Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Read more
  • Increased Access to EI and Recovery Benefits. Read more
  • $82.5 million in mental health and wellness supports to help Indigenous communities adapt and expand mental wellness services. Read more
  • Facilitative measures to support international students affected by the pandemic. Read more
  • Greater flexibility and extension of Canada Emergency Business Account. Read more

July 2020

  • Changes to facilitate online learning for international students. Read more
  • Creation of the Essential Services Contingency Reserve, to which essential service organizations can apply for temporary, urgent access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies. Read more
  • Emergency funds to nearly 1,000 organizations delivering essential front-line supports to those fleeing violence and abuse. Read more
  • $625 million in federal support for child care for returning workers. Read more
  • New extension of rent relief for small businesses. Read more
  • $58.6 million to strengthen the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program. Read more

June 2020

  • $1.1 million in funding to support national disability organizations. Read more
  • Changes to travel restrictions for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Read more
  • $77.5 million to maintain and strengthen Canada’s food production and processing sector. Read more
  • Extension to time periods for temporary layoffs to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees. Read more
  • Investment of more than $109 million over one year in COVID-19 research. Read more
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) will be extended by one month to cover eligible small business rents for July. Read more
  • Increased eligibility for small businesses to access CEBA. Read more

May 2020

  • Employee training supports for agri-businesses. Read more
  • Launch of Action Committee on Court Operations in Response to COVID-19. Read more
  • Up to $500 million in emergency funding for cultural, heritage and sport organizations. Read more
  • Help for temporary foreign workers and their employers. Read more
  • $962 million additional support fund now available to businesses and communities. Read more
  • Benefits payments for eligible Canadians to continue until Fall 2020. Read more
  • Extended eligibility for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Read more
  • Farmers without payroll can now access the $40,000 interest-free loan available under CEBA. Read more
  • New temporary program announced to support research staff in Canada. Read more
  • Launch of a four-week hotline service to provide small businesses in need with financial planning advice. Read more
  • Up to $9.2 million to enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Program and fund up to 700 new positions for youth in the agriculture industry. Read more

April 2020

  • Canadians can now apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Read more
  • Introduction of COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2 to support Canadians and businesses. Read more
  • Launch of new portal dedicated to mental wellness supports. Read more
  • Expanded access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Read more
  • Relief for federally regulated pension plan sponsors. Read more
  • Further flexibility for employers to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Read more
  • Launch of the Canada Emergency Business Account. Read more
  • New Horizons for Seniors Program projects can now be used for COVID-19 support. Read more
  • Support to those experiencing homelessness and women fleeing gender-based violence. Read more
  • The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) provides an online space, Pandemic Info Share, to enable businesses and organizations to share their pandemic-related good practices and resources. Read more
  • Launch of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator for Employers. Read more
  • Launch of applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Read more
  • Income support to post-secondary students who lost work opportunities due to COVID-19. Read more

March 2020

The federal government announces economic support, new legislation and measures to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Support for individuals and families includes an increase to the Canada Child Benefit.
  • Support for people facing unemployment includes the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
  • Support for seniors includes reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds.

Read more about Canada’s actions and responses.

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