Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program to help businesses and commercial property owners who are facing unique challenges, including small businesses who were unable to cover their rents for April, May and June. The assistance is being rolled out in collaboration with the provinces and territories.
Expanding eligibility for the Canada Emergency Business Account
The federal government is also now expanding the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account. To help more Canadians benefit from the CERB, the government will be changing the eligibility rules to:
• Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
• Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their usual seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
• Extend the CERB to workers who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.
Now, companies who paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 will be eligible to receive a loan (before the range was $50,000 – $1 million). To date, the government has approved more than 195,000 loans and almost $7.5 billion in credit to help small- and medium-sized businesses in this difficult time.
Meeting with G7 leaders
The Prime Minister also met with the G7 leaders this morning and said that that all remain committed to do whatever it takes to help people rebound. Trudeau noted that Canada is working together with domestic and international counterparts to develop a vaccine and expand treatment, and will be extending a helping hand to more vulnerable countries hit hard by the crisis. “It’s a global crisis and demands a global response.”
Prime Minister Trudeau will be meeting with the provincial and territorial premiers to discuss salary top-ups for certain essential front-line health workers as well as how to provide better care for our elderly impacted by long-term care outbreaks. He also noted that more “help” — including financial assistance and medical supplies for the targeted groups — is on the way.
Trudeau was also asked if the government would be providing military support to the provinces. He noted that the Public Safety Minister received an official request for support from Quebec in long-term care centres. That support could include the military, volunteers and the Canadian Red Cross. Discussions and planning with Quebec are ongoing.