How the Canada’s Provinces – Government measures is supporting its economy during Covid 19 crisis

Government measures is supporting its economy during Covid 19 crisis

ONTARIO

The Ontario government announced on 23rd March 2020 that all non-essential businesses in Ontario would be required to close by 24th March 2020 in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19. The government reassured Ontarians that they would access to grocery stores and pharmacies, and that power and telecommunications will not be affected.

  • The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on business brought on by COVID-19. The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board covers over five million people in more than 300,000 workplaces across Ontario.
  • All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package and can defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. Businesses are not required to inform the WSIB that they will be taking advantage of this financial relief package.
  • Additionally, the WSIB will not charge any interest on all outstanding premium payments. They will not charge penalties during this six-month deferral period. There will be no negative consequences for businesses who defer premium reporting and payments. The WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces.
  • The relief program is part of a $17 billion package included in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. The government’s action plan will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.
  • Additionally, through the WSIB, the government reduced costs to employers by a new rate framework and the elimination of the unfunded liability charge, putting more than $2 billion back into the economy.

Read our article on 5 REASONS FOR DOING BUSINESS IN ONTARIO, CANADA

BRITISH COLUMBIA

British Columbians are asked to stay home as much as possible to prevent possible spread and infection of COVID-19. On 23rd March 2020, British Columbians Premier John Horgan announced a $5 billion economic “action plan” that is being put in place to help support people and businesses in British Columbia as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

  • The package includes $2.8 billion in financial relief for residents and $2.2 billion for businesses. Of the $2.8 billion, the province is dedicating $1.1 billion to boost the income of people affected by COVID-19.
  • The new emergency benefit for workers will provide a tax-free $1,000 payment to British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by the outbreak. It will be a one-time payment for those who receive federal Employment Insurance (EI), or the new federal Emergency Care Benefit or Emergency Support Benefit as a result of COVID-19 impacts. This includes workers who have been laid-off, who are sick or quarantined, parents with sick children, parents who stay at home from work while child care centres and schools are closed, and those caring for sick family members, such as an elderly parent. The workers can also be EI-eligible and non-EI eligible, such as the self-employed.
  • The Province is also allocating $1.7 billion for the critical services British Columbians need. That includes investments in housing and shelter supports, income and disability assistance programs and crucial health services, such as funding for the BC Centre for Disease Control hotline, quarantine costs, lab tests and work underway at the First Nations Health Authority and the United Way’s Better at Home program for seniors.
  • The new emergency plan will also benefit people with student loans by freezing student loan payments for six months, starting March 30th. Federal student loan payments are being frozen as well.
  • The provincial government also says British Columbians need more time to pay their bills so ICBC is extending hydro bill referrals to up to 90 days.
  • People dealing with job loss, illness or loss of wages due to COVID-19 may also qualify for BC Hydro’s Customer Crisis Fund grant program for up to $600.

Read our article on Covid 19 – Effect of Covid 19 in Canada’s Provinces

SASKATCHEWAN

The Government of Saskatchewan has launched a Business Response Team to support businesses in the province dealing with the economic challenges resulting from COVID-19.
The Business Response Team, led by the Ministry of Trade and Export Development, will work with businesses to identify program supports available to them both provincially and federally.

Business Response Team to be established – An email address and toll-free telephone number have been created to provide businesses a single point of contact to help answer questions. A single window information webpage has also been developed for businesses to access information and receive timely updates on provincial support initiatives. The webpage includes information on both provincial and federal support measures, including the province’s recently announced financial support program.

  • The plan focuses on reducing costs for businesses and individuals. The program should total around $10 million, and will primarily benefit self-employed Saskatchewan residents. People must meet the following criteria:
  • They have contracted COVID-19 or are showing symptoms.
  • They have been in contact with an individual infected with COVID-19;
  • They have recently returned from international travel and have been required to self-isolate; and
  • If they are not eligible for compensation including sick leave, vacation leave from their employer
  • If they do not have private insurance covering such disruptions
  • If they are not covered by other programs such as federal employment insurance that has been updated.
  • Three Month PST Remittance Deferral and Audit Suspension – Saskatchewan businesses that are unable to remit their PST by the due date may submit a request for relief from penalty and interest charges on the returns affected.
  • Crown Utility Interest Deferral Programs – The government announced a crown utility interest deferral program waving interest on late bill payments for up to six months which is available to all crown utility customers.
  • Student Loan Repayment Moratorium – A six-month student loan repayment moratorium has been put in place, mirroring a similar federal provision. This moratorium provides individuals with student loans immediate relief, and comes at a $4 million cost to the provincial government.
  • Changes to Employment Standard Regulations – In addition to changes made to changes to The Saskatchewan Employment Act that introduced a new unpaid public health emergency leave and removed the 13-week employment requirement to access sick leave and the requirement for a doctor’s note to access sick leave.

Read our article on SASKATCHEWAN ISSUES 381 INVITATIONS IN THE LATEST

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