Legislative Costing Notes

Temporary changes to the Canada Student Loans Program in loan year 2020-21

A series of temporary changes to the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) that are in effect for one loan year, 2020-21 :
- Doubling of maximum Canada Student Grant (CSG) amounts for full-time students and part-time students, as well as for students with permanent disabilities and students with dependents;
- Suspending student and spousal contributions; and
- Raising the maximum weekly Canada Student Loan (CSL) amount from $210 per week to $350 per week.

Measures to assist seniors during COVID-19

Seniors who qualify for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension will receive $300. Individuals who also qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will receive another $200. Individuals receiving a spousal allowance will receive $500. All are tax-free one-time payments.
PBO estimates total net cost of this measure to be $2,478 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year. This includes a cost of $2,015 million for the one-time OAS pension payments, $426 million for the one-time GIS payments, and $37 million for the one-time spousal allowance payments.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance

Introducing rent assistance for small businesses. 
The rent assistance will be provided through forgivable loans to property owners leasing property to eligible small businesses. In order to qualify for a forgivable loan in relation to the rent paid by an eligible small business, the property owners must have signed an agreement to lower the rent of a tenant small business by at least 75% and to not evict the tenant in April, May, or June of 2020. The loan will be forgiven if rents are in fact lowered by at least 75%.
Eligible small businesses are those who:
1.    pay no more than $50,000 in monthly gross rent per location;
2.    generate no more than $20 million in annual gross revenues, calculated on a consolidated basis; and
3.    have temporarily ceased operations (i.e. generating no revenues) or have experienced at least a 70% decline compared to pre-COVID-19 revenues. 
The loans will cover 50% of the gross rent owed by impacted small business tenants during the 3-month period of April, May and June 2020. Loans and loan forgiveness will be available retroactively, provided an application is made by 31 August 2020. Most provinces bear 25% of the cost of the program, up to a cap based on 25% of the initially estimated cost of the program; however, the cost of the program will not be shared in the territories or PEI.

Cost Estimate of Bill S-209: An Act to Amend the Department for Women and Gender Equality Act

Cost Estimate of Bill S-209: An Act to Amend the Department for Women and Gender Equality Act

10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

Providing eligible employers with a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for employers with reduced revenues

Introducing a wage subsidy for employers with reduced revenues.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a taxable benefit that would provide $500 a week for up to 16 weeks for workers who lose their income due to reasons related to COVID-19. This includes Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19 as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are at home because of school and daycare closures.

The Incremental Cost of Employing 10,000 Reservists as Part of CAF Readiness Efforts in Response to COVID-19

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are employing a projected total of 10,000 reservists on full-time contracts in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic and potential operational requirements associated with seasonal flooding and forest fires during the Spring and Summer months. This estimate covers the incremental salary cost of employing reservists on full-time contracts for a period beginning in April, 2020 and ending on August 31st for a total of 144 days and includes employee benefit costs, temporary duty allowances, deployment costs, and support costs.

Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments until June

Businesses, including self-employed individuals, can defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and services tax (GST)/Harmonized sales tax (HST), as well as customs duty owing on their imports.

Work-Sharing program for those affected by COVID-19

Effective March 15, 2020 to March 14, 2021, and not limited to one specific sector or industry, the Government of Canada introduced temporary special measures to the Work-Sharing (WS) program to support employers and employees affected by COVID-19. These include extending the maximum duration of a WS agreement from 38 weeks to 76 weeks, waiving the mandatory cooling off period for those already using the WS program, easing recovery plan requirements, and expanding eligibility.