• Oct, 19 2020

    The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) eligibility period expired on September 26, 2020. To support those who remain unable to work, the Government has made several modifications to Employment Insurance (EI) regular, maternity and parental programs:

    1. Reduce, to 120 hours through a credit, the minimum number of hours of insurable employment required for a regular, maternity and parental claim; 
    2. Set a minimum EI regular, maternity and parental benefit rate of $500 per week ($300 for extended parental benefits); 
    3. Provide a minimum entitlement of 26 weeks for regular EI beneficiaries.

    The weekly benefit rate is calculated based on the 14 best weeks of earnings. 

    In general, these changes are effective on September 27, 2020 for one year. There are a few exceptions: the hours credit is retroactive to March 15, 2020 and the 26 week minimum entitlement is effective on August 9, 2020.

  • Oct, 08 2020

    Establishing a process for the expiry of criminal records without requiring an application or the payment of an application fee. The waiting period for the expiry of a sentence would also be shorter than that currently applicable to record suspensions. The criteria for a record expiry are simplified so that eligibility depends on the automated criminal conviction records retrieval system maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police instead of depending on criminal record checks obtained and submitted by applicants.

    This bill is expected to decrease user fee revenues by $5 million per year.

  • Oct, 07 2020

    The Canada Recovery Benefit, introduced on September 27, 2020, will provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who do not qualify for EI, who earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or 2020 and who are unable to return to work or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. The program will last for one year. 

    Claimants will need to repay $0.50 of the benefit for each dollar of their annual income above $38,000 in the calendar year up to a maximum of the amount of benefit they received. The $38,000 threshold will not include amounts received under the benefit. The benefit will be taxable. 

    PBO estimates total net cost of this measure to be $12.853 billion in 2020-2021 and $5.087 billion in 2021-2022.

  • Oct, 07 2020

    The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) is a proposed measure to provide Canadians with paid sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19.  Workers who miss at least 50% of their normal time at work during a week due to being sick from or self-isolating because of COVID-19, or due to having a medical issue that would make them more vulnerable to being infected with COVID-19, can receive a taxable benefit of $500.  A worker can take the CRSB for a total of 2 weeks between Sept 27, 2020 and Sept 25, 2021.

    Workers cannot claim CRSB at the same time they are on employer-provided paid sick leave, or certain other types of benefits or leave. Claimants must have earned at least $5,000 in any of 2019, 2020, or the span of 12 months before they apply for the CRCB.

    PBO estimates total net cost of this measure to be $599 million in 2020-2021 and $550 million in 2021-2022.

  • Oct, 07 2020

    On August 20, 2020 the Government announced a transition plan from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to new benefits and a modified Employment Insurance program. This plan includes extending eligibility of CERB benefits an additional 4 weeks to the end of September 2020, bringing the maximum period of benefits to 28 weeks. 

    The CERB is a taxable benefit that provides $500 a week 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.

    Workers are defined as anyone who received at least $5,000 in the previous 12 months in employment income, self-employment income, Employment Insurance benefits, or other provincial benefits as outlined in Bill C-13.

    Workers who earn less than $1,000 in a 4-week period are eligible for the CERB. Individuals who have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020 are also eligible for the CERB.

    PBO estimates the cost to extend the maximum duration of benefits from 24 to 28 weeks under the CERB program to be $6.3 billion.  This would bring the total estimated program cost to $82.3 billion.

  • Oct, 07 2020

    The proposed Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB) would provide a $500 taxable benefit for up to 26 weeks per household for workers who miss at least 50% of their normal time at work during a week to care for someone for reasons due to COVID-19.

    Reasons that a worker could claim the CRCB include caring for a child under 12 or another family member  12 or over who cannot be left alone without supervision: whose school, childcare, or other type of care program is closed due to COVID-19; whose normal caregiver cannot provide care due to COVID-19; or who is staying home because they have an increased risk of severe health consequences if they become infected with COVID-19.

    Eligible workers must have earned at least $5,000 in any of 2019, 2020, or the span of 12 months before they apply for the CRCB and are ineligible for the CRCB if they are receiving certain other benefits (e.g. the Canada Recovery Benefit, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, EI benefits). This benefit would be available from September 27, 2020 to September 25, 2021.

    PBO estimates total net cost of this measure to be $1.188 billion in 2020-21 and $214 million in 2021-22.

  • Oct, 01 2020
    The government is introducing a 100% depreciation rate in the year of purchase for eligible zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) purchased by a business. This policy will provide full (i.e. 100%) depreciation to used on-road battery electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The 100% rate will also apply to new and used automotive equipment and vehicles that are fully electric, or hydrogen powered and that are used for the purpose of rail, air, marine or off-road transportation.
    The 100% rate will apply to eligible vehicles purchased on or after March 2, 2020 and will expire on December 31, 2027 with a gradual phase out beginning January 1, 2024. Specifically, a 75% rate will apply to eligible vehicles purchased between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2025 and a 55% rate will apply to purchases made between January 1, 2026 and December 31, 2027.
    The estimated net cost of the full tax-write off for businesses investing in eligible zero-emission vehicles is $94 million between 2020-21 and 2024-25.
  • Sep, 29 2020

    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 during the period of reduced rents. The loan will be forgiven if rents are in fact lowered by at least 75%. The loans cover 50% of the gross rent owed by impacted small business tenants during the 3-month period of April, May and June 2020, prior to any rent reductions. 

    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 over the period. 

    Forgivable loans are extendable to include July, August and/or September rent where landlords choose to grant rent relief for July, August and/or September to eligible tenants based on their revenue declines in April to June. Loans and loan forgiveness will be available retroactively. 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 Prince Edward Island.

    PBO estimates federal cost of this measure to be $1,516 million in 2020-21. 
    The time horizon for this costing is aligned to the PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario.

  • Aug, 31 2020

    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 during the period of reduced rents. The loan will be forgiven if rents are in fact lowered by at least 75%. The loans cover 50% of the gross rent owed by impacted small business tenants during the 3-month period of April, May and June 2020, prior to any rent reductions. 

    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 over the period. 

    Forgivable loans are extendable to include July and/or August rent where landlords choose to grant rent relief for July and/or August to eligible tenants based on their revenue declines in April to June. Loans and loan forgiveness will be available retroactively. 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 Prince Edward Island. 

    PBO estimates federal cost of this measure to be $931 million in 2020-21. The time horizon for this costing is aligned to the PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario.

  • Aug, 26 2020

    Introducing a one-time, tax-free payment to individuals receiving certain disability supports, including:

    - Individuals holding a valid Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate, or who are eligible for one and apply by 25 September 2020;
    - Individuals receiving the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefit or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) disability benefit as of 1 July 2020; or
    - Individuals receiving disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) as of 1 July 2020

    Eligible individuals will receive one of the following payment amounts:
    - $600; or
    - $300 for individuals who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension; or 
    - $100 for individuals who are eligible for both the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) or the Allowance

    PBO estimates 1.67 million Canadians will receive a special payment and that the total net cost of this measure will be $792 million in 2020-21. 
    The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario, although there may be potential fiscal impacts for subsequent years.

  • Aug, 13 2020

    Introducing a wage subsidy for employers with reduced revenues.
    The subsidy is available for wages paid in ten 4-week periods from 15 March 2020 to 19 December 2020. The parameters for the tenth period have not yet been announced but were assumed to be the same as the parameters for the ninth period for the purposes of this analysis.
    For Periods 1 to 4, employers are eligible for the subsidy if they have a qualifying revenue decline. Revenue declines are calculated based on calendar months, rather than the 4-week periods, with the first period corresponding to March 2020. Revenues in the corresponding calendar month are usually compared to revenues in the same calendar month in the prior year. The revenue decline required for eligibility is 15% for March, and 30% for April, May and June. For July onwards, employers are eligible for the subsidy if in a period they have any revenue decline.
    For Periods 1 to 4, the subsidy is 75% of wages up to the lesser of the weekly cap and wages actually paid. For new employees, the subsidy is 75% of wages paid up to the cap. For Periods 5 to 10, the subsidy rate that an employer will receive depends on the extent of the employer’s revenue losses in the corresponding calendar month (for the base subsidy) and the preceding three calendar months (for the top-up). The level of subsidy declines over periods 7 to 9 as shown in the annexed tables. The employee remuneration eligible for subsides is capped at $1,129 per week.
    For employees on leave with pay, employers can also recover 100% of employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.
    Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, and partnerships as well as non-profit institutions and registered charities. Public bodies are not eligible.
    The PBO estimates the total net cost of this measure to be $59.2 billion - $67.9 billion in wage subsidies and $0.5 billion in forgone employer payroll contributions, offset by $9.1 billion in corporate income tax revenues from wage subsidies.

  • Jun, 30 2020

    The Canada Emergency Business Account provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help them cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. 
    To qualify for this program, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25%. The program will be implemented by banks and credit unions in collaboration with Export Development Canada.
    Sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll are also eligible for the CEBA after the expansion of the eligibility criteria in May 19, 2020. To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants must have payroll lower than $20,000 and will need to demonstrate that they have:
    - a business operating account at a participating financial institution
    - a Canada Revenue Agency business number and have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
    - eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. 
    Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.
    PBO estimates this program to cost $9.335 billion in 2020-2021. The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario.

  • Jun, 25 2020

    Introducing a one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) as of 1 June 2020. Payments will be equivalent to:
    a. $600 for Canadians with a valid DTC certificate; 
    b. $300 for Canadians with a valid DTC certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension; and 
    c. $100 for Canadians with a valid DTC certificate and who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). 
    PBO estimates 1.33 million Canadians will receive a special payment and that the total net cost of this measure will be $595 million in 2020-21. 
    The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario, although there may be potential fiscal impacts for subsequent years.

  • Jun, 23 2020

    On June 16, 2020 the Government announced that eligibility for benefits under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be extended by an additional 8 weeks, bringing the maximum to 24 weeks total. 
    The CERB is a taxable benefit that provides $500 a week 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. 
    Workers are defined as anyone who received at least $5,000 in the previous 12 months in employment income, self-employment income, Employment Insurance benefits, or other provincial benefits as outlined in Bill C-13. 
    Workers who earn less than $1,000 in a 4-week period are eligible for the CERB. Individuals who have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020 are also eligible for the CERB.
    PBO estimates the cost to extend the maximum duration of benefits from 16 to 24 weeks under the CERB program to be $17.9 billion.  This would bring the total estimated program cost to $71.3 billion.

  • Jun, 18 2020

    Introducing the Financial Support for Indigenous Businesses and Aboriginal Financial Institutions (FSIBAFI) to provide up to $40,000, interest-free loan of $30,000 and  non-repayable contribution of $10,000, to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis small and medium-sized businesses, to help them cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. 
    The financial support will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and the Métis Capital Corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.
    PBO estimates this program to cost $75 million in 2020-2021. The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s June 18, 2020 Economic and Fiscal Scenario.

  • Jun, 18 2020

    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. 
    Workers are defined as anyone who received at least $5,000 in the previous 12 months in employment income, self-employment income, Employment Insurance benefits, or other provincial benefits as outlined in Bill C-13. 
    Workers who earn less than $1,000 in a 4-week period are eligible for the CERB. Individuals who have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020 are also eligible for the CERB.
    PBO estimates the CERB program will have a total cost of $53.4 billion in 2020-2021.

  • Jun, 18 2020

    Introducing a wage subsidy for employers with reduced revenues.
    The subsidy is available for wages paid in six 4-week periods from 15 March 2020 to 29 August 2020. Employers are eligible for the subsidy in relation to a period if they have a qualifying revenue decline based on the leading calendar month. The required revenue decline is 15% for March, 30% for April and May, and is assumed to remain 30% for June, July and August. 
    Employers may choose to compare their revenue level to the average of January and February or to the same month in the prior year. Once an eligible employer has determined that it has experienced the qualifying reduction in revenue for a particular claim period, it is also deemed eligible for the immediately subsequent claim period.
    For existing employees, the subsidy is up to the lesser of 75% of pre-crisis wages and $847 per week. For new employees, the subsidy is 75% of wages paid, up to $847 per week. “Pre-crisis” refers to the period of January 1 to March 15th. The level of subsidy is assumed to remain the same for June, July and August. Employers do not have to pay employees their full pre-crisis wages to qualify for the wage subsidy.
    Eligible employers can also recover 100% of employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan in relation to employees on leave with pay.
    Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, and partnerships as well as non-profit institutions and registered charities. Public bodies are not eligible.
    For employers that are eligible for both the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the 10% wage subsidy for a period, any benefit from the 10% wage subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period would generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy in that same period.
    The PBO estimates the total net cost of this measure to be $56 billion in 2020-21. 
    The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario, although there may be potential fiscal impacts for subsequent years.

  • Jun, 09 2020

    Providing $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for eligible students with dependents or a disability from May to August 2020.
    Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) is a taxable benefit that would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance or who are unable to work due to COVID-19.  Students who earn less than $1,000 in a 4-week period are also eligible for the CESB. 
    Students are defined as Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada enrolled in a post-secondary educational program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate, at any time between December 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020. In addition, secondary school graduates this year that applied for or plan to enroll in programs that will begin before February 1, 2021, are eligible. 
    PBO estimates total net cost of this measure to be $5.9 billion in 2020-21 reaching approximately 1.1 million unique recipients. This includes an estimated cost of $6.0 billion for the benefit and an estimated cost recovery of $163 million for 2020 tax revenues. No additional administrative costs are anticipated. 
    The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario, although there may be potential fiscal impacts for subsequent years.

  • Jun, 04 2020

    Providing additional support to individuals and businesses. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will not initiate contact with taxpayers for audits, with certain exceptions. There will be:
    - no new audits being launched, 
    - no requests for information related to existing audits; and 
    - no audits should be finalized, and no reassessments should be issued.

    PBO estimates total net cost of this measure to be $616 million in 2020-21. 
    The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario, although there may be potential fiscal impacts for subsequent years.  For example, should there be an increase in audit activities in subsequent years, a portion of the lost revenue in 2020-21 could be recouped.

  • Jun, 04 2020

    The Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP) is a subsidy for employers that hire temporary foreign workers (TFW) to work in occupations related to the food supply chain, such as agriculture, fishing, food production, and processing. The program reimburses employers for costs associated with the mandatory 14-day isolation period for temporary foreign workers after entering Canada. 
    Employers are reimbursed for expenses incurred after March 25th, 2020 up to a maximum of $1,500 per TFW.
    PBO estimates 39,689 workers will be eligible for the program and the program will have a total cost of $59.5 million in 2020-2021.