Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy

  • Designed to prevent further job loss, and encourage employers to re-hire laid off workers
  • 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks (retroactive to March 15, 2020 and ending June 6, 2020), up to the greater of:
    • 75% of remuneration paid to a maximum benefit of $847 per week; and
    • Amount paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75% of the employee’s pre-crisis weekly remuneration, whichever less
  • Employees collecting EI or CERB are ineligible to be included in the subsidy
  • Employers are expected to ‘top-up’ employees to pre-crisis wages if possible
  • To be eligible, employers must suffer a drop of at least 15% of their revenue in March 2020 and 30% in both April and May 2020
    • Revenue decrease is based on either the same month in 2019 or an average of January and February 2020
    • Revenue for this subsidy must be calculated using the same accounting methods used in pre-crisis periods
  Claiming period Required reduction in revenue Reference period for eligibility
Period 1 March 15 – April 11 15% March 2020 over:

·      March 2019 or

·      Average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 2 April 12 – May 9 30% April 2020 over:

·      April 2019 or

·      Average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 3 May 10 – June 6 30% May 2020 over:

·      May 2019 or

·      Average of Jan & Feb 2020

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

  • A reduction to regular payroll remittances for eligible employers
  • Applies for remuneration paid between March 18 and June 19
  • Employers withhold payroll remittances from employees like normal
  • Payroll remittances made to CRA are reduced by 10% of remuneration paid up to:
    • $1,375 for each Canadian employee over the three-month period
    • $25,000 for total per employer over the three-month period
  • Eligible employers include sole proprietors, partnerships, NPO’s, charities and CCPC’s with an existing payroll account
  • Eligible employers who do not reduce their remittances will be able apply for the same amount as a refund at the end of 2020
  • Employers can be eligible for both the Temporary Wage Subsidy and the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy, but subsidy payments will be reduced dollar for dollar

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • CERB is now available for those who have earned $1,000 (before taxes) or less during a 4 week period, beginning March 15, 2020.
  • Qualified applicants receive a $2,000 taxable benefit for each 4-week period ($500 per week for up to 16 weeks).
  • To be eligible you must:
    • Be a Canadian resident,
    • Be at least 15 years old,
    • Have earned income of at least $5,000 in 2019, or in the 12 months prior to the date of application (self-employed individuals need $5,000 of revenue)
  • The application process opened on Monday April 6, 2020. Apply by:
  • We suggest setting up direct deposits to ensure you receive your money as soon as possible. Most banks allow you to set this up using online banking.
  • You will need to apply and confirm your eligibility for CERB every 4 weeks if your situation continues.

The CERB Questions and Answers page is an excellent resource for more detailed information

Employment Insurance

  • A Record of Employment (ROE) should be filed for each employee who is laid off or takes unpaid sick leave as a result of Covid-19
  • ROE’s can be filed online. Employers are encouraged to sign up for ROE Web immediately, as it can take 7 – 10 days to verify your account
  • Paper copies of ROE’s can also be requested but may take longer to arrive by post
  • Filling out the ROE – Applicable codes for ‘Reason for Issuing this ROE’:
    • A: Shortage of work (if you have had to shut your doors or reduce staff)
    • D: Illness or injury (if employee is isolating because of symptoms of Covid-19 or recent travel to a foreign country)


  • Canadians who have lost their job due to Covid-19 should continue to apply for EI
  • Those who applied for EI after March 14, 2020 will have their claim processed through CERB automatically
  • EI applicants transferred into the CERB program will receive $500 per week, regardless of how much they would have otherwise received through EI
  • This “bump” up or down to the CERB benefit rate will happen automatically

Canada Emergency Business Account

  • A loan to qualifying businesses of up to $40,000 available through most financial institutions, backed by the Federal Government, with the following unique terms:
    • 0% interest in year 1
    • Forgiveness of the final $10,000 of principal IF a minimum of $30,000 has been repaid by December 31, 2022.
  • To qualify for this loan, businesses must:
    • Be operating in Canada
    • Operate an existing payroll account with 2019 gross payroll between $20,000 and $1,500,000
  • We encourage all who think they might qualify to contact their bankers for further details

Support for Students and Recent Graduates Impacted by Covid-19

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

Proposed plan that would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for CERB or EI and cannot find work due to Covid-19.

  • $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with disabilities or dependents.
  • If enacted, will cover May to August 2020.

BC Financial Support in Response to Covid-19

B.C Emergency Benefit for Workers
  • A one-time, tax-free, $1,000 payment for B.C residents who have lost income due to Covid-19
  • To be eligible you must:
    • Have been a resident of BC on March 15, 2020
    • Have been approved for CERB
    • Be at least 15 years old
    • Not be receiving provincial income assistance or disability
  • To apply you will need your social insurance number and direct deposit information
  • Apply online starting May 1, 2020 or by telephone starting May 4, 2020
Temporary Rent Supplement
  • $500 per month for low-to-moderate income renters
  • Tenants can apply online through org
  • Benefit is paid directly to landlords to supplement the tenants monthly rent
  • To be eligible you must:
    • Have a 2019 grosshousehold income of less than:
      • $74,150 for singles and couples without dependents
      • $113,040 for households with dependents
    • As a result of COVID-19:
      • Be receiving or eligible for Employment Insurance; or
      • Be receiving or eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit offered by the federal government; or
      • Have experienced, and be able to provide evidence of, a drop of 25% or more in monthly household employment income
    • Be paying more than 30% of current household income towards rent
Covid-19 Updates: Provincial Tax and Revenue

B.C has extended filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes until Sept 30,2020

  • Employment Health Tax
  • PST
  • Carbon Tax
  • Motor fuel tax
  • Tobacco Tax

These emergency relief programs are being updated regularly.  Be sure to check BC’s What’s New page for the latest information.

BC Hydro Covid-19 Relief Fund

BC Hydro is offering a credit of up to 3x an individual’s average monthly electricity bill to customers impacted by Covid-19.  To qualify, you must:

  • Have had a residential account with BC Hydro on March 31, 2020,
  • Have stopped working due to Covid-19, and
  • Be eligible for EI or CERB

The application portal can be found on BC Hydro’s website.