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
  Claim period Required drop in revenue Revenue comparison 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

Period 4* June 7 – July 4 30% June 2020 over:

·      June 2019 or

·      Average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 5* July 5 – August 1 30% July 2020 over:

·      July 2019 or

·      Average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 6* August 2 – 29 30% August 2020 over:

·      August 2019 or

·      Average of Jan & Feb 2020

* June 7 through August 29 periods are pending final approval

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.
  • CERB benefits can be claimed for up to 16 weeks between March 15 and October 3. Apply before Dec 2, 2020 for payments retroactive within this period.
  • 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 either:
    • Be operating in Canada with an existing payroll account, and have 2019 gross payroll between $20,000 and $1,500,000


  • Have a business bank account with a participating financial institution,
  • Have a CRA business account number,
  • Have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, and
  • Have eligible non-deferable expenses between $40,000 and $1,500,000.

We encourage all who think they might qualify to contact their bankers for further details

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for Small Businesses

  • Provides rent relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to Covid-19
  • Tenants must have experienced at least a 70% decline in pre-COVID revenues
  • Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020.

Support for Students and Recent Graduates Impacted by Covid-19

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

Provides support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for CERB or EI and have not been able to earn over $1000 per month due to Covid-19.  Details include:

  • $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for eligible students with disabilities or dependents.
  • Covers May to August 2020.
  • Eligible students include those:
    • Who were enrolled in an eligible post-secondary program,
    • Had completed a program in December 2019 or later, or
    • Have applied for a program that starts before February 1, 2021
  • Those who qualify will need to show they have actively looked for work through each claim period.

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
BC 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.