COVID-19 Info Update – Federal Economic Response Plan

The House of Commons has passed the legislation necessary to implement their $82 billion COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. This legislation is set to pass the Senate by this afternoon, March 25, 2020. Ottawa’s proposed aid package includes:

  • $305 million for a new Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities
  • A temporary boost to Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering about $2 billion in extra support
  • A six-month, interest-free reprieve on student loan payments
  • A doubling of the homeless care program
  • An extension of the tax filing deadline to June 1 – there is also a policy change allowing taxpayers to defer until after Aug. 31 tax payments that are due after today and before September

In an effort to streamline the process getting financial assistance, Prime Minister Trudeau has announced the government is merging two previously announce employment insurance benefits for Canadians. The new benefit combines the Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit into the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This benefit will provide up to $2000 a month for the next four months to people who have either lost their job, are off sick, or taking care of their children because of COVID-19.

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau has stated that the CERB should be open for applications in early April (Canada has set April 6 as target roll out date) and funding will begin to flow 10 days after applications are received.

In addition, this legislation allows the Government of Canada to spend any amount of money they deem needed in a public health emergency until September 30, 2020. There is some indication that the $305 million set aside for Indigenous communities may not be enough, this should give the government flexibility to increase those amounts as needed for the next few months.


Canada’s Economic Response Plan:

Public Health Unit Contact:

Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000

Essential businesses in Ontario:

How to self-isolate:

Symptoms and Treatment:

How to protect yourself:

Ontario COVID website:

Canada COVID website:

Chiefs of Ontario COVID webpage: