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Mar 27, 2020

The following Boating Industry Canada News Week Bulletin has been compiled for our readers by NMMA Canada to provide a summary of the latest steps our Federal and Provincial Governments are taking to support Canadians during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

NMMA Canada continues to work around the clock to provide you with relevant information to support your businesses.

On March 25th, the federal parliament passed legislation (Bill C-13) that builds on the government’s $82 billion COVID-19 relief package aimed at delivering financial aid to Canadians and businesses. The highlights of the package include:

  • Introduces a Canada Emergency Response Benefit providing a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to support workers who lose their income as of result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The benefit would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or 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 sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. Additionally, workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation related to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB. The CERB is available to Canadian workers affected by the current situation whether or not they are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
  • Helps businesses keep their workers by providing eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. Eligible employers would include small businesses (including co-operative corporations) eligible for the small business deduction, unincorporated employers, certain partnerships, non-profit organizations and charities. 
  • Supports Canadian businesses through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) by temporarily providing the Minister of Finance with more flexibility to determine BDC’s capital limit, allowing it to provide further financial support to Canadian businesses when they need it. 
  • Supports Canadian businesses through Export Development Canada (EDC) by temporarily providing the Minister of Finance with more flexibility in setting EDC’s capital and liability limits – as well as the Canada Account limit – and expanding EDC’s ability to engage in domestic financial transactions so that it can more effectively deliver financial and credit insurance support to affected Canadian businesses.
  • Supports the mortgage financing market in Canada by enhancing the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) access to capital, and increasing its insurance-in-force and guarantees-in-force legislative limits, so that it can continue to provide stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders in support of continued lending to Canadian businesses and consumers. 
  • Provides additional assistance to families with children by temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering almost $2 billion in extra support.
  • Provides additional assistance to individuals and families with low and modest incomes with a special top-up payment under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit, delivering $5.5 billion in support.

You can view the government’s full news release here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/the-covid-19-emergency-response-act-receives-royal-assent0.html.


Mandatory 14-day Isolation

For those returning from travel abroad, please note that the government has also enacted a mandatory 14-day isolation for anyone entering Canada. This will be implemented by the Canada Border Services Agency at all ports of entry and the enforcement officers will be doing spot checks to ensure compliance. Maximum penalties for breaching this order include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. You can read the relevant news release here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2020/03/new-order-makes-self-isolation-mandatory-for-individuals-entering-canada.html.

Ontario Government $17-billion mini-budget” 

In addition, the Ontario government tabled its $17 billion ‘mini-budget’ which provides significant relief to businesses and families in the province. The centerpiece of the package is the COVID-19 action plan, which includes:

  • $3.7 billion to support people and jobs.
    • Making electricity bills more affordable for eligible residential, farm and small business consumers through a $1.5 billion increase in electricity cost relief compared to the 2019 Budget. In addition, the Province is also setting electricity prices for time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days, to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage as they respond to the COVID‑19 outbreak, addressing concerns about time-of-use metering;
    • Cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption;
    • Helping to support regions that have been lagging in employment growth with a proposed new Corporate Income Tax credit — the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit;
    • $75 million in urgent additional support for low-income seniors by doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) maximum payment to $166 per month for individuals and $332 per month for couples for six months, starting in April 2020;
    • Helping families pay for extra costs associated with school and daycare closure during the COVID‑19 outbreak by providing a one-time $200 payment per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including kids enrolled in private schools;
  • $10 billion in support for people and businesses to improve cash flows.
    • Providing a five-month interest and penalty-free period to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes, providing $6 billion in relief to help support Ontario businesses when they need it the most
    • Providing up to $1.9 billion in financial relief by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months
  • $3.3 billion of additional resources for health care.

Please refer to the Ontario government’s website for further details: https://budget.ontario.ca/2020/marchupdate/index.html.

All Provincial business resource announcements 

For reference, below are links to business resources that have been announced by other provinces:

Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) supports for business

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is also keeping an extremely helpful evergreen list of federal and provincial government supports for businesses: https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/small-business-resources-dealing-covid-19#govt. Please consult this often.

For any question or issues you may have, NMMA Canada welcomes your email to Sara Anghel (sanghel@nmma.org) or Jim Wielgosz (jwielgosz@nmma.org).

Our thanks to NMMA Canada for this excellent summary of resources. We will continue to share these valuable and timely resources with our Boating Industry Canada News Week readers.

Andy Adams – Editor

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