Eligibility: people who lost their job, those who are sick and quarantined, parents who have to stay home, self-employed Canadians and contract workers. Applicants have to have been out of work for two weeks. Those already receiving benefits do not need to re-apply. Those who have already applied, you don’t need to re-apply. The portal for this service is not up yet, it is expected to be up in early April. The intent is to get the cheques out within 10 days of applying. It is unlikely that new applicants will get the funds on time for April 1 rents and mortgages.
There is still some question about Contractors and multi-job holders who may have lost the bulk of their income but are still receiving a small (but not liveable) amount; currently, they do not qualify.
Early this morning the emergency bill was passed. Details will be rolling out over the next week.
The Canadian Child Benefit payment will be enhanced. There will be a single Emergency Response Benefit of $2,000 a month for four months, replacing the previously announced Emergency Care benefit and Emergency Support Benefit. The benefit will apply to those without an income as a result of COVID-19.
No mention was made of income support to anyone who’s income was diminished but not at zero (ie, contractors, multi-job holders, gig economy workers). While some mention was made of a significant subsidy for payroll being considered beyond the current 10% amount, there were no details.
The government is involved with international efforts to coordinate a response to this pandemic.
Trudeau said some financial support would be available to journalists and Canadian media. The details will be rolled out on this shortly.
“We’re facing a once-in-a-generation challenge,” said Trudeau, adding that this was compounded with physical isolation. He encouraged all Canadians to reach out and connect with remote tools. Practice physical distancing. “If you don’t, you are making a dangerous choice.” Just. Stay. Home. If you must go out, keep a two-meter distance from others. If you are coming home from being away, you must isolate yourself for two weeks.
From the Q&A
We are hopeful that the system will be up and running by April 6th, with direct deposits happening within days after that.
The industry has asked for a 70 to 80% wage subsidy. The question was phrased along the lines of: “Businesses can ask their staff to go without an income and apply for this emergency funding.” Trudeau said they will be looking at that over the next few days. Denmark and Germany have working models that they are looking at. Trudeau said they also want to do things for businesses directly themselves.
What specific aid is available right now? Credit is available to businesses (via the loans announced earlier). Final paycheques should be coming in right about now. The Emergency Benefit will come in at a timely enough pace to help Canadians cover current bills.
The 14-day isolation requirement continues as a volunteered act. It is required, and people must comply, said Trudeau. It is required, but, as a reporter pointed out, it is not mandatory. On arrival, travellers agree to an attestation that they will self-isolate. In the case of people masking their symptoms in desperation to get in, they too must self-isolate on arrival.
Money has been set aside to work with international efforts. Canada will be there to participate.
Additional equipment was promised, but on the ground there are shortages. This was discussed on the call with the premiers. We will do everything necessary to ensure every region has what it needs to respond to the situation. Everything possible is being done to procure equipment. Trudeau called for improved coordination among the provinces.
Regarding the incarcerated population, they are at greater risk. There are reports of no soap and guards returning to work after a vacation away without quarantine. Trudeau said they are working with Corrections Canada on this.
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