Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada is implementing $27 billion to help directly aid Canadians.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an announcement, Wednesday morning, to discuss the total of $82 billion Canada will spend on aid packages and tax deferrals.
The federal government is taking several steps to ease the financial burden on Canadians, as businesses close and people stay home from work.
Additional Aid for Canadians
To start, the government is increasing payments for people eligible for unemployment insurance. Those who qualify may receive up to $900 bi-weekly.
Canada will waive the one-week waiting period, as well as the need for a medical certificate to receive these funds.
For those who don’t qualify (freelancers, self-employed Canadians, etc.), they can apply for a similar fund and receive the same amount.
In addition, the government is increasing payments for child benefits by $300 per child for the 2019-2020 benefit year.
For low and modest income families, Trudeau announced there will be a one-time payment, in early May, through GSTC. That will double the maximum annual payment for the 2019-2020 year.
This means the average boost will be nearly $400 for individuals and nearly $600 for couples.
“Together, the proposed enhancements of the GSTC and CCB will give a single parent with two children and low to modest income nearly $1,500 in additional short-term support,” states the Government of Canada website.
Small businesses will get a 10% wage subsidy for the next three months to help keep their employees on the payroll.
Trudeau also implemented deferrals, where taxpayers don’t have to pay their taxes until after August 2020. People can also hold off on paying back their student loans. For the next six months, each loans will not accumulate any interest.
The $82 billion total aid package makes up 3% of Canada’s total GDP.
As the pandemic continues, Canada is facing more than 500 cases of COVID-19. Meanwhile B.C. announced 83 new cases Tuesday – bringing the total to 186.
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