Provincial COVID-19 Financial Assistance Programs and Benefits in Canada

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by Enoch Omololu


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Various provincial and territorial governments are providing financial support and benefits to their residents who have been impacted by COVID-19.

For an overview of the available federal assistance programs, click here.

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Ontario COVID-19 Financial Assistance Programs

Seniors who receive the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) benefit will see an increase (double) resulting in up to $166 per month for singles and $332 per month for couples.

Ontario Student Assistance Program loan payments have been deferred for 6 months until September 30, 2020.

The Support for Families initiative will pay parents $200 for children aged 0 to 12 and $250 for children or youth with special needs who are aged 0 to 21. You can apply here.

Those who already receive the Support for Parents benefit will automatically be considered. If you need more information about this benefit, call 1-888-444-3770 or email [email protected]

There is increased funding to charitable and non-profit social services organizations such as food banks and homeless shelters.

Time of Use (TOU) electricity rates is being frozen to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour.

Follow COVID-19 economic updates in Ontario here.

COVID-19 Financial Support for Albertans

Alberta’s Emergency Isolation Support program distributed $97.1 million to 79,596 Albertans and is now closed.

Residential customers can defer their electricity and natural gas bill payments for 90 days (until June 19, 2020) if they are experiencing financial hardship relating to COVID-19.

Alberta Student Loan repayments are paused for 6 months and no interest will accrue during the period.

Residential education property taxes will be frozen at the 2019 amount.

$113 million in funding was provided to the Alberta Energy Regulator to cover the industry levy and a $100 million loan was also provided to the Orphan Well Association.

Alberta’s corporate income tax balances and installment payments due between March 18, 2020, and August 31, 2020, are deferred until August 31, 2020.

For more information about the support available in Alberta, click here.

British Columbia COVID-19 Financial Support

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers provides a tax-free $1,000 payment to British Columbians who are unable to work due to COVID-19 and who qualify for EI or CERB. Applications open in April.

The B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit will provide a one-time boost to moderate and low-income families in July 2020. Adults will get up to $218 while each child will receive $64.

B.C. student loan repayments are frozen for 6 months starting from March 30, 2020.

B.C. Hydro’s Customer Crisis Fund allows customers to apply for grants of up to $600 to pay their bills. ICBC customers facing challenges due to COVID-19 can defer payments for up to 90 days.

B.C. hydro rates will be reduced by 1% on April 1, 2020.

$55,000 in funding to the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets to help individual farmers markets set up an online virtual market store.

Greenhouse operators can apply for carbon tax relief grants. The eligibility criteria are listed here

British Columbians who are on income assistance or disability assistance and who are not eligible for the CERB will receive a $300 monthly COVID-19 crisis supplement for the next 3 months based on this release.

For more information on the COVID-19 financial support available in British Columbia, click here.

Manitoba COVID-19 Financial Support

Manitoba Music COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund: This fund was aimed at helping musicians and self-employed workers in Manitoba. Applications closed on March 3, 2020.

Student loan repayments have been suspended from April 1, 2020, until September 30, 2020.

Manitoba Hydro, Centra and MPI will not charge interest on unpaid bills.

Winnipeg City will waive penalties for unpaid property and business taxes for up to 3 months.

Eviction hearings have been suspended and rent increases are frozen until further notice.

An $18 million grant program to help early childhood educators begin offering child-care services independently at their homes or in their community has been launched. It will offer up to $3,000 to eligible early childhood educators.

Rent assistance is available to low-income Manitobans who are not receiving employment and income assistance.

Businesses have up to two extra months to remit sales tax and the Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax levy.

For more information about the COVID-19 response in Manitoba, click here.

Quebec COVID-19 Financial Assistance

The Temporary Aid for Workers Program (PATT) will provide benefits to workers who are in isolation.

A payment of $573 is paid per week for up to 2 weeks. It can be extended to a maximum of 4 weeks or 28 days. To be eligible, you must not be receiving compensation from your employer, private insurance or another government program. Learn more about PATT COVID-19.

Student loan debt repayments have been deferred for the next 6 months.

The concerted temporary action program for business (PACTE) will provide loans to businesses. The minimum funding amount is $50,000. Learn more about PACTE.

Hydro Quebec has suspended the application of interest on unpaid invoices until further notice. Electricity will not be cut off for non-payment.

The Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW) will make up the difference in wages for essential workers who earn less than the CERB.

Workers can receive up to $400 in taxable benefits per month for up to 16 weeks in total. You can get more information about IRREW here.

Saskatchewan COVID-19 Financial Support

Workers who are forced to self-isolate will receive $450 per week for a maximum of two weeks through the Self Isolation Support Program.

You can apply here until June 30, 2020. For eligibility requirements, read this.

Student loan repayments have been deferred until September 30, 2020.

Businesses that are unable to remit PST due to cash flow concerns will get relief from penalties and interest charges.

Eviction hearings have been temporarily suspended.

You can read more about Saskatchewan’s support for workers and businesses here.

New Brunswick COVID-19 Relief Measures

The Workers Emergency Income Benefit provides a one-time $900 benefit to workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Applications close at 8 pm on April 9, 2020.

A low-income seniors’ benefit was made available on April 1 and provides a $400 benefit to seniors who have received one of the following OAS benefits:

Small business owners can access loans of up to $200,000. Interest and principal repayments on some provincial loans can also be deferred by up to 6 months.

Newfoundland and Labrador COVID-19 Financial Support

The expiry date for Fuel Tax Exemption Permits was extended to June 30, 2020. It was previously set to expire on March 31, 2020.

Employees were provided with protection from losing their jobs if they have to stop working due to COVID-19.

Tenant evictions are paused if the renter is unable to pay rent after losing income due to COVID-19.

Provincial business tax payments e.g. Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax, Insurance Companies Tax, Carbon Tax, and Gasoline Tax have been deferred until June 23, 2020.

Get more information about NL’s COVID-19 response.

Nova Scotia COVID-19 Financial Support

The Workers Emergency Bridge Fund provides a $1,000 one-time payment to help self-employed and laid-off workers before the CERB kicks in.

Every individual and family member on income assistance will receive an additional $50.

There is $1 million in additional funding to Feed Nova Scotia and $55,000 to support community food banks. Additionally, $200,000 will go to support vulnerable women and children.

Seniors can get assistance with grocery deliveries etc. Visit or call 211.

The Small Business Impact Grant will provide up to $20 million in grants to eligible small businesses, charities, non-profits and social enterprises. Applications open on April 10 and you can read about the eligibility rules.

Get more information about Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 response here.

Northwest Territories COVID-19 Economic Support

An economic relief package valued at $13.2 million was introduced by the government.

There was a removal of fees until June 30, 2020, for Deh Cho tolls, truck permits and airport landing fees.

Business Development and Investment Investment Corporation (BDIC) is providing support with low-interest loans for businesses and there is a deferral of BDIC loan repayments for 3 months with no penalty or additional interest charges.

One-time emergency allowance for income assistance recipients with $500 for singles and $1,000 to households with two or more people.

Student loan repayments are deferred until September 30, 2020.

Click here for more information about NWT’s COVID-19 response.

Nunavut COVID-19 Response

A Small Business Support Program funding of up to $5,000 is available to small businesses.

All internal collection activity by the Government of Nunavut has been paused.

Click here for more information about COVID-19 in Nunavut.

Yukon COVID-19 Financial Support

The Temporary Support for Events Program helps Yukon businesses and NGOs recover certain costs for major events that were cancelled.

Workers without paid sick leave who become sick or are required to self-isolate can apply for the Paid Sick Leave Rebate…up to $378.13 per day per employee for up to 10 days.

Learn about the eligibility rules.

A $1 million increase to the Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund will support the tourism industry.

Follow Yukon’s COVID-19 response here.

Prince Edward Island COVID-19 Economic Support

The COVID-19 Income Support Fund provides a one-time $750 benefit to eligible individuals who have been laid off or have lost their income sources due to COVID-19. More information can be found here.

The COVID-19 Special Situation Fund provides up to $1,000 to Islanders who have experienced income loss due to the pandemic and are not eligible for other federal and provincial support. Here’s how to apply.

The Employee Gift Card Program offers a $100 Sobeys gift card to employees who receive a ROE as lay-off notice due to COVID-19 between March 13 and April 15, 2020.

The Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit offers up to $1,000 per household to help cover the cost of rent. Eligible renters receive $500 in the first month and $250 for the following 2 months. The application deadline is June 30, 2020.

A Worker Assistance Program provides a maximum of $250 per week to workers who experienced a reduction of at least 8 hours per week during the two week period between March 16 and March 29, 2020.

Eviction orders were suspended until further notice on April 1, 2020.

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, Credit Canada, MSN Money, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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