Federal Government Engagement/Response
Yesterday, the federal government unveiled significant economic support for Canadians and businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of these new policies will have an important and significant impact for food bank clients and food bankers.

These are some of the measures announced yesterday:

  • A temporary boost to the Canada Child Benefit payment by nearly $2 billion. This will result in an increase of $300 per child for the lowest income families and these new payments will be reflected in payments starting in May.
  • A $5 billion Emergency Support Benefit through the CRA for support workers who are facing unemployment as well as an additional amount for low-income people through the GST credit. For low-income Canadians, this will represent a one-time payment in May of $400 for singles, and close to $600 for couples.

For context, these combined measures of the CCB boost along with the GST one-time payment will give a single parent with two children with low to modest income nearly $1,500 in short-term support starting in May.

A new Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for 15 weeks for those who have to stay home and don’t have paid sick leave like those who can’t access EI and are sick, or who are taking care of a child or someone who is sick.

Click here to find out how people can apply for these benefits.

  • A waiver of the one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for six months and waiving the requirement for a doctor’s note to access this assistance (previously announced).
  • An extension of the tax filing deadline for individuals to June 1 and allowing taxpayers to defer payment until after August 31. This is especially important for all food banks that hold tax clinics.
  • Providing eligible small businesses with a 10 percent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. It is our understanding that this will also apply for charities and non-profits, such as food banks.
  • Allowing lenders to defer mortgage payments. We are hopeful that this will reduce the burden on homeowners facing mortgage payments with reduced wages.
  • A six-month reprieve on interest for student loan payments.
  • $305 million for a new Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Metis Nation communities
  • $157.5 million to support homeless shelters through the Reaching Home Initiative.
    A full list of the government’s measures can be found here

A full list of the government’s measures can be found here