COVID-19: Government Extends CERB, delays CEBA Update

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

The federal government updated CERB


Please note: the federal government is constantly updating their website as new information is announced. Remember to check Canada’s official coronavirus webpage and CREA’s COVID-19 online hub to stay up to date.

In a busy week for government announcements, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was extended to ensure ongoing support for Canadians, while the initially proposed enhancements to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) were delayed at the 11th hour.

On Tuesday, June 16, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the extension of the CERB by eight weeks, making the benefit available to eligible workers for up to a total of 24 weeks. The CERB is a taxable benefit of $2,000 over a four-week period for eligible workers who have stopped working or whose work hours have been reduced due to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, as a follow-up to the Tuesday, May 19 announcement, Prime Minister Trudeau had initially said the government’s updated application process for the CEBA would open today (Friday, June 19), making the program available to more businesses, such as sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses relying on contractors, and family-owned corporations paying employees through dividends rather than payroll.

As per the CEBA website, expanded eligibility is set to include Eligible Non-Deferrable Expense categories, such as “wages and other employment expenses to independent (arm’s length) third parties.”

Unfortunately, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau announced late Thursday, June 18, applications would not open as scheduled, with more details available in the near future.

Brokerages seeking assistance also have access to the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN), an initiative launched by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Government of Canada. The CBRN provides tools and resources for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility. For more information about the CBRN, please visit their website or call 1-866-989-1080.

The measures covered in this email are part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The government is constantly assessing the evolving situation and is likely to introduce additional measures as it deems necessary. We are monitoring the implementation of existing measures and continue to advocate on behalf of REALTORS® as new initiatives are developed.

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