Over the past year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic brought much of the world to halt.
Heat and Frost Insulators News and Events
On April 19, the first Canadian woman to hold the federal finance minister portfolio delivered the longest and arguably most significant budget in Canadian history. At more than 740 pages, Finance Minister Chyrstia Freeland’s first budget was both heavy and weighty for a Liberal government seeking to support Canadians and steer the economy out of the pandemic. It also didn’t hurt that the budgets’ massive spending spree helped position the government for the looming election.
Dr. Tam provided an update on the number of cases in Canada: 15822 cases and 293 deaths. She says the most concerning news right now are the new outbreaks in hospitals and hearing of young people being hospitalized and people as young as in their 20’s dying from the disease. She shares this information as a reminder that this is a critical illness that may strike anyone at any age. She also gave an update on testing that Canada has now completed over 339 000 tests. She points to cautious optimism from British Columbia as they recorded a lower number of cases than last week showing that collective action can slow the spread of the virus.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an address from Rideau Cottage, noting today applications opened for CERB and that 240,000 people had applied already.
- Trudeau also highlighted that the government plans to expand eligibility for CERB to include part-time workers who have gone through a loss of hours, students, gig economy workers, and others in the $2,000 per month flat rate benefit.
- The Prime Minister reiterated the government plans to reconvene Parliament to pass legislation necessary for Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy implementation. He indicated the government is also working on a plan to hold virtual sitting of the House and Senate.
- He lauded certain banks and credit unions for reducing interest rates on credit accounts by almost a half, asking for more similar action by other financial institutions.
- Trudeau said the Canadian Chamber of Commerce launched the Canadian Business Resilience Network and explained it would be helpful for Canadian businesses doing all they can to get through these trying times.
- In response to questions, The Prime Minister said he would stay at his residence as much as possible as his self-isolation period is coming to an end. He said social distancing measures are expected to last for “many weeks” or a “few months.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained CERB opened for applications today, saying 240,000 people have already successfully applied and that the government is suggesting people apply according to their birth month. He said there are some who don’t qualify who still deserve help and that the government would expand access to CERB soon for gig workers, freelancers, those who have had hours reduced to below 10 hours per week, and others.
How to Apply
Eligible employers would be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal as well as a web-based application. Employers would have to keep records demonstrating their reduction in arm’s-length revenues and remuneration paid to employees. More details about the application process will be made available shortly.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
On March 25, the Prime Minister announced a new taxable benefit that provides $2,000/month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This proved to be a busy summer, as we worked to ensure our priorities, especially those of Canada’s Insulators, who are featured in our federal election on Oct. 21. At the same time, our provincial representatives are busy ensuring Insulator priorities are front and centre, as provincial capitals wrestle with budget cuts and energy policies, which could impact the bottom line of the insulation trade.