weekly rennie brief: April 10, 2020


your rennie brief

what you need to know about the latest COVID-19 initiatives in canada

• In response to the anticipated disruptions caused by the spread of COVID-19, Canada’s federal government, the government of British Columbia, the Bank of Canada, and other institutions are taking steps to help mitigate the negative effects. • Each week rennie will publish a summary of the latest policy changes, financial market interventions, and other relevant actions introduced in the preceding week. • This summary includes all announcements up to 10 April 2020.

government of canada The criteria for the federal WAGE SUBSIDY PROGRAMME have changed, making it easier for businesses to qualify. Instead of demonstrating that revenues declined by at least 30% in March, the requirement is now to show that they have fallen by at least 15%. The months that can be used as a revenue comparison for March 2020 now include January or February of 2020, in addition to March 2019. Applications for the CANADA EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT (CERB) were accepted beginning Monday, April 6. As of 8am PST that day, there had been 240,000 applications. The COVERAGE OF THE CERB HAS BEEN EXPANDED to include people working fewer than 10 hours per week (this is aimed at gig workers and contractors who, up until this point, would not have qualified for the programme. The federal government has offered full-time jobs to all CANADIAN ARMED FORCES RESERVISTS for the coming month. A total of $159.5 million has been earmarked to SUPPORT GLOBAL EFFORTS to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the $50 million announced last month by Prime Minister Trudeau. As part of the SUMMER JOBS PROGRAM the federal government is committing to funding 100% of the wages paid to students hired by businesses for summer work. The previously-existing program normally subsidized employers by paying for up to half of what the local minimum wage is towards a student’s salary. government of british columbia New details were announced regarding the TEMPORARY RENTAL SUPPLEMENT as applications opened Thursday, April 9. The supplement will be distributed on a per-household basis, providing $300 per month for eligible households with no dependents and $500 per month for eligible households with dependents. To be eligible, the following criteria must all be met:

• Receiving or eligible for Employment Insurance, the CERB, or experiencing a 25% reduction in monthly income due to COVID-19 • 2019 household income of less than $74,150 for those with no dependents and $113,040 for those with dependents • 30% or more of current/reduced gross monthly income being spent on rent • Receiving no other rent subsidy from any other level of government The subsidy is available for April, May, and June of 2020 (those who have already paid April rent are still eligible to receive the supplement for that month). The province is earmarking $5 million for VIRTUAL MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES to assist those struggling to cope with the impacts of COVID-19. Services will be provided in partnership with Foundry Youth Services, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and the BC Psychological Association. city of vancouver The City of Vancouver is seeking $200 million from the provincial government in EMERGENCY FUNDING to help maintain essential city services during the current pandemic. This request has not yet been approved by the BC government. financial institutions & others In order to ease the debt burden on households, the big five banks (TD Canada Trust, RBC, BMO, CIBC, and Scotiabank) will REDUCE CREDIT CARD INTEREST RATES by approximately 50% for those who apply for CERB. In most cases this would bring the effective interest rate down to 10.99% from 19.99% for these cardholders. A new CANADIAN BUSINESS RELIANCE NETWORK has been created by a partnership between the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Government of Canada to provide tools to Canadian businesses to help mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19. The central hub of information and tools has been created at www.cbrn.ca.

For further information please contact Ryan Berlin (rberlin@rennie.com) or Andrew Ramlo (aramlo@rennie.com). The information set out herein (the “Information”) is intended for informational purposes only. RAR & RMS has not verified the information and does not represent, warrant or guarantee the accuracy, correctness and completeness of the information. RAR & RMS does not assume any responsibility or liability of any kind in connection with the information and the recipient’s reliance upon the information. The recipient of the information should take steps as the recipient may deem necessary to verify the information prior to placing any reliance upon the information. The information may change any time without notice or obligation to the recipient from RAR & RMS.

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