Canada Government Aid Options

The COVID-19 outbreak has upheaved the Canadian economy, disrupting travel, crashing stock markets and closing businesses of all types as social distancing efforts ramp and the demand for non-essential consumer products slide. Layoffs are already occurring as retail shops, restaurants, and bars shut their doors, leaving many workers without a source of income during the outbreak. With schools and daycares closed throughout the country, working parents are forced to stay home. 

As a resource for those experiencing financial hardship due to this state of emergency,  we have compiled a list of current aid options that have been presented by our governments:  



  • Canada Childcare Benefit increase
    • Mortgage Support
    • Increased access to EI
      • “For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure will be in effect as of March 15, 2020.”
  • Increase to the Goods and Services Tax Credit
    • “For over 12 million low & modest-income families, who may require additional help with their finances, the Government is proposing to provide a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC). This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.”


Provincial (NB):

  • “The premier also announced a one-time $900 benefit that will be provided to workers or self-employed individuals in New Brunswick who have lost their job due to the state of emergency. The one-time benefit will be administered through the Red Cross and is meant to bridge the time between when individuals receive federal benefits.”

Provincial (NS):

  • “Every individual and family member on income assistance will receive an additional $50 starting Friday, 20 March. People do not need to apply.”

Provincial (PEI):

  • “The Employee Gift Card Program is a temporary program put in place to offer a $100 Sobeys gift card to any employee, living and working on Prince Edward Island, who has received a lay-off notice as a direct result of the impacts associated with COVID-19. The application form is to be completed by the employer, who will then distribute the cards to affected employees.”
  • “The Emergency Income Relief Fund is a temporary program put in place to support the self-employed who have been significantly affected by COVID-19.  A maximum of $500 per week for the period of March 16 to March 29, 2020 (this period will be reviewed as required).”
  • “The Emergency Relief – Worker Assistance Program is a temporary program to provide financial support to employers to assist their employed workers who have been impacted by reduced hours at work as a result of COVID-19. A maximum of $250 per week for each employed worker that experienced a reduction of at least 8 hours per week during the two week period March 16-29, 2020 (An example, an employed worker that typically works 40 hours/week was reduced to a minimum 32 hours/week).”