Canada: Enacted legislation extends relief programs through 23 October 2021 (COVID-19)

New COVID-19 relief regulations, published 1 September 2021

New COVID-19 relief regulations, published 1 September 2021

Legislation has been enacted that extends three relief programs—the Canada emergency wage subsidy (CEWS), the Canada emergency rent subsidy (CERS), and the lockdown support subsidy—through to 23 October 2021. These relief programs are intended to help Canadian businesses meet financial challenges due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The same extensions for the Canada recovery benefit (CRB), the Canada recovery caregiving benefit (CRCB), and the Canada recovery sickness benefit (CRSB), and an increase in the maximum number of weeks the CRB may be claimed to 54 (up from 50) are also now enacted.

In addition, the minimum rate of $300* for certain employment insurance (EI) claimants is scheduled to be effective on 26 September 2021.

The new COVID-19 relief regulations, published 1 September 2021, provide:

  • An extension of the CEWS, CERS, lockdown support, CRB, CRCB, and CRSB to 23 October 2021 (from 25 September 2021)
  • That the CEWS and CERS rate of up to a maximum of 40% of eligible wages or eligible rent or property expenses remains from 29 August 2021 until 25 September 2021 (instead of being reduced to 20%)
  • That for the new extended period of 26 September 2021 to 23 October 2021 (i.e., period 21), a maximum CEWS and CERS rate of 20% will apply and the lockdown support will continue to apply at a rate of 25%
  • That certain organizations that were not carrying on a business or otherwise carrying on ordinary activities on 1 March 2019 may use the alternative approach to calculate revenue declines for 14 March  to 3 July 2021 (i.e., periods 14 to 17) for the CEWS, CERS and CRHP, even if they had previously elected to use the general approach after 5 July 2021 (i.e., period 5 onward).
    • The alternative approach compares an employer's monthly revenues to the average of its January 2020 and February 2020 revenues.
  • An increase in the maximum number of weeks available for the CRB to 54 weeks (from 50 weeks) at a rate of $300 per week
  • A minimum benefit rate of $300 for regular EI benefits for claimants with a benefit period that begins between 26 September 2021 and 20 November 2021

Read a September 2021 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Canada

*$=Canadian dollar



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