Frequently Asked Questions
All Canadians are encouraged to stay home and self-quarantine.The Government of Canada has put in place an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act. It applies to all travellers arriving in Canada.All travellers arriving in Canada must self-isolate. This is mandatory. When needed, immediate medical attention will be provided upon arrival in Canada.IMPORTANT: The Government of Canada warns that “Violating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada could lead to up to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.”
If you are arriving in Canada and you have symptoms, you must:
- Go to your place of isolation using private transportation only, such as your personal vehicle.
- Stay INSIDE your home.
- Do not leave your place of isolation unless it is to seek medical attention.
- Do not go to school, work, other public areas or use public transportation such as buses and taxis.
- Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible.
- Do not have visitors and limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children.
- Do not isolate in a place where you will have contact with vulnerable people, such as older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions.
- If your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your health care provider or public health authority and follow their instructions.
If you have symptoms but do not have a place to isolate, you will be required to isolate for 14 days in a facility designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.
If you are arriving in Canada and you do not have symptoms, you must:
- Do not go to school, work, other public areas and community settings.
- Monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19.
- Arrange to have someone pick up essentials like groceries or medication for you.
- Do not have visitors.
- Stay in a private place like your yard or balcony if you go outside for fresh air.
- Keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others.
You can take public transportation to get to your place of self-isolation after you arrive in Canada, but you must not stop on the way home, and practise physical (social) distancing at all times.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)Instead of offering direct support of $2,000 to every Canadian, the government has offered the CERB. It will provides a $2,000 taxable benefit per month for up to 4 months.The Liberals have staretd to listen to our calls and have taken some steps toward making CERB available to more people.We will keep pushing to make sure everyone across the country gets the help they need.Click here for more information about this benefit.
Employment Insurance Sickness BenefitsEI sickness benefits are available for eligible people who are unable to work because of illness, injury, or quarantine. For people in quarantine due to COVID-19, the usual one-week waiting period before applying has been waived. The requirement for a medical certificate (the form requiring a doctor’s signature) has also been waived for people in quarantine due to COVID-19. Those eligible for EI sickness benefits who cannot apply due to their quarantine will be allowed to apply later and have their EI backdated to cover the time they were quarantined. If you became eligible for EI on March 15 or later and have already applied for EI, your application will automatically be processed through the CERB program instead.
Student Loans PauseThe repayment of Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans has been paused, from March 30 to September 30. There will be no accrual of interest. The pause is automatic – you do not need to apply for the pause.
Tax Filing and Income TaxesThe government moved on this after New Democrats called for it.The due date for 2019 income tax filings has been deferred until June 1, 2020. Payment of newly owed taxes or instalments to the CRA can be deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties.
Mortgage DeferralWe have been calling on the federal government to work with all levels of government to put a moratorium on rent, mortgage and utility payments and to make banks waive interest fees and charges on credit cards, bank loans, lines of credit and mortgages for at least the next two payment cycles.Instead, the government asked the banks to help Canadians, so most of them have said they will work with customers who are having difficulty paying their mortgages due to COVID-19. If you are experiencing financial hardship, you can contact your bank or financial institution regarding deferring your mortgage. Mortgage deferrals can provide payment flexibility, but mortgages still accrue interest when payments are deferred.Please also sign our petition to put a pause on rent and mortgages: ndp.ca/rent-freeze
Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF) Minimum Withdrawal ReducedThe Government has reduced the minimum withdrawal from RRIFs by a quarter for the year 2020.
Canada Emergency Wage SubsidyAfter initially announcing it at 10%, the government answered our call and created a wage subsidy of 75%.The government has slowly released more details on this program and have made a concerning statement that the subsidy will take six weeks to be delivered.We will continue to fight to make sure this money is out the door to support workers and save businesses before it is too late.
Canada Emergency Business Account LoansThe Canada Emergency Business Account will provide loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and nonprofits affected by the pandemic. The loans will be interest free for the first year, and partial loan forgiveness will be available in some circumstances. Check the government site for eligibility and more details.
Tax DeferralsBusinesses will be able to defer until August 31 the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing after March 18, without incurring interest or penalties. This applies to tax balances and instalments that fall under Part I of the Income Tax Act.Businesses, including self-employed people, can defer GST/HST remittances and the payment of customs duties on imports until June 30. Regarding the GST/HST remittance deferrals, for monthly filers this applies to the February, March, and April reporting periods, for quarterly filers the January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020 period, and for annual filers it applies to the previous fiscal year. Deferral of GST and customs duty payments on imports will apply to March, April, and May.
Work Sharing ProgramThe Work Sharing Program has been changed to support businesses. The length of agreements has been doubled to 76 weeks. The waiting period has been waived, allowing employers to immediately apply for a new agreement when their previous agreements expire.
While the federal government has banned domestic air travel and inter-city train trips for people with symptoms of COVID-19, the ban won’t apply to commuter trains or inter-provincial buses. Provinces have instituted varying degrees of provincial restrictions as well. Please visit your provincial government site listed above for additional information on inter-provincial travel.
Currently, all Parks Canada locations are closed. Please visit this link regularly for updates. All reservations up to April 30 will be refunded automatically by the Government. For reservations after this date, a decision will be made in due course.
The Government of Canada advises against all non-essential travel outside of Canada at this time and recommends Canadians abroad should return home. You can find the official notice here. If you are currently outside of Canada, you should start by registering with the Government here. If you are outside Canada and require assistance, you can contact the nearest Government of Canada office or Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (call collect where available). If you need consular help to come home to Canada, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details including your name, date of birth, passport number, and location.If you require financial assistance, you may be eligible for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to help you return to Canada and cover your essential needs. You can contact the above offices, phone number, or email: CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca.