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Ottawa announces $82-B COVID-19 aid package

By: Harry Callaghan
Posted: March 18, 2020 09:44

Canada- U-S border also closed to tourists and shoppers

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The federal government has announced a massive $82-billion dollar aid package for Canadians and businesses to help ease the COVID-19 health crisis.

It'll include income supports, wage subsidies and tax deferrals.

The emergency aid plan includes:

-Temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering about $2 billion in extra support.
-New Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 biweekly, up to 15 weeks, to provide income support to workers who have to stay home and don't have access to paid sick leave. The measure could disburse up to $10 billion.
-A six-month, interest-free reprieve on student loan payments. 
Doubling the homeless care program. 
-Extending the tax filing deadline to June 1.
-Allowing taxpayers to defer tax payments until after Aug. 31 amounts that are due after today and before September.

The government says some of the money will be delivered directly to people through existing safety net programs, including employment insurance and the Canada Child Benefit. 

The Canada-US border has also been closed to non-essential traffic - tourists and visitors - but will remain open for commercialk shipments.

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