Seeking Financial Relief: Canadian Economic Supports & Strategies

All levels of the Canadian Government have taken immediate and significant actions to support Canadian individuals and businesses facing economic difficulties amidst the global pandemic.  Stay in the know by consulting the accredited sources below for updates on the various forms of funding available, national business and economic growth strategies, recovery plans, and more.


  • Canada’s Economic Response Plan –  Includes detailed supports available to individuals, business and specific sectors
  • Deferral of GST/HST Tax Remittances from March to June (2020)  – The Canadian Government is We are allowing businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer payments of the GST/HST and any customs duty owing on their imports until June 30, 2020.
  • The Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF) – The NBRF provides short term support, in the form of a non-repayable grant, for ongoing operational costs to small- and medium-sized territorial businesses impacted by economic disruptions due to COVID-19 (business of 20 persons or less will be prioritized). Apply here.
  • The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) – The NRC is actively working collaboratively to provide immediate and near-term assistance and community support. Check out some of their programs, here.
  • Financial Relief Navigator – Prosper Canada has launched an online tool to help Canadians navigate the various forms of financial relief available to them in response to the pandemic. Search their site, here.


  • Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19
  • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) – The Canadian Government is pledging to provide nearly $962 million to help more businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are integral to their local economies. Apply through one of the six regional development agencies (RDA) across Canada.
  • Property Tax, Water & Solid Waste Relief Programs – The city of Toronto is offering several programs for low-income seniors or low-income persons living with a disability to apply for property tax increase deferrals and cancellations, water, and solid waste rebate programs. For eligibility and how to apply, click here . Please note the deadline is August 31, 2020, and you have to reapply every

Apply for immediate financial support:

  • Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – The Canadian government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 16 weeks to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.

Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) delivers this benefit jointly. You can apply through one or the other, but not both. To help determine the service option that best fits your situation (i.e. eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits or not) take the online questionnaire, here. Click here to review the changes to Employment Insurance benefits.

  • BC Emergency Benefit for Workers – For residents of British Columbia (since March 15, 2020) who meet the eligibility for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) but have not yet received payment, can apply for a one- time, tax-free benefit of $1000 for lost work due to the pandemic. 

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About the Author: Meagan Barnes

Meagan is a content contributor and partnerships coordinator for artsUNITE/UNITÉ des arts. Prefers flora over fauna.

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