Here's how coronavirus financial support compares by province

Mar 26 2020, 10:44 am

Businesses have shut down, the economy is tanking, and people are out of work all across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic — but we’ve all gotta eat, so the federal and provincial governments are offering some financial support to get their residents through these uncertain times.

However, some provinces seem to be a bit more generous than others.

We’ve decided to take a look at how Daily Hive’s four provinces compare when it comes to direct deposits from their provincial governments — sorry Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Maritimes; you’ll just have to keep your fingers crossed for a Daily Hive Winnipeg, Saskatoon, or St. John’s expansion sometime down the line.

All four of our provinces have implemented some version of tax, loan, and utility payment relief programs, so we’re going to focus on the cold hard cash that you can get from your government during the pandemic.

Federal Government

We should probably start with the big one. The Government of Canada has announced an aid package for those affected by coronavirus, and to be honest, the provincial supports are merely a bonus to the $2,000 a month for four months that Trudeau has pledged to those who need it.

The prime minister said that people who are covered include those who have lost their jobs, those who are sick, quarantined, or looking after someone who has COVID-19, as well as parents who have to stay home with children, and contract workers or those self-employed.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) allows applicants to receive $2,000 a month for the next four months for those who have lost their income during the coronavirus pandemic.

Additionally, the Government of Canada said “workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB. This would help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.”

Trudeau said Canadians will get the funds “within 10 days of applying.”

(Note that the $2,000 a month from the feds is, in many cases, on top of the support provided by the provinces, as outlined below.)

Province of BC

BC Premier John Horgan has announced a $5 billion economic “action plan” that is being put in place to help support people and businesses in British Columbia as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The plan dedicates $2.8 billion to help people and fund the services they need to weather the crisis.

The BC Emergency Benefit for Workers provides a tax-free $1,000 payment to British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by the outbreak. The benefit is a one-time payment for British Columbians who receive federal Employment Insurance (EI), or the new federal Emergency Care Benefit or Emergency Support Benefit as a result of COVID-19 impacts.

This includes workers who have been laid off, who are sick or quarantined, parents with sick children, parents who stay at home from work while child care centres and schools are closed, and those caring for sick family members, such as an elderly parent. The workers can be EI-eligible and non-EI-eligible, such as the self-employed. The benefit will be paid to BC residents, in addition to their federal income supports.

Province of Alberta

The Province of Alberta is giving $50 million to its residents as emergency isolation support, and applications are now open.

That $50 million breaks down to a cool $1,146 in a one-time payment for eligible Albertans who, according to the Province of Alberta release, “have experienced total or significant loss of income as a result of having to self-isolate or care for a dependent who is self-isolating.”

The payment will go towards Albertans who have been diagnosed with coronavirus, are caring for someone who is self-isolating due to coronavirus, have been directed by health authorities to self-isolate, and are not receiving compensation from any other source.

The payment does not apply to those who weren’t working immediately before being directed to self-isolate, can work from home, aren’t experiencing a significant loss of income, are collecting other forms of income-support-like sick leave or EI benefits, reside outside of Alberta, or are staying home to care for someone who is home for a reason other than self-isolation.

Those who are eligible for the emergency support payment can submit an application through the Province of Alberta’s website.

Province of Ontario

Ontario announced $3.7 billion towards support for its residents and to protect jobs.

Along with a number of tax, utilities, and loan relief programs, thee investment includes a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age to help families, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools.

Province of Quebec

The Province of Quebec is committing $573 a week to people who don’t qualify for EI and who are self-isolating.

The weekly compensation is available for two to four weeks.

The program, known officially as Programme d’aide temporaire aux travailleurs (PATT COVID-19) is in association with The Red Cross.

PATT COVID-19 is available to Quebecers confirmed with the virus, to those who are showing symptoms, people who have been in contact with an infected person, and those who have returned from abroad.

The application form to sign up for financial compensation is available to fill out through the Quebec coronavirus website.

– With files from Ty Jadah, Eric Zimmer, and Yasmin Aboelsaud