Canada and US extend border closure for another 30 days: Trudeau

May 19 2020, 8:16 am

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada and the US have agreed to extend the border closure by 30 days.

Trudeau said the closure protects citizens and is “keeping people in both of our countries safe.”

The Canada-US border will remain closed until June 21.

As for the international border, Trudeau said that the decisions about how long it will be closed are being made week by week, as the COVD-19 situation continues to evolve. He said that the government “will see what is happening elsewhere in the world as we make decisions on next steps.”

Additionally, Trudeau announced the expansion of the eligibility of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. This extended measure will help small businesses protect the jobs that Canadians rely on.

“If you are the sole owner-operator of a business, if your business relies on contractors, or if you have a family-owned business and you play employees through dividends, you will now qualify,” said Trudeau.

To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come, according to the federal government.

To date, over 600,000 small businesses have accessed the CEBA.

Launched in April, the $25 billion program provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the coronavirus.

Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022, will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000).

The prime minister also spoke about this weekend’s Snowbirds crash in BC.

He said that Canadians stand with the families of Captain Jenn Casey, who died in the crash, and Captain Rich MacDougall, who was injured.