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The coronavirus is making drastic changes to how we are currently living our lives.

How do we navigate this current reality? This page includes articles we’ve written so far and a quick roundup of the latest news.

Our coronavirus related posts

News roundup – June 3, 2020

  • The Canada Revenue Agency has opened a “snitch line” for people to report individuals, businesses, and charities who are misusing or falsely claiming COVID-19 benefits.
  • And while it’s not strictly relevant until next year’s tax filing time, you might want to calculate how much tax you’ll owe if you’re receiving CERB payments.
  • In further cruise news, Royal Caribbean and P+O have cancelled cruises into October due to the pandemic. This move comes after Canada banned cruise ships through the end of October.
  • Air Canada has raised $1.6 billion to help weather the COVID-19 storm by selling voting shares and convertible senior unsecured notes.

News roundup – June 2, 2020

News roundup – June 1, 2020

News roundup – May 29, 2020

  • June 1 (this coming Monday) is the new extended deadline for filing 2019 income tax returns. The CRA has since announced, however, that no penalties or late fees will be charged, as long as T1 personal returns are filed and paid in full by Sept 1, 2020.

News roundup – May 28, 2020

  • The CMHC has announced that home prices could drop as much as 25% in some regions of Canada, due to physical distancing restrictions making it difficult to show houses during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Are you booking or modifying an existing flight? There’s a summary of the rules major Canadian airlines have put in place for the time being.

News roundup – May 27, 2020

  • Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer now estimates that the Canadian deficit is likely up to around $260 billion, due to a sharp increase in spending to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
  • And Porter Airlines has announced that it’s extending its flight suspensions by another 2 months to July 29.

News roundup – May 26, 2020

  • Applications for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program opened yesterday. This program was announced some time ago, but small businesses are now able to apply.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency has extended the tax filing deadlines for some trusts and corporations to September 1. The deadline for individual income taxes remains set at June 1.
  • WestJet has posted an update to their Elite status policy, with the status extension now including members whose status would have expired in June.

News roundup – May 25, 2020

  • The Government of Canada has created an online tool that will help Canadians find the financial help they’re entitled to during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • A recent report reveals that retail sales in Canada dropped 10% in the month of March, beating the earlier record 4.5% drop experienced in 1998.
  • Air Canada has announced its summer flight schedule, and has announced updates to its booking policies, allowing cancelled tickets and travel vouchers to be converted to Aeroplan Miles.

News roundup – May 22, 2020

  • There are calls to close a loophole in the CERB that is leaving seniors vulnerable to scammers.
  • And the fallout from the many airline cancellations due to the COVID-19 crisis continues, with consumers having issues attempting credit card chargebacks to get their money back for cancelled flights.

News roundup – May 21, 2020

  • Applications for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program are set to open on May 25th. This is a new program to help small businesses weather the current financial crisis.
  • The Prime Minister has announced further support for large businesses to help save Canadian jobs. The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) exists to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers.

News roundup – May 20, 2020

  • The Federal government has expanded eligibility requirements for the Canada Emergency Business Account, allowing more small businesses and not-for-profits to take advantage of this new program.
  • Canada and the United States have agreed to keep the border closed for at least another 30 days to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

News roundup – May 19, 2020

  • On Friday the government released some more details about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy extension, which is now slated to continue at least to the end of August.
  • If you’re a student and wonder if you’re eligible for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, the Financial Post has written up a guide telling you everything you need to know.

News roundup – May 15, 2020

  • The federal government has created yet another new benefit, this one targeted at helping Canada’s fish harvesters.
  • The Canadian Revenue Agency also warned COVID-19 benefits cheaters that they will get caught and expected to pay back any money they claimed but were not properly entitled to. Fair warning.

News roundup – May 13, 2020

  • The CRA normally provides free tax clinics for people in need, but those have all been closed due to the pandemic. Instead, the CRA has announced that these free tax clinics will now be held online.
  • And in a move to help seniors, the government has announced a one-time extra benefit payment to help offset costs related to COVID-19.

News roundup – May 11, 2020

  • Prime Minister Trudeau has announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, originally slated to end in May, will now be extended “beyond June.” Further details are not yet available.
  • Today marks the beginning of the 3rd phase of the CERB, and it is being suggested that if you believe you’ll be returning to work within the next while, you shouldn’t apply for it just yet.
  • And WestJet has extended its flight cancellations into July at this point.

News roundup – May 5, 2020

  • Consumers are being warned of illegal “advance-fee” loans as online fraudsters revive an old type of loan scam.

News roundup – May 4, 2020

  • If you were among the first to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) back in April, you must now reapply for another 4 weeks of the benefit payments.
  • At least one group of experts has declared that Canada is now “officially” in a recession.

News roundup – April 30, 2020

  • The CDIC is implementing some changes to strengthen CDIC deposit protection, and the first phase of those went into effect today.
  • Some credit card customers are reporting hefty refunds after being charged for credit card insurance they didn’t sign up for.
  • The city of Vancouver has announced that homeowners have until September 30th to pay their property taxes.
  • Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Canada child benefit is being given a one-time boost of $300 per child for the month of May, 2020.
  • And in a clarification today, students are being told that in order to receive the emergency COVID-19 benefit, they must be actively looking for work.

News roundup – April 27, 2020

  • The government’s promised 75% wage subsidy program opened for applications today, with the first payments being expected by May 7th. Over 10,000 businesses are said to have applied in the first few hours.
  • Late last week Prime Minister Trudeau also announced a commercial rent subsidy plan for businesses who have lost over 70% of their revenue or who have been forced to close down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • And Porter Airlines has announced they are extending their flight shutdown until at least June 29th, 2020.

News roundup ‒ April 23, 2020

  • The Federal government today announced $1.1 billion in funding to help fight COVID-19. This money will be divided between research into vaccines and treatments, clinical trials, and expanded national testing.
  • Municipalities in Canada are starting to feel the crunch from decreased parking and transit revenues, and have asked Ottawa for $10 billion in aid. This comes as Toronto’s TTC is planning to lay off 1,200 workers due to an 85% decrease in ridership.
  • And WestJet announced another 3,000 layoffs, cutting 18,000 domestic flights between May and early June.

News roundup ‒ April 22, 2020

  • In his daily address today, Prime Minister Trudeau announced a new $9 billion in financial support for students, including $1,250 a month from May through August.
  • While staying home during the pandemic, people are starting to realize just how much of their spending is actually discretionary.
  • And details about the new $250 million COVID-19 IRAP support program are available now that applications have opened. Good news for some small businesses that don’t qualify for the wage subsidy program.

News roundup ‒ April 21, 2020

News roundup ‒ April 17, 2020

  • Prime Minister Trudeau announced expanded aid for businesses in hard-hit regions and sectors, including the energy, arts, culture, and sports industries.
  • After some discussion, the United States and Canada have agreed to extend border restrictions for at least another 30 days.
  • A group of volunteer software developers have created an easy to use online tool called Corona Support that will help you quickly find out what government COVID-19 relief you qualify for.
  • And if you’re ordering takeout to help support local restaurants survive the coronavirus lockdown, you might want to consider curbside pickup rather than using one of the third party food delivery apps.

News roundup ‒ April 16, 2020

  • The Canadian government has announced changes to the eligibility rules for the emergency business loans program.
  • WestJet today laid off 1,700 pilots due to unprecedented travel reductions because of the global pandemic.
  • RRIF withdrawal minimums have been reduced by 25% for 2020. Here’s what you need to know.
  • Statistics Canada is compiling data on how COVID-19 has impacted Canadians, and is looking for your help.

News roundup ‒ April 15, 2020

  • Prime Minister Trudeau announced that part-time, contract, and seasonal workers are now eligible for the Canada emergency response benefit. He also said that essential workers making less that $2,500 a month will get a temporary wage increase.
  • In spite of a significant drop in total sales in March, it is expected that housing prices will remain stable in Canada, at least for the time being.
  • The Bank of Canada is holding its benchmark interest rate at 0.25%, and it is expected that overall economic activity will drop 15-30% over the next few months in comparison to the end of 2019.
  • A recent survey by York University indicates that most Canadians would rather err on the side of caution and continue with physical distancing restrictions rather than try to reopen the economy before it is safe to do so.
  • If you inadvertently received a double CERB payment, here’s what you need to know.

News roundup ‒ April 14, 2020

  • In his daily address today, Prime Minister Trudeau talked about how and when we may start working towards reopening the economy, but cautioned that it will likely be weeks before we see any movement on that front.
  • With current physical distancing restrictions in place, many retailers have stopped accepting cash as payment. The Bank of Canada is asking that they start accepting cash again, as there are no additional risks involved so long as precautions are taken.
  • Due to ongoing travel restrictions, Air Canada, Air Transat, and Sunwing have all cancelled or curtailed flights until June.
  • If your travel was cancelled due to the pandemic and you received a flight voucher rather than a refund, you may be able to get your money back another way.

News roundup ‒ April 13, 2020

  • In a special session this past Saturday, Parliament passed the $73b wage subsidy bill, clearing the way for the promised 75% subsidies to finally get started.
  • That said, the Employment Minister did warn that it could take 2-4 weeks for that program to be fully rolled out.
  • Since the beginning of physical distancing measures being enacted in Canada, almost 6 million people have applied for emergency benefits, including 3.5 million CERB applications since April 6.
  • And experts have started to think about what restarting the economy will look like, when it’s possible for that to happen.
  • Small businesses have also started to call for commercial rent relief while they are unable to open during this crisis.

News roundup ‒ April 9, 2020

  • While economists had been expecting that 500,000 jobs would be lost in March in Canada, it turned out that over 1 million jobs were lost, pushing the jobless rate to 7.8%.
  • Even though Canada’s income tax deadline has been pushed, there’s really no reason for you to delay filing, particularly if you’re expecting a return.
  • A while ago the government announced that $40,000 interest free emergency loans would be made available to Canadian small businesses, and applications for those opened today.

News roundup ‒ April 8, 2020

  • Ottawa is offering an astonishing 100% wage subsidy for businesses that hire students this summer.
  • The Vancity Credit Union has announced that it will lower its credit card interest rates to 0% for members who are impacted by COVID-19.
  • Canadian car insurance companies are promising rebates due to the COVID-19 lockdown, although few details are yet available.
  • Air Canada has confirmed that it will qualify for the government’s wage subsidy program when it is in place, and is rehiring 16,500 laid off employees as a result.

News roundup ‒ April 7, 2020

  • Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) opened yesterday, and reports say that almost 1 million Canadians applied for the benefit on the first day.
  • The stock market has taken a beating since the beginning of the global pandemic, causing some retirees concern over the state of their retirement savings. Experts agree that it’s best to leave that money invested.

News roundup ‒ April 6, 2020

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) portal opened today. Depending on your birth month, you are asked to apply for the benefit on a different day of the week. Check the website for more information.
  • As the economic crisis caused by the global pandemic deepens, the financial relief many of us have been promised feels like it’s progressing at a glacial pace.
  • Experts are taking this time to reflect on how the Canadian economy could change for the better once we’re safe and able to rebuild.
  • And the stock markets are showing some signs of optimism as we continue to work towards flattening the curve and putting an end to this pandemic.

News roundup ‒ April 2, 2020

  • In Alberta 48% of people say they’re concerned about their current debt levels, and a staggering 60% say they’re $200 away from not being able to pay their bills.
  • And while you may be concerned about Canada’s food supply when you see empty shelves at the grocery store, there’s no need to fret.
  • One analyst writes about how the coronavirus pandemic has essentially launched us into a massive economic experiment given that so much has changed in so short a time.
  • The coronavirus also has an unprecedented number of people actually writing wills and sorting out their powers of attorney.

News roundup ‒ March 31, 2020

  • Financial advisers and credit counsellors are starting to hear from Canadians having problems weathering the current economic storm.
  • While we’ve been anticipating a recession caused by the ongoing global pandemic, it is now expected to be among the largest in our country’s history.
  • Due to physical distancing restrictions, the housing market is likely to take a pretty significant hit this year, but it is also likely to eventually rebound.

News roundup ‒ March 30, 2020

  • The Canadian Parliamentary Budget Officer’s most recent report predicts that the economy could contract by 25% in the second quarter of this year, assuming physical distancing measures are in place through August.
  • Government support for small businesses now includes a generous 75% wage subsidy and the opportunity for up to $40,000 in interest free loans.
  • While the long-term economic fallout from the global pandemic is hard to predict, it is expected that the impact on small businesses, employment, immigration, and housing will likely be felt for years to come.
  • There has also been a surge of scams and phishing attacks related to the COVID-19 crisis in Canada.
  • The pandemic is also driving some innovation and change in Canada and around the world, as companies retool and refocus on helping deal with the global crisis.

News roundup ‒ March 27, 2020

News roundup ‒ March 26, 2020

  • There’s some controversy brewing around whether airlines are allowed to give vouchers instead of refunds for flights cancelled due to COVID-19. The Canadian Transportation Agency believes that vouchers are fine, but there are some lawyers who disagree.
  • Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the government has asked banks and credit card companies to lower interest rates in response to the current economic crisis.
  • The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation is willing to take on more insured mortgages from banks so they are able to lend out more money and keep the economy afloat.
  • The agriculture industry in Canada is warning of potential food shortages and price increases if they aren’t designated an essential service.

News roundup ‒ March 25, 2020

News roundup ‒ March 24, 2020

  • The coronavirus pandemic is having a massive economic impact here in Canada and around the globe. There is some help coming for small businesses, not only from the federal government, but some provincial governments as well.

News roundup ‒ March 23, 2020

News roundup ‒ March 20, 2020

News roundup ‒ March 19, 2020

News roundup ‒ March 18, 2020