Weekly Digest – 20 April 2022
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
Inflation Rate Jumps to 6.7%
The inflation rate increased to 6.7% in March, a full percentage point higher than February’s already 30-year high. Statistics Canada reported that all eight categories of the economy that the data agency tracks rose. Transportation costs are leading the way, up by 11.2% in the past year due to the rise in gasoline costs.
IMF: Canada’s Economy Not Yet at High Risk
The IMF cut its growth forecast for the world economy, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, the IMF said Canada will see just a modest revision to its current GDP outlook. Canada saw the smallest downward revision in its growth forecast of all advanced economies, with just -0.2% decrease to 3.9% from the projected 4.1% in January.
Airfares on the Rise as Travel Demand, Fuel Increase
Airfares increased by 8.3% between February and March, according to Statistics Canada. This increase can be attributed to the increase in travel demand and higher jet fuel prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
One-time Grant Payment For Guaranteed Income Supplement Recipients
The government is providing a one-time grant payment this week to Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and Allowance recipients who received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the Canada Recovery Benefit in 2020. The grant is aimed to compensate eligible seniors for the full loss of their GIS or Allowance benefits. The amount is equal to the annualized amount of their reduced payment.
Additional Funding for Canada-Alberta Job Grant
Alberta is allocating an additional $23 million in its Canada-Alberta Job Grant to help employers hire workers within the province, where they apply on behalf of their future employees for eligible training costs. Individual employers will have a cap of $300,000 for grant funding they can receive per fiscal year.
Change in Travel Rules
As of April 1, eligible travellers no longer need a pre-entry PCR or antigen COVID-19 test to enter Canada. However, anyone entering Canada must still complete a questionnaire on the ArriveCAN app or on the government’s website within 72 hours before entering the country. You can learn more about the travel rules here.
Pandemic Support for Commercial Tenants
Businesses, non-profit organisations, and charities who have seen a drop in revenue during the pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses through one of the following:
Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) – Rent (Effective: Until 7 May 2022)
Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP) – Rent (Effective: Until 7 May 2022)
You can learn more about these subsidies here.
COVID-Business Aid Loan Repayment Extended to 2023
Originally, if claimants repaid the balance of their Canada Emergency Business Account loan on or before the end of 2022, the government planned to forgive up to one-third of their loan. Now, eligible businesses “in good standing,” will have until 31 December 2023 to repay and be eligible for up to $20,000 of debt forgiveness.
Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit Open for Applications
The federal government announced that the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit is open for applications. It gives temporary income support of $300 a week to employed and self-employed people who can’t work due to a COVID-19 lockdown. Payments will be retroactive to 19 December.
COVID-19 Recovery Programs
The government is taking immediate action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will find support for individuals, businesses, sectors, communities, and other measures here.
Ontario Extends Paid Sick Leave Program Into 2022
Labour Minister Monte McNaughton is extending the pandemic paid sick leave to 31 July. Originally, the provincial program was supposed to wrap up on 31 December. However, with the more contagious Omicron variant, the Labour Minister announced that it would continue.
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