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Alberta Economic Support

16/10/2020


Available Programs by Type

Support for Individuals

  • The Government of Alberta's Emergency Isolation Support program is now closed, as it was to provide support until the Government of Canada’s new Canada Emergency Response Benefit was available. It was for working Albertans who are self-isolating or who are the sole caregivers for someone in self-isolation. Qualifying applicants received a one-time payment of $1,146. (April 6)
  • Residents of northern Alberta who have been evacuated due to spring floods will receive funding of $1,250 per adult and $500 per dependent child. (April 29)
  • The government enacted legislation on May 6 that allows customers to defer their utility bill payments. This program is intended for Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. Customers will still have to pay for their deferred electricity and natural gas bills after the program ends on June 18. (May 5)
Support for Students
  • The government will implement a six-month, interest-free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans. (March 19)
Housing
  • Tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent and / or utilities before May 1 and rents will not increase while Alberta’s state of public health emergency remains in effect. (March 27)
  • Effective April 1, late fees cannot be applied to late rent payments for the next three months and landlords and tenants need to work together to develop payment plans while the state of public health emergency is in effect. (March 27)
  • While Alberta is in a state of public health emergency, landlords must attempt to work out a payment plan with tenants who are unable to make their full rent when payment is due. Until the state of public health emergency has been lifted, landlords cannot raise the rent on residential properties or mobile home sites, even if notice of an increase has already been given. Until June 30, landlords cannot further penalize tenants who are late on rent by charging late fees, even if the signed rental agreement states that a late fee can be applied. (March 27)
  • A bill ensuring no one will be retroactively charged for residential rent increases or late fees while the state of public health emergency is in effect was proposed. (March 31)
Health Care
  • Individuals visiting Alberta from another country will receive physician and hospital services for the treatment of COVID-19 – even if they do not have health coverage or the ability to pay. (April 9)

Support for Businesses

  • The government of Alberta will defer the collection of corporate income tax balances and instalment payments, due after March 19, until Aug. 31, 2020. (March 19)
  • Effective immediately, the government will defer education property tax for businesses for six months. (March 23)
  • The government will immediately cancel the decision made in Budget 2020 and will freeze education property taxes at last year’s level. (March 23)
  • Private sector employers will have immediate financial relief by deferring WCB premiums until early 2021, effectively for one year. For small and medium businesses, the government will cover 50 percent of the premium when it is due. (March 23)
  • The new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program will give certainty to small businesses by providing 50 percent of monthly commercial rental costs. Eligible landlords and tenants would each be responsible for 25 percent of the remaining costs. The province expects to commit up to $67 million, with the remaining and majority of costs being covered by the federal government. (April 24)
  • Bill 23, the Commercial Tenancies Protection Act, would protect eligible commercial tenants from having their leases terminated due to non-payment of rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If passed, the act would also prevent landlords from raising rent and charging late fees and penalties on missed rent. (June 16)
  • The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that faced restrictions or closures from public health orders and experienced a revenue loss of at least 50 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible job creators can apply for up to $5,000 through this program, starting June 29. (June 28)
Agricultre and Agribusiness
  • New intergovernmental business resumption protocol for provincially and federally licensed foodprocessing facilities in Alberta to protect the health and safety of vital workers. (April 16)
  • In response to COVID-19, the Government of Alberta has created a new Agriculture Training Support Program to help employers in the food supply chain provide necessary training to new Alberta employees. The maximum government contribution under the program is $2,000 per new employee, up to a maximum of $50,000 per employer. Grants will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis until available program funding is fully allocated. (May 8)
  • $1 million in funding will be targeted for meat processors to provide support for new hires to undertake meat-cutting training. (May 8)
  • A new fed cattle set-aside program will allow beef producers to hold on to slaughter-ready cattle on maintenance feed ration for several weeks, allowing the supply of animals to more evenly match demand and reduced processing capacity. (May 7)
  • The Government of Alberta will immediately increase the interim payment under AgriStability from 50 percent to 75 percent for the hog sector. This will put up to $25 million in the hands of pork producers immediately. Increasing the advance payment under AgriStability will result in the equivalent of $20 per head for pork producers enrolled in AgriStability. (May 7)
  • The Alberta government will immediately increase the advance payment under AgriStability from 50 percent to 75 percent for the potato industry, to get cash in hands of potato producers immediately. (May 7)
  • Agriculture and Forestry provided $81,000 to the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association (AFFPA) through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to enhance its online producer directory. The grant allowed AFFPA to expand its directory to include more producer profiles and build awareness. (May 21)
Tourism
  • Hotels and other lodging providers can delay paying the tourism levy until Aug. 31 for amounts that become due to government on or after today. (March 27)
  • The Alberta government is providing new supports for hotels and other lodging providers that allow them to keep tourism levy amounts collected between March 1 and December 31, 2020. Amounts collected prior to March 1, 2020 that are being deferred under the previously announced deferral program can continue to be deferred until August 31, 2020. (May 19)
Oil and Gas
  • Government is funding the industry levy for the Alberta Energy Regulator for a period of six months, achieving $113 million in industry relief. (March 20)
  • Extending the term of mineral agreements expiring in 2020 by one year provides increased certainty for industry by allowing additional time to raise capital and plan future activities. (March 20)
  • The Government of Alberta has finalized an agreement with Calgary-based TC Energy Corporation to provide financial support to accelerate construction of the Keystone XL pipeline starting April 1. This investment will include $1.5 billion in equity investment in 2020 followed by a $6 billion loan guarantee in 2021. (March 31)
  • The Site Rehabilitation Program – mainly funded by the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan – will provide grants to oilfield service contractors to perform well, pipeline, and oil and gas site reclamation work. This program will launch on May 1. The program will provide funds in $100-million increments. (April 24)
Forestry
  • In response to COVID-19 and the economic effects to the forestry industry, the Alberta government will defer timber dues for six months. (April 4)


Employment Standards

  • Employees caring for children affected by school and daycare closures or ill or self-isolated family members due to COVID-19 will have access to unpaid job-protected leave. The 90-day employment requirement is waived and leave length is flexible. (April 6)
  • Increasing the maximum time for a temporary layoff from 60 days to 120 days to ensure temporarily laid off employees stay attached to a job longer. This change is retroactive for any temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 that occurred on or after March 17. (April 6)
  • Improving scheduling flexibility by removing the 24-hour written notice requirement for shift changes, and the two weeks’ notice for changes to work schedules for those under an averaging agreement. (April 6)
  • Removing the requirement to provide the group termination notice to employees and unions when 50 or more employees are being terminated. (April 6)
  • Streamlining the process for approvals related to modifying employment standards so employers and workers can respond quicker to changing conditions at the workplace due to the public health emergency. (April 6)


Utility Relief

  • Residential, farm, and small commercial customers can defer bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off from these services during this time of crisis. (March 19)