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Quebec Economic Support

16/10/2020


Supports for Individuals

  • Quebec created a Temporary Aid for Workers program offering up to $573 a week for those in selfisolation who are unable to work. Workers can receive the weekly stipend for up to one month if they are not covered by federal supports, ending April 10, 2020. (March 16)
  • The province is pushing back the deadline for filing income tax returns to June 1 from April 30. (March 17)
  • Families who receive advance payments of the tax credit for childcare expenses will have access to information that will help them avoid having to reimburse overpayments in the future. (March 27)
  • The deadlines for renewing advance payments of the tax credit for home-support services for seniors are extended by four months. Current payments will be extended until renewal. (March 27)
  • The renewal date of the payment of the shelter allowance program is postponed to December 1, 2020. Ongoing payments will be renewed until the renewal. (March 27)
  • 25 percent reduction in 2020 of the amounts of mandatory withdrawals from a registered retirement income fund (RRIF). (March 27)
  • The Quebec government will accommodate health care system workers who wish to interrupt or postpone their parental leave in order to participate in the response to the current health emergency. These workers will have six additional months to draw their Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits. (March 28)
  • The government announced that it is introducing the Incentive Program for the retention of essential workers (PIRTE), which will offer a benefit of $100 per week for low-income earners working full time or part-time in essential services. This new benefit will be paid retroactively to March 15, for a maximum of sixteen weeks. (April 3)
  • To help mobilize workers, the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Jean Boulet, is confirming that the minimum wage will increase by 60 cents on May 1, to $13.10 an hour. (April 15)
  • All of the bonuses granted during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis are being extended until May 31. This extension applies to workers in living environments, especially in residential and long-term care centers (CHSLDs), such as orderlies, nurses and nursing assistants. (April 23)
  • The Government of Quebec is providing bonuses for full-time healthcare workers. All employees who provide full-time work in CHSLDs will receive $100 per week. There are additional bonuses for those who will work full-time in an infected CHSLD, i.e. $ 200 more after 2 consecutive weeks and $400 more after 4 consecutive weeks for a potential total of $1000. (May 7)
  • Eligible workers can now apply for the previously announced Incentive Program for the retention of essential workers (PIRTE). (May 11)
  • The province announced that 104 projects, representing 95 regional and nine national funds, will share $54,894,500 million under the new Youth in Movement for Employment (JME) program. In total, these initiatives will allow approximately 5,600 young people to integrate into the job market on a sustainable basis or to support them in their career choice process. The ideas received are varied, ranging from training in the digital field for indigenous communities to community gardening for the benefit of the most disadvantaged. (June 12)
  • The Government confirmed the implementation of a new immigration program that allows asylum seekers who have provided direct care to patients and seniors since the start of the health crisis to settle permanently in Quebec. (August 14)
Childcare
  • The emergency childcare services put in place by the government will remain open and completely free for the essential workers who fight against coronavirus until May 1. (March 27)
Support for Students
  • The Government of Quebec announced a six-month respite for student loans. During the six-month period, no payment will be made and no interest will be accrued or added to the student debt. (March 20)
Housing
  • The Quebec government is providing an interest-free loan for tenants whose incomes are reduced due to COVID-19 of $1,500 corresponding to two months of rent. The loan is repayable by August 1, 2021, and without interest. (April 29)
  • The Quebec government is providing a temporary accommodation measure to support Quebecers who see their move postponed due to COVID-19. Eligible individuals will receive a maximum of $2,000 per month for up to two months. In addition, financial assistance of up to $1,000 will also be provided to cover the storage and moving costs of these households. (April 29)

Support for Businesses

  • Quebec announced they will give $2.5 billion to businesses with liquidity problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The government will be offering loans and loan guarantees of a minimum of $50,000. (March 19)
  • The official opposition is working in collaboration with the government to quickly find flexible economic measures adapted to the reality of Quebec to support SMEs in all regions of Quebec with the following measures:
    • Provide financial assistance of $2,000 to very small businesses that benefit from the small business deduction.
    • Decrease the threshold eligible for government assistance for businesses from $50,000 to $10,000.
    • Increase and anticipate additional assistance to citizens with the solidarity tax credit to quickly provide access to cash. (March 26)
  • Quebec will allow businesses to postpone, until June 30, their declaration and their payments in respect of the QST rebates planned for March 31, April 30 and May 31. (March 27)
  • In addition, Quebec will speed up the processing of requests for tax credits intended for businesses and tax refunds. (March 27)
  • CDPQ is creating a $4 billion program to support Quebec companies temporarily impacted by COVID-19. The funds will be used to address the specific liquidity needs of companies, whether or not in CDPQ’s portfolio, that meet certain criteria, including having been profitable before the COVID-19 crisis, having a promising growth outlook in their sector and seeking financing of over $5 million. (March 30)
  • Quebec is announcing the deferral of payment of the amounts due to retain the right to circulate for commercial vehicles and taxis to September 1, 2020. (March 30)
  • The Quebec government announced a new program to support small and medium enterprises that are experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 and who need liquidity of less than $50,000 for their working capital. This initiative is in addition to the Temporary Concerted Action Program for Businesses (PACTE), launched by the Government of Quebec on March 19, which is aimed at businesses needing cash in excess of $50,000 to their working capital. (April 3)
  • The Government of Quebec also announced an extension of the Local Investment Funds (LIF) for two years, until December 31, 2022. New measures to relax the conditions for repaying loans granted under the FLI have also been planned to meet the needs of businesses affected by COVID-19. It will therefore be possible to offer them an additional three-month respite for the repayment of their loan (principal and interest). These new measures are in addition to those announced on March 19 and bring the business respite period to six months. (April 3)
  • Announced the allocation of $100 million for the implementation of the Job Retention Program (PACME). The objective of the program is to enable companies to receive grants to help them cover the costs of training activities. The government offers to reimburse businesses 100 percent of the eligible expenses they incur, for example for trainer's fees, the purchase of equipment and human resources management activities, up to $100,000. The wages of workers in training will be reimbursed according to the following terms: up to a maximum of $25 an hour for 25 percent to 100 percent of the total hours paid. (April 6)
  • Quebec's 391,000 businesses will have until September 1, 2020 to pay their annual registration fee to the Registraire des entreprises. (April 16)
  • The Quebec government and the federal government provide emergency assistance for commercial rent through the federal CECRA program. The Quebec government will contribute to this initiative by covering 25 percent of its costs, an investment of $137 million. (April 24)
  • Following the implementation of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Quebec government announced that it will grant employers a credit on contributions to the Health Services Fund for employees on forced leaved. This additional assistance, which offsets costs not covered by the federal government measure, will be in force for the entire duration of the 12-week wage subsidy, which now extends from March 15 to June 6, 2020. (April 20)
  • The contribution credit for employers to the Health Services Fund in respect of employees on paid leave is being extended until August 29, 2020. (May 29)
  • The payment of the tax balance payable of trusts for 2020 is postponed to September 1, 2020. (May 29)
  • Tax legislation is being amended to attribute in certain cases a discretionary power to the Minister of Revenue that allows him to extend, when there are reasonable grounds, the deadline for applying for a refundable tax credit for businesses. (May 29)
  • In order to maximize the participation of owners of commercial buildings in Canada's Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, the Government of Quebec intends to compensate 50 percent of the loss of owners. They, who had to commit to absorb a loss of 25 percent by registering for this program, will thus receive a sum equivalent to 12.5 percent of the total cost of the rent in order to reduce their loss by half. Its application methods will be made public in the coming days. (June 8)
  • The Government of Canada, through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), is planning to grant up to $30 million to the PME MTL network through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). This support is aimed at Montreal businesses ineligible for other federal measures related to COVID-19 that are already in place. (June 8)
  • In addition, the Government of Quebec is contributing $20 million more to the envelope for the Ville de Montréal under the Aide d’urgence aux petites et moyennes entreprises program to come to the assistance of metropolis SMEs facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. (June 8)
  • The Quebec government is extending the deadline to pay the balance of tax from September 1 to September 30, 2020.The measure is consistent with the new deadline announced by the Canada Revenue Agency. (July 24)
  • As part of the economic recovery plan for the cultural sector, the government announced the implementation of a new temporary assistance program for theatres. (August 3)
  • The Government of Quebec is announcing a 12-week extension of the employer contribution credit to the Health Services Fund for employees on paid leave introduced following the implementation of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. (August 17)
Forestry
  • Quebec announced two economic measures aimed at giving respite to businesses in the forestry sector affected by COVID-19. First, to ensure that silvicultural work can be carried out safely in the forest, the timber marketing board has begun to assess the additional costs generated by the introduction of physical distancing and safety measures for silvicultural workers in both the public and private forests. These costs will be added to the silvicultural work tariff grids for the year 2020-2021. Secondly, to lighten the financial load of companies and provide them with the cash resources they need to weather the crisis, Quebec has announced that volumes harvested in the public forests in and after March 2020 will not be invoiced until September 2020. (April 7)
  • The Québec government announces the modification of the Reimbursement Program for Multi-Resource Road Costs (PRCM) in order to accelerate payments related to this program. This decision will allow forest industrialists to have more cash. Now, 60 percent of the annual envelope is allocated to beneficiaries when the eligibility conditions are met, 30 percent when the progress report is filed and 10 percent when the work is completed and in accordance with requirements of the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks. (May 26)
  • Government of Quebec is implementing two measures aimed at supporting the forest industry in Outaouais and the Laurentians, with a budget of $ 14.3 million. (July 20)
Tourism
  • The Quebec government announced the postponement of the payment of the lodging tax for the first quarter of 2020, initially scheduled for April 30, 2020, to July 31, 2020. (April 3)
  • The Quebec government unveiled its Tourism Recovery Plan, representing nearly $753 million, to help the tourism sector weather the crisis and prepare for the revival of its activities. (June 11)
  • $446 million is earmarked for the creation of an emergency component for accommodation establishments and tourist attractions, as part of the Temporary Concerted Action Program for Businesses (PACTE). This component will allow businesses to obtain loans and loan guarantees on advantageous terms. It includes borrowing conditions that are even more advantageous for the tourism industry. (June 11)
  • A sum of $200 million for 2020-2021 will be devoted to supporting investment in business tourism in the hotel environment, one of the most profitable forms of tourism. Managed by Investissement Québec, this new component of PADAT is created to financially support renovations or upgrades to hotel establishments. It will make it possible to obtain loans, on advantageous terms, which can cover up to 80 percent of the eligible expenses of projects whose minimum cost would amount to $125,000.
  • To support development projects of regional tourism businesses, the government is adding regional partnership agreements in tourism (EPRT) by allocating a sum of $25 million, $15 million for 2020 to 2021 and $10 million for 2021-2022. (June 11)
  • In order to allow hotel establishments and lodges to conserve cash, the Government of Quebec has decided to pay a subsidy equivalent to the amount of the tax on tourist accommodation paid for the first quarter of 2020. This financial assistance is estimated at $ 13.8 million. (June 11)
  • A sum of $20 million will benefit Quebecers who choose to take their vacation in Quebec. This measure is divided into three parts: reduce the cost of visitor access to tourist attractions in Quebec, 50 percent discount will be offered on the annual Parc national du Québec card and Quebecers will therefore be able to benefit from a 25 percent discount on the sale price of packages to Quebec regions offered by eligible travel agencies. (June 11)
Agriculture and Agribusiness
  • Quebec announced an investment of $45 million to attract Quebec workers to the fields. This investment will notably finance four measures which aim to ensure a regular supply of foodstuffs to the population in the context of the current pandemic:
    • a bonus of $100 to seasonal agricultural workers for a minimum work of 25 hours per week;
    • the creation of a new program for the displacement of the workforce which takes into account the rules of social distancing in force;
    • the establishment of squads on the ground which will intervene at the time of the integration of new workers (minimum of five employees to integrate) to support agricultural producers in the training of new workers;
    • financial support granted to the 12 agricultural employment centers, to meet the needs of twinning agricultural businesses with new workers. (April 17)
  • Loan of up to $50,000 to support working capital:
    • In order to contribute to the continuation of the activities of agricultural and agrifood businesses, a loan guarantee of up to $50,000, without taking out any movable or real estate guarantee, may be quickly granted by the FADQ. This measure is accessible to all of the FADQ's funding clientele experiencing temporary liquidity problems related to the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • In addition to benefiting from a 10-year repayment period and a 12-month capital payment leave, clients will benefit from the advantageous interest rate of the FADQ. To make a request, they must contact their FADQ financing advisor. (April 17)
  • Acceleration of payment of investment subsidies
    • Payments of investment subsidies provided on June 1 were preceded at May 1. These payments represent an amount of nearly $7 million and are part of the following programs: Support program for regional diversification and development (PDDR), Support program for the development of agricultural enterprises in Quebec (PADEAQ) and Program to support the financing of investments in animal welfare and energy efficiency (PSFI). (April 17)
  • AgriStability: interim payment going from 50 percent to 75 percent of program benefits
    • Interim payments make it possible to obtain a percentage of the program's benefits more quickly. To request it, producers must contact the financial data collection and processing team. (April 17)
  • The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, André Lamontagne, announces financial assistance of $ 50,000 for the Association des Marchés public authorities of Quebec (AMPQ) for the deployment of a digital transactional platform for the purchase of local bio-food products. (April 24)

Employment Standards

  • The Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity confirms that the employment relationship of employees Quebec will be protected if they have to take time off work due to COVID-19. (Sept 9)