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December 2020

NEW – Federal: Government issues fall economic statement

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On November 30, Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented the 2020 fall economic statement (FES).

Of interest to CPA members, the minister noted that the “safety net” created by the federal government to combat COVID-19 will remain in place until 2021. She also unveiled additional substantial federal spending for virus testing and tracing, procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), and pandemic-related supports for businesses and families.

The FES also committed the government to allocating $2.6 billion over seven years, starting in 2020-21, to provide up to 700,000 grants of up to $5,000 to homeowners for energy-efficient home improvements. This could provide an excellent opportunity for the propane industry given efficiencies propane provides for furnaces, on-demand hot water, fireplaces, in-floor heating, generators, fridges, stoves, etc.

The CPA is seeking more details about how the roll out for the energy-efficient home improvements will work and will communicate those to members.

Other supports for business include:

  • Creating a Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program to offer 100 per cent government-guaranteed loans of up to $1 million for the sectors most impacted by COVID-19 (e.g., tourism and hospitality, hotels, and arts and entertainment).
  • Increasing the maximum subsidy rate of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to 75 per cent, beginning December 20 until March 13, 2021.
  • Extending until March 13, 2021, the current subsidy rates under the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and the Lockdown Support Program.
  • Targeted rent relief and capital and operational support for airlines and airports.
  • Disbursing an additional $500 million to the Regional Development Agencies and the Community Futures Network of Canada and imposing a rule that 25 per cent of those programs’ spending must be for tourism sector initiatives.
 

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