March 26, 2020 / 5:38 PM / 3 days ago

Highlights of Canada's stimulus measures to fight coronavirus outbreak

(Reuters) - Key financial and economic measures announced by Canada to support the economy.

FILE PHOTO: Canada's Minister of Finance Bill Morneau speaks in the House of Commons as legislators convene to give the government power to inject billions of dollars in emergency cash to help individuals and businesses through the economic crunch caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Blair Gable

- Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp on Thursday bolstered the insured mortgage purchase program to C$150 billion ($107 billion) from previously announced C$50 billion.

- The Canadian parliament on Wednesday approved C$52 billion financial package.

- Delays student loan repayment to six months.

- Provides a taxable C$2,000 a month benefit for up to fourth months to workers affected by the outbreak. The benefit is also available to Canadian workers affected by the current situation whether or not they are eligible for Employment Insurance.

- Provides additional help to low and modest income individuals and families with a special top-up payment under the Goods and Services Tax credit, estimated to cost about C$5.5 billion.

- Provides eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months.

- Provides additional assistance to families with children by temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering almost C$2 billion in extra support.

- The Bank of Canada has slashed its key interest rate by 100 basis points in March to 0.75% - its lowest level since Sept 2017. The government has offered C$10 billion in credit support to businesses.

- The Bank of Canada on March 20 announced a coordinated action with some other central banks to further enhance liquidity via the standing U.S. dollar liquidity swap line arrangements.

- Extends the tax filing deadline for individuals to June 1, and allow all taxpayers to defer, until after Aug 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after Mar 18 and before Sept 2020.

- Allows all businesses to defer, until after Aug 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after Mar. 18 and before Sept 2020.

- Further expands Export Development Canada’s ability to provide support to domestic businesses.

- Provides flexibility on the Canada account limit, to allow the government to provide additional support to Canadian businesses, when deemed to be in the national interest, to deal with exceptional circumstances.

- Augment credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.

- Provides one-time funding of C$500 million to provinces through the Canada Health Transfer for their critical health care system needs.

- Increases the credit available to small, medium, and large Canadian businesses.

Compiled by Denny Thomas and Nichola Saminather; Editing by Alistair Bell, Cynthia Osterman and Diane Craft

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