April 17, 2020 / 6:06 PM / in a month

Factbox: Canada offers C$2.5 billion for hard-hit energy sector as part of COVID-19 stimulus

(Reuters) - * Canada to invest C$1.7 billion ($1.2 billion) to clean up orphan and abandoned wells, set up C$750 million emission reduction loan fund and offer C$962 million to regional development agencies to help small businesses.

FILE PHOTO: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends a news conference at the Rideau Cottage, as efforts continue to help slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Blair Gable

* Bank of Canada to buy up to C$50 billion of provincial bonds.

* The central bank to buy up C$10 billion in high-quality corporate bonds in the secondary market.

* Bank of Canada to increase its participation in the federal government’s treasury bill auctions to 40% of each new issue.

* Canada to provide C$500 million in funding to support the arts, culture and sports sectors.

* Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank to get additional C$12.5 billion to provide guaranteed loans to small- and medium-sized businesses.

* Canada will cover up to 75% of payroll wages for all enterprises and charities with a revenue loss of 30% or more due to the coronavirus outbreak. The wage subsidy, which will not depend on a business’ size, will be capped at C$847 a week per worker.

* Small businesses and not-for-profits will have access to interest-free loans of up to C$40,000. The program is expected to provide C$25 billion of support, with loans fully guaranteed and funded by the Canadian government. Anyone who pays the loan off by Dec. 31, 2022, will see 25% loan forgiveness up to C$10,000.

* GST, HST payments and customs duties due at the end of March, April and May are now deferred until the end of June.

* Finance Minister Bill Morneau told reporters the wage subsidy, loan programs and tax deferral represent C$65 billion in direct support and an additional C$30 billion in deferred taxes.

* Bank of Canada cut its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 0.25% on March 27, its lowest in a decade.

* The central bank also said it would begin purchases of C$5 billion per week of Government of Canada securities in the secondary market.

* Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp on March 26 bolstered the insured mortgage purchase program to C$150 billion from previously announced C$50 billion.

* The Canadian Parliament on March 25 approved a C$52 billion financial package.

* Delays student loan repayment to six months.

* Provides a taxable C$2,000-a-month benefit for up to four months to workers affected by the outbreak. The benefit is available to 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 additional assistance to families with children by temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering almost C$2 billion in extra support.

* 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 allows all taxpayers to defer, until after Aug. 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020.

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

* Augments 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 healthcare system needs.

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

Compiled by Denny Thomas and Kelsey Johnson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lisa Shumaker

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