Provincial Programs to assist Individuals and Businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic - Part I

Last updated on April 21, 2020

RGD highlights the programs introduced by the Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Québec to help combat the economic impact of the current crisis.



  • Alberta corporate income tax balances and instalment payments due between March 18, 2020 and August 31, 2020 are deferred until August 31, 2020.&

  • Small, medium and large private sector employers can defer Workers Compensation Board premium payments until 2021.
  • Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments until June 19, 2020. 
  • Education Property Tax rates are frozen at last year’s level (reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020).
  • Alberta Student Loan repayments are paused for 6 months, beginning March 30, 2020. 

Residents of Alberta can submit a question, call 1-800-272-9675 for business advice.  


Click here for more information on Alberta's COVID-19 mitigation initiatives.  


British Columbia 

  • Complimentary to CERB, the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a one-time, tax-free, $1,000 payment for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19. 
  • A one-time enhancement to the Climate Action Tax Credit will be paid in July 2020 for moderate to low-income families. 
  • B.C. Student Loan repayments are paused for 6 months, beginning March 30, 2020. Interest will not accrue during this period. 
  • BC Hydro rates have been reduced by 1%, effective April 1, 2020
  • IBCB Customers on a monthly payment plan who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19 may defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty.
  • Residential FortisBC customers can sign up for the COVID-19 Customer Recovery Fundto automatically have their bills deferred from April 1 to June 30, 2020
  • Filing and payment deadlines for the taxes has been extended until September 30, 2020. 

Residents of B.C. can email on or call 1-833-254-4357 for business advice. 


Click here for more information on British Columbia's COVID-19 mitigation initiatives. 



  • Deadlines for Retail Sales Tax for the April and May tax filing deadlines has been extended until June 22, 2020 for small and medium businesses with monthly RST remittances of no more than $10,000. 
  • Waiving off interest or penalties for Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas, Workers Compensation Board and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI). 
  • Freeze on all rent increases set to take effect between April 1 and May 31.

Residents of Manitoba can request a call for business advice. 


Click here for more information on Manitoba's COVID-19 mitigation initiatives. 


Nova Scotia

  • Complimentary to CERB, the Worker Emergency Bridge will provide one-time payment of $1,000 for Nova Scotians who are laid off or out of work because of COVID-19, who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance and earn between $5,000 and $34,000.
  • Eligible small businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises ordered to close or greatly reduce operations because of the public health order may be eligible for a one-time flexible grant equal to 15% of revenue from sales, either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000. Application deadline April 25. 
  • Payment of Government Loans and Small Business fees have been deferred until June 30. 
  • Nova Scotia Student Loan payments are automatically suspended until 30 September 2020.

Residents of Nova Scotia can call 1-877-424-1177 or 1-833-722-1417 for income assistance. 


Click here for more information on Nova Scotia's COVID-19 mitigation initiatives. 



Residents of Ontario can call 1-888-444-3659 for business assistance. 


Click here for more information on Ontario's COVID-19 mitigation initiatives. 



Individuals and businesses can determine the type of assistance is available them using online tools. 


Residents of Québec can call 1 800 267-6299 (Individuals) or 1 800 567-4692 (businesses) for assistance. 


Click here for more information on Québec's COVID-19 mitigation initiatives. 


Sources: Editors Canada, Government of Canada Website


Stay tuned for part II of Provincial Programs to assist individuals during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 


This article is purely informational in nature and should not, in anyway, be construed as expert advice. Please contact your lawyers, accountants or relevant government institutions for any queries.


Our legal partners, WeirFoulds LLP have established a COVID-19 resources portal


Learn about additional business support from the Canadian government.