News

COVID-19 Industry Update

Provincial Update

Regulation made under the Planning Act | Special Rules Relating to Declared Emergency

On Wednesday April 15, the government passed a Regulation under the Planning Act for the “Special Rules Relating to Declared Emergency”. The purpose of this Regulation is to ensure the Emergency Order does not apply to Planning Acttimelines and to prevent non-decisions from occurring. The legislation allows municipalities to continue to make land use decisions and for those decisions on planning matters to come into effect if not appealed. OHBA anticipates further guidance materials on the new regulation from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing later this week, which we will share with the membership.

Highlights of this Regulation include:

  • Despite the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, Ontario Regulation 73/20 (Order under subsection 7.1 (2) of the Act – Limitation Periods) made under that Act does not apply and is deemed to have never applied with respect to the Planning Act;
  • The following rules apply if a notice is required to be given under a provision set out in subsection (3) in respect of a decision that was made on or after March 2, 2020 and before April 15, 2020:
  • If the notice was given to one or more persons or public bodies but the giving of the notice was not completed before April 15, 2020, the notice is deemed not to have been given and the notice shall be given again in accordance with the provision, except that the notice shall be given no later than 15 days after the COVID-19 emergency is terminated or disallowed.
  • If the notice was not given before April 15, 2020, the notice shall be given in accordance with the provision, except that the notice shall be given no later than 15 days after the COVID-19 emergency is terminated or disallowed.
  • The Regulation specifies notice provisions impacted by the Emergency Order for Committees of Adjustment;
  • For the period of the COVID19 emergency, the regulation ensures that counting the periods of time shall not be included for:
  • Official Plan Approvals
  • Official Plan Requests for Amendment
  • Community Improvement Demolition Control Area
  • Zoning By-Laws
  • Holding Provision By-Laws
  • Interim Control By-Laws (in effect on March 17, 2020)
  • Site Plan Control Area
  • Conveyance of Land for Park Purposes
  • Powers of Committee
  • Plan of Subdivision Approvals
  • Consents
  • Tariff of Fees
  • The Regulation sets out rules for the previous list if a period of time ended on or after March 17, 2020 and before April 15, 2020;
  • The Regulation sets out rules for counting of periods of time for Interim Control By Laws in effect through the Emergency Period.

Read the Provincial News Release here now for more information.

This announcement follows the introduction of Bill 189 on Tuesday, when the Legislative Assembly of Ontario convened in a special session to pass “the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020”. The Bill made amendments to three pieces of Legislation – the Development Charges Act, Planning Act and Education Act, that impact the industry. The legislation responds to a number of issues that OHBA has raised with the Provincial Government through various communications to address a number of member concerns with respect to expiring municipal and education development charges by-laws, and in keeping specific municipal planning functions open for (remote) business.

OHBA continues to advocate that the municipal planning and approvals system can continue during the state of emergency, and with these additional tools, municipalities should be accepting, processing and approving new applications. OHBA will continue to communicate with the government on potential additional measures that they believe could be safely undertaken to maintain some business practices and some additional municipal functions (remotely).

The Provincial Background on Bill 189 can be found here, and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support & Protection Act, 2020 can be read in full by clicking here.

Federal Update

Prime Minister Announces Additional Support for Small Businesses

Canada Emergency Business Account

As of Thursday, the Canada Emergency Business Account will now be open to businesses that spent between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million, and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs. 

Introduced on April 9th, small business owners are able to apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions. Businesses are able to access CEBA through their primary lender, where they have a pre-existing relationship. Businesses that are impacted can contact them by phone or email to find out about their application process. Eligible small business and non-profit organizations can get interest-free loans of up to $40,000. If the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022, 25% of it will be forgiven, up to $10,000.

These loans are fully funded by the Government of Canada, as part of the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), which is providing a total of $65 billion through banks and credit unions in the form of loans to small and medium-sized businesses. Since the launch of the CEBA on April 9th, more than 195,000 loans have been approved by financial institutions, extending more than $7.5 billion in credit to small businesses.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

The Prime Minister also introduced the new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June.

Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. The federal government are working with the provinces and territories to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic and will have more details to share soon.

Main takeaways of the introduction of this new program include:

  • Will provide support for small businesses to meet rent dues.
  • Will work with provinces to bring details forward soon.
  • Would be loans, some of which would be forgivable to commercial property owners so they can offer small business rent relief.

CHBA Comment

The CHBA has remarked that the changes to the CEBA is welcome news that partially responds to CHBA’s advocacy over the past two weeks calling for changes to ensure more small businesses are able to access this important credit tool. The expansion of the program will allow more businesses to qualify for the loan, and up to $10,000 in loan forgiveness if repaid by Dec. 2020; but, that it doesn’t address the issue of dividends, which CHBA is aware prevents many sole proprietors and self-employed in the residential construction sector from accessing the program. CHBA continues to engage the Minister of Finance’s office on this issue and will monitor for more information on the new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program. 

Read more on these announcements here.

OHBA Update

The OHBA has also provided a “COVID-19 Update” for its members. Check out their latest newsletter now regarding COVID-19 and important health and safety updates.

Business Information & Support During COVID-19

The City is doing everything possible, in full cooperation with the provincial and federal governments, to minimize the impact and see an economic recovery take place as soon as possible.

The City of Barrie is working with our industry partners including Barrie Chamber of CommerceSandboxTourism BarrieBarrie Construction Association, the Small Business Centre, the BIA, and the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, with updating this page regularly to be able to identify actions to support businesses, workers and residents in responding to the economic impact of COVID-19. This page will enable the City to better respond to the evolving challenges with its partners in government, business and non-profits.

Latest Federal & Provincial Press Releases

City Support

Reduction of Enforcement Services
Free Transit: March 20–April 6
Water Wastewater Billing
Property Tax Billing

Economic Support & Recovery

Stay up to date on provincial and federal measures to provide economic relief and support:

Banking Solutions
Federal Programs
Provincial Programs
Other

Funding for Businesses

Local Business Resources

The Small Business Centre, the BIAThe Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre and The Barrie Chamber of Commerce can help prepare your business for a recovery strategy.

Information for Organizations & Events

Find out what your organization, workplace or event can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Event Organizers

The risk of planning events that will create mass gatherings must be assessed on a case-by-case basis by Public Health Authorities, event organizers and relevant planners. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends conducting a risk assessment when determining the public health actions related to a mass gathering during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Workplaces

Employers should also know what is expected if they have employees returning from travel. Learn more by reading the World Health Organization’s Getting Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19 fact sheet.

General Advice
Hygiene
Flexible Work Arrangements and Sick Leave
Business Travel
Closure

Mental Health Services

With coronavirus (COVID-19) now officially being called a pandemic by the World Health Organization, public fear and anxiety are on the rise. Employees may be experiencing a high degree of uncertainty, worry and stress about the health and safety of their loved ones, and how this pandemic may disrupt their work and personal lives.

While employers are preparing responses to safeguard their business operations and protect the physical health of their employees during this crisis, it’s important to consider everyone’s psychological health and safety, too. Read the following articles to learn how you can respond t the outbreak or please call Canadian Mental Health Association’s hotline at 1-833-456-4566 should you need further assistance.

Arts Community

This is a very challenging time for the arts industry, many of whom are dealing with canceled performances, and loss of work.
City staff have begun to compile a list of helpful resources for Canadian artists and professionals to help during this time:

Programs

All available webinars, programming and live streamed events to help you and your business cope with COVID-19.

Hotlines

  • The Government of Canada’s Coronavirus Hotline can answer questions and provide information:1-833-784-4397 
  • The Emergency Watch and Response Centre (EWRC) can be called 24/7 by Canadian citizens abroad in need of emergency assistance: 1-613-996-8885
  • The Business Development Bank of Canada can answer questions for business owners: 1-877-232-2269
  • This Employment Insurance (EI) hotline can be called if you have already completed the application for EI sickness benefits, whether you are sick or quarantined, to have the one-week waiting period waived: 1-833-381-2725
  • For questions on international trade, call Export Development Canada: 1-888-220-0047
  • Ontario Public Health Authority: 1-866-797-0000
  • Canadian Mental health Association: 1-833-456-4566
  • Province Launches Business Support Line: The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health

On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.

Home Builders’ Association Supports Ontario Government Decision to Restrict Active Construction Projects

Barrie, April 3, 2020 The Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) support the provincial government’s announcement to restrict construction to only active sites on the essential businesses list.  This new measure will reduce activity in the sector and enhance COVID-19 prevention measures, while enabling the completion of new homes and renovations that are moving towards completion. 

The Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association has been focused on the health and safety of everyone on jobsites by sharing information with our members,” said Sandy Tuckey Executive Officer. “Following the recent release by the Ministry of Labour of new health and safety guidelines for construction sites during COVID-19, members immediately went to work to improve site conditions including additional requirements for sanitization, physical distancing, illness reporting and limiting the number of workers on individual sites.”

Both The Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association and OHBA support the government’s increased inspection activity. We endorse shutting down sites that do not meet the Ministry of Labour requirements and place everyone on the jobsite at risk.

“We all want safe jobsites,” said Joe Vaccaro, OHBA CEO. “Across Ontario, industry members have been enhancing their COVID-19 protocols as required by government. With the new provincial restrictions on active job sites, members will continue to focus on worker safety and delivering keys to the thousands of families waiting for their homes to be completed. Let’s keep each other safe. We are all in this together.”

The Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association Statement

The Ontario Home Builders’ Association is the voice of the residential construction industry in Ontario, representing 4,000 member companies organized into 27 local associations across the province. The residential construction industry contributes over $51 billion dollars to Ontario’s economy, employing more than 330,000 people across the province.

“This is Not Business As Usual”

Ontario Home Builders’ Association

www.ohba.ca                      info@ohba.ca

Premier Doug Ford made it clear, the construction industry has been put on notice regarding health and safety standards on jobsites during the COVID-19 State of Emergency with residential construction being included as an essential workplace under that order.

The Premier stated that Ministry of Labour inspectors will be active on jobsites to assess sanitary conditions and to confirm that enhanced precautions are being taken. Premier noted that while that majority of businesses, general contractors, renovators and builders are taking extra precautions, there remain a few bad actors in the sector.

In Ontario workers have always had the right to refuse work if they deem conditions unsafe.

Premier Ford has been absolutely crystal clear, if the industry does not take every step necessary to look after the health and safety of workers, jobsites will be shut down.

If businesses are not meeting the health and safety standards of the Ministry of Labour,

Jobsites will be shut down.

It is NOT business as usual – take enhanced health and safety seriously and implement new measures or be shut down.

OHBA leadership agrees with the Premier. If jobsites are not safe, they should be shutdown. Worker safety is the top priority during this COVID-19 State of Emergency.

There have been public calls to “suspend” or “pause” construction sites for up to 2 weeks by various groups and now the Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party.

It is important that members immediately enhance health and safety on their sites and implement COVID-19 protocols if they want to keep their sites open. I know many of our homebuilders and renovators are on the tools, working with their employers and trade partners, so let’s keep each other safe.

As the Ministry of Labour and Chief Prevention Officer work to provide more direction, I encourage you to consult our industry guide on enhanced health and safety precautions and implement them as soon as possible.

This document has been approved for circulation by the respective Co-chairs of the Provincial Labour Management Health and Safety Committee – Section 21 Construction and the Provincial Labour Management Safety Committee – Section 21 Electrical Utility.

Please review and support the Residential Construction Industry Statement COVID-19 Health and Safety Statement – email us back lsisnett@ohba.ca or tweet back your support for the statement – https://www.ohba.ca/residential-construction-industry- covid-19-health-and-safety-statement/

OHBA will continue to provide our members will timely updates as the COVID-19 situation evolves. Please follow us on twitter @OntarioHBA for updates.

Let’s keep each other safe. We are all in this together. #OntarioSpirit

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.

Support to Canadians

Support to Canadians

Support to Businesses

Support to Businesses

Support to Canadians

Temporary Income Support for Workers and Parents

For Canadianswithout paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is:

  • Waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure will be in effect as of March 15, 2020.
  • Waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
  • Introducing the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:
    • Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
    • Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not quality for EI sickness benefits.
    • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.

Application for the Benefit will be available in April 2020, and require Canadians to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements. They will need to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility. Canadians will select one of three channels to apply for the Benefit:

  1. by accessing it on their CRA MyAccount secure portal;
  2. by accessing it from their secure My Service Canada Account; or
  3. by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process.

Longer-Term Income Support for Workers

For Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID’s impact, the Government is:

  • Introducing an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the CRA to provide up to $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
  • Implementing the EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, by extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, easing eligibility requirements, and streamlining the application process. This was announced by the Prime Minister on March 11, 2020.

Income Support for Individuals Who Need It Most

For over 12 million low- and modest-income families, who may require additional help with their finances, the Government is proposing to provide a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC). This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. This measure will inject $5.5 billion into the economy.

For over 3.5 million families with children, who may also require additional support, the Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child. The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment. In total, this measure will deliver almost $2 billion in extra support.

Together, the proposed enhancements of the GSTC and CCB will give a single parent with two children and low to modest income nearly $1,500 in additional short-term support.

To ensure that certain groups who may be vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 have the support they need, the Government is proposing targeted help by:

  • Providing $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
  • Placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans.
  • Reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings. This will provide flexibility to seniors that are concerned that they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements. Similar rules would apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.
  • Providing the Reaching Home initiative with $157.5 million to continue to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding could be used for a range of needs such as purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.
  • Supporting women and children fleeing violence, by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities. This includes funding for facilities in Indigenous communities.

Flexibility for Taxpayers

In order to provide greater flexibility to Canadians who may be experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canada Revenue Agency will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals, including certain trusts. 

  • For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.  However, the Agency encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.
  • For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020.

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. 

In order to reduce the necessity for taxpayers and tax preparers to meet in person during this difficult time, and to reduce administrative burden, effective immediately the Canada Revenue Agency will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirements of the Income Tax Act, as a temporary administrative measure. This provision applies to authorization forms T183 or T183CORP, which are forms that are signed in person by millions of Canadians every year to authorize tax preparers to file taxes.

The Canada Revenue Agency is adapting its Outreach Program to support individuals during COVID-19. Through this service, the Canada Revenue Agency offers help to individuals to better understand their tax obligations and to obtain the benefits and credits to which they are entitled. Traditionally available in-person, this service is now available over the phone, and through webinar, where possible.

The Canada Revenue Agency fully expects that many community organizations are considering whether to significantly reduce or perhaps cancel the provision of services provided under the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. Additional efforts to encourage individuals to file their tax and benefit returns electronically, or where possible, through the File My Return service, will be put forward.

Role of Financial Institutions

The Minister of Finance is in regular contact with the heads of Canada’s large banks, and continues to encourage them to show flexibility in helping their customers whose personal or business finances are affected by COVID-19. The Superintendent of Financial Institutions has also made clear his expectation that banks will use the additional lending capacity provided by recent government actions to support Canadian businesses and households.

In response, banks in Canada have affirmed their commitment to working with customers to provide flexible solutions, on a case-by-case basis, for managing through hardships caused by recent developments. This may include situations such as pay disruption, childcare disruption, or illness. Canada’s large banks have confirmed that this support will include up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. These targeted measures respond to immediate challenges being faced across the country and will help stabilize the Canadian economy.

Mortgage Default Management Tools

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.

The Government, through CMHC, is providing increased flexibility for homeowners facing financial difficulties to defer mortgage payments on homeowner CMHC-insured mortgage loans. CMHC will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately.

Support to Businesses

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadian businesses facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 13, 2020, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz, and Superintendent of Financial Institutions Jeremy Rudin outlined a coordinated package of measures to support the functioning of markets, the resilience of our financial sector, and continued access to financing for Canadian businesses. These actions will significantly increase the availability of credit to businesses of all sizes, sustain liquidity in key financial markets, and provide flexibility to businesses experiencing hardship.

On March 18, 2020 the government and its partners announced further measures to support businesses. These actions are part of Canada’s whole-of-government response to COVID-19, and the significant stimulus program developed to stabilize Canada’s economy, support businesses and to protect Canadians.

Supporting Canadian Business through the Canada Account

The government is changing the Canada Account so that the Minister of Finance would now be able to determine the limit of the Canada Account in order to deal with exceptional circumstances. The Canada Account is administered by Export Development Canada (EDC) and is used by the government to support exporters when deemed to be in the national interest. This will allow the government to provide additional support to Canadian companies through loans, guarantees or insurance policies during these challenging times.

Helping Businesses Keep their Workers

To support businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs, the government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration. Employers benefiting from this measure will include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations and charities.

Flexibility for Businesses Filing Taxes

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.  This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. 

The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.

The Liaison Officer service offers help to owners of small businesses to understand their tax obligations. Traditionally available in-person, this service is now available over the phone and will be customizing information during these challenging times by ensuring small businesses are aware of any changes such as filing and payment deadlines, proactive relief measures, etc.

Ensuring Businesses Have Access to Credit

The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses. This will be an effective tool for helping viable Canadian businesses remain resilient during these very uncertain times. BDC and EDC are cooperating with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation and tourism. The near term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will also be increased through Farm Credit Canada.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced it is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25% of risk-weighted assets, effective immediately. This action will allow Canada’s large banks to inject $300 billion of additional lending in to the economy.

The Bank of Canada also took a series of actions to support the Canadian economy during this period of economic stress, enhance the resilience of the Canadian financial system, and help ensure that financial institutions can continue to extend credit to both households and businesses. This included cutting the interest rate to 0.75% as a proactive measure in light of the negative shocks to Canada’s economy arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent sharp drop in oil prices.

Supporting Financial Market Liquidity

As a further proactive and coordinated measure to bolster the financial system and the Canadian economy, the government announced on March 16 that it is launching an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP). Under this program, the government will purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This action will provide long-term stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders, help facilitate continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses, and add liquidity to Canada’s mortgage market. Details of the terms of the purchase operations will be provided to lenders by CMHC later this week.

The IMPP enhances the already substantial set of measures announced on March 13 to support the economy and the financial system. CMHC stands ready to further support liquidity and the stability of the financial markets through its mortgage funding programs as necessary.

Further, the Bank of Canada has announced that it will adjust its market liquidity operations to maintain market functioning and credit availability during the current period of uncertainty in which conditions are evolving rapidly.

The Bank of Canada also announced that it will broaden eligible collateral for its term repo facility to include the full range of collateral eligible under the Standing Liquidity Facility, with the exception of the non-mortgage loan portfolio. This expansion of eligible collateral will provide support to funding conditions for financial institutions by providing a backstop to regular private funding.

The Bank also announced that it stands ready, as a proactive measure, to provide support to the Canada Mortgage Bond (CMB) market so that this important funding market continues to function well. This would include, as required, purchases of CMBs in the secondary market. Similar to the increase in Government of Canada bond buybacks, this will support market liquidity and price discovery.

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