Message from James Barry re: Update from Federal Government After Passing Bill C-13

RECENT NEWS: James Barry Responds to Decision of Provincial Government to Deem Construction as Essential

Read the letter here: IBEW Response to Ontario Govt Re: Construction Workplaces as Essential Workplaces

UPDATE: March 25, 2:18:26 PM

Message from Executive Secretary Treasurer, James Barry:

Below is the update from the federal government after passing Bill C-13, The COVID-19 Emergency Response Act.  The province is introducing their economic statement later this afternoon, and we will send another update once it is tabled.


The federal government has introduced a new program to help individuals and families survive the economic fallout from the Covid19 pandemic, even as its initial $82 Billion aid plan was receiving Parliamentary approval. The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit was unveiled this morning by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at his daily televised  briefing on the pandemic:

  • The new benefit will pay each recipient $2,000 a month for four months. It is targeted for people who have lost all their income, either because they have been laid-off, have had to take time off to look after children or elderly or other relatives or because they are self-employed and their income has disappeared.  The government said that an online application will be available by April 6, and the PM committed to having cheques in the mail within 10 days of application.
  • The bill enhances the direct assistance portion of the federal government’s $27Billion dollars. Direct assistance will now total $52Billion, combined with the $55Billion in delayed tax collections to keep liquidity in the stumbling economy and now approved today by Parliament.
  • Total federal commitments to counter COVID-19 now total $107Billion, and Trudeau said today there will be additional aid coming in the days ahead, adding to the total spending on the pandemic.
  • The delay in passing the initial aid package came after the Liberal minority government tried to include a provision that would have enabled them to make tax and spending changes without Parliamentary approval until the end of 2021. Lead by the Conservatives, the Opposition Parties resisted the original provision.  A compromised was finally reached where the Government will have to achieve Parliamentary approval for spending, the first time no later than September 30th.

Among other developments today in Ottawa:

  • Starting at midnight tonight Canadians returning to this country will be forced to undergo mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days.  Until now the 14 day self was recommended but not enforceable. Now under the Quarantine Act it will be enforceable.
  • Also today, Finance Minister  Bill Morneau said a special aid package will be unveiled to help the energy industry, which has been hit by the double whammy of the Pandemic and a staggering drop in world oil prices.  Morneau also said he is with working with the Canadian Banks to provide credit support for small and medium sized business in these chaotic times.

James Barry
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario