News Article

April 13 COVID-19 Update

April 13, 2020

COVID-19 Update - April 13

During the COVID-19 pandemic we will be providing daily updates to our members with concise, relevant information they need for their businesses, employees and personal health.
For a list of industry resources, government programs, FAQs and more, visit our dedicated COVD-19 website at
For more frequent updates please follow us on Twitter @WCANews.
For past editions of these bulletins please visit the News section on our website.
If you have any questions about the pandemic, please email our COVID-19 hotline at

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy receives Royal Assent

On Saturday, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy passed through both the House of Commons and the Senate, receiving Royal Assent. While we've covered most of the details around the CEWS over the past couple of weeks, here's a handy breakdown on what we already knew, what knew measures were introduced, and what we're still waiting to find out.

What We Already Knew
  • All businesses, regardless of size, that can demonstrate they meet the revenue loss threshold are eligible
  • The revenue loss threshold is broken down in this table:

  • The subsidy will cover the 75% of the first $58,700 of employees' salaries, up to a maximum of $847/week per employee
  • Businesses may choose to demonstrate their lost revenue through either the accrual accounting or cash accounting method, but not a mixture of both
  • Businesses eligible for the CEWS will be entitled to receive a 100% refund on employer-paid contributions to EI and CPP. This refund would apply to the entire amount on employer-paid contributions paid to furloughed employees, making it easy and cost-effective to rehire people who were laid off.

  • Applications will be done through an online CRA portal, which will open soon.

  • Money is expected to start flowing in 2-4 weeks

What we learned over the weekend
  • Once businesses choose a reference period to show their lost revenue (either March - May 2019 or Jan-Feb 2020) they will have to use that reference period for each claiming period
  • Employers will be required to repay amounts paid under the CEWS if they do not meet eligibility requirements. Fraudulent claims will result in fines or imprisonment. Employers engaging in artificial transaction to reduce revenue for the purpose of claiming the CEWS will be subject to a penalty equal to 25% of the value of the subsidy claimed (along with the amount of the subsidy)
  • The subsidy counts as government assistance, and will be included in the employers taxable income
  • In order to provide certainty to employers, once a business is found eligible for a specific period, they will automatically qualify for the next period. Here's an example from the government:

    ABC Inc. is a start-up that started its operations last September.  It reported revenues of $100,000 in January and $140,000 in February, for a monthly average of $120,000. In March, its revenues dropped to $90,000. Because revenues in March are 25%  lower than $120,000, ABC Inc. would be eligible for the CEWS for the first and second claiming period. To be eligible for the third claiming period, ABC Inc. revenues would have to be $84,000 or less for the month of April or May (that is, 30% lower than $120,000).

The amount of wage subsidy (provided under the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan) received by the employer in a given month is ignored for the purpose of measuring year-over-year changes in monthly revenues. 

What we're still waiting to find out

The biggest piece of information we are waiting on is when applications will open. The government has only said they will be accepting applications "shortly".

In order to make sure you're ready, we suggest making sure you have access to your business CRA MyAccount service, as it appears that's what will be used to process applications.


Province to provide CEWS application support

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced on Monday the province has contracted local call centre 24-7 Intouch to help inform and assist local businesses about both the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Business Account.

While we're still waiting on details about this program, Pallister mentioned 24-7 Intouch would be taking in-bound calls to help businesses with their applications. We're hopeful this service can help businesses easily apply and receive the help they need.


More Hand Sanitizer Available

WCA has received another shipment of Hand Sanitizer from Patent 5 Distillery. We're selling it at cost ($10/250 ml bottle) to members.

As demand is currently incredibly high, we're limiting member companies to 10 bottles each at this time. Any transactions for more than 10 bottles will be cancelled.

In order to make sure these bottles are going out to members, you'll need to log in to your WCA account to access the order form. The link below will take you to the order form and prompt you to sign in.

You can access the order form here.

COVID-19 Free Webinars from TDS Law

WCA is hosting two free webinars hosted by TDS Law next week


COVID-19 Impact on the Workplace

Tuesday, April 21 @ 8:30 (45 minutes)
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant, unprecedented impact to the workforce. Join TDS as they discuss a number of labour and employment topics; such as the process of lay-offs and human rights issues, what to do if an employee refuses to come to work because of COVID-19, and practices to put in place if an employee test positive.

Click here to register for free

COVID-19 & Contracts: Force Majeure?

Thursday, April 23 @ 8:30 (45 minutes)
Can you get out of a contract due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Join TDS as they discuss the force majeure clause and contractual aspects impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
We will also review the impact COVID-19 has on liens and claims for payment. And we’ll look at practical solutions to work with the recent changes at the Land Titles Office and Queen’s Bench.

Click here to register for free