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Federal Government Wage Subsidy Updates

Information on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

CEWS was announced by the Federal government on March 27 to help employers keep and return workers to their payroll through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CEWS is meant to provide a 75 per cent wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. 

On April 8, Finance Canada updated the eligibility requirements, stating that employers will now only have to show that they have experienced a 15 per cent reduction in revenue in March 2020 to claim the subsidy (instead of a 30 per cent reduction in March as originally envisioned).

However, for the months after March, one must show a 30 per cent loss in revenue.

As the government explains on its website, for example, if revenues in March 2020 were down 20 per cent compared to March 2019, an employer would be allowed to claim the CEWS on remuneration paid between March 15 and April 11, 2020. 

Alternatively, an employer could use its average revenue from the months of January and February 2020, instead of March 2019, to determine if it is eligible for the CEWS.

However, it is important to note that once an approach is chosen, an employer would have to apply it throughout the program period.

The government also clarified today that employers would be allowed to calculate their revenues under the accrual method or the cash method, but not a combination of both. Employers would select an accounting method when first applying for the CEWS and would be required to use that method for the entire duration of the program.

The table below outlines each claiming period, the required reduction in revenue and the reference period for eligibility. You can also click here to visit the website.

Furthermore, if you have incorporated as a Personal Real Estate Corporation (PREC) and receive a wage from your PREC, CEWS may be worth pursuing, particularly if you have seen a drop in your income but not a complete halt. However, if you have not set-up a PREC, it does not mean you cannot apply for CEWS.

Since all the rules have not yet been made available from government, the Board recommends that Realtors should consult an accountant or a financial expert should they have any questions/concerns about the application process, eligibility requirements, and other related aspects.

All the details pertaining to CEWS including eligibility guidelines, timelines and other information can be found here.

Government of BC opens applications to renters for temporary rental support

Renters who are experiencing a loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for the Province’s new temporary rental supplement.

The program will provide $300 per month for eligible households with no dependents and $500 per month for eligible households with dependents. Eligible roommates will each be able to apply for the supplement.

The supplement will be available for April, May and June 2020. Renters who are eligible for the program and have already paid their April rent are still able to receive the rental supplement for this month.

This announcement from the Province comes after the government recently halted evictions, froze rent increases for existing tenants, and gave renters the right to control who enters their units, except in emergency circumstances.

The government also recently allowed landlords the ability to restrict the use of common areas to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.

For more information, including specific eligibility criteria, click here.

For ongoing FVREB updates on COVID-19, please visit:

Additional COVID-19 resources: