The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and the Lockdown Support subsidy through to October 23, 2021 is now law. The same extensions for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and an increase in the maximum number of weeks the CRB may be claimed to 54 (from 50) are also now enacted. In addition, the minimum rate of $300 for certain employment insurance (EI) claimants comes into force on September 26, 2021.

Regulations to enact these changes were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II on September 1, 2021.

New regulations — COVID-19 relief

These regulations extend the CEWS, CERS, Lockdown Support, CRB, CRCB, and CRSB to October 23, 2021 (from September 25, 2021).

These regulations also provide that the CEWS and CERS rate of up to a maximum of 40% of eligible wages or eligible rent or property expenses remains from August 29, 2021 until September 25, 2021 (instead of being reduced to 20%). For the new extended period of September 26, 2021 to October 23, 2021 (i.e., period 21), a maximum CEWS and CERS rate of 20% will apply and the Lockdown Support will continue to apply at a rate of 25%.

In addition, these regulations allow certain organizations that were not carrying on a business or otherwise carrying on ordinary activities on March 1, 2019 to use the alternative approach to calculate revenue declines for March 14 to July 3, 2021 (i.e., periods 14 to 17) for the CEWS, CERS and CRHP, even if they had previously elected to use the general approach after July 5, 2020 (i.e., period 5 onward). The alternative approach compares an employer's monthly revenues to the average of its January 2020 and February 2020 revenues.

These regulations also increase the maximum number of weeks available for the CRB to 54 weeks (from 50 weeks) at a rate of $300 per week. In addition, these regulations bring into force a minimum benefit rate of $300 for regular EI benefits for claimants whose benefit period begins between September 26, 2021 and November 20, 2021.

For more information on these changes, see TaxNewsFlash-Canada 2021-43, "Canada extends rent and wage subsidies to October 2021", or contact your KPMG adviser.

Information is current to September 6, 2021. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's National Tax Centre at 416.777.8500