New federal measures to support COVID-19 response

Published March 11, 2020

The Canadian government is launching a $1-billion fund to support the domestic and global response to COVID-19.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the support package in a press conference in Ottawa on March 11. An official statement on the government of Canada’s COVID-19 response is available on the prime minister’s website.

What will this mean for foodservice?

Federal funding is being directed toward a number of measures, including some which will help restaurants and other small businesses support their staff while continuing to safeguard the health and safety of their customers:

  • Employment insurance sickness benefits. The one-week waiting period to apply for employment insurance will be waived for those who cannot work due to COVID-19.
  • Sustained communications and public education. A total of $50 million in federal funding is being allocated toward ensuring the public is kept informed and understands what to do about COVID-19 in Canada
  • Increased access to credit and flexible tax payment arrangements. Should the economy experience tightening credit conditions, the federal government has committed to strengthen investment in federal lending agencies so that businesses will have access to credit if needed. In addition, flexible arrangements could be made for businesses trying to meet payment obligations to the Canada Revenue Agency.

Many of the measures being introduced reflect the recommendations of Restaurants Canada.

Next steps

Restaurants Canada is continuing to work with all levels of government, along with various coalitions of industry allies, to ensure the concerns of the foodservice community are being addressed as part of the ongoing response to this evolving public health situation.

If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Federal and Quebec, at

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