During this time of uncertainty, our priority is ensuring the financial safety and well-being of our community. We have compiled a list of mortgage and financial-related resources that have been put together in response to COVID-19, and will continue to update this list daily.
- Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux released a forecast report based on the possibility of physical distancing lasting until August. This report predicted a jump in the national unemployment rate to 15 percent by the end of 2020.
- In response to this new information, the temporary wage subsidy previously announced by the federal government last week has increased from 10 percent to 75 percent.
- The government is also introducing a new Canada Emergency Business Account, which will provide loans of up to $40,000 for small-medium sized businesses. These loans will be interest-free for one year.
- More information on these new measures will be available on Monday, March 30.
March 25 Update: Canada introduces the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
- The benefit will provide up to $2000 monthly for up to four months (ending October 3, 2020).
- This is a taxable benefit for those who lose their income due to COVID-19.
- CERB is a combination between the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Response Benefit previously announced by the federal government.
- Eligibility includes those who have "lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures."
- CERB is available for wage earners as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not usually be eligible for EI.
- Those currently on EI are eligible to apply for the benefit once their EI benefits cease.
- The portal to access CERB will be available early April, and most applicants can expect to see their first payment within 10 days of their application.
Previous News Highlights:
- The Canadian-US border is now closed for ’non-essential’ travel, however trade remains open.
- The government is introducing a new Emergency Care Benefit that will provide up to $900 bi-weekly for those required to self-isolate, those taking care of family members with COVID-19 and parents unable to earn income while schools are closed.
- Unemployed workers without access to EI can receive financial assistance through a new Emergency Support Benefit.
- Income support for individuals who lose their jobs or have reduced hours as a result of COVID-19.
- Parents will see an increase in their Canada Child Benefit (CCB) by $300 per child as part of their May payment.
- A wage subsidy for businesses struggling with the economic impact of the pandemic is being considered.
- There is a 6 month interest-free moratorium on student loan payments for all students with a federal student loan currently in repayment. This will come into effect automatically, you do not need to apply.
Government of Alberta
March 25 Update: Albertans can now apply for the Emergency Isolation Support
- Albertans can apply for the one time payment of $1,146 through their MyAlberta Digital ID account. If you do not have an account, you can sign up using your Alberta driver’s license or ID card. The Alberta government has waived the 10 day verification code process.
- Eligibility includes those with significant or total loss of income for the following reasons:
- You have been diagnosed with COVID-19
- You have been directed by health authorities to self-isolate
- You are the sole caregiver of a dependent in self-isolation
- The Government of Alberta has introduced a $50 million Emergency Isolation Support for working Albertans who must self-isolate in the form of a one-time payment of $1,146. This is to help bridge the gap between now and when federal emergency payments begin in April.
- Payments for natural gas/electricity can be deferred for residential customers for up to 90 days.
- Student loan payments will be paused for 6 months. This will come into effect automatically, you do not need to apply.
City of Edmonton
March 24 Update: Edmonton shuts down playgrounds and service counters
- The City of Edmonton has shut down all playgrounds city wide, effective immediately
- Park spaces surrounding parks will remain open while the playgrounds are blockaded
- Spray parks will not be open on their typical mid-May schedule this year
- Some picnic tables in local parks will be removed so that the ones remaining are further apart
- Sledding hills are closed, effective immediately. The city will also no longer maintain cross-country ski trails
- ETS airport bus route 747 is suspended, effective immediately (but will remain open as a charter for those who work at the airport or in the vicinity)
- Service counters for the following will be closed, effective immediately:
- Edmonton Service Centre
- Edmonton City Hall Service Counter
- The Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board front counter
- Reuse, EcoStations and Recycling Centres
March 20 Update: Edmonton declares local state of emergency
- Part of the Edmonton Expo Centre will be converted to accommodate Edmonton’s vulnerable population, including the homeless.
- The council voted to defer property tax payments for those in need. Tax payments can be made up to September 30, 2020 with no late fees. This will not happen automatically; approval will be required by the city. Further details are pending.
- The council also voted to defer city utility fees between March 18 and July 18, but this is not guaranteed until an agreement is in place between the city, the Alberta Utility Commission and utility providers. This is also not automatic - you will be required to obtain approval from your provider prior to deferring your payments.
- Fare collection on all ETS buses, LRT and DATS services is suspended as of Saturday, March 21.
- Edmonton City Hall is closed to the public, effective immediately.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
Latest Update: March 24 article, written by CMHC CEO and President Evan Siddall
- CMHC is working alongside the federal and provincial governments to ensure no evictions take place due to COVID-19
- The organization’s goal is to ensure consistency in housing relief across Canada
- CMHC is offering mortgage deferrals to people and housing providers who need it, as well as relief to multi-unit landlord clients
Support for Mortgage Holders
Contact Information: 1-800-332-8383 or contact form
Bank of Montreal (BMO)
Contact Information: 1-877-788-1923
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
Contact Information: 1-877-454-9030
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
Contact Information: Online booking tool to schedule a phone call, or 1-866-809-5800
Contact Information: 1-800-472-6842
Update on Mortgage Deferrals:
- Those financially affected by COVID-19 can defer their mortgage payments for up to 6 months. There is no credit application required, rather you will be asked a series of questions about how you have been affected.
- Interest will continue to accrue during this time. The total interest will be added to your principal, which means that future payments will be higher than they were before the deferral.
- This does mean that you will end up paying more interest over the course of your mortgage, however this does help with short-term cash flow if you are having financial difficulties.
- Scotiabank has requested that the mortgage holder contact them directly at 1-800-472-6842
- Scotia will be adding an online portal in the near future to help mitigate the volume of phone calls they are receiving
- In addition to your primary residence, you can also request to defer your mortgage payments for up to 3 rental/secondary properties
Contact Information: 1-866-222-3456
Additional Financial Institutions
Contact Information: 1-800-263-8349 or [email protected]
Contact Information: 1-866-243-4301 or [email protected]
Contact Information: 1-888-995-2657 or [email protected]
Contact Information: 1-888-334-3313 or [email protected]
Contact Information: 1-866-557-5509 or [email protected]
Contact Information: 1-855-270-3630 or [email protected]
Contact Information: 1-877-765-2265
Contact Information: 1-877-637-4911 or [email protected]
Contact Information: CWB - 780-423-8888 or [email protected], Optimum - 1-866-441-3775
Contact Information: 1-877-378-8728
If you are a client of Innovative Mortgage Solutions and you would like to get in direct contact with your lender but you are unsure of the details you will need to provide them, we can pull your file from our records and provide you with as much information as possible. Simply call our office at 780-416-1085 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch with you.