Volume 43 | April 17, 2020
Hoback Electronic Herald
April 17, 2020

Dear Constituents,

On April 15th, the Government of Canada announced changes to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) that will allow more individuals to be eligible for financial support. The new changes will:

 * Allow individuals to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB;
 * Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19; and
 *  Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.

When the legislation to enact the CERB was initially before Parliament, Conservative MPs asked the Liberal Government if it would apply to seasonal workers. Initially, the Government said yes, but then backtracked, only to make changes weeks later. MPs will have to again return to Parliament to again change the eligibility to receive the CERB.

This concerning pattern of announcing programs, backtracking, and then changing eligibility has created confusion among Canadians struggling during this pandemic. The Government's communications and direction must be clear and consistent. That is yet to be the case.

If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 aid legislation passed by the federal government, please contact my Prince Albert office at
306-953-8622 or 1-800 939-0940, my Nipawin office at 306-862-2203, or via email at randy.hoback@parl.gc.ca . In addition, more information is available at  canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan .

I have also updated my website to include the latest information regarding the Government of Canada's COVID-19 response. You can access my site by clicking here or on the image of my website above.
Eligibility requirements of the Canada Emergency Business
Account (CEBA) changed this week
This week, the Government changed the eligibility requirements of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

To ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges, the Canada Emergency Business Account was created to provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.

Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).

The new eligibility requirements for the loan are as follows:

  • The Borrower is a Canadian operating business in operation as of March 1, 2020.
  • The Borrower has a federal tax registration.
  • The Borrower’s total employment income paid in the 2019 calendar year was between Cdn.$20,000 and Cdn.$1,500,000.
  • The Borrower has an active business chequing/operating account with the Lender, which is its primary financial institution. This account was opened on or prior to March 1, 2020 and was not in arrears on existing borrowing facilities, if applicable, with the Lender by 90 days or more as at March 1, 2020.
  • The Borrower has not previously used the Program and will not apply for support under the Program at any other financial institution.
  • The Borrower acknowledges its intention to continue to operate its business or to resume operations.
  • The Borrower agrees to participate in post-funding surveys conducted by the Government of Canada or any of its agents.

Small businesses and not-for-profits should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans.
Government Announces Intention to Create
Commercial Emergency Rent Assistance Program
The Government of Canada announced yesterday it intends to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program for small businesses.

The program will seek to provide loans and/or forgivable loans to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April, May, and June of this year.

Implementation of the program will require a partnership with provincial and territorial governments who are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships.

More details will be available soon.

Our Agricultural Sector and Food Supply Chain
Need Our Support
Over the past few weeks, a number of issues have risen in the agricultural sector due to the secondary effects of the COVID-19. These issues have the potential to cause economic harm to the agricultural sector and negatively affect the food supply in Canada.

Conservative MPs have been receiving phone calls and emails from farmers not able to qualify for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) after the federal Minister of Agriculture encouraged farmers to utilize the program. As a result, the Conservative Caucus has asked the Agriculture Minister to specify what the government is doing to help producers who do not qualify for the CEBA.

For weeks, agriculture stakeholders have been asking the federal government to make agriculture and food processing a mandatory and essential service. Four meat processing plants have either closed or reduced shifts during the pandemic. Yet for agriculture, the government continues to be reactive instead of proactive .

This must now change. It's time for the government to provide certainty to the agricultural sector, and to all Canadians.