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COVID-19: A roundup of economic relief measures for Saskatchewan

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Saskatchewan government has announced a number of emergency measures to support residents affected by the pandemic. Below is a roundup. We will update this as things change or new measures are added.

Please see the federal COVID-19 support program measures here.

Updated: April 17, 2020

Pandemic Physician Services Agreement

 

What is it?

  • The Ministry of Health, the Saskatchewan Medical Association, and the Saskatchewan Health Authority have determined rates for the agreements during the pandemic to allow for stability and flexibility of physician services and facilitate redeployment of physicians as needed.

When is it in effect?

  • April 6, 2020 – June 30, 2020.

Temporary video and telephone assessment billing codes

 

 

What is it?

  • The Saskatchewan Medical Association has secured a temporary payment for pandemic telephone assessment (510A) for direct patient care provided by physicians over the telephone and pandemic video assessment (515A) for care provided via video conferencing.

When is it in effect?

  • March 13, 2020.

Child care options

What is it?

  • The government of Saskatchewan is re-purposing child care facilities in schools to provide child care services.

Who’s eligible?

  •  Support staff in health care and other employees who are delivering services related to the pandemic response.

When is it in effect?

  • March 23, 2020.

Self-Isolation Support Program

 

 

What is it?

  • Support of $450 a week (up to 2 weeks or $900).

Who’s eligible?

  • Workers required to self-isolate who are not covered by Employment Insurance or eligible for compensation from their employer or private insurance. Designed so every Saskatchewan resident is covered by either a federal or provincial program. 

How to apply

Emergency leave job protection

 

What is it?

  • Amendments to the Saskatchewan Employment Act so employees can access unpaid public health emergency leave.
  • Removal of the requirement of 13 consecutive weeks of employment with an employer prior to accessing sick leave.
  • Removal of the provision requiring a doctor's note or certificate.

When is it in effect?

  • March 6, 2020.

Changes to employment standard regulations

 

What is it?

  • Businesses do not have to give notice or pay in lieu when staff is being laid off for 12 weeks or less in a 16-week period. Once a layoff exceeds 12 weeks within the 16-week period from when the layoff started and the employee is not reinstated, pay instead of notice is due.

When is it in effect?

  • March 19, 2020.

WCB premiums relief

What is it?

  • The Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board (WCB) is waiving premium penalties for employers.

Who’s eligible?

  • Saskatchewan employers.

When is it effective?

  • April 1 until June 30, 2020.

Evictions suspended

 

What is it?

  • A temporary halt on evictions for tenants who are unable to pay their rent during the state of emergency. Tenants will be expected to pay their rent in full once the state of emergency is over.

When is this in effect?

  • March 26, 2020.

Student loan relief

What is it?

  • Similar to the federal provision, a six-month student loan repayment moratorium has been implemented. Students who are able and wish to continue making payments should contact the National Student Loan Service Centre: 1 888 815-4514.

When is it in effect?

  • March 30 to September 30, 2020.

Utility relief

What is it?

  • A zero-interest bill deferral for up to six months for Saskatchewan customers whose ability to make bill payments may be impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.

Who’s eligible?

  • Crown utility customers. 

How to apply

  • Check with your utility provider.

Property tax deadline extended

 

What is it?

  • Property tax payments deadlines extended until September 30 in Regina and Saskatoon.
PST Remittance Deferral and Audit Suspension

What is it?

  • Relief from penalty and interest charges for three months on unremitted Provincial Sales Tax payments.
  • Audit program and compliance activities have been suspended.

Who’s eligible?

  • Saskatchewan businesses who are unable to remit their PST due to cashflow concerns.

When is it in effect?

  • Immediately.

How to apply

  • Businesses that are unable to file their provincial tax return(s) by the due date may submit a request for relief from penalty and interest charges on the return(s) affected.
  • Applications for waivers of penalties and interest can be made electronically, by email or in writing.

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If you have any questions about these measures, please contact your MD Advisor*. 

* MD Advisor refers to an MD Management Limited Financial Consultant or Investment Advisor (in Quebec), or an MD Private Investment Counsel Portfolio Manager.

Banking and credit products and services are offered by The Bank of Nova Scotia “Scotiabank.” Credit and lending products are subject to credit approval by Scotiabank.