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Partly false claim: These are Canada’s measures amidst the Coronavirus outbreak

A viral claim on social media lists a series of measures allegedly implemented by the Canadian government to support the people amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. ( Examples here ,  here , here , here ) .  

Most of the posts with this claim replicate a now-deleted tweet from March 17, 2020 ( bit.ly/2Jm08H2 ).

The claim reads: “All schools in Canada are closed for the rest of the school year, each family will receive $950 every two weeks for the next 15 weeks, banks were notify (sic) to suspend mortgage payments for at least 6 months, and student loans deferred…”

Some of these claims are true, while others lack context or are false.

False: All schools in Canada are closed for the rest of the school year

As of March 25 there’s yet no indication of schools closing nationwide for the rest of the academic year. While Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan ( herehere ,  here ) have suspended classes indefinitely, this is not a measure taken by all provinces. For Ontario and Manitoba, the suspension was set to last for a couple of weeks ( herehere ).    

Partly false: Each family will receive C$950 every two weeks for the next 15 weeks

As part of its initial COVID-19 Economic Response Plan ( here ), the Canadian government had proposed an Emergency Care Benefit of up to C$900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks ( here ).  

An aid package approved on March 25 replaced this with the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which will provide a taxable benefit of C$2,000 a month for up to 4 months. According to the Canadian government, the CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their jobs, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. It would also cover workers who are still employed but are not receiving income because of disruptions due to COVID-19 ( here ).

If eligible, Canadians could receive this benefit between March 15 and October 3, 2020, within 10 days of application. More details on the application for CERB are available here .

True: Banks were notified to suspend mortgage payments for at least 6 months

Canada’s six largest banks (Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank) have announced their commitment to provide “flexible solutions” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic but “on a case-by-case basis.”  The Canadian government said this support “will include up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages.” ( here

According to a statement issued by the Canada Bankers Association (CBA), this mortgage deferral is available for an indefinite period for “all customers who are currently in good standing and have been impacted by COVID-19.”  The CBA also specifies this deferral is not “not mortgage forgiveness” and that the “interest which would otherwise be part of the deferred payments is added to the outstanding balance of the mortgage.”( here )

True: Students loans have been deferred

As part of the recently approved aid package ( here ), federal student loans will be paused free of interest from March 30 to September 30, 2020 ( here ).

The province of Alberta has mirrored this federal measure to its provincial student loans  ( here ).  

As of March 26, 2020 there were 3,555 cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 35 deaths ( here ). There are coronavirus cases in all 10 Canadian provinces.

VERDICT

Partly false: Not all schools in Canada have closed for the rest of the academic year, a monthly C$2000 benefit now exists subject to eligibility, some banks announced mortgage payment referral upon added interest, payment of federal student loans has been paused

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work  here .

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