Help and Benefits

Help and Benefits

Update 3 from HBPA Board of Directors

By HBPA-BC VP Gary Johnson

As owners and trainers it is still not clear what we may see as direct Federal government assistance.  We are all in a bit of a unique situation as our racing season hasn’t started.  I go through all press releases every day to see if somethings may apply.  I think it is a matter of time that some of these programs that are being announced will be clear enough for us to see if we are covered in some way.  Stay tuned.


In the meantime for those who have lost their job because of COVID 19 or who are in self-isolation, quarantine or are looking after children due to school closures etc. The following may apply to you.


Finally, we are seeing some of the details about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit of $500 per week.  The BC Emergency Benefit for Worker ties into the CERB as well so I will try to lay out as many details as I can.  


First qualifying for the CERB seems to be pretty simple.  The federal government has broken it down for two categories of Canadians.  Those facing unemployment or are unemployed since March 15 and those who are sick, quarantined or have been directed to self-isolate. 


Here are quotes from the Federal website. 


Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Who is eligible

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old; 

  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;

  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and

  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income.

Apparently, the signup for the benefit will be done by the month you were born.  January, February and March sign up was Monday, April 6.  Tuesday will be April, May and June birthdates.  July, August and September will be Wednesday, followed by October, November and December on Thursday.


I could not find information about if you were unable to apply today and whether you will have to wait until next week to apply or not.  So this is important.  According to news reports there may be a wait online or if you use the telephone application system.  Good luck.


If you have applied for Employment Insurance go to the following page for more information.  You cannot collect both benefits at the same time.  But there are some rules that may apply to you.   


Q&A on CERB and EI

Finally, here is the link to the CERB application.  Read carefully and make application as soon as you can.

CERB Application


BC Emergency Benefit for Workers

The BC Emergency Benefit for Workers is a one-time payment of $1000 for those who lose income due to COVID 19.  From what I can find it will seems to mean that if you qualify for the CERB or Employment Insurance you will get this payment.  At this time there is no link to an application form.  I will post in an update when it is found.


Other BC Benefits – the provincial government has several other programs that may apply to you.  I found there website quite helpful.  Here is a link to the BC Government COVID 19 site :

Provincial Support and Information

Remember you must have a Service Canada account or a CRA account.  The following still applies to open an account.  Please do so ASAP.

I realized that there is an easier way to sign up for your account. 

Just click on the link below and it will take you to the correct page.  Ignore my earlier directions.      

Personal taxes, credits, Canada Child Benefit – CRA my Account

Business taxes, payroll, GST/HST – CRA My Business Account

Click on one of these links – CRA My Account or CRA My Business Account.

Use option 2 CRA register, follow the instructions and get this done ASAP.

Note there is one more link there if you need to represent a loved one, friend or someone who cannot do this for themselves.  Just follow the instructions.


Tuesday, March 31

Update 2 from HBPA Board of Directors

By HBPA-BC  Gary Johnson  VP HBPA-BC

Government programs are still being announced.  Few details so far.  The most recent announcements by the Federal Government in the last couple of days were two-fold in nature.  First there will be a ban on anyone with COVID 19 or flu symptoms allowed on domestic flights starting at noon on Monday. (Check out Transport Canada website for details over the weekend).  Second the government moved one of its programs from a 10% wage subsidy to up to 75% wage subsidy for laid off employees and those who may be laid off.  Details will not be known until later next week so it is hard to understand what this will actually mean (surprise more details below).  As soon as additional information becomes available we will post here. 

Again the need to have a CRA account (My Account for individuals and My Business Account for businesses) is becoming more and more important to ensure any benefit(s) you are entitled to are paid as fast as possible. 


Go to

Choose ñ English or French language

From the options listed choose click on the sign into an account link and you will see the following. 

          Most Frequently accessed accounts      


          My Accounts with CRA

          Personal taxes, credits, Canada Child Benefit ñ CRA my Account

          Business taxes, payroll, GST/HST ñ CRA My Business Account


Click on one of these links ñ CRA My Account or CRA My Business Account. 

Use option 2 CRA register, follow the instructions and get this done ASAP. 

Note there is one more link there if you need to represent a loved one, friend or someone who cannot do this for themselves.  Just follow the instructions .

Government Program updates (as of 8:30 AM)

There have been several announcements of significant additional/changes to government programs.  We will try to keep you abreast of those announcements.  Unfortunately, some of these programs are big but without sufficient detail to figure out if they are truly applicable to you as a trainer, owner, groom or other race track worker.


  1. 75% wage subsidy -apparently there will be further details coming but the Prime Minister did say today that there were many questions about this program and he would try to answer some of those questions.

    1. Size of company ñ they are not judging the company on employee size.  If you have 1 or 1000 employees then this subsidy will be available.

    2. Maximum amount of benefit ñ the 75% would be to a maximum of about $44,000 per employee at $847 per week.  He also said that employers could top up or pay just the 75% subsidy.  This is certainly much different than what was understood earlier.

    3. He warned that companies/employers will be trusted but there will be safeguards in place to catch cheaters.  This appeared to say you will be punished if you cheat on this.

    4. The PM reiterated that this would be retroactive to March 15.

    5. Finance Minister Morneau will be releasing more details tomorrow April 1. 


 There will be additional news conferences today/tomorrow/this week spelling out more details.  What this says to us is that these programs are going to be much further reaching and available to us within the horse racing industry than previously thought.


Industry Programs  
Don"t forget there are three aid programs announced for owners, trainers and breeders.  Go to the HBPABC website for further information.

March 27, 2020
Update 1 from HBPA Board of Directors with regards to the Corona Virus


By HBPA-BC VP Gary Johnson  

We have never faced such a difficult and unsettling time in our history.  While it may look like the sky is falling be assured we are working behind the scenes and with every tool at our disposal to try to mitigate this situation.  There some information that you should be aware of.


Government programs are being announced and changed almost daily.  We are posting in this newsletter today the most recent programs we could find links to, with, a bit of an explanation where possible (explanation in red). 


Most government assistance will not be forthcoming until after April 6.  Even then we do not know how much time will be needed to get money in your pockets.  Some programs explain when the money will be paid or credited.


We will be working with industry partners to talk to government on what they can do for all of us as we go forward. 


One thing is crystal clear.  You will need to apply for these “benefits” and the Prime Minister said this morning that the best way to do that will be to create your own Canada Revenue Agency account so you can access their portal when it comes available.  So, go to and click on the sign into an account link, then you will find the following.


Most frequently accessed accounts 


Click on one of these links – CRA My Account or CRA My Business Account and then signup.  Use option 2 CRA register and get this done ASAP

Here are the programs announced by government(s) so far.  We will update this as soon as possible when or if it should change.

British Columbia Government
B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a one-time $1,000 payment to people who lost income because of COVID-19.

  • B.C. residents who receive federal Employment Insurance, or the new federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit are eligible

  • Applications for the one-time payment will open soon

  • The one-time payment will be paid in May 2020 effectively this will be paid  if you are eligible for the Federal program you will get this $1000  Details not known yet.

Climate Action Tax Credit

A one-time enhancement to the climate action tax credit will be paid in July 2020 for moderate to low-income families:

  • An adult will receive up to $218.00 (increased from $43.50)

  • A child will receive $64.00 (increased from $12.75)


Renters, Homeowners and People Experiencing Homelessness

Funding for housing supports are increased to ensure people can maintain their housing in the event of job or income loss.

Support details for renters, landlords during COVID-19

This comprehensive package supports renters by:

  • halting new and active evictions, except for exceptional circumstances, so that no one is evicted because of COVID-19 and people can remain in their homes during this crisis;

  • helping renters pay a portion of their rent each month through a new temporary rental supplement of up to $500 per month, building on other federal and provincial financial supports;

  • freezing annual rent increases to ensure that landlords cannot apply an annual rent increase for existing tenants during the COVID-19 crisis;

  • supporting tenants in social distancing and self-isolation by providing them the right to prevent landlords from accessing rental units without the tenant’s consent (for example, for showings or routine maintenance), except in exceptional cases where access is needed to respond to urgent health and safety concerns or to prevent undue damage to the unit;

  • restricting methods of service for Residential Tenancy Branch disputes or notices to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (no in-person service) and allowing service by email; and

  • allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.

The new changes support landlords by:

  • providing a new temporary rental supplement of up to $500 per month, which will be paid directly to landlords, ensuring they continue to receive rental income during the pandemic;

  • preserving the ability for landlords to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for permission to issue a notice to end tenancy in exceptional circumstances, for example when the safety of landlord or other tenants is at risk;

  • allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19; and

  • restricting methods of service for Residential Tenancy Branch disputes or notices to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (no in-person service) and allowing service by email.

B.C. Student Loans

Starting March 30, 2020, B.C. student loan payments are automatically frozen for six months. 


Monthly Bills

BC Hydro

  • Customers can defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty through the COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program call them on their 1800 BCHYDRO for both programs

  • Customers experiencing job loss, illness or lost wages due to COVID-19 can access grants up to $600 to pay their hydro bills through the Customer Crisis Fund


  • Customers on a monthly payment plan who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19 may defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty – can renew drivers’ license, by phone, or on website, enhanced drivers’ licenses suspended


Federal Government

Support for individuals

Support for individuals and families


Support for people who are sick, quarantined, or in directed self-isolation

Support for people who are unable to work

  • The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit  $2000 per month for workers who are not working because of COVID 19 and self-employed or contract workers for 4 months.  Web based or toll free number still to be set up.  Note government said should have direct deposit so it can be sent electronically so as not to delay payment.  April 6 is start date and there will be more coming out.

Support for people who need it most

Support for seniors

Support for students and recent graduates


Support to businesses

Avoiding layoffs

Access to credit

Support for farmers

Supporting financial stability

More flexibility

That’s everything for today.  Get your CRA registration done as soon as possible.  If you need more information click on the links above and they will take you to the relevant web-pages on government sites.

PDF fornat of "Help and Benefits"