The following information was collected from the CRA Twitter account 23-04-2020

Are you applying for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)? Get ready to apply on April 27th, 2020:

Rightwards arrow Sign up for My Business Account [click here]

Rightwards arrow Calculate your CEWS using our CEWS Calculator [click here]


A message from Heather Howard CBA Chamber Executive Director

Hello everyone,
I hope that you are well.

DISCLAIMER: This message is intended to inform you of the information I received today and is NOT MEANT TO REPLACE ANY RELEASES (current or future) from the Federal Government or CRA and verification from your accountant. Answers to these questions are subject to official confirmation from CRA or the Federal Government in future releases.

Today April 23rd 2020, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce hosted a Network Update call with Chambers and members – special guests on this call included:

  • Ted Gallivan, Assistant Commissioner of the Compliance Program Branch at CRA
  • Randy Hewlett, Director General, Legislative Policy Directorate at CRA
Over 250 organizations tuned into this call and upwards of 100 questions related primarily to CEWS were submitted prior to and during the live call. All questions were not answered.
 The following are my notes from this call.
Noteworthy from the call:

    • Today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced their initial plans for re-opening the provincial economy. Over the next several weeks, restrictions will gradually be lifted, with more businesses being allowed to re-open. Social distancing requirements will remain in place. The first re-opening phase begins on May 4.


    • Visit the Canadian Business Resilience Network website CBRN.ca . The Policy page was highlighted [click here] – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is looking for feedback for economic recovery plan.



    • CRA notes an additional(?) 2000 agents on call center lines and boasts short wait time currently. It is “important to understand the program before applying” and that the call center is one way to achieve this.


    • There will soon be an extensive CEWS FAQ section on the CRA website. This will allow some “self-help” assistance in determining eligibility


    • Applications for CEWS will open April 27th. No processing will occur until May 4th


    • CRA will be using telephone and email to get clarity from applicants regarding their eligibility in order to release the funds as quickly as possible. Direct deposits will not be immediate – allow a few days to see a deposit for those already connected to CRA


    • Complex issues surrounding the eligibility of some companies will be dealt with “post-audit” – likely sometime in June. It will be a “timely audit program.


    • The interplay between CEWS eligibility & CERB : Employees receiving CERB will not impact on eligibility of CEWS. There must be a recognition that CERB will need to be repaid. Instructions for repayment will be provided with as little red tape as possible.


    • Are new hires eligible? New hires at arm’s length can be eligible even if they weren’t working before March 15- Remuneration for the qualifying period is required.


    • CRA My Business Account can be enrolled via telephone. Phone agents can provide pin over the phone. To date, if you apply online – your PIN will be mailed out via Canada Post.


    • Question related to wage garnishment: Full stop? “Collection is at critical service posture. Best left to a case by case. Payment of CERB & subsidy should flow.”


    • Question regarding part-time employees qualifying for CEWS? If there was a period of 14 or more consecutive days in that qualifying period where they did not receive any pay – the employee is not eligible.


    • Are employees that have been laid of for more than 14 days eligible? Yes, if wages start from the date of rehire.


    • Accounting question -accrual method vs cash: Can a business switch from the traditional method of accounting for a business? CRA notes: “use the normal method”


    • Payroll question: Bi-monthly pay-periods don’t match with CEWS qualifying period. CRA notes “hope to demystify through CRA tools” and that the issue is “under active consideration” Employers should make best efforts to align. “Employers do not need to change pay periods” They should “Use ratios.” and “The calculator as a tool used to estimate.” “Mathematical gymnastics might be required”  They are not looking to penalize the business owner who is off by a day because of this.

Many additional case-by-case type questions were asked during the call however I was unable to note direct answers for all questions asked. We are looking forward to the FAQ section related to CEWS to be released “in the coming days” on the CRA website.


If you are a business in the Conception Bay Area and you have questions about CEWS or need help navigating the process – please reach out. The Chamber is here to help connect you with any available resources.



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