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Consumer & Money

July 8, 2021

As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues, the CAFC wants to remind Canadians to remain vigilant and be on the lookout for ongoing frauds. Fraudsters are creative and want to profit from consumers' fears, uncertainties and misinformation.

There have been a number of scammers taking advantage of people’s worries about COVID-19. Protect yourself by being sceptical, relying only on trusted resources, and learning about common scams. See the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre’s (CAFC) COVID-19 page for a list of reported scams. 

The CAFC has reported a number of scams including:

  • Fake government information 
  • Unsolicited calls, emails or text requesting information or money
  • Fake charities asking for donations
  • People pretending to be someone’s grandchild and asking for money 

Remember that if you did not initiate the contact, you cannot really know who you are talking to. Be very skeptical about people asking for your social insurance number, address, health card, or credit card information. If they claim to be from a government institution or charity, contact that institution directly (using the contact number listed on their website, not the information provided by the person who called you) and ask whether the request is legitimate.

Know that currently there is no cure for COVID-19 and companies or individuals offering miracle cures, tests, or vaccines are likely not legitimate and you should be extremely sceptical.

Also, be aware of CERB scams! If you get a text message saying you received a deposit for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (or any other benefit), beware it is a scam! Do not reply or click on the link, delete the text and warn others. Government agencies like the CRA will not contact individuals via text message or any instant messaging service. Additionally, hundreds of Canadians have reported CERB identity fraud. Fraudsters with access to personal information including social security numbers and birthdates can register with your information and receive government benefits on your behalf. If your social insurance number (SIN) has been stolen or suspect it might be, you should contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218. Contact the CRA if you believe your account may be compromised. 

If you think you have been contacted by a scammer or have been the victim of a scam you should report the incident to your local police and to the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre

July 8, 2021

The Government of Canada recognizes that students and recent graduates are being significantly affected by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Explained briefly below are the federal government’s additional initiatives to support students.

Canada Student Loan Interest Suspension

Effective April 2021, the Government of Canada has suspended the accumulation of interest on Canada Student Loans until March 31, 2022. Subject to Parliament approval, the Government of Canada has proposed to extend this measure until March 31, 2023.

Canada Student Grant for Full-time Studies

This Grant is available to low and middle-income students who are in school full-time. If you are going to school part-time, see grant for part-time students. You could be eligible for this grant if you apply and have a financial need, are a full-time student in a qualified program at a designated school and your total family income is less than the income threshold set out by the government.

International Students

For information regarding international students in Canada and COVID-19, see Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): International students.


July 8, 2021

The BC Government has compiled a list of federal and provincial benefits HERE.

Both provincial and federal governments have provided a number of programs to financial support those affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. 

Since CERB has ended, the government has transitioned Canadians to an enhanced Employment Insurance program or various recovery benefits. These include:

In addition, there are a number of programs to help you out with rent, monthly bills, student loans, and taxes. For a full list of federal programs go HERE. For a full list of provincial programs go HERE.

July 8, 2021

ICBC is urging people to call their Autoplan broker to renew their insurance by phone. In-person insurance services are not available at this time. ICBC is also offering deferrals of Autoplan payments for those facing financial difficulties. For detailed information see the ICBC website or call 1-800-663-3051.

If you are on a monthly Autoplan payment plan and facing financial hardship due to COVID-19, you can request to defer your payments for up to 90 days with no penalty. Learn how to request a deferral HERE.

July 8, 2021

BC Hydro has a number of programs to assist customers during the crisis. Learn more about your options HERE.

Catch-up payment plans: If you can't pay the total amount owing, we can typically offer catch-up payment plans or flexible payment arrangements so that you can pay the overdue amount over time in a series of payments. Your bill will show the status of your catch-up payments and your regular billing amount, so that you'll know how much is due in your payment plan. To request a payment plan, call our customer team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376).

Defer a payment to a later date: If you're a residential customer and can't pay your bill by the due date, you may be eligible to defer the payment. You may still incur late payment charges. Request to defer a payment online or call BC Hydro at 1 800 BC Hydro (1 800 224 9376).

Customer Crisis Fund
If you're a residential customer experiencing a temporary financial crisis, such as a loss of employment or benefit income, unanticipated medical expenses, or a death in the family and you've fallen behind on your BC Hydro bill, you may be eligible for a grant payment to avoid disconnection of your service

Learn about the Customer Crisis Fund. BC Consumer Protection also provides a summary of the program HERE.

July 8, 2021

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made a number of changes due to the COVID-19 crisis. For a full list of changes, available benefits, and latest updates, go to COVID-19: Changes to Canadian taxes and benefits

Filing dates for 2020 taxes

  • Feb 22, 2021: Earliest you can file online
  • Mar 1, 2021: Deadline to contribute to a RRSP, PRPP, or SPP
  • Apr 30, 2021: Deadline to file your taxes (and deadline to pay your taxes)
  • Jun 15, 2021: Deadline to file your taxes if you or your spouse or common-law partner are self-employed
July 8, 2021

See Canada Student Loans – COVID-19 and StudentAidBC for recent information regarding student loan changes. 

Effective April 2021, the Government of Canada has suspended the accumulation of interest on Canada Student Loans until March 31, 2022. Subject to Parliament approval, the Government of Canada has proposed to extend this measure until March 31, 2023. See the National Student Loans Services Centre for more information.

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