March 20, 2020
Hon. Bill Morneau
Minister of Finance
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Re: Request for the Immediate Allowance of Tax-Free Withdrawals from RRSPs for the next 90 Days.
Dear Minister Morneau,
On behalf of our 94 member chambers and network of 16,000 businesses in Atlantic Canada, we would like to thank the Federal government, yourself and your staff for the strong commitment of support to the public and the business community. The current and future impacts of attempts to curtail the spread of COVID-19 are huge and as a group we commend your initial efforts.
We also recognize the limitations of what government can do in the form of direct support to personal and commercial finances. To that end, the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce is asking the Government of Canada to consider allowing for immediate tax-free withdrawals from RRSPs for a period of 90 days up to a maximum of $10,000. Such an initiative could assist people and business owners to help themselves and potentially forestall an increase in bankruptcies.
In addition, this type of allowance will put more money into the economy and potentially fill the gap between the announcement of support measures this week and the receipt of funds to pay obligations.
We do not purport to have done an exhaustive analysis of the long-term impact and respectfully submit this concept on the basis of a desire to provide more opportunities to diminish the level of stress being experienced by employees and employers across the country during this difficult time.
CEO | Atlantic Chamber of Commerce
Hon, Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Hon. Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Hon. Blaine Higgs, Premier of New Brunswick
Hon. Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland & Labrador
Hon. Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia
Hon. Dennis King, Premier of Prince Edward Island