Can access to RRSP sans the tax burden bridge the financial strait of some Canadians amid COVID-19?

By Rufran C Frago posted 03-30-2020 11:01 PM


Many of Canada’s economic soothsayers predict an unprecedented economic slowdown no one alive today has ever seen before. They foresee that the financial downturn that COVID-19 brought forth could take several years to rise from.

“The speed at which we can come out the other side really depends on how much of the economy is left intact once we get through this,” said Nathan Janzen, a senior economist at Royal Bank of Canada (Sharp, A., 2020.National Observer).

The immediate risk is to the livelihoods of some two million workers in retail stores, hotels and restaurants, airports and other businesses that are either forced to close or are sharply curtailed, Janzen and other economists said (ibid).

The domino effect of this health crisis leading to financial downturn, unemployment and disarray, will also bring with it major political and commercial upheaval globally that will affect even the least of us all. 

While the government has introduced one form of relief trying to be ahead of the necessity curb through the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefits), other means have to be made available. 

The longer this virus stay, the more Canadians will need financial shoring. For those who have been saving, the next several weeks might be just the right time to withdraw their savings/contingencies, hopefully without the tax burden. In view of the aforementioned, an idea came to mind which I put together yesterday in a letter to the Office of The Prime Minister, 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2.

I’m sharing my letter to you all. 

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

As the challenges posed by COVID-19 take its toll and the whole of Canada suffers the worsening financial impact, additional support is needed on top of the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefits) that the government recently rolled out.

I humbly propose that those who needed additional financial support be given the opportunity to withdraw their RRSP contribution tax-free up to a certain substantial but reasonable amount that the government decides. Although intended to augment retirement income, it is easy to understand that the present threat to life and security must be prioritized. Doing so acknowledges each citizen’s ownership of the fund, with the tax-free portion to be considered a generous government subsidy.

This proposed additional benefit must be sanctioned by the Canada Revenue Agency as they play an important role getting the payments disbursed properly.

For your consideration,


About the Author:

Rufran C. Frago is the Founder of PM Solution Pro, a Calgary consultingproduct, and training services firm focusing on project and business management solutions. He is passionate providing advice, mentorship, education and training through consultation, collaboration, and what he uniquely calls, student-led training.


  1. Risk-based Management in the World of Threats and Opportunities: A Project Controls Perspective.ISBN 978-0-9947608-0-7.Canada
  2. Plan to Schedule, Schedule to Plan.ISBN 978-0-9947608-2-1.Canada
  3. How to Create a Good Quality P50 Risk-based Baseline Schedule.ISBN 978-0-9947608-1-4.Canada
  4. Schedule Quantitative Risk Analysis (Traditional Method).ISBN 978-0-9947608-3-8.Canada
  5. RISK, What are you? The Risk Management Poem: Children's Book for all Professionals.ISBN 978-0-9947608-4-5 (Canada)