Aren’t termination and severance the same thing?

Legally speaking they are sometimes not. The terms ‘termination’ and ‘severance’ are usually used the same in everyday conversation, but according to employment standards law they are two entirely different amounts depending on the province. 

In Ontario, for example, termination pay is the base amount owed to an employee under the province’s employment standards legislation. Severance however, is an additional number of weeks per years of service if the employee had been working there for more than 5 years, and if the company had either reached a certain payroll threshold or was conducting mass layoffs. This is not the case in every province however, and some employment standards laws do not mention the term ‘severance,’ so take note of the fact that there may be a difference.