Combatting COVID 19: Information and resources for Canadians

 

As COVID 19 rapidly changes each day, it continues to have a significant impact on the daily lives of Canadians and citizens around the world. Every day there are new developments announced by all levels of government regarding the resources available to Canadians. As your Member of Parliament and Shadow Cabinet Minister for Foreign Affairs, my office is here to help and provide assistance by phone at 905-773-8358 or by email at Leona.Alleslev@parl.gc.ca to address any questions you may have.

Below you will find resources and information to help address questions you may have and navigate through the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario websites. We are doing our best to keep the information as up to date as possible.

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19

For additional information regarding general updates on COVID 19, symptoms, preventions, and resources that the Government of Canada is providing I encourage you to visit: www.canada.ca/coronavirus

COVID 19 Hotline: 1-833-784-4397
Public health authority call: 1-866-797-0000
York Region Public Health, Health Connection Line 1-800-361-5653

Symptoms and Preventions:
For more information visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html

Click here for a COVID 19 Self Assessment Tool.

Read my MP Report here: Combating COVID-19: Canada’s Response

GLOBAL AFFAIRS CANADA:

Are you a Canadian trying to return home? The Government of Canada is suggesting avoiding non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice. You are responsible for your personal travel decisions.

The Government of Canada is strategically focusing on regions where there is a large number of Canadians who are seeking repatriation. The Government of Canada is working with the airlines to make commercial flights available for as many Canadians as possible, and are working with other countries to ensure our airlines have the permission and other logistics necessary to fly. Everyone on these flights will have to self-isolate for 14 days, and if passengers are showing symptoms of COVID-19, the will not be able to board. This is about keeping all Canadians safe, so we need everyone to do their part.

The Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act was annouced making self-isolation mandatory for all individuals entering Canada. Failure to comply with this Order can result in maximum penalties including a fine up to $75,000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months; a person who causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while willfully or recklessly contravening this Act or the regulations could be liable for a fine of up to $1,000,000 and/or to imprisonment of up to three years; spot checks will be conducted by the Government of Canada to verify compliance.

Global Affairs Canada
Phone: 613-996-8885
Email: sos@international.gc.ca

Register as a Canadian abroad: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration

The Government of Canada is providing a $5,000 loan for Canadians abroad. Click here for more information!

For Financial assistance email: CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca
General Information and assistance visit: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-assistance

 

IMMIGRATION, REFUGEE, CITIZENSHIP CANADA:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is cancelling all:

  • citizenship ceremonies, citizenship tests and retests, and itinerant service trips until further notice
  • refugee claim in-person appointments until April 13, 2020
  • in-person permanent resident landing appointments until April 13, 2020

For more information visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship.html

BENEFITS FOR CANADIANS

Employment Insurance (EI):

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. You could receive 55% of your insurable earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week. The amount you receive depends on your insurable earnings before taxes in the past 52 weeks or since the start of your last claim, whichever is shorter. If you are eligible, click here to visit the EI sickness benefits page to apply.

Service Canada is ready to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 and placed in quarantine, with the following support actions:

  • The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
  • Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period; Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
  • People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
  • People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):
The Federal Government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.

You will be able to apply through your MyAccount with the Canada Revenue Agency. Click here for more information!

Increasing the Canada Child Benefit:
The Federal Government is providing an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family. This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May.
Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply, it will be automatically added to their May payment.

If you are not sure if you are receiving CCB, have you filed a 2018 tax return?

If Yes – You can click here to check to see if you are getting the benefit
If No – You (and your spouse if you have one) need to file a tax return ASAP and then apply unless CRA already knows you have kids.

You may also be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. (see details above)

Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment:
The Federal Government is providing a one-time special payment by early May through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.
There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

For more information click here!

For more information about these programs and more, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
Click Here for the Federal Government Fiscal Stimulus Package in response for COVID 19

Support for seniors:
The Federal Government reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020.
Click here for more information!

Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System payments for seniors:
The Ontario government announced a temporary top-up to payments made through the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS). Beginning in April 2020, monthly GAINS payment amounts will be doubled for a period of six months.

Click here for more information

Support for students and recent graduates:
Effective March 30, the Federal Government is placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

Click here for more information,

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP):
The Ontario government is providing six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief for student borrowers, in partnership with the federal government.

Click here for more information.

FINANCE CANADA

Small Business:

The Government of Canada is establishing a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to support financing in the private sector through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

Small Business Loan: Up to $100,000 can be obtained online.
Working capital loan: For loans over $100,000 and can support everyday operations.
Purchase Order Financing: Loans to fulfill domestic or international orders.

If you have specific questions about applying for funding, BDC can be reached at:
Toll-free number: 1-877-232-2269 Monday to Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

For more information visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
Click here for an online assessment tool

Wage Subsidy for Employers:

Ask your employer if they have looked at the temporary federal Wage Subsidy program.

  • Employers will get a subsidy of up to 75%* if they continue to pay their employees during the
    COVID crisis
  • The Canada Revenue Agency seems to be running the program by having employers take the
    subsidy out of the money they usually have to send to government each month for the income
    tax, EI and CPP that they have to deduct from your paycheque. But, that may change with a
    75% subsidy.
  • Eligible employers are small corporations, non-profits and charities.

*More information to be released.

Additional Support for Canadian Businesses from the Economic Impact of COVID-19
The Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, provides direct support and tax deferrals to Canadian workers and businesses to help them in these difficult times.

  • Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments
  • Deferral of Customs Duty and Sales Tax for Importers
  • New Loan Programs for Businesses
  • Canada Revenue Agency’s Additional Measures for Individuals and Businesses

For more information visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/additional-support-for-canadian-businesses-from-the-economic-impact-of-covid-19.html#_Deferral_of_Sales

For more information on measures taken by the Province of Ontario visit: https://budget.ontario.ca/2020/marchupdate/index.html?_ga=2.59668904.421069799.1584972475-93413792.1573845134

CANADA REVENUE AGENCY (CRA):

The Government of Canada has extended the deadline to file your taxes to June 1st, 2020.
To apply for a CRA MyAccount, click here!

For additional information visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

 

THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO

Click Here for information from the Province of Ontario regarding COVID 19
Click here for Ontario’s Action Plan in response to COVID 19
Click Here for a list of essential workplaces issued by the Province of Ontario
Click Here to learn about extensions on expiry dates for drivers licenses, vehicle and carrier products and services due to COVID-19
Click Here for a full list of services that have been extended because of COVID 19
Click Here for more information from the Minister of Education
Click Here for more information about the changes in place for renting in Ontario due to COVID 19

YORK REGION

In response to the COVID-19 situation, York Region has declared a State of Emergency. For more information on temporary service disruptions,  facility closures, and updates click here!

Richmond Hill:
The City of Richmond Hill is working closely with York Region Public Health to monitor COVID-19. For more information on closures, waste collection, property tax, and parking click here!

Aurora:
The Town of Aurora is working closely with York Region Public Health to monitor COVID-19. For more information on closures, waste collection, property tax, and updates, click here!