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 people 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, Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition 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, the Government of Ontario and Municipal 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

Symptoms of COVID-19:
Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.
Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. Symptoms included:
– cough
– fever
– difficulty breathing
– pneumonia in both lungs

Click here for a COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool

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

Check if you have been exposed:
Have you been on a recent flight, cruise, train, or at a public gathering? Click here to check the listed exposure locations to see if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Take care of your mental health:
The COVID-19 pandemic is new and unexpected. This situation can be unsettling and can cause a sense of loss of control. It is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or worried in a crisis.

For more information about COVID-19 visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html

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

GLOBAL AFFAIRS CANADA:

Canadians Outside Canada:
Are you a Canadian trying to return home? The Government of Canada is suggesting avoiding non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.

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. Global Affairs Canada is working to ensure Canadians are repatriated by priority with the intent of bringing those who are vulnerable such as minors and people with medical conditions home first. 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.

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

General Information and assistance visit: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-assistance

Global Affairs continues to encourage Canadians outside of the country to register to receive important updates. Register as a Canadian abroad here: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration

Financial Assistance for Canadians Abroad:
The Government of Canada has introduced a Loan program of up to $5,000 per person to assist Canadians who need to either book an emergency flight or extend their stay abroad. Canadians currently outside Canada who need financial assistance can contact the nearest Government of Canada office: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates  
or
Contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa by calling +1 613-996-8885 (call collect where available) OR by sending an email to CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca

Click here for more information and how to apply!

Travellers arriving in Canada:
Canada has closed its borders to non-Canadian citizens with the exception of their immediate families, permanent residents, diplomats, air crews, and U.S. citizens at this time. Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 will not be able to enter Canada. In addition, as of March 18, 2020, only four Canadian airports (Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver) will receive international flights, to enhance screening.

The Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act was announced making self-isolation mandatory for all individuals entering Canada. Failure to comply with this Order can result in maximum penalties. It is mandatory for all travellers with or without symptoms who have recently returned to Canada to quarantine (self isolate) for 14 days in their first landing location (Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver). If passengers are showing symptoms of COVID-19, they will not be allowed to board.

 

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/services/coronavirus-covid19.html

Visitors to Canada:
At this time, if you’re applying for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit, apply online. If you are currently in Canada as a visitor, student, or worker, you can apply online to IRCC to extend your temporary resident status before it expires.

Click here for more information on how COVID-19 is affecting Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship and Passport.

For general information by  IRCC visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada.html

For information from Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) visit: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/ivc-rnc-eng.html

BENEFITS FOR CANADIANS

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):

The Federal government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 16 weeks to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19. CERB is available to worker who:

  •  live in Canada and are at least 15 years old
  •  stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for employment insurance or sick benefits
  •  have not voluntarily quit their job
  •  had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 12 months prior to the date of their application

As of April 15, the Government of Canada added to the eligibility rules:

  •  allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting CERB
  •  extend CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their employment insurance benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19
  •  extend CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their employment insurance benefits and are unable to find a job due to COVID-19

Click here for more information!

* Click here to apply for CERB!
You can also apply by phone by calling 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041

 

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.

Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment:
The Federal Government is providing a one-time special payment starting April 9 through the Good and Service 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!

The Government of Canada is providing a one-time tax free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for Old Age Security (OAS) and an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). A total of $500 to individuals who are eligible to receive both OAS and GIS will automatically receive the funds to help cover costs caused by COVID-19

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:
All student loans will automatically have thier loan repayment and interest suspended until September 30, 2020. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

*This applies to the federal portion of student loans. Borrowers need to check with thier provincial student loan provider to see thier rules and payment program. 

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).

Click here for an online assessment tool

Click here for more information about the Business Credit Availability Program

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA):
CEBA will provide interest-free loan of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not for profits, to help cover operating costs as their revenues has been temporarily reduced. Eligibility requirements include:

  • The Borrower is a Canadian operating business in operation as of March 1, 2020.
  • The Borrower has a federal tax registration.
  • The Borrower’s total employment income paid in the 2019 calendar year was between Cdn.$20,000 and Cdn.$1,500,000.
  • The Borrower has an active business chequing/operating account with the Lender, which is its primary financial institution. This account was opened on or prior to March 1, 2020 and was not in arrears on existing borrowing facilities, if applicable, with the Lender by 90 days or more as at March 1, 2020.
  • The Borrower has not previously used the Program and will not apply for support under the Program at any other financial institution.
  • The Borrower acknowledges its intention to continue to operate its business or to resume operations.
  • The Borrower agrees to participate in post-funding surveys conducted by the Government of Canada or any of its agents.

Businesses can apply for CEBA through their banks and credit unions.
Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000)

For more information about CEBA, Click here!

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA):
An agreement has been reached with all provinces and territories to implement CECRA for small businesses. This program will lower the rent by 75% for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. It will program forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June.

Click here for more information on CECRA!

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS):
The subsidy covers 75% of an employee’s wage, up to $847 per week for employers of all sized and across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenue of at least 15% in March and 30% in April and May.

The program is for 12 weeks, from March 15 to June 6, 2020. Employers eligible for the CEWS are entitled to receive a 100% refund for certain employer contributions to employment insurance and Canada Pension Plan.

For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for a period, any benefit from the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period will generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.

Click here for more information!

Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy:
This is a 3 month program that allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deduction required to be remitted to the CRA. You are an eligible employer if you:

  •  are an individual (excluding trust)
  •  are in a partnership
  •  a non profit organization
  •  registered charity
  •  Canadian controlled private corporation (including a cooperative corporation) eligible for the small business deduction
  •  have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020
  •  pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an eligible employee

Note: Partnerships are only eligible for the subsidy if there members consist exclusively of individuals (excluding trusts), registered charities, or Canadians controlled private corporations eligible for the same business deduction

Click here for more information!

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!

If you owe on your tax return? The payment deadline has been delayed to after August 31st, 2020

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

HOUSE OF COMMONS:

Canada needs a National plan

Government Orders: COVID-19 (April 20, 2020)

 

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

The Province of Ontario has launched a COVID-19 Tackling the Barriers website for people to provide suggestions on ways that businesses can overcome the challenges of COVID-19. Click here for more information.

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!