COVID-19 Update - April 05, 2020
As I provide my third weekly update on the federal government's response to COVID-19, I would like to thank you for doing your part to help flatten the curve.

You may be wanting to know when this will all be over. Me too. The fact is we don't know yet. In these uncertain times, try to remember what we do have control over: we can choose to take this seriously and listen to our public health officials. Our actions today will determine how quickly and effectively we fight COVID-19. Stay home unless absolutely necessary. Keep two meters apart from people when you do need to go out. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. If you have any symptoms or have returned from a trip overseas, stay home in self-isolation for 14 days. Together we'll get through this.

Some of you have contacted me to ask how those not following public health guidelines can be reported or discouraged. Over the past few days, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Toronto Police Service (TPS) have ramped up enforcement. Failure to comply with an order made during a State of Emergency can result in fines of up to $1,000. If you see members of the public placing others at risk, such as gathering in groups of over 5 people, please contact OPP or TPS non-emergency lines . Please call 311 if you would like to report the use of closed City of Toronto properties. We are all in this together, so please use these resources only when you feel that people are putting others in danger.

I know this has been a very difficult time for many people. You're worried about rent, making sure your kids can continue their education, and keeping the lights on at your business. Please be assured that all levels of government are working together to get you the support you need as quickly as possible. We're here for you and are trying to support you in the best way possible.

I have outlined below some of the federal supports that have been announced earlier this week and provided more information about two that I know you are wanting to know more about: the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy . I have also included a list of some resources that you may find helpful as you look for the latest information on COVID-19 and the supports available to you.

If you ever have any questions or need support with federal matters, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 416-467-7275 or [email protected].

If you missed my previous email newsletters, you can access them here.

Connecting with You!
On Tuesday, April 7th at 7:00 pm, I will be hosting a Facebook Live session to update you on the federal government’s response to COVID-19 and to answer your questions.

If you are not a Facebook user and would like to ask a question or need support with a federal matter, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Stay tuned for updates on my upcoming telephone town halls and others ways to connect.

I look forward to engaging with you on Tuesday!
Whole-of-Government Response
Canadians Abroad
If you are a Canadian citizen outside Canada or know someone who is abroad, please Register with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to stay connected with the Government of Canada and receive important travel updates. You can also email [email protected] and call the GAC emergency hotline at 613-996-8885 if you require assistance.
We have also set up a loan program of up to $5,000 per person to assist Canadian travellers with the costs of returning home or temporarily covering their basic needs while they wait to come back to Canada, through the Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad .
Supporting Canadians
Our government has introduced many support measures to help Canadians during this difficult time. Click here for more information about Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan .
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
On March 25th, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) . This will provide $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to Canadians who are not receiving a paycheque due to COVID-19. To make it simpler for people applying, we’ve combined our two measures previously announced (the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit).

The CERB will be available to workers: 

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old; 

  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19; 

  • 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 because of school and daycare closure, 

  • Self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would otherwise not be eligible for EI

  • 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

  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and

  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period.

  • No medical certificate is required

If you have stopped working for reasons not related to COVID-19, you are not eligible for the CERB.
How to Apply for the CERB

Starting April 6th, you can apply online through CRA's My Account or through a My Service Canada Account, but not both. You can also apply over the phone at 1-800-959-2019 .

When you apply for CRA's My Account, you will be sent a security code that will arrive by mail in 5-10 business days. If you do not receive your security code by April 6, you will still be able to apply for CERB with the light version of My Account.

If you have already applied for EI, you do not need to re-apply. For more information on how to apply, please click here .
Here's a video to help you create your CRA My Account:
CRA is working to provide the best service possible for all applicants and has set up specific days for you to apply. Please use the following guidelines:
Supporting Businesses
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy was introduced to provide support to both employers and employees during this difficult time. The CEWS would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week . The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

  • Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy. The government is currently working to develop guidelines for businesses who may not be able to make a clear comparison. More details coming soon.

  • Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.

  • For non-profit organizations and registered charities similarly affected by a loss of revenue, the government will continue to work with the sector to ensure the definition of revenue is appropriate to their circumstances. The government is also considering additional support for non-profits and charities, particularly those involved in the front line response to COVID-19. Further details will be announced in the near term.

  • An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers would be expected to at least make best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered.
Eligible employers would be able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal . Additional details on how to apply for the program will follow. 
Those organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may continue to qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
Supporting Seniors
The Government of Canada has introduced several new measures to protect seniors' financial security:

  • For low and modest income seniors, a supplementary payment under the GST Credit of close to $400 per adult, and $600 per couple has been introduced.

  • We are reducing minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds by 25%, helping preserve RRIF assets during a volatile time.

  • The Prime Minister also announced $9 million in funding, through the New Horizons for Seniors program, to United Way Canada. This funding will allow them to continue providing supports for seniors in our communities, who are at greater risk of poor health outcomes during this pandemic.

  • Furthermore, we are allowing any new taxes owing, to be deferred until August 31 and extending deadline to file your income taxes to June 1. OAS and GIS payments will not be delayed because of the change of the filing deadline.
  • Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the virus, and we are working with all levels of government to ensure they have the supports they need. For advice on how best to protect yourself, see this advice page from the Public Health Agency. 
Mobilizing Industry to Fight COVID-19
Our government launched Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to Fight COVID-19 to ensure that we can quickly produce, here in Canada, the things we need to prevent the spread of the virus. Since its launch, we have spoken to more than 2,900 Canadian companies that have offered their expertise and capacity to meet the country’s need for personal protective equipment and critical health supplies.

Our government is investing $2 billion to purchase protective personal equipment , including things like more masks and face shields, gowns, ventilators, test kits and swabs, and hand sanitizer. This initiative will help companies that are already making things like masks, ventilators, and hand sanitizer massively scale up production . It will also provide support to those who want to retool their manufacturing facilities to contribute to this fight.

We have signed procurement contracts with three Canadian companies to make medical supplies such as ventilators, surgical masks, and test kits. We’ve also signed letters of intent with five other companies : Precision Biomonitoring, Fluid Energy Group, Irving Oil, Calko Group, and Stanfield’s.

Whether by purchasing materials, or working with Canadian businesses and manufacturers to develop them, we are mobilizing all of Canada to have the tools to protect our health care workers so they can safely care for us. All hands on deck!
Supporting Food Banks and Local Food Organizations
Food banks and local food organizations are vital institutions in our communities. They provide help to those most vulnerable to economic uncertainty.

Today, the Prime Minister announced an investment of $100 million to improve access to food for Canadians facing social, economic, and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada will provide funding to organizations like Food Banks Canada, Salvation Army, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada, and Breakfast Club of Canada to meet the urgent food needs of Canadians.

Learn more here .
Helpful Resources
Download the new Canada COVID-19 Mobile App

This week, we launched the Canada COVID-19 mobile app , which provides up-to-date information about the COVID-19 pandemic, including advice for preventing the spread of the virus, important contact numbers, and guidance for seeking medical help. This is a great resource to use to get information before contacting public health officials.

You can download the app for free on , the App Stores for Apple iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. The app is also available as a web application that can be accessed on any laptop or desktop computer browser. 
Contact 211 to Access 4000+ Community and Social Services
If you're searching for community and social services, call 211 or text 21166 for support. You can also visit 211's website for resources, such as government services, financial assistance, employment assistance, childcare, food, clothing and shelter.
Get Involved
National COVID-19 Volunteer Recruitment Campaign
The Government of Canada is working with provincial and territorial governments to respond to COVID-19. We are seeking volunteers to help in the following areas:

  1. Case tracking and contact tracing;
  2. Case data collection and reporting; and,
  3. Health system surge capacity.

We are building an inventory of volunteers from which provincial/territorial governments can draw as needed. Visit the  recruitment page  to submit your name to join Canada’s response to COVID-19 .

Applications close on April 24, 2020 .
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Amidst the various challenges and difficulties people are facing due to COVID-19, I am very pleased to hear heartwarming stories of neighbours helping neighbours and Canadians stepping up to do their part. In Leaside , Becky Allen White is raising money to deliver meals to health care workers at Sunnybrook Hospital . Read more in this Leaside Life article .
The Bayview York Mills Chinese Community recognized the importance of supporting Sunnybrook Hospital and its exceptional health services. In response, the group gathered to raise $71,000 for Sunnybrook's ECMO machines , which are used to treat patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Speaking about this initiative, BYCC member, Jerry Jin said, "All members of BYCC are immigrants and we all love this great country. So when the country and people need help, we will stand up." Bravo!

If you would also like to support Sunnybrook's critical work, please consider making a donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Sunnybrook is accepting equipment such as:
  • N95 masks (unopened boxes)
  • Other masks (duck-billed, face shield, surgical masks)
  • Gloves
  • Surgical gowns
  • Protective medical goggles
  • Equipment (e.g. ventilators)

For information on where to donate these supplies, please visit .
Community Sewing Face Masks Project
Shop Local. Eat Local.
You can adhere to public health guidelines and still support our local businesses . Consider ordering takeout or delivery , buying a gift card , or taking an online class with a local business.

For a list of some of the businesses that are operating in your neighbourhood, contact the Bayview Leaside BIA , Uptown Yonge BIA , Yonge Lawrence Village BIA , and Mount Pleasant Village BIA .
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