COVID-19 – RESOURCES AND INFORMATION

On Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 in COVID 19, Democracy, Issues, News

Latest Announcements

More information from the Government of Canada will be uploaded as it becomes available.

Coronavirus General Information & Resources

Hotlines

  • Government of Canada COVID-19 Information: 1-833-784-4397
  • B.C. Health Information: 8-1-1
  • If you are in quarantine and are seeking to waive the one-week EI sickness benefits waiting period: 1-833-381-2725 or via teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742
  • Emergency and travel assistance for Canadians abroad: 1-613-996-8855 or sos@international.gc.ca
  • Labour Program: 1-800-641-4049 (toll-free) or via teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-926-9105
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit: 1-800-959-2041 or 1-800-959-2019
  • Federal government-related service requests (CPP, CRA, SIN, Service Canada, Passport)

Government Response

Green Party of Canada Response

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

  • If you are not eligible for Employment Insurance
  • Creation of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) (up to $10 billion)
  • Originally this was going to be two separate benefits: The Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit — have been combined for simplification purposes
  • Benefit provides $2000 per month for the next 4 months to workers who have lost employment income because of COVID-19
  • Online portal opened April 6, and people can receive money within 10 days of applying by mail, or 3-5 days of applying via direct deposit
  • Who is a “worker” under CERB program? A worker is defined as a person who is at least 15 years of age, is a resident in Canada and who in 2019 (or in the 12 months before applying) had an income of at least $5,000 from (a) employment (b) self-employment (c) certain EI benefits
  • Eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit recently became more flexible. See here for eligibility criteria. 
  • Canadians can apply for CERB through CRA MyAccount or My Service Canada Account or by calling 1-800-959-2041 or 1-800-959-2019

Employment Insurance

  • Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits can provide you with up to 15 weeks of financial assistance if you cannot work for medical reasons
  • You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week
  • Some employers provide their own paid sick leave or short-term disability plan. Before you apply for EI sickness benefits, check with your employer to find out if they have a plan in place
  • 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
  • Priority EI application processing for EI sickness claims for clients under quarantine
  • 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
  • If you are in quarantine and are seeking to waive the one-week EI sickness benefits waiting period:
  • Call this hotline: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
  • Or via teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742
  • EI Sickness Benefits — please visit to determine if you qualify/and to apply for EI sickness benefits
  • Specific COVID-19 information re: EI

International Travel Information

Information for Businesses

Refugees, Temporary Foreign Workers, International Students, Permanent Resident Applicants

Essential workers

Community organizations

Child care

Seniors and Pensioners

  • Please note that if you are a senior or pensioner, the money you receive from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Old Age Security (OAS) does not count as employment income, and you may therefore be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • If you are struggling to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) online, please call either 1-800-959-2041 or 1-800-959-2019
  • The government reduced the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for 2020
  • If you receive OAS, you will receive a one-time $300 extra payment
  • Seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement will also get an extra $200

Students

  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit: Backgrounder
  • Canada Student Service Grant: Backgrounder
  • All student loan borrowers will automatically have their loan repayments and interest suspended until September 30, 2020 – federally and in B.C.
  • Lighthouse Labs COVID-19 Scholarship Fund: Software Company offering scholarships for full- and part-time courses to teach people how to code
  • University of Victoria COVID-19 Emergency Bursary: Available to all students—domestic or international, undergraduate or graduate—who are experiencing emergency financial need as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Camosun College COVID-19 Emergency Student Bursaries: The BC Government and Camosun College have established a COVID-19 Emergency bursary fund to provide one-time $200 funding to support current registered students impacted by this crisis.
  • Changes to Canada Summer Jobs program: to help businesses and young Canadians affected by COVID-19
  • Government is creating 76,000 jobs for young people, in addition to the Canada Summer Jobs Program
  • Specific support for Indigenous students — $75 million
  • Grad students and student researchers — $291 million to extend grants, scholarships, and fellowships
  • Student grant funding provided by federal government doubled for the 2020-2021 school year

Farmers, Producers, and Harvesters

  • Farm Credit Canada lending capacity increases by $5B to alleviate industry financial pressure
  • Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
  • $252 million to food producers and processors, consisting of:
  • -$77 million to food processors
  • -$125 million for AgriRecovery program to pork and beef producers
  • -$50 million for Surplus Food Purchase Program to prevent food waste
  • -Extending credit line of the Canadian Dairy Commission to $200 million
  • $470 million to fish harvesters:
  • -Fish Harvesters’ Benefit: If you’re expecting a 25% drop in income this season, you’ll get support cover 75% of your losses, up to $10,000
  • -Non-repayable grants available for fish harvesters who own their own business, up to $10,000
  • -Employment insurance rules being shifted for workers in the fish harvesting industry: Can apply for benefits based on past years’ income
  • Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund: $100 million through Farm Credit Canada

Artists and Creators

  • CBC Creative Relief Fund: In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, CBC has launched THE CBC CREATIVE RELIEF FUND to provide immediate, urgent support to Canadian creators. The unprecedented new Fund will provide $2 million in development and production funding for a diverse range of innovative, original Canadian storytelling, including scripted comedies and dramas, unscripted entertainment, kids and young adult programming, podcasts, play adaptations and short documentaries.
  • BC Arts Council: COVID-19 information
  • Showcase B.C.: Funding for artists who wish to livestream their shows and performances

Financial Support Chart: Federal Support Program

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