COVID-19 INFORMATION

Last updated: October 28, 2020

Our lives have changed dramatically over the past few months. As our economy reopens, we must stay strong and put our best foot forward. I am confident in the resilience of Albertans and know that we can get back on track as long as we support one another.

The government has announced various programs to support those impacted by COVID-19. As we receive additional details from the government on supports available for those struggling during this crisis, we will provide you with updates through this informational page. Additionally, check out our Facebook Page for more frequent updates and other government related news.

As your federal government representative, I am here to help you navigate through the support that is available to you during the pandemic. If you have any questions about these programs, or if you need help with federal departments such as CRA, EI, Immigration Canada, or Veterans’ Affairs, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or my office.

We hope to give you more information as it is made available to us, but it in the meantime, we encourage you to look at these sites daily for updates as they are provided:


Federal: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

Provincial: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

Municipal: https://www.edmonton.ca/programs_services/emergency_preparedness/covid-19.aspx



Canada Emergency Response Benefit & Employment Insurance

Updated: October 28, 2020

CHANGES TO THE CERB:

As of October 3, 2020, the CERB is no longer being offered to Canadians. For those who were previously receiving the CERB, or hoping to receive it in the future, please note that it is no longer available. However, the government is still accepting and processing retroactive applications until December 2, 2020.

TRANSITION TO EMPLOYEMENT INSURANCE (EI) PROGRAM:

As we safely restart Canada’s economy, the Government will be transitioning to a simplified Employment Insurance (EI) program, effective September 27, 2020, to provide income support to those who remain unable to work and are eligible and introducing a new suite of temporary and taxable recovery benefits to further support workers.

You may be eligible for EI if you:

-were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks

-received the CERB, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended

-are unable to work due to illness, injury or quarantine

-stopped working through no fault of your own

-have not quit your job voluntarily

-are ready, will and capable of working each day

-are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else of yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)

If you are eligible for EI benefits, you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits To apply for Employment Insurance, click here

Canada Recovery Benefit

Updated: October 28, 2020

The new Canada Recovery Benefit provides a benefit amount of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19 and who are not eligible for EI.

To be eligible for the CRB, you must meet the following conditions for the 2-week period you’re applying for:

-You were not employed or self-employed for reasons related to COVID-19

-You had a 50% reduction in your average weekly income due to COVID-19

-You did not apply for or receive the CSB, CRCB, short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, EI or QPIP

– You were not eligible for EI benefits

-You are at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);

-You earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020

-You have not quite your job or reduced your hou8rs voluntarily on or after September 27, 2020

-You were seeking work during the period, either as an employee or in self-employment

-You have not turned down reasonable work during the 2-week period you’re applying for


Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

Updated: October 28, 2020

The CRSB provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:

-are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19

-are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19

-have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments, or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person of authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19


Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

Updated: October 28, 2020

The CRCB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks, for household workers who:

-are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19

-because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19


Mortgage Payment Deferral

Updated: October 28, 2020

Homeowners facing financial hardship may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral of up to six months.

The deferral is an agreement between you and your lender. Typically, the agreement indicates that you and your lender have agreed to pause or suspend your mortgage payments for a certain amount of time. After the agreement ends, your mortgage payments return to normal and the deferred payments — including principal and accumulated interest – are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage.

To know if you are eligible for a mortgage payment deferral or to learn what options are available, contact your lender — your bank or your mortgage professional.


Support for Canadians with Disabilities

Updated: October 28, 2020

The government is providing a one-time, tax-free, non-reportable payment of $600 to help Canadians with disabilities who are the recipients of any one of the following programs:

-holders of a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate

-beneficiaries of CPP Disability, QPP Disability, or Disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada

Eligible clients will start receiving payments on October 30, 2020

For more information, click here.


Seniors

Updated: October 28, 2020

Through the hard work of my colleagues, the government has finally announced new measures to help seniors who don’t qualify for the other emergency benefits.

The federal government has reduced the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFS) by 25% for 2020.

They have also authorized a one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), for a total of $500.

This measure would give a total of $500 to individuals who are eligible to receive both the OAS and GIS.  It does not have an application process and should have been issued to all eligible seniors during the week of July 6, 2020. The payments should be deposited any day now. The government is also temporarily extending GIS and Allowance payments if seniors’ 2019 income information has not been assessed. This will ensure that the most vulnerable seniors continue to receive their benefits when they need them the most. To avoid an interruption in benefits, seniors are encouraged to submit their 2019 income information as soon as possible and no later than by October 1, 2020


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Updated: October 28, 2020

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is meant to enable employers to re-hire workers previously laid off, and to keep those who are already on payroll, so that Canada’s workforce and supply chains can return from this crisis in a strong position.

A proposal has been made to continue the CEWS until June 2021, including possible changes to the rates and top-up calculation. Read the October 14 announcement and check back soon for details.                        

For more information on the CEWS click here.


Canada Emergency Business Account

Updated: July 22, 2020

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC).

The program is meant to provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.

Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).

Thanks to extensive lobbying by our Official Opposition, as of June 26, 2020, businesses eligible for CEBA now include owner-operated small businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll. This means that more small businesses should be able to access it.

Applicants without at least $20,000 in payroll in 2019 will have to demonstrate having eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1,500,000 in 2020.

Eligible small businesses and not-for-profits are encouraged to contact their financial institution to apply for these loans.

For more info, including a list of participating financial institutions and eligibility requirements, can be found by clicking here.


Travel

Updated: October 28, 2020

TRAVEL ADVISORY

• Avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice

As foreign governments implement strict travel restrictions and as fewer international transportation options are available, you may have difficulty returning to Canada or may have to remain abroad for an indeterminate period.

Travel Between Canada, the US and Mexico

American, Canadian, and Mexican authorities announced the temporary restriction of all non-essential travel across their borders as of March 21, 2020, until further notice.

The borders will remain open for commercial and health related activities such as supply chains of food, fuel and medicine.

Air travel into Canada

•  Canada will deny entry to those who aren’t Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or U.S. citizens. Exceptions made for diplomats, air crews, and immediate family members of Canadian citizens.

•  Anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms will not be able to board a flight into Canada.

•  Travellers returning to Canada must self-isolate for 14 days.

Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/03/new-measures-for-covid-19-response.html

Economy

Updated: October 28, 2020

Canada’s full COVID-19 Economic Response Plan can be found here.

On July 8th, Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the government’s Economic and Fiscal ‘Snapshot’. The Finance Minister confirmed that the Liberals are running a deficit of $343.2 billion this year, and that, for the first time, the net federal debt will reach over $1 trillion.

The out of control spending by the government during the good times has left our finances vulnerable.  Instead of paying down debt and saving money for a rainy day, the Liberals instead put us billions further in debt and left us woefully unprepared for the current financial crisis.

Canada is falling behind. We currently have the highest unemployment in the G7, and we are the only G7 country to lose its AAA credit rating, yet we still don’t have a recovery plan.

My Conservative colleagues and I have put forth many constructive solutions to get the economy back up and running and to get Canadians back to work. While we continue to hold the government to account, we will work with them to support Canadians and get the economy back on track.

Alberta

Updated: October 28, 2020

The Alberta government has announced the following measures:

• Emergency Isolation Support: $50 million

• Utility payment deferral

• Student loans repayment holiday

• Banks and credit unions – support for customers

For details please visit: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=698455D70096B-DF57-A62A-778266237F3241C8


General Information and FAQ

Canadian Blood Services is asking all donors to book and keep their appointments to prevent shortages

https://blood.ca/en/about-us/media/newsroom/its-safe-to-donate-blood-during-cvoid-19-and-critical-for-patients

How do I prevent and prepare for COVID-19?

https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx#p22780s5

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html

What should I do if I think I have symptoms or think I may have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19?

https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

• AHS online assessment tool: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Journey/COVID-19/Pages/COVID-Self-Assessment.aspx

If I have to stay home from work, will I get EI payments?

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/canadas-reponse/government-canada-takes-action-covid-19.html#a4

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Should I be cancelling my travel plans because of COVID-19?
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html
https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx#toc-2

I am currently outside of Canada. Should I be returning home to Canada earlier than planned?

https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

Either me or my family member is outside of Canada and is affected by travel bans. What should we do?

• Canadians travelling outside of Canada in need of emergency consular assistance can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613 996 8885 or email sos@international.gc.ca

I have a small business. What has the Prime Minister said about how this will impact me?

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/canadas-reponse/government-canada-takes-action-covid-19.html#a4

https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/campaign-campagne/ressources-entreprises-COVID-19-business-resources.aspx?lang=eng