The current global pandemic has changed life as we know it. Teachers have been forced to change the way they teach and students the way they learn. Many Canadians have lost their jobs, while others still face a potential layoff. Healthcare professionals and frontline workers continue to work tirelessly during this very challenging time. In an effort to help Canadians severely impacted by the pandemic, the government has introduced relief programs and initiatives to support those in need. Member of Parliament for Guelph Lloyd Longfield is working hard to ensure Guelphites understand what the government is doing to help Canadians during COVID-19. Further details can be found on his website.
On March 25, 2020, the government announced the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) to help Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The CERB provides financial assistance to Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19. It also covers working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB applies to those who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits or Employment Insurance fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020 For those who have not yet applied and are making less than $1,000 per month due to a reduced work week can visit the government’s website to see if they qualify.
The government also has provided additional Goods and Services Tax Benefits along with Canada Child Tax Benefits and granted Canadians until June 1, 2020, to file their taxes and pay any balances owing by August 31, 2020.
Supports also are in place for businesses during COVID-19. A responsible and safe relaunch strategy is currently being discussed for workers, owners and the general public. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Business Account, the Business Credit Availability Program and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance and other programs have been put in place to assist businesses affected by the pandemic. For updates, please visit the government’s website.
Students not able to secure summer employment due to COVID-19 will be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which will provide eligible students $1,250 per month from May to August. Further details will be released once the benefit has been passed by Parliament. Student loan payments also have been suspended for the next six months. To view a listing of student supports, please visit the government’s website.
For our seniors’ community, the minimum withdrawal amount for RRIFs has been reduced and more funding to organizations such as United Way has been provided to ensure our senior citizens are receiving the proper supports and safe deliveries of medications and groceries. We also are continuing to work with the provinces and territories to ensure our aging communities are safe in retirement and nursing homes.
Guelph is a caring and innovative community with residents working together to fight COVID-19. The pandemic has caused many to experience extreme stress and anxiety. During this unprecedented time, it’s crucial to take care of our mental health. For additional resources and links related to mental wellness during COVID-19, please visit MP Lloyd Longfield’s website. We will get through this together and be stronger as a community. Questions and comments can be directed by e-mail to: Lloyd.Longfield@parl.gc.ca or calling 519.837.8276. Stay well and stay safe!