We are living in an unprecedented time; our country has not seen a pandemic outbreak of this magnitude since the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. The House of Commons has been suspended and many provinces, including Alberta, have declared a state of emergency.
According to Health Canada, the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are to wash your hands with soap and water frequently, do not leave your home unless necessary, practice social distancing when you must leave your home, quarantine yourself if you start to feel ill.
We have seen in China, Europe, and the United States how quickly this virus can spread and the thousands of lives it is claiming. Canadian governments at all levels are taking this threat to public health very seriously and we know that the actions that are being taken are necessary. We understand that it may be inconvenient, but it is the only proven way to stop the spread of this illness.
These are trying times but we are going to get through them together. If you can give, our food banks and other charities need all the support we can give them at this time. Consider supporting local businesses whether it be through ordering online or delivery. Finally, check in with your neighbors. As a nation, we must stay focused on staying healthy and taking care of our families and those who are in need. This crisis will end soon and after it is all done we will want to reflect with pride on how we handled ourselves. I am tremendously proud of all my constituents who are making sacrifices and doing what they can to help and protect others.
If you require financial support please visit the economic response aid page for the most up-to-date financial support from the federal government for Canadians and their families. Please check these links frequently, as this situation is constantly developing.
Some specific actions the federal government has taken include:
- Waving the one week waiting period for EI claims for people who have been laid off or have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. The federal government has also created a specific line for individuals to call regarding their COVID-19 EI claims: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free) or call our office at 780-823-2050 if you need guidance.
- Creating the Canada Emergency Response Benefit of $2,000 / mo for up to 4 months for workers sick, quarantined or caring for someone with COVID019, contract or self-employed workers not eligible for EI, and workers not currently being paid due to insufficient work from employers.
- Help for small business, with 75% wage subsidy for up to 3 months, deferred GST payments until June, and $25 billion interest-free loans for small businesses.
- For Canadians abroad, and who are unable to return to the country due to COVID-19, they may be eligible for up to $5,000 to help cover expenses incurred.
- Freezing payments and interests on Student Loans
If you have any specific questions regarding these federal government programs or a claim that you have filed please do not hesitate to contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (780)823-2050. My staff are more than happy to help you in any way they can. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the Government of Canada’s health page.
The Government of Alberta has also implemented programs to help families and businesses. For the Province of Alberta’s information on financial aid visit Alberta’s official financial aid page. Additionally, for information regarding support for Alberta employers visit Alberta’s official employer help page. If you have any questions regarding these provincial programs please contact your MLA.