Recognize Canadians during Corona who are doing some of the toughest jobs in the country, MP Chandra Arya, Nepean
I want to take a moment to recognize Canadians who are doing some of the toughest jobs in the country. The women and men working in our hospitals, our senior’s homes, our long-term care facilities and in businesses providing essential goods and services, are making sacrifices every day. The uncomfortable and tragic truth is that the very places that care for our elderly are incredibly vulnerable to COVID-19. Our federal government has approved province’s request for military assistance at long-term care homes. Like during emergencies that threaten our citizens, especially our most vulnerable, the Canadian Armed Forces will do what it can to be there for those in need.
We have announced the new Canada Student Emergency Benefit (CESB), to ensure that students have the support they need– even if they are not covered by the CERB. This benefit would provide $1,250 per month ($1,750 for students with dependents or permanent disabilities). We are introducing the new Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) which will provide up to $5,000 for students who work in national service positions through organizations within their community. With the Canada Service Corps that connects youth with opportunities to serve their communities, we are expanding the number of micro-grants available from 1,800 to 15,000 for people aged 15 to 30. We are doubling the Canada Students Grants Program, broadening the eligibility for Student Financial Assistance and enhancing the Canada Student Loans Program. No young Canadian should have to choose between taking action against COVID-19 and their education.
Our $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund will help community organizations adapt frontline services for vulnerable Canadians – such as seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, newcomers, women, children and youth, LGBTQ2 people, Indigenous people and racialized people, including Black Canadians – to the challenges of COVID-19. The funds will flow through United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and Community Foundations of Canada. Local organizations in Nepean can connect with these national partners. We have provided $100 million, to meet the urgent food needs of Canadians, to organizations like Food Banks Canada, Salvation Army, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada, and Breakfast Club of Canada . This funding will be used to purchase food and other basic necessities. We are also supporting people experiencing homelessness by providing $157.5 million to the Reaching Home initiative. We will also invest $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities.
With stages dark, sports events cancelled, and summer festivals postponed, many of the organizations that keep our communities strong are struggling to make ends meet. Through a new $500M COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage, and Sports Organizations, we will make sure that our artistic and athletic organizations are supported during this challenging time.
We are investing $1.1 billion in a national medical and research strategy to address COVID-19, that includes vaccine development, the production of treatments, and the tracking and testing of the virus. This new funding builds on the $275 million investment for coronavirus research and medical countermeasures announced in March.
To help more Canadians benefit from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) which provides $2000 per month, we have relaxed eligibility criteria to allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB, extend to workers who recently exhausted their EI benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19. We are also working with the province to help provide a temporary top-up to the salaries of workers deemed essential in the fight against COVID-19, that make less than $2,500 a month. To deal with the rental challenges facing Canadian small businesses we have Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA). This will provide forgivable loans to property owners who in turn lower the rent of their tenants by 75% for April, May, and June. These loans will cover up to 50% of tenants’ monthly rent and will be forgiven at the end of the program. We have relaxed eligibility criteria for our Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) that provides interest-free $40,000 loans. Repaying the loan before Dec 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000). The new eligibility requirements allow businesses with between $20,000 and $1.5 million in annual payroll to apply. We have relaxed eligibility criteria for our Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to support businesses to protect the jobs Canadians depend on. The subsidy will cover 75% wages (up to $3,388 per month per employee) for employers– including not-for-profits and charities – who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May.
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. We 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. We have signed procurement contracts with several Canadian companies to make medical supplies such as ventilators, surgical masks, medical gowns and test kits. We have ordered millions of supplies to ease the pressure on healthcare facilities. We have sourced more than 230 million surgical masks and over 16 million have already been delivered. We have roughly 75 million N95 masks on order. We have received nearly 10 million pairs of medical gloves and are procuring hundreds of millions more.
Over 19,000 Canadians have returned to Canada from 74 countries (with no subsidy provided for airfare) excluding Canadians who returned on hundreds of other commercial flights. In the last few days, Canadians returned home via contracted flights and on foreign government assisted flights (with consular assistance from Canadian missions) from Philippines, Algeria, Guyana, India, Pakistan, Guatemala, Eritrea, Kuwait, Albania, Nigeria, Botswana, Lithuania and South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Togo, Kenya, and Peru. Additionally, while over 5,000 Canadians were on 130 cruise ships when this crisis began, most of them are home now. We are still tracking 3 cruise ships with a total of 18 Canadian passengers and 7 crew on board, as well as another 84 cruise ships at sea, with no Canadian passengers but with an estimated 297 Canadian crew members on board. One sample of Global Affairs Canada, Emergency Watch and Response Centre (on one single day): 695 calls received, 1175 SOS emails received,2036 SOS emails sent. Largest volumes of calls are coming from Canadians in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, Morocco, Mexico, United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Dominican Republic.
Please visit Canada.ca/coronavirus for complete details (including eligibility, how to apply and updates) of all federal government support to Canadians – both individuals and businesses.
My priority and our government’s priorities are making sure that everyone who needs help should get it. Please remember, we will face this together, and we will get through this together.
Member of Parliament/Député – Nepean
Working hard for you