COVID-19 - March 26 Update

I would like to thank everyone in our community as we work together to meet the challenges of the Covid-19 emergency.  By practicing physical distancing and supporting each other in many health ways, we doing all the things we need to in order to get through this difficult time.

Today, I would like to highlight a few organizations which are working to support members of various communities and share how you can support them.

A number of people have contacted our team regarding the decision by the City, at the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of health, to close of playgrounds and park amenities. I would like to clarify that it is only these playgrounds and amenities which are closed; trails and green spaces remain open. At all times please remember to maintain proper physical distancing from others, a distance of 2 meters (approx. 6 ft).

Yesterday, the federal government announced their Canadian Emergency Response Benefit. Below is some helpful information that our Member of Parliament has shared with us:

Q1 – When does the application process begin?
The portal for accessing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be available in early April.

Q2 - Is this benefit different from the ones announced last week?
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit replaces the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit announced on March 18, 2020. This benefit will be a simpler and more accessible combination.

Q3 - Where can I apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
The portal for accessing this new benefit will be available in early April. Until then, EI eligible Canadians who have lost their job can continue to apply for EI here.

Q4 - I’ve been paying into EI. How do I know whether to apply for EI benefits or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
The intent is to streamline EI Sickness, EI Regular, and the Emergency Care and Emergency Support Benefits into the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Once launched, a single portal will assist users through the application to ensure they access their benefit.

Q5 - Will someone be able to work while receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
A worker is not permitted to work or receive employment income including paid leave, self-employment income or EI benefits during a minimum 14 consecutive day period within the 4-week period of their application.

Local Updates

Helping Toronto's Artists Survive COVID-19 (Donate here)
With thousands of artists suddenly losing their income of having it reduced by the COVID-19 emergency, the Toronto Arts Foundation is partnering with Toronto Arts Council to help provide immediate relief. Today they launched the TOArtist COVID Response Fund. The Fund is an emergency support program that will help Toronto artists who have lost income as a result of COVID-19 arts cancellations.


Volunteer Toronto (Need volunteers?) (Want to volunteer?)
Volunteer Toronto us looking for volunteers to pair with organizations out supporting our communities.


Grow Food Toronto
This is a hub to share actions, advice, information, resources, ideas, encouragement and inspiration for massive mobilization of food growing in Toronto right now.

Recent Announcements

Province

Ontario Provides $3.3 Billion More to Increase Health Care Capacity
Details on yesterday’s announcement regarding $3.3 billion in support for frontline health care workers and increases for health care capacity in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.


UPDATED: Ontario Enabling Financial Relief for Businesses
New financial measure will allow insurance premium payment deferrals for six months.

Federal

Addressing urgent needs in Indigenous communities related to COVID-19
Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services outlined the details of the $305 million for the new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund, to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities related to COVID-19.


New Order Makes Self-Isolation Mandatory for Individuals Entering Canada
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. Failure to comply with this Order is an offense under the Quarantine Act. Maximum penalties include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months.

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