Despite the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, rest assured my staff, colleagues and I are working hard to support the needs of Canadians and facilitate relief during these unprecedented times.
The following are some of the important measures announced so far.
Financial Supports: The Government has announced a variety of measures to help Canadians. These include—but are not limited to—temporarily increasing the Canada Child Benefit, extra time to file taxes, and mortgage support.
Those facing financial hardship due to sickness or unemployment caused by COVID-19 can apply for EI as well as the new Emergency Support and Emergency Care Benefits.
Small Businesses: The Government has put in place a number of measures to help support small businesses. These include providing small businesses with wage subsidies, a work sharing program, expanded access to credit and more time to pay their income taxes. Canada’s Conservatives are pushing for more supports to help keep our small businesses afloat.
I urge constituents to visit my website tedfalk.ca for updates about the government’s response to the Coronavirus and information about how to access these programs. My office remains open (by appointment) to help constituents.
Travel: At this time, an official global travel advisory is in effect. Canadians must avoid non-essential travel outside the country until further notice.
Canadians still outside the country should return to Canada via commercial means while they remain available. Those who are unable to travel via commercial flights should contact Global Affairs Canada at 1-613-996-8885. The Government is working to arrange and facilitate flights for stranded Canadians.
Those returning from abroad must self-isolate for 14 days upon re-entry to Canada—with the exception of workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people.
Border Measures: As of March 16, Canada has closed its borders to people who are not Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, or immediate family members of Canadian citizens.
Temporary Foreign Workers: (As of the time of writing) While an exemption for Temporary Foreign Workers (as well as students and approved Permanent Resident applicants) has been announced it is not yet in place. Temporary Foreign Workers are not yet able to travel to Canada. The exemption plan will likely be announced some time this week.
Best Practices: You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
• Regularly wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
• Maintain approximately six feet between yourself and others.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Cough/sneeze into your elbow.
• Clean regularly touched surfaces like cellphones, toilets, door handles etc.
• Avoid gatherings.
• Stay home if you feel unwell.
• If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention (call in advance).
As the Member of Parliament for Provencher, I will continue to work hard to ensure that critical information is made available to you, my constituents.