Nose Hill Park – Keep your Distance
Please keep your distance when in our City’s numerous parks and trails. I know the weather is getting better, and we all want to be outside. Nose Hill is very popular, and many who are going there are way too close to other sun seekers, and those walking their dogs. There are many parks in our Ward that are less popular, and are just as good. Please give everyone the needed 2m, and do not socialize on the paved trails. Same for Confederation Park, it is popular, but keep your distance.
Canada Emergency Student Benefit
The federal government is launching a new benefit program to provide immediate supports for young Canadians by investing $9 billion to create new jobs and double student grants. Under the new benefit, post-secondary students will be eligible for $1,250 a month from May to August. Those with disabilities or who are taking care of someone else will be eligible to receive $1,750 monthly. The payment will be retroactive to May 1st and will be delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency.
Working students earning less than $1,000 per month, as well as college and university students who are currently in school, planning to start in September, or who graduated in December 2019 will also be eligible for the program.
“For today, for the summer and for next year, we will be there for you,” the Prime Minister emphasized.
Funding for Research, and Students fighting COVID-19
The Prime Minister also announced that his government will expand existing federal employment, skills development, and youth programming to create up to 116,000 jobs, placements, and other training opportunities for young people. The research sector will receive $291 million to extend scholarship fellowships and grants.
The government is also launching a Student Service Grant that will provide up to $5,000 in additional bursary support to students involved in actively fighting against COVID-19 this summer.
Funding for indigenous students
The Prime Minister also noted that the government will work directly with provinces and territories to provide students in Quebec, North West Territories and Nunavut increased funding to financial aid, including $75 million for first nations, Métis, and Inuit students.
Meals on Wheels
Premier Ford said his government is working directly with the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) to launch a new Ontario Community Support Program that will expand services, including providing targeted funding of $11 million to Meals on Wheels to deliver food, medicine and essential support to help low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions. “As we face some of the darkest times in our province’s history, we have a duty to protect and care for the most vulnerable in our society,” Ford emphasized.
Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments
The Premier also announced that the first doubled Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments will be issued this week. This program provides a monthly, non-taxable benefit to low-income Ontario seniors and the doubling of the benefit was initially announced in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
Under this new program, individuals will receive up to $166 per month, while couples will receive up to $332 per month. These doubled payments will continue for six months and provide an additional $75 million to 194,000 vulnerable seniors who may need more help to cover essential expenses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Residential Relief Fund
Ford also said that his government will be investing $40 million in the Residential Relief Fund which will assist with developmental services, child welfare, victims shelters and organizations delivering social services to vulnerable First Nations individuals and families with COVID-related costs.
Additionally, $148 million will be provided to municipal partners that administer social services, with funding for the province’s most vulnerable as part of the province’s response to COVID-19
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
The Prime Minister announced that employers will be able to apply for the CEWG starting on Monday, April 27th for the 75 per cent salary top-up to keep staff on the payroll. The government expects to have processed 90 per cent of claims by May 4th, with payments landing later that week.
New Calculator Launched
The government is also launching a calculator application on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website to help employers and businesses determine how much they will be able to claim through the wage subsidy program.
Assistance for Charities and Non-Profits
Trudeau also announced the Emergency Fund for Community Support, a $350-million fund to support community organizations and non-profits. This money will help large and small organizations carry out important duties such as training volunteers, delivering meals to seniors and driving people with disabilities to appointments.
The investment will flow through national organizations — such as the United Way and Red Cross — that have the ability to get funds quickly to local organizations that serve vulnerable populations. It will support a variety of activities, such as:
- Increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications.
- Providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments.
- Scaling up help lines that provide information and support.
- Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits.
- Providing training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response.
- Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet.