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I want to share this summary from our Calgary – Varsity MLA, Minister Copping. If you need help, please reach out to your MLA, click here for contact information. Please be patient, as they are being flooded, and they are like my office working from home, and/or not allowing walk-ins. Please share this information with anyone you know who could use it.

My office is still functioning, but my staff are at home, and we are not taking any in person meetings at City Hall. For now, if you need help send an email to ward04@calgary.ca or call 311. For Health related questions call 811, but please note they are very busy, and a lot of information can be found online here, or for Federal questions, here.  

I am still making calls, answering e-mails, and directing to City staff who can help those who ask for it, but please be patient. Supporting Albertans who are in need is the priority right now. #ableg #yyc #yyccc #ward4 #covid19ab

Financial Support for Albertans

Albertans should not be worried about paying their bills, this is why our government has put a number of options in place for those struggling financially:

  • Emergency Isolation Support:  $50 million
    • This will be a temporary program for working adult Albertans who must self-isolate because they meet the Government of Alberta’s published criteria for self-isolation, including persons who are the sole caregiver for a dependent who mush self-isolate because they meet the public health criteria, and who will not have another source of pay or compensation while they are self-isolated.
    • It will be distributed in one payment installment and will bridge the gap until the federal emergency payments begin in April.
    • We expect the program to be accessible by a simple online application through alberta.ca next week and that funds will be deposited in the accounts of eligible recipients beginning at that time.
  • Utility payment holiday
    • Residential, farm, and small commercial customers can defer bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off from these services during this time of crisis.
  • Student loans repayment holiday
    • The government will implement a six-month, interest-free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for individuals who are in process of repaying these loans.

Employers


Alberta employers are facing significant challenges and uncertainty.  To give them increased access to cash in order to pay employees, address debts and continue operations, the government will:

  • defer the collection of corporate income tax balances and instalment payments, due after today, until August 31, 2020.  This gives Alberta businesses access to about $1.5 billion in funds.

Banks and credit unions

  • ATB Financial customers impacted by COVID-19
    • personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit, and mortgages for up to six months.
    • Small business customers, in addition to payment deferrals on loans and lines of credit, will be provided access to additional working capital.
    • For other business, ATB will work with customers on a one-on-one basis and further solutions are being considered at this time.
    • For more information on ATB’s relief program, please visit https://www.atb.com/resources/alerts/covid-19/ 
       
  • Alberta credit unions
    • Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow.
    • Both individual and business members are encouraged to proactively contact their credit union directly to work out a plan for their personal situation.

Further Relief Measures

Albertans, Seniors and vulnerable groups

Charitable and non-profit groups will immediately receive an additional $60 million to support seniors and other vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Health care for Albertans

The Government of Alberta has committed $500 million extra this year to respond to the public health crisis and to support front-line health professionals working to keep Albertans safe and healthy.  This is in addition to the record-high $20.6 billion allocated for health care in Budget 2020.

Changes to Employment Standards Code

The Government of Alberta made a special amendment to the Employment Standards Code to protect Albertans from job loss during the pandemic including:

  • Exempting the requirement for 90 days of service with an employer;
  • Provide 14 days of unpaid leave for the purpose of self-isolation; and 
  • Waive the requirement for employees to provide a medical note to access leave

Resources

Mental health:
The COVID-19 can have tremendous impact on one’s mental health.  Resources are available if you, or someone you know, is struggling or needs a little extra support.

Help prevent the spread:
To find out how you can help prevent the spread you can visit https://www.alberta.ca/prevent-the-spread.aspx

New health care app for Albertans
Babylon by Telus Health is now available as a new tool for Albertans to access health-care information and support in response to COVID-19 – from anywhere in the province.  Albertans can use the service to check symptoms, book appointments, see a doctor, and get prescriptions and referrals for diagnostic imaging and specialists – all covered by Alberta Health Care.

Service Alberta:
Service Alberta has temporarily closed front counter, in-person access for some services in Edmonton and Calgary.  Services remain operational and available, but Albertans should not visit the physical locations.  You can call 310-0000 or visit alberta.ca for more information.

If you have a drivers’ licence, vehicle registration or another permit or certificate up for renewal, Service Alberta has extended the expire dates for these until May 15. 

For more information and resources please visit https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

Sean Chu

Sean Chu

Sean Chu arrived in Calgary from Taiwan in 1985 speaking not a word of English, and within 7 years he was a sworn officer with the Calgary Police Service. From that point on Sean worked with the Calgary Police Service as on Officer for 21 years in a number of roles until 2013.

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