COVID-19 Resources

In an effort to assist you during these difficult times we have collected a list of the various resources that may be available to you as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note: The information herein is provided as of March 25, 2020 and has been compiled from various internet sources without verification by Gateway.  Gateway assumes no liability for the accuracy of any of the information provided herein.  None of the programs or initiatives noted below are administered by or associated in any way with Gateway, and the information below is being provided by Gateway for informational purposes only, in an effort to assist our valued employees as they navigate this challenging and evolving situation.

Information and Useful Links

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

Phone: 1-833-784-4397 | Email: phac.info.aspc@canada.ca | Visit Website

Travel Advisories

Visit Website

Medical Information on COVID-19

Telehealth Ontario Phone: 1-866-797-0000 | Take Online Self-Assessment

Non-Medical Information on COVID-19

Visit Website

News Releases

Visit Website

Official Health Information on COVID-19

Public Health Ontario | Health Canada | World Health Organization

Official Twitter Accounts

ON Government News @ONGov | ON Health @HQOntario | Health Canada @GovCanHealth

Federal Assistance Resources

Global Affairs Canada

$5,000 Emergency Loan to assist Canadians travelling abroad to return home.

Phone: 1-613-996-8885 | Email: CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca | Visit Website

For all other consular emergencies, contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre: Email: sos@international.gc.ca

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – announced March 25, 2020

If you stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support.

The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.

The CERB is a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.

The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven’t stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.

Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of today would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply to the CERB. If their EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, they could apply for the CERB once their EI benefits cease, if they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19. Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would not need to reapply. Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits would still be able to access their normal EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.

Applications open on April 6. Get ready to apply by ensuring you are registered for My Account with the CRA and have set up direct deposit. More info here.

Day to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
 
If you were born in the month of Apply for CERB on Your best day to apply
January, February or March Mondays April 6
April, May, or June Tuesdays April 7
July, August, or September Wednesdays April 8
October, November, or December Thursdays April 9
Any month Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Canadians should begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.

EI Regular Benefits

EI Regular benefits provide between 14 and 45 weeks’ of income replacement (55% of earnings up to a maximum of $573 per week), depending on unemployment rates in the applicable region and the number of insurable hours an employee has worked in the previous 52 weeks or since his or her last claim. These benefits are available to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work or mass workforce reductions, including due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Further information about EI Regular benefits can be found on the Service Canada EI Regular Benefits website.

 GST Credit

A one-time payment of approximately $400 for singles or $600 for couples. Eligibility: Low Income Families – Benefits are tied to income through annual tax return. Effective May 2020

EI Work Sharing Program

EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce normal working hours as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, by extending eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks and easing eligibility requirements. Effective March 11, 2020

Canada Child Benefit

Increase the maximum annual benefit by $300/child. Effective May payment – for only the 2019/2020 benefit year

Canada Student Loans

Six–month interest free moratorium on the repayment of CSL. Eligibility includes all individuals currently repaying loans. Effective April – September 2020

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Tax Return Filing • Individuals

Deadline to file personal tax returns has been deferred to June 1 2020. Payment owed are deferred to August 31, 2020.

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Ontario Assistance Resources

Extensions on Service Ontario Licenses

Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Health, in cooperation with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and Service Ontario, is extending the validity period of driving products, services and health cards. These new regulations include extensions for driver licences, licence plate validation, Ontario Photo Cards, and Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration certificates, among others. Expiring and expired health cards will continue to provide access to health services.

The Ministry of Transportation is also automatically extending the due dates for medical or vision reports, which both reduces the need for in-person visits, but also ensures that patients do not need to visit their doctors, helping the health system to focus on containing COVID-19.

Assistance with Extra Childcare Costs

The Province of Ontario is helping families pay for the extra costs associated with school and daycare closures during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools.

Funding for Social Services

The funding will help municipalities and social service providers such as shelters, food banks, emergency services, charities and non-profits continue to deliver their critical services, hire additional staff, and find ways to promote social distancing and self-isolation to keep clients safe and healthy. Ontario’s municipal service managers will determine local needs and distribute the funding, ensuring clients are receiving the support they need.

This new funding will help individuals and families in financial crisis who are not able to access federal assistance to cover needs such as food, rent, medicine, transportation and other services during this public health crisis. Funding will also be made available to organizations delivering social services to vulnerable First Nations individuals and families.

Individuals can apply for COVID-19 Emergency Assistance online at Ontario.ca/community.

Expanding access to the emergency assistance program administered by Ontario Works to provide financial support to people facing economic hardship and help more people meet basic needs such as food and rent during this public health emergency.

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

Providing six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief for students, leaving more money in people’s pockets.

Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS)

Proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months.

Banking

Royal Bank                                                             

Up to 6 month deferral on mortgage payments and Skip One Monthly Payment on loans, credit cards. Eligibility: Case by case basis.

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CIBC                                                                          

Up to 6 month deferral on mortgage payment. Eligibility: Case by case basis.

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Bank of Montreal                                               

Deferral of payments on mortgages for up to six months as well as deferral of payments on loans and credit cards. Eligibility: Case by case basis.

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Vancity                                                                    

Deferral of payments on mortgages for up to six months as well as deferral of payments on loans. Eligibility: Case by case basis.

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Utilities

The Province of Ontario is supporting more affordable electricity bills for eligible residential, farm and small business consumers, by providing approximately $5.6 billion for electricity cost relief programs in 2020-21, which is an increase of approximately $1.5 billion compared to the 2019 Budget plan.

 They are further supporting more affordable electricity bills by setting electricity prices for residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, addressing concerns about time-of-use metering.

Providing $9 million in direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ontario Hydro

Ontario Hydro has created a Pandemic Relief Fund to assist customers affected by COVID-19. It will be offering financial assistance as well as increased payment flexibility to customers experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.

Visit Website | Phone: 1-888-664-9376 | Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30am – 8pm • Saturday 9am – 3pm

Union Gas

Eligible customers having trouble paying their bill may qualify for emergency relief to avoid having their service disconnected through the Enbridge Energy Assistance Program. Emergency financial assistance is available year-round as funding allows. Customers should contact the United Way Simcoe Muskoka at 1-855-487-5327 for more information.

Enbridge Gas has a long history of working directly with customers who are falling behind on their gas bills, to establish payment plans. Any customer who has concerns about their ability to make their utility payment should contact:

  • Homes and businesses formerly served by Union Gas: 1-888-774-3111
  • Homes and businesses formerly served by Enbridge Gas Distribution: 1-877-362-7434

Visit Website

For other municipal gas and water companies, please refer to your own provider’s websites/customer service as many are providing relief during the pandemic.

Wireless & Internet Companies

Shaw

Opened up Shaw Go Wifi to everyone. If you are having any concerns about paying your monthly Shaw internet bill due to hardship resulting from the COVID-19 situation, we will work with you to find a flexible payment arrangement that considers your financial and connectivity needs.

Telus

Telus is waiving home internet overage charges for customers who are not on unlimited data plans until the end of April. Telus will also be waiving all Easy Roam®, Travel Passes and pay-per-use roaming charges Read legal footnote1 for postpaid TELUS customers.

Additionally, they will support consumer and small business customers facing financial challenges because of COVID-19 by providing them with flexible payment options. We don’t want anyone to worry about not being able to pay their bill on time if they have been financially affected by the crisis.

Bell

Waiving extra usage fees for all residential Internet customers until April 30th. Waiving Roam BetterTM and all pay-per-use roaming fees for all destinations and for all consumers and small businesses between March 18th and April 30th 2020. These measures will be applied automatically. No action is required by customers.

Rogers

Rogers is automatically waiving any Canadian long-distance voice calling charges for all Rogers Home Phone customers until April 30, 2020. As of March 13, 2020 Rogers will be temporarily lifting data usage caps on Rogers internet plans to May 31, 2020 and waiving data overages for our internet customers. Wireless –Rogers is waiving any calling charges for calls made within Canada. March 16-April 30, 2020.

Rogers will also be automatically removing Pay-per-use roaming charges for postpaid customers who use these services between March 16th and April 30, 2020.  They are also waiving wireless data overages at this time, however, if you are already on a Rogers Infinite plan you have unlimited data, and do not need to worry about data overages.

Municipal Links

Orillia | Barrie | Toronto | Woodstock | London | Sarnia | Chatham-Kent | Hanover | Sudbury | Sault Ste. Marie | Thunder Bay

The information herein is provided as of March 25, 2020 and has been compiled from various internet sources without verification by Gateway.  Gateway assumes no liability for the accuracy of any of the information provided herein.  None of the programs or initiatives noted below are administered by or associated in any way with Gateway, and the information below is being provided by Gateway for informational purposes only, in an effort to assist our valued employees as they navigate this challenging and evolving situation.