COVID-19 Resources British Columbia2020-04-25T14:11:38+00:00

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

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool

Do you think you might have COVID-19? Use our self-assessment tool to find out what to do.

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

Phone: 8-1-1 | Visit Website

Non-Medical Information on COVID-19

Phone: 1-888-COVID-19* | Visit Website

News Releases

Visit Website

Official Health Information on COVID-19

Vancouver Coastal Health | BC Centre for Disease ControlHealth Canada | World Health Organization | Emergency Care Wait Times Vancouver, Richmond & North Shore

Official Twitter Accounts

Centre for Disease Control @CDCofBC | BC Government News @BCGovNews | Vancouver Coastal Health @VCHealthcare | Minister of Health Adrian Dix @AdrianDix | Health Canada @GovCanHealth

Federal Assistance Resources

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

Visit Website

Registered Retirement Income Funds

Reduction of minimum withdrawal requirements by 25%. Eligibility: Senior RRIF Holders.

Visit Website

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.

Visit Website

British Columbia Assistance Resources

Emergency Benefit for Workers

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a tax-free, one-time $1,000 payment for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19.

To be eligible for the emergency benefit, you must

  • Have been a resident of British Columbia on March 15, 2020
  • Meet the eligibility requirements for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • Have been approved for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, even if you haven’t received a federal benefit payment yet
  • Be at least 15 years old on the date you apply
  • Have filed, or agree to file, a 2019 B.C. income tax return
  • Not be receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance

You can apply online starting May 1, 2020.

What You Need To Apply

How To Apply

Expanding the BC Climate Action Tax Credit

  • Eligible families of four will receive up to $564 and eligible individuals will receive up to $218 in an enhanced payment
  • No application is needed as this will be part of the existing tax credit program

Affordable Child Care Benefit

  • Eligible families will continue to receive the Affordable Child Care Benefit.
  • If you choose or need to keep your child at home due to COVID-19, the Affordable Child Care Benefit can continue to be paid for up to 2 weeks in one month.

BC Housing

Temporarily suspended evictions of tenants in subsidized and affordable housing.

Support for renters, landlords during COVID-19 (announced March 25, 2020)

This comprehensive package supports renters by:

  • halting new and active evictions, except for exceptional circumstances, so that no one is evicted because of COVID-19 and people can remain in their homes during this crisis;
  • helping renters pay a portion of their rent each month through a new temporary rental supplement of up to $500 per month, building on other federal and provincial financial supports; Apply online
  • freezing annual rent increases to ensure that landlords cannot apply an annual rent increase for existing tenants during the COVID-19 crisis;
  • supporting tenants in social distancing and self-isolation by providing them the right to prevent landlords from accessing rental units without the tenant’s consent (for example, for showings or routine maintenance), except in exceptional cases where access is needed to respond to urgent health and safety concerns or to prevent undue damage to the unit;
  • restricting methods of service for Residential Tenancy Branch disputes or notices to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (no in-person service) and allowing service by email; and
  • allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.

The new changes support landlords by:

  • providing a new temporary rental supplement of up to $500 per month, which will be paid directly to landlords, ensuring they continue to receive rental income during the pandemic;
  • preserving the ability for landlords to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for permission to issue a notice to end tenancy in exceptional circumstances, for example when the safety of landlord or other tenants is at risk;
  • allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19; and
  • restricting methods of service for Residential Tenancy Branch disputes or notices to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (no in-person service) and allowing service by email.

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.

Visit Website

CIBC                                                                          

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

Visit Website

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.

Visit Website

Vancity                                                                    

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

Visit Website

Auto Insurance

People on a monthly payment plan who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19 may defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty.

Renew by phone or email at 1-800-950-1498

Visit Website

Utilities

BC Hydro

In addition to these financial support programs, BC Hydro is halting all service disconnections for non-payment of bills and reducing electricity rates by 1%.

COVID-19 Relief  Fund for Residential Customers

If you or your spouse/partner have lost employment or have become unable to work due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for three months of bill credit based on your average consumption.

Eligible customers can apply any time until June 30, 2020 to receive the credit. (average credit will be $477) Apply online

The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program provides customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Customers facing temporary financial hardship and possible disconnection of their service due to job loss, illness, or loss of a family member can defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty, or may also be eligible for our Customer Crisis Fund, which provides access to grants of up to $600 to pay their bills.

Phone: 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) | Apply online

Fortis BC

Fortis BC has waived late payment fees and we’ll ensure that no customer is disconnected from the energy they need for financial reasons. The Fortis team is available to help customers with any billing questions they may have and can help find flexible payment options.

Electricity • Phone: 1-866-436-7847 | Email: electricity.customerservice@fortisbc.com

Natural Gas • Phone: 1-888-224-2710 | Email: gas.customerservice@fortisbc.com

Visit Website

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

Waiving home internet overage charges for customers who are not on unlimited data plans until the end of April. Waiving all Easy Roam®, Travel Passes and pay-per-use roaming charges 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

Bell is waiving extra usage fees for all residential Internet customers until April 30th. Bell is also 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 our 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

Burnaby | Coquitlam | Richmond | Surrey | North Vancouver | West Vancouver | Squamish | Mission | Langley | Abbotsford | New Westminster

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.