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* NOTE: As information is rapidly changing, the below details were accurate at time of issue on March 25th, 2020. Please refer to the links for the most up to date details. 
Canadians can expect to get $2,000 per month within 10 days from new emergency COVID-19 benefits

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit
People who have been laid off, those who are sick, caretakers and self-employed workers can receive up to $2,000 a month for four months.

Emergency benefits for workers will come as early as the first week of April to those:

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
Application details will be available through My CRA and My Service Canada, early April.

A $300 top up for each child under the Canada Child Benefit and an increase in GST will take effect in May.

Details are forthcoming. I will provide updates as they become available.

Other updates on March 25th, 2020

Those returning from abroad:
The federal government will start enforcing 14-day quarantines on travellers returning to Canada. Enforcement measures include potential for fines or even arrests for people violating.

What supports are available for the farming community?

  • On Friday March 20th, 2020: the Government announced an exemption for the Temporary Foreign Worker and Seasonal Agriculture Worker Programs following the closure of the border to the majority of non-citizens. This exemption includes seasonal agricultural workers, fish/seafood workers, caregivers and all other temporary foreign workers.
  • A number of changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker and Seasonal Agriculture Worker Programs. These changes include:
    • A temporary modification to the Labour Market Impact Assessment process for agriculture and food processing employers, waving the 2-week recruitment period for the next 6 months.
    • Increasing the maximum allowable employment duration for workers in the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program from 1 to 2 years.
  • Farm Credit Canada will receive support from the Government of Canada that will allow for an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors. This will offer increased flexibility to farmers who face cashflow issues and to processors who are impacted by lost sales, helping them remain financially strong during this difficult time.
  • In addition, all eligible farmers who have an outstanding Advance Payments Program (APP) loan due on or before April 30 will receive a Stay of Default, allowing them an additional six months to repay the loan. This important measure, which represents $173 million in deferred loans, will help keep more money in farmers’ pockets during these critical months.
  • The Stay of Default will also provide farmers the flexibility they need to manage their cashflow when facing lower prices or reduced marketing opportunities. Applicable farmers who still have interest-free loans outstanding will have the opportunity to apply for an additional $100,000 interest-free portion for 2020-2021, as long as their total APP advances remain under the $1 million cap.
After of hours of negotiations that went early into the morning Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government finally backed down from their power grab. It was an unprecedented attempt to usurp the role of government and acquire powers to tax, spend and borrow without oversight. Here is our formal response to last night’s development:

The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, issued the following statement on March 25, 2020:

“Since the beginning of this crisis, Conservatives have been focused on Canadians and getting them the support they desperately need. We recognize that these are unprecedented times and that urgent action is needed. Almost a million Canadians have already been laid off, stores and restaurants have been told to close their doors, and Canadians have been told to stay at home. We also know that this crisis has hit our economy hard and that the months to come will be difficult.

“That is why Conservatives have been flexible in our approach, while also continuing to ensure government oversight.

“When we agreed to the extraordinary suspension of Parliament, Conservatives insisted that the government be subject to substantial accountability measures including that the Auditor General would audit any new spending, that parliamentary committees would be able to review all of that spending when Parliament resumes, that parliamentary committees could be recalled at any time, and that the government must immediately inform the Opposition of any spending and make it public within seven days.

“We also agreed to bring back the House of Commons this week with only a small number of Members present. We were prepared to quickly pass the measures that the Prime Minister had announced to date. What we were not prepared for was the government’s attempted undemocratic power grab.

“The Liberals shamefully tried to use a public health crisis to give themselves the powers to raise taxes, debt and spending without parliamentary approval until January 1, 2022. But after hours of negotiation, the government has backed down.

“Conservatives have secured the following concessions:

We demanded that the government remove the section that would have allowed them to raise taxes without parliamentary approval. They agreed.
We demanded that the government walk back their unlimited spending powers and that special warrants expire on June 23, 2020 instead of September 30, 2020. They agreed.
We demanded that the government include explicit reference to putting taxpayers’ rights first. They agreed.
We demanded that the government put sunset clauses in their legislation. They agreed.
We demanded that the government be accountable to Parliament through regular reports to the House of Commons Health and Finance committees and that the Finance Committee have the right to recall Parliament if we identify any abuses. They agreed.

“Our effective Opposition has also gotten the government to reverse course on other policies.

“Conservatives called for stronger action to protect our borders and the government responded. We asked about the impact of the border closure on the temporary foreign worker and seasonal agricultural worker programs and the government made exemptions. We called on the government to stop the flow of illegal border crossers into Canada, particularly at Roxham Road, and the government listened.

“We will continue to use all of the tools available to us to hold the government to account. And we will continue to use our strengthened Opposition to ask tough questions on behalf of Canadians and put forward constructive solutions to ensure that no one falls through the cracks.”


The Canada-US Border closed at Midnight on March 20th, 2020. 

This restriction covers all travel of an optional or discretionary nature, such as:

  • tourism
  • entertainment
  • recreation

Healthy people who must cross the border for work or other essential purposes, such as medical care, may continue to do so.

Some examples of essential travel purposes are:

  • work and study
  • economic services and supply chains
  • critical infrastructure support
  • health, immediate medical care, safety and security
  • shopping for essential goods such as medication or goods necessary for the health and safety of an individual or family

Canada and the U.S. recognize how closely our economies are integrated. It is essential that trade continue during this pandemic. Economic supply chains remain open and we will work to ensure that access to goods and services is not interrupted.

We know the security at our borders is an area where the Liberals have failed in the past, and we even heard in mid March from Minister Blair that the illegal border crossers were still being permitted to cross, and put in to 14 day isolation.To provide you with the most recent update, the Canada-US border has been closed to all non-essential travel. This includes all non-citizens. Therefore it is expected illegal border crosses will no longer be accepted and put in to 14-day isolation.

Our understanding it was announced in late March by the Liberal government illegal migrants will no longer be permitted to cross into Canada. They will be turned back to the United States.

Crisis lines and mental health professionals are seeing a jump in calls as Canadians come to try to deal with the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasingly drastic measures aimed at containing coronavirus.

People are very anxious about what’s happening. People are feeling worried and scared. But social isolation doesn’t mean emotional isolation. If you need to talk to someone, here are some supports available:


Text HOME to 686868 in Canada to text with a trained Crisis Responder. 

Every texter is connected with a Crisis Responder, a real-life human being trained to bring texters from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening and collaborative problem-solving.

Here are some tips from Anxiety Canada: 

Be self-compassionate

Even people who don’t usually struggle with anxiety are experiencing more worry and anxiety now. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re experiencing more anxiety than usual.

Limit the news & unplug from social media

Understandably coronavirus is the lead story for most news outlets. People on social media are likewise sharing information and stories, some of which are accurate but others may have little to do with reality. By limiting or eliminating contact with media you can help yourself manage your own anxiety and worry. If you cannot eliminate contact with media, control it: Make sure that your information only comes from reputable sources

Stop talking about coronavirus

Water cooler chat with coworkers and sharing the latest details with family and friends will be common. But: it keeps us thinking about it, which will influence our sense of threat/risk.

To counteract this, don’t initiate the conversation and change the subject if it does come up. If you’re comfortable doing so, ask friends and family to not discuss the coronavirus news updates with you. Not only will this help you feel less anxious, it’ll help others too.

Protecting yourself

Good hand hygiene – although COVID-19 is a novel virus, it’s still a virus and handwashing remains one of the best ways to protect yourself. Follow the guidelines of your local public health agency, Health Canada, or the World Health Organization.

Washing your hands for 20 seconds with warm water is sufficient protection. Don’t set a timer as it will establish a false sense of security and certainty. Remember we live in an uncertain world and we need to be able to tolerate some uncertainty.

Stop touching your face – viruses enter our bodies through our eyes, nose and mouth. The coronavirus can also be inhaled if you are standing close to someone who coughs or sneezes without covering their nose or mouth. Many people touch their faces out of habit. Habits can be changed if you commit to it.

Social distancing – during the period when coronavirus is active it may be reasonable to disengage the usual greeting of handshaking, hugging and kissing and keeping a distance of 1 metre (3 feet) from someone who’s exhibiting symptoms. And importantly, to prevent the spread of infection, if you are feeling unwell and have a fever or a cough, please stay home and limit interactions with people in your home.

You are not alone and help is available.

COVID-19 Symptom Self Assessment Tool
Alberta has established a province-specific self-assessment tool available on the Alberta Health Services website. Please use that tool for province-specific information & resources.

The Federal Governments self-assessment tool can be found here: 

This self-assessment tool will help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to.

Who should be tested for COVID-19?

People with respiratory symptoms who are:

  • Hospitalized, or likely to be hospitalized
  • Health Care Workers
  • Residents of long term care facilities
  • Part of an investigation of a cluster or outbreak

Who does not need to be tested for COVID-19?

  • People without symptoms
  • Patients with mild respiratory symptoms who can be managed at home, including returning travellers with an onset of illness within 14 days of return to Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada strongly urges anyone who has symptoms - including a fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, or difficulty breathing - to self-isolate for 14 days. To protect yourself while out in public, wash your hands frequently and maintain a distance of about 2 metres from others. For more information on COVID-19, refer to the Government of Canada COVID-19 website.


Canadians abroad in need of emergency consular assistance can call Global Affairs Canada's 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885, or email For a list of toll free numbers:

If you are looking for information on COVID-19, please try the following resources for information:
Alberta Response to COVID-19:
Canada Public Health:
World Health Organization:
Alberta Health Services:
Know the facts About Coronavirus (covid-19)
COVID-19 is an illness caused by a coronavirus. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.
Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus. Coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person through:
· Respiratory droplets when you cough or sneeze
· Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
· Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands
These viruses are not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water.
The best way to prevent the spread of infections is to:

· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands; avoid close contact with people who are sick;
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
· When coughing or sneezing:
· Cover you mouth and nose with your arm or tissues to reduce the spread of germs
· Immediately dispose of any tissues you have used into the garbage as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys, electronic devices and doorknobs
· Stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19—fever, cough, or difficult breathing:
· Stay home to avoid spreading it to others
· If you live with others, stay in a separate room or keep a two-meter distance
· Call ahead before you visit a health care professional or call you local public health authority
· Tell them your symptoms and follow their instructions
· If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and tell them your symptoms
Copyright © 2020 John Barlow MP, All rights reserved.

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