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Community Update: December 3, 2020

Virtual Town Hall Reminder

Dear Friends,

I hope you are keeping well during this difficult time. 

Tonight, my colleagues MPP Mitzie Hunter, City Councillor Paul Ainslie, and I are co-hosting another Scarborough-Guildwood virtual town to address your questions about the on-going second wave of the pandemic. 
 
Please click on the link below at 7pm to join the live town hall
Join Here
Highlights from this issue:
  1. Fall Economic Statement: Highlights
  2. What We Give
  3. Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
  4. Canada Recovery Benefits
  5. One-Time Disability Payment
  6. Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program
  7. Outside of Canada Travel Information
  8. Important Immigration Information
  9. Toronto Miracle Food Donation Initiative 
  10. Who's Hiring in Scarborough?
  11. Update: COVID-19 Assessment Centres
  12. International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
  13. Toronto Zoo Holiday Drive-Thru
  14. In the News

Fall Economic Statement: Highlights

On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled the government's Fall Economic Statement. The statement outlined many important support programs for our community. The federal government will also make the COVID-19 vaccine available for free- having signed agreements for up to 429 million doses from seven leading candidates.

I was pleased to see increased support for families and children with the Canada Child Benefit.  Scarborough-Guildwood has seen the largest drop in child poverty in the country, thanks to the landmark Canada Child Benefit. The statement included:
  • Temporary support totaling up to $1,200 in 2021 for each child under the age of 6 for low and middle income families who are entitled to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB).
  • This support will be automatically delivered to families entitled to the CCB with net income at or below $120,000 as four tax-free payments of $300, with the first payment being made shortly after the enabling legislation is passed, and subsequent payments in the months of April, July, and October 2021.
  • Families entitled to the CCB with net income above $120,000 would receive a tax-free payment of $150 at each of these times, for a total benefit of $600.
 The Fall Economic Statement also outlined important measures for seniors:
  • The Government of Canada will establish a new $1 billion Safe Long-term Care Fund that will help provinces and territories protect people in long-term care and support infection prevention and control.
  • We are committing $38.5 million to support training up to 4,000 personal support worker interns through an accelerated online program and 4-month work placement, to address labour shortages in long-term care and home care.
 
For more information about any of these measures and other commitments, please visit this website:
Learn More

What We Give

What We Give: Video Conversation with Trevor Bullen

I enjoyed my discussion with Trevor Bullen, the Principal at West Hill Collegiate Institute

What We Give: Podcast Episode with Wisdom Tettey

On this episode of What We Give,  I speak to Wisdom Tettey-- Principal of the University of Toronto Scarborough. Wisdom’s area of expertise is in political science and he is well positioned to lead UTSC during these difficult times.

Listen now and subscribe to What We Give:
Listen Here

What We Give: Podcast Episode with Dip Habib 

Pleased to release this episode of What We Give, featuring Dip Habib. Dip manages Volunteers, Events and Facilities at the East Scarborough Storefront and is a recipient of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and Scarborough-Guildwood Parliamentary medal.

Listen now and subscribe to What We Give: 
Listen Here

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

To help businesses through this challenging time and to save jobs, the federal government is extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to June 2021, and have proposed to increase the maximum subsidy rate back to 75%.
 
Learn more about the program and apply here:
Apply Now

Canada Recovery Benefits

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes) for a 2-week period. Individuals are required to re-apply every 2 weeks. 

You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
 
Learn more & apply here: 
Learn More

One-Time Disability Payment 

*Update*
In order to ensure as may eligible Canadians receive their payments, the Government of Canada has extended the deadline to apply for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). The deadline to apply for the one-time payment has now been extended to December 31, 2020

On October 30, 2020, approximately 1.6 million eligible people will automatically start receiving the one-time payment.
 
Many different groups of Canadians will be eligible for this payment, including those who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, Canada Pension Plan Disability, a Quebec Pension Plan disability pension, and 7 programs administered by Veterans Affairs Canada. 
 
Seniors with disabilities who were eligible for the one-time seniors payment announced on May 12, 2020 may also be eligible for the one-time payment to persons with disabilities. In cases where they are eligible for both payments, individuals would receive a total amount of $600 as follows:
  • $300 for Canadians who are eligible for the Old Age Security pension and who received the one-time seniors payment of $300; or
  • $100 for Canadians who are eligible for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Allowances and who received the one-time senior’s payment of $500. 
Learn more and apply here:
Apply Now

Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program

A new call for proposals for the Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives (CSMARI) Program recently launched. 
 
The Government of Canada will redouble its efforts to combat all forms of systemic racism and discrimination in a way that is informed by lived experiences. Consequently, the CSMARI Program was created in 2018 to strengthen diverse communities and support anti-racism initiatives across the country. Since the September 2018 intake, the Government of Canada has funded 679 events and 229 initiatives through this program.
 
The deadline for organizations to submit applications under the Projects and the Community Capacity Building components of the program is January 12, 2021.
 
There is no established deadline to submit a funding application under the Events component, as applications are accepted on a continuous basis. Please note that funding applications under the Events component must be submitted at least 18 weeks prior to the proposed event start date.
 
Learn more and apply to the program:
Learn More
While some countries are preparing to partially open up their borders, the Government of Canada reminds all Canadians that a global travel advisory to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada remains in effect. Travellers should also avoid all cruise ship travel until further notice. 

The restriction on all discretionary travel at the Canada-U.S. border has been extended until January 21, 2021. This applies to all foreign nationals with some exceptions for immediate family members

*New*: Processes are being introduced to support enhanced family reunification, entry for compassionate reasons, and the safe and gradual entry of some international students. 
  • Starting on October 8, more information will be available outlining who qualifies under the enhanced family reunification program. 
  • Starting on October 20, international students, if they will be attending a designated learning institution that has been identified by their provincial or territorial government as having a COVID-19 readiness plan in place are allowed to enter Canada. 
Travellers returning to Canada are required to quarantine or self-isolate for 14 days. This is mandatory. For further information and a list of exemptions, consult the Travel restrictions, exemptions, and advice page.

For more travel advice and information, click here

Important Immigration Information 

Check out the links below to find out how COVID-19 is affecting TRVs, citizenship applications, passport renewals, and other files: 
  • Click here to find out how COVID-19 is affecting immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport services:
  • Click here for updates on Permanent Residence applications
  • Click here for updates on your citizenship application
  • Click here for updates from Passport Canada:
  • Click here for updates on Refugees, asylum claimants, sponsors and PRRA applications
  • Potential travellers who have specific cases can consult with the CBSA's Border Information Services here
  • Click here for updates on TRV, student's permit and foreign workers
  • Even if you have an approved visitor visa or eTA, you may not be approved to travel at this time or guaranteed entry to Canada.
  • As of July 1, 2020, IRCC is processing all online visitor visa and eTA applications, so you can be ready to travel when the restrictions are lifted
  • Quarantine requirements
    • When visitors arrive in Canada by air, land or sea, border services will assess your health before you leave the port of entry.
    • If you're a foreign national, and you have symptoms of COVID-19, you won't be allowed to enter Canada.
  • You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada, including
    • A place to stay
    • How you'll get to your destination
    • How you'll get your groceries
    • Accessing essential services and medical care
  • This plan is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms.
  • If you don't have a plan, you should not travel to Canada. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to enter the country. 
  • The penalties for not following your quarantine plan once you're in the country can include
    • A fine of up to $750,000
    • 6 months of jail time
    • Being found inadmissible, removed from Canada and banned from entering for 1 year
  • Only people who provide essential services, for example truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods, are exempt from the quarantine requirements.

Toronto Miracle Food Donation Initiative 

On December 5ᵗʰ at 10am, residents are invited to leave a non-perishable food item on their doorstep (clearly marked for Toronto Miracle). Volunteers will collect these donations and redistribute to those in need in the community.

Toronto Miracle is working with Second Harvest and Daily Bread Food Bank and North York Harvest to assist in the collection and distribution of the food to agencies across the city.
Collectively these organizations serve over 350 community agencies across the city. Toronto Miracle's goal is to bring together all 140 Toronto neighbourhoods to raise 250,000 non-perishable food items in one day.

An estimated 6,000 new clients began accessing food banks in Toronto in June 2020 (compared to 2,000 in February 2020). We can all help to contribute to the end of hunger in our community. 
 
Learn more about how to volunteer and donate:
Learn More

Who's Hiring in Scarborough

The East Scarborough Storefront has compiled this week's list of all the available jobs in Scarborough. 

All jobs are with Scarborough-based employers and vary from retail to social sector employment opportunities. 
View the List

Update: COVID-19 Assessment Centres

The Scarborough Health Network (SHN) is moving their Assessment Centres to warmer indoor locations for the winter. The SHN partnered with the University of Toronto Scarborough  and the Centre for Immigrant and Community Services (CICS) to provide new, indoor facilities for COVID-19 testing throughout the winter. This will ensure you will not need to wait outside during those cold winter months.  

Starting on December 1,  Cethentenary Assessment Centre will be relocated to University of Toronto – Scarborough Campus (1265 Military Trail, Highland Hall building).

The Birchmount Assessment Centre will stay open a little longer, until a new indoor location is launched at CICS. Stay tuned for more information on this.

The General Assessment Centre will be remain open as a Cold/Flu/COVID-19 Clinic.
Learn more and book an appointment here:
Learn More

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Yesterday (December 3rd) was the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. My colleagues and I in the All-Party Parliamentary Group to End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (APPG) remain committed to ending slavery in Canada and shared this video to mark the occasion.

The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking of persons, sexual exploitation, and the worst forms of child labour. 

Now more than ever, we understand the need to transcend party lines and work together to end modern slavery. We have an opportunity to fight the scourge of slavery through the adoption of Bill S-216, introduced by Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne. I have committed to sponsoring Bill S-216 once it arrives in the House of Commons.

Please contact my office if you are interested in supporting this initiative. 

Toronto Zoo Holiday
Drive-Thru

Celebrate the holiday season this year by coming out to the Toronto Zoo Holiday Drive-Thru for a family-friendly and COVID safe experience! 

The route includes seeing the 35 Foot tall Toronto Zoo Christmas Tree and Santa. Please bring donations for Second Harvest and the Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive.
Learn More

In the News

I invite you to read my most recent interviews here:
My staff and I are embracing video chatting as we work remotely to continue serving you. You can reach us at 416-283-1226 or john.mckay.c1@parl.gc.ca

Our constituency office continues to be closed, but our services remain available to you by phone or email. 

If you require assistance on matters relating to the federal government or departments (Citizenship and Immigration, Canada Revenue Agency, CPP/OAS), please contact my office by phone at 416-283-1226 or by email at John.McKay.c1@parl.gc.ca. We will return all calls and emails

Citizenship and Immigration is not assisting people via telephone. However they can be reached through their web form.

If this is the first update you have seen, and you would like to be included on all future communications, please click here.

Sincerely,
 
Hon. John McKay, P.C.,
Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Guildwood
To view all previous issues of my email updates, click here
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