Community Update: September 24th, 2020

September Community Update

Dear Friends,

I hope you are staying safe and are continuing to practice social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing/sanitizing your hands frequently. I encourage you to watch this video produced by the Government of Canada on how to properly wear a non-medical mask or face covering. 

Yesterday, the Governor General unveiled the Speech from the Throne. This is not the time for austerity. Canadians should not have to choose between health and their job, just like Canadians should not have to take on debt that their government can better shoulder.

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 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.
Highlights from this issue:
  1. Speech from the Throne Highlights
  2. Apply Now: New Horizons for Seniors Program 
  3. Back to School with Centennial College
  4. Join the House of Commons Page Program
  5. Reminder from the CRA: File your taxes now to avoid interruptions  
  6. Outside of Canada Travel Information
  7. Important Immigration Information
  8. Cybersecurity for the Remote Workplace Webinar
  9. Great Explorations Event Series
  10. Scarborough Centre for Health Communities- Call for Volunteers
  11. Download the COVID-19 App
  12. In the News

Speech from the Throne Highlights

Governor General Julie Payette reads the Speech from the Throne to a socially distanced Senate. 
The Throne Speech outlines the steps and policies required to build a stronger and more resilient Canada. The federal government is committed to: 
  • Extending Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through to next summer
  • Establishing a Disability Inclusion Plan, which will be modelled after the GIS for seniors 
  • Building a new EI system that is the sole delivery mechanism for employment benefits
  • Increasing Old Age Security once a senior turns 75, and boost the Canada Pension Plan survivor’s benefit.
  • Creating a Canada-wide early learning and childcare system.
  • Continuing to implement firearms policy commitments by giving municipalities more tools and strengthening measures to control the flow of illegal handguns into Canada;
  • Building a whole-of-federal-government approach around better collection of disaggregated data 
  • Introducing legislation and making investments that take action to address the systemic inequities in all phases of the criminal justice system;  
  • Moving forward on enhanced civilian oversight of our law enforcement agencies, modernizing training for police, and reforming the RCMP
  • Amending the Criminal Code to penalize those who neglect seniors under their care;
  • Working with the provinces and territories to set new, national standards for long-term care
  • Bringing forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal
  • Creating more than a million jobs 
You can read the Throne Speech in its entirety here: 
Read Now

Apply Now: New Horizons for Seniors Program 

The Call for Proposals for community-based programs is now open for 2020–21 through the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP). This year, organizations will be able to apply for funding to support seniors dealing with the pandemic by submitting project proposals that offer specific COVID-19 relief and recovery activities for seniors. Organizations can still submit proposals for more traditional NHSP projects that they plan to deliver in 2021–22.
Applications close on October 20, 2020.
Learn more and apply here:
Apply Now

Back to School with Centennial College

I applaud the steps Centennial College and many educational institutions are taking to cope with COVID-19 during this academic year. Watch this great message from Centennial College President, Dr. Craig Stephenson speaking to the energy and agility of the institution.

Join the House of Commons Page Program

Every year since 1978, the Page Program has offered 40 graduating high school and CEGEP students from across Canada the chance to work at the House of Commons for a year. Pages have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of Parliament by playing a role in the traditions of the Canadian parliamentary system. 
Applications close on November 8, 2020.
Learn more about the program and apply here: 
Apply Now

Reminder from the CRA: File your taxes now to avoid interruptions  

CRA would like to remind everyone that if they still haven’t filed their 2019 tax return, they need to do so as soon as possible to avoid any future interruptions to their CCB and/or GST/HST credit and related provincial and territorial programs.

Once your 2019 tax return is filed and assessed, payments will be reinstated if they are still eligible for the CCB and/or the GST/HST credit and related provincial and territorial payments.

If they are a benefit recipient and owe any tax amount on your 2019 income, you have until September 30, 2020 to pay. Late-filing penalties or interest will not be charged if payment is made by that date. However, you need to file your return as soon as possible to avoid any future interruptions to your benefit payments.


Enrol for free tax seminars from the CRA and learn more here:

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 October 21st, 2020. This applies to all foreign nationals with some exceptions for immediate family members

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.

Cybersecurity for the Remote Workplace Webinar

I was pleased to participate to the Pearson Centre's webinar: Cybersecurity for the Remote Workplace Webinar. During the webinar, I spoke up the need to define what constitutes privacy and the need to create real consequences for data breaches. 

Great Explorations Event Series

Professor David Fleet, Department of Computer & Mathematical Sciences, U of T Scarborough, CIFAR AI Chair, U of T, Faculty Member, Vector Institute, and Google Research leads the Fall 2020 line-up on Tuesday, October 6 with Understanding the World from Images. Prof. Fleet will speak on his research in Computer Vision and Deep Learning - reconstructing large-scale scenes to support applications such as virtual reality and autonomous vehicles, and in the small, estimating the structure of biological molecules such as viruses and proteins at atomic resolutions.

RSVP below for this virtual talk on October 6, 2020 from 5-6pm:

Scarborough Centre for Health Communities- Call for Volunteers

The Scarborough Centre for Health Communities is open to volunteers again. They have new processes in place to ensure they are doing everything we can to keep volunteers healthy and safe.

The programs requiring volunteers most urgently are Meals on Wheels (MOW) and the Food Bank.

As more programs resume onsite, additional volunteers will be required.
Learn more about the volunteer opportunities and apply here:
Apply Now

Download the COVID-19 App

The Government of Canada, in collaboration with other orders of government and across sectors, has developed a new voluntary nation-wide mobile app to let users know if they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Tracking the virus is the best way to combat it.
Learn more about the app and download it here:
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 If this is the first update you have seen, and you would like to be included on all future communications, please click here. Our office will be closed to until further notice, but our services remain available by phone or email. 

Hon. John McKay, P.C.,
Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Guildwood
To view all previous issues of my email updates, click here
Copyright © 2020 John McKay MP Scarborough-Guildwood, All rights reserved.

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