Chris Glover MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update: End of Week 2 - How to Help Your Neighbour

Published on March 27, 2020

Dear Neighbours,

Today is the day when governments, agencies and communities across Canada really began organizing mutual aid systems to help us through this pandemic.The federal government has stepped up with the Community Emergency Response Benefit giving $2,000/month for 4 months for individuals who have lost their income, and a 75% wage subsidy for small businesses.

In support of the healthcare workers, TTC drivers, grocery store clerks and other essential workers who are keeping us all going through the pandemic, the province is opening 50,000 free 24-hour childcare spots for essential service workers. Councillor Joe Cressy helped coordinate the essential daycare sites in Toronto and also announced today that the city has acquired hotels and motels as part of an integrated homelessness response to COVID-19.

Community members are stepping up!

  • In response to our COVID-19 Community Consultation, more than 300 people have offered assistance. 
  • The Garment District Neighbourhood Association has established a “Get Help Give Help” Google group. 
  • Some high schools in the Toronto District School Board are setting up virtual apps to link students who are feeling stressed and concerned with guidance counsellors. 
  • Agencies that serve the most vulnerable in our community are reaching out for assistance. To find out how you can help see our “Helping Neighbours” section below.

If you are interested in learning how to coordinate a mutual aid network through the pandemic, sign up for Progress Toronto’s webinar on Monday, March 30th at 6:00 p.m.

With all of this mutual support, I also want to warn that there are reports of scammers taking advantage of people during the pandemic. Some are offering to do COVID-19 testing for $20 at the door. Others call or knock offering grocery delivery, then steal people’s money or credit card information. It’s absolutely disgusting that anyone would behave in this way, and if caught they will be punished, but in the meantime, be careful and ask your neighbours to be careful as well.

We are getting through this together. I spoke with an epidemiologist yesterday who praised Canada’s response to the pandemic. She said we are making the right moves at all levels. So please continue to stay home and reach out to your neighbours by phone and online to support each other.

Federal Community Emergency Response

In conversation with MP Adam Vaughan and agencies today, Adam said that if you’ve lost income due to COVID-19 and earned more than $5,000 last year, that you should apply for the federal Community Emergency Response Benefit even if you are eligible for EI. The CERB applications should be available in early April, and payments are expected to arrive 10 days after your application is received. 

Provincial Budget Highlights

The Ontario government announced the following in their fiscal update:

  • $1 billion for a COVID-19 contingency fund
  • $75 million of funding for personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies 

They’ve also offered direct payments to Ontario residents & businesses including:

  • A One-time payment to parents of $200/child ($250 for children with special needs) with an online portal to open on April 6th
  • Increased benefits of $83 for 6 months for low income seniors so the maximum payment will increase to $166 per month for individuals and $332 per month for couples
  • A $200-million investment in social services to support shelters, food banks, emergency services, charities and non-profit organizations
  • $6 billion in tax relief for businesses as they won’t pay interests or penalties on the majority of provincial business taxes
  • 10% refundable corporate income tax credit for businesses investing in regions lagging in employment growth
  • OSAP payments have been deferred for 6 months beginning on March 30th and loans will not accrue interest

If you have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact your business, call 1-888-444-3659 (open Monday to Sunday from 8:30 am – 5 pm). The list of essential businesses is available here

 

Helping Neighbours

While the government takes action, organizations in our community continue to do great work. The following agencies are looking for assistance in our area:

Salvation Army, Florence Booth House, 723 Queen St W  (416) 603-9800

For women experiencing homelessness. Requesting:

o   Hand sanitizer (ideally the kind that will fit on a key-chain)

o   Facemasks

o   Rubber gloves

o   Disinfectant wipes 

 

Fort York Food Bank, 380 College St (416) 203-3011

  • Soap
  • Gloves
  • Disinfectant

 

Yonge St Mission - Asking for donations to support low income individuals, families, children, youth

 

Daily Bread Food Bank - Asking for donations.·       

 

Mobilizing Masks for Healthcare Providers - Aims to collect masks for healthcare workers

 

Organizations looking to help

Community Legal Education Ontario Steps to Justice: Provides COVID-19 legal information related to housing, employment, and family law.

Worker’s Action Centre:  Hotline providing advice for workers about their rights via phone, in numerous languages (Hotline: 416-531-0778, Toll-free: 1-855-531-0778)

 

Emergency Support Funds

 Glad Day Emergency Survival Fund: Emergency fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers and tip-based workers

 Maggie’s Toronto Emergency Fund for Sex Workers: One-time emergency fund for current sex workers in the GTA

 Canadian Artist + Musician Relief Fund: Weekly financial support for low-income GTA artists and musicians whose livelihoods are affected by COVID

 Facebook-National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists: Provides $100,000 in artist fees to support online performances between now and March 31, 2020

 Format Photographer Relief Fund: Assistance of up to $500 per person to self-employed photographers facing financial hardship

 TOArtist COVID Relief Fund: Provides $1000 grants for Toronto-based, self-employed artists/arts professionals. Applications accepted until April 30th

 

Mutual Aid Networks

GDNA Help/Give Forum: Community residents can ask for help and other residents can offer assistance. 

Asian Unification Project: Targets Asian people who are disabled, immunocompromised, or 50+. Individuals can request grocery delivery or errand running 

o CareMongering-TO: TO Community Response to COVID19. Can request or offer aid (including grocery delivery and other resources) by posting in the Facebook group, filling in a Google form (to offer aid), or filling in a spreadsheet (to request aid)        

Friendly Neighbour Hotline (UHN Open Lab): Toronto seniors who live in low-income housing can request grocery and supply aid. Torontonians can volunteer after a vetting process and online training. 1-855-581-9580 (Hotline Phone Number)

o Good Neighbour Project: GTA-wide, Facebook-based network of community members willing to assist with supply and grocery delivery to those with disabilities, compromised immune systems, accessibility barriers, and the elderly. Requests for aid can be made by calling the helpline (647-873-2230) or sending an email

The 519 (Community Centre serving the LGBTQ2S community): Free takeaway meals, 7 days a week 1pm and 4pm, Monday to Friday 12:30pm, 12:30pm Saturday and Sunday. Location: In front of the Fabarnak Cafe, 519 Church St.

Canadian Muslim Response Network : Anyone in need across Toronto can request emergency kits including non-perishable food items, and essential hygiene and cleaning products.

Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre: Bagged meals available for pick-up only at the side door. Weekdays: Breakfast: 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Lunch: 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM; Dinner: 3:15 PM - 3:45 PM. Weekends: Breakfast: 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Lunch: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Sunday 12-12:30). Location: 439 Dundas St. E. at Parliament

I will continue to advocate for more support for you, and I ask you to direct your questions and concerns to my constituency office at 416-603-9664 or cglover-co@ndp.on.ca .

 

As always, your best sources for accurate and up-to-date information are:

My Office

As per the latest recommendations from Ontario Public Health, my staff will be working from home until April 3, 2020.

We are continuing to serve the community and can be reached by phone or email:

Phone: 416-603-9664  Email: CGlover-CO@ndp.on.ca 

Dear Neighbours,

Today is the day when governments, agencies and communities across Canada really began organizing mutual aid systems to help us through this pandemic.The federal government has stepped up with the Community Emergency Response Benefit giving $2,000/month for 4 months for individuals who have lost their income, and a 75% wage subsidy for small businesses.

In support of the healthcare workers, TTC drivers, grocery store clerks and other essential workers who are keeping us all going through the pandemic, the province is opening 50,000 free 24-hour childcare spots for essential service workers. Councillor Joe Cressy helped coordinate the essential daycare sites in Toronto and also announced today that the city has acquired hotels and motels as part of an integrated homelessness response to COVID-19.

Community members are stepping up!

  • In response to our COVID-19 Community Consultation, more than 300 people have offered assistance. 
  • The Garment District Neighbourhood Association has established a “Get Help Give Help” Google group. 
  • Some high schools in the Toronto District School Board are setting up virtual apps to link students who are feeling stressed and concerned with guidance counsellors. 
  • Agencies that serve the most vulnerable in our community are reaching out for assistance. To find out how you can help see our “Helping Neighbours” section below.

If you are interested in learning how to coordinate a mutual aid network through the pandemic, sign up for Progress Toronto’s webinar on Monday, March 30th at 6:00 p.m.

With all of this mutual support, I also want to warn that there are reports of scammers taking advantage of people during the pandemic. Some are offering to do COVID-19 testing for $20 at the door. Others call or knock offering grocery delivery, then steal people’s money or credit card information. It’s absolutely disgusting that anyone would behave in this way, and if caught they will be punished, but in the meantime, be careful and ask your neighbours to be careful as well.

We are getting through this together. I spoke with an epidemiologist yesterday who praised Canada’s response to the pandemic. She said we are making the right moves at all levels. So please continue to stay home and reach out to your neighbours by phone and online to support each other.

Federal Community Emergency Response

In conversation with MP Adam Vaughan and agencies today, Adam said that if you’ve lost income due to COVID-19 and earned more than $5,000 last year, that you should apply for the federal Community Emergency Response Benefit even if you are eligible for EI. The CERB applications should be available in early April, and payments are expected to arrive 10 days after your application is received. 

Provincial Budget Highlights

The Ontario government announced the following in their fiscal update:

  • $1 billion for a COVID-19 contingency fund
  • $75 million of funding for personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies 

They’ve also offered direct payments to Ontario residents & businesses including:

  • A One-time payment to parents of $200/child ($250 for children with special needs) with an online portal to open on April 6th
  • Increased benefits of $83 for 6 months for low income seniors so the maximum payment will increase to $166 per month for individuals and $332 per month for couples
  • A $200-million investment in social services to support shelters, food banks, emergency services, charities and non-profit organizations
  • $6 billion in tax relief for businesses as they won’t pay interests or penalties on the majority of provincial business taxes
  • 10% refundable corporate income tax credit for businesses investing in regions lagging in employment growth
  • OSAP payments have been deferred for 6 months beginning on March 30th and loans will not accrue interest

If you have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact your business, call 1-888-444-3659 (open Monday to Sunday from 8:30 am – 5 pm). The list of essential businesses is available here

 

Helping Neighbours

While the government takes action, organizations in our community continue to do great work. The following agencies are looking for assistance in our area:

Salvation Army, Florence Booth House, 723 Queen St W  (416) 603-9800

For women experiencing homelessness. Requesting:

o   Hand sanitizer (ideally the kind that will fit on a key-chain)

o   Facemasks

o   Rubber gloves

o   Disinfectant wipes 

 

Fort York Food Bank, 380 College St (416) 203-3011

  • Soap
  • Gloves
  • Disinfectant

 

Yonge St Mission - Asking for donations to support low income individuals, families, children, youth

 

Daily Bread Food Bank - Asking for donations.·       

 

Mobilizing Masks for Healthcare Providers - Aims to collect masks for healthcare workers

 

Organizations looking to help

Community Legal Education Ontario Steps to Justice: Provides COVID-19 legal information related to housing, employment, and family law.

Worker’s Action Centre:  Hotline providing advice for workers about their rights via phone, in numerous languages (Hotline: 416-531-0778, Toll-free: 1-855-531-0778)

 

Emergency Support Funds

 Glad Day Emergency Survival Fund: Emergency fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers and tip-based workers

 Maggie’s Toronto Emergency Fund for Sex Workers: One-time emergency fund for current sex workers in the GTA

 Canadian Artist + Musician Relief Fund: Weekly financial support for low-income GTA artists and musicians whose livelihoods are affected by COVID

 Facebook-National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists: Provides $100,000 in artist fees to support online performances between now and March 31, 2020

 Format Photographer Relief Fund: Assistance of up to $500 per person to self-employed photographers facing financial hardship

 TOArtist COVID Relief Fund: Provides $1000 grants for Toronto-based, self-employed artists/arts professionals. Applications accepted until April 30th

 

Mutual Aid Networks

GDNA Help/Give Forum: Community residents can ask for help and other residents can offer assistance. 

Asian Unification Project: Targets Asian people who are disabled, immunocompromised, or 50+. Individuals can request grocery delivery or errand running 

o CareMongering-TO: TO Community Response to COVID19. Can request or offer aid (including grocery delivery and other resources) by posting in the Facebook group, filling in a Google form (to offer aid), or filling in a spreadsheet (to request aid)        

Friendly Neighbour Hotline (UHN Open Lab): Toronto seniors who live in low-income housing can request grocery and supply aid. Torontonians can volunteer after a vetting process and online training. 1-855-581-9580 (Hotline Phone Number)

o Good Neighbour Project: GTA-wide, Facebook-based network of community members willing to assist with supply and grocery delivery to those with disabilities, compromised immune systems, accessibility barriers, and the elderly. Requests for aid can be made by calling the helpline (647-873-2230) or sending an email

The 519 (Community Centre serving the LGBTQ2S community): Free takeaway meals, 7 days a week 1pm and 4pm, Monday to Friday 12:30pm, 12:30pm Saturday and Sunday. Location: In front of the Fabarnak Cafe, 519 Church St.

Canadian Muslim Response Network : Anyone in need across Toronto can request emergency kits including non-perishable food items, and essential hygiene and cleaning products.

Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre: Bagged meals available for pick-up only at the side door. Weekdays: Breakfast: 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Lunch: 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM; Dinner: 3:15 PM - 3:45 PM. Weekends: Breakfast: 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Lunch: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Sunday 12-12:30). Location: 439 Dundas St. E. at Parliament

I will continue to advocate for more support for you, and I ask you to direct your questions and concerns to my constituency office at 416-603-9664 or cglover-co@ndp.on.ca .

 

As always, your best sources for accurate and up-to-date information are:

My Office

As per the latest recommendations from Ontario Public Health, my staff will be working from home until April 3, 2020.

We are continuing to serve the community and can be reached by phone or email:

Phone: 416-603-9664  Email: CGlover-CO@ndp.on.ca