Support for Constituents

For families and individuals all across the province, the ongoing pandemic has affected our lives in ways we could never have imagined. Your individual health and happiness is my most important concern as your local Member of Provincial Parliament, and the Ontario Government is actively working around the clock with all levels of government to address issues where they arise.

As such, the Ontario Government is committed to providing support and assistance in these difficult times, recognizing the new challenges that COVID has brought. 

Below is a non-exhaustive list of COVID-19 related supports. I sincerely hope that these resources will be of use. 


Financial Assistance (Children & Families):

Support for Learners:

  • Families can receive support to compensate for the unforeseen costs associated with virtual learning during the 2020-21 school year:
    • $200 for each child up to Grade 12
    • $250 for each child up to age 21 with special needs
  • Youth are eligible if they attend a publicly funded or private school, a First Nation operated or federally operated school, are homeschooled, attend school in-person or online, are enrolled in child care, etc.
    • Can still apply if you have already have received funding under the now-closed programs of Support for Parents and Support for Families
    • There should be only one application per child
    • Payments can be received through e-transfer or direct deposit
    • You should receive your payment within approximately 2 weeks
  • The deadline to apply is 8 February 2021.
  • For more information, click here

Emergency Child Care:

  • Front-line workers who have children who are attending remote elementary school are eligible for child care at no cost
  • New additions as of 9 January 2021 include, but are not limited to:
    • Front-line staff in Children's Aid Societies and residential services
    • Individuals working in a homeless shelter or providing services to homeless persons
    • Individuals working in the distribution of food and beverages
    • Canada Post
    • Pharma and medical device manufacturing and distribution
    • Power workers
    • Employees of a hotel or motel that is acting as an isolation centre
  • Further additions as of 27 January 2021 include:
    • Grocery store and pharmacy workers;
    • Truck drivers;
    • Farmers and those who support food product supply chains;
    • Individuals involved in the collecting of any type of waste; and
    • Individuals working in the manufacturing of disinfectants and sanitizers.
  • For the full-length list, please contact your municipality or municipal service system manager to confirm your potential eligibility

 

Youth Services:

  • Through the pandemic, youth in care who turn 18 and former youth in care who turn 21 will not age out of the supports/services they are currently receiving
  • Children’s aid societies continue to operate where possible, including remotely, to ensure that the youth of our province are well looked after

Financial Assistance (General):

Employment Insurance (EI):

  • You may be eligible for EI benefits if you:
    • Were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks
    • Have not quit your job voluntarily
    • Are ready, willing and capable of working each day (for EI regular benefits)
    • Are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (for EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)
  • If you are eligible for EI benefits, you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits
  • Number of weeks for regular EI benefits has been extended to a maximum of 50 weeks, from the previous maximum of 24 weeks
  • For more information, please visit. 

 

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB):

  • Employed or self-employed individuals who are impacted by COVID-19 OR individuals who had a 50% reduction in average weekly income compared to the previous year due to COVID-19
    • And are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI)
    • And you earned at least $5000 in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months prior to applying
    • And you are actively looking for work and have not turned down reasonable work during the 2-week period under which you’re applying
  • Amount: $1000 (pre-tax) for a 2-week period
    • Can reapply for up to a total of 38 weeks, in two-week segments, between Sept 27 2020 and Sept 25 2021 (extension from the previous max of 26 weeks)
    • Subject to a maximum net income threshold of $38 000, after which you will have to reimburse part of the benefit for every dollar you earn above the threshold
  • Will arrive in 3-5 business days if you have direct deposit set up with the CRA
  • For more information, please visit the following.

 

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB):

  • Employed or self-employed individuals who will miss at least 50% of the work week due to:
    • Being sick with or having symptoms of COVID-19
    • Being advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19
    • Have underlying conditions that put them at greater risk of getting COVID-19
  • Amount: $500 (pre-tax) for 1 week
    • Can apply for up to a total of 4 weeks between Sept 27 2020 and Sept 25 2021 (extension from the previous max of 2 weeks)
    • Must re-apply for the second week if the situation persists beyond 1 week
  • Will arrive in 3-5 business days if you have direct deposit set up with the CRA
  • For more information, see here

 

Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB):

  • Employed or self-employed individuals who are unable to work at least 50% of their work week because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care
  • This applies if their school or facility is unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or if they are sick/self-isolating/have underlying conditions that make them vulnerable to COVID.
    • And you earned at least $5000 in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months prior to applying
    • And you are the only person in your household applying for the benefit this week
  • Amount: $500 (pre-tax) for 1 week
    • Can apply for up to a total of 26 weeks between Sept 27 2020 and Sept 25 2021
    • Must re-apply if the situation persists beyond 1 week
  • Will arrive in 3-5 business days if you have direct deposit set up with the CRA
  • For more information, please visit

 

Financial Institution Programs:

  • Many banks understand the difficult time that Canadians are experiencing, and offer a wide variety of programs depending on your situation. Contacting your institution in advance will maximize the possibility of being enrolled on a program, subject to their respective conditions.
  • Such programs, offered on a case-by-case basis, may include:
    • Deferrals on all types of products, including mortgages
    • Reduced payment or interest plans
    • Reaging program (i.e. shifting the past due back into the balance
    • Amortization extensions for loan plans and vehicle loans
    • Mortgage refinancing or debt restructuring

 

Emergency Assistance:

  • Individuals who need short-term financial relief support due to a crisis or emergency situation, and don’t have enough money for food or housing:
    • Approximately $733/month if you are a single person looking for food/shelter
    • More if you have children
  • Fleeing an abusive relationship, are being evicted from your home, are worried about your safety, and/or have been affected by COVID-19
  • If you think you need assistance for a month or more, you can apply for Ontario Works online or call your local office
  • For more information, click here

Tenant Relief:

Province-wide Pause on Evictions:

  • Enforcement of residential evictions has been temporarily paused while the province-wide state of emergency is in effect
  • Landlords have been encouraged to work with tenants to engage in payment deferrals or “repayment arrangements” (formal or informal)
    • As per the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020, will consider whether the landlord sought to work with the tenant before applying for eviction
  • For more information, please see the following

 

Province-wide Rent Freeze:

  • The Government of Ontario has passed legislation to freeze rent at 2020 levels, until 31st Dec 2021, for the vast majority of rented units covered under the Residential Tenancies Act
    • Rented houses, basement apartments, retirement homes, mobile home parks, land lease communities, affordable housing units, etc.
  • One exception is if the rent hike is approved by the Landlord and Tenant Board and is due to legitimate, eligible capital repairs and security services.
  • For more information, please see the following.

Increased Services & Electricity Relief:

Interest Rate and Fee Caps on Payday Loans:

  • Interest that lenders charge on payday loans will now be limited to a maximum of 2.5% interest per month (compounded monthly) on the outstanding principal, as per amendments to the Payday Loans Act, 2008 in August of 2020
  • Dishonoured or bounced cheques can be charged a maximum fee of $25, and only once regardless of the amount of times a payment instrument is dishonoured

 

Mental Health Resources:

  • Cognizant of the increased anxiety and stress individuals may be feeling due to the ongoing pandemic, our government has made large investments in our mental health system to ensure a modernized, comprehensive, and connected system that maintains resilience during these testing times
  • CMHA’s BounceBack Program:
    • Individuals who may be dealing with mild-to-moderate anxiety or depression, or feeling stressed, worried, or irritable due to the pandemic or other long-term stressors
    • Life-skills program that works to develop coping techniques to overcome future challenges through telephone coaching, skill-building workbooks and online videos
    • Aimed at adults or youths 15 years or older
    • Most participants take 3-6 months to complete the program
  • Increased investments:
    • Up to $194 million in additional emergency mental health and addictions funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
    • $10.9 M in 2021 to increase in-patient mental health hospital beds
    • Up to $164 000 in additional funding for CAMH’s education and awareness programs for care-givers in LTC and retirement homes, so that they are more aware of the unique challenges associated with seniors’ mental health
    • Up to $130 000 in additional funding for the Seniors’ Safety Line, which aims to eliminate abuse by individuals towards seniors
    • Up to $194 million in additional emergency mental health and addictions funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Rate Relief, LEAP, and CEAP:

  • From 1 January to 28 January 2021, customers will be charged the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents/kWh, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in recognition of the financial burdens imposed by the province-wide restrictions
  • This relief will be applied automatically to your electricity bill
  • Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP): Low-income customers who are at risk of having their electrical or natural gas services being disconnected may qualify for approximately $500 in grants if they are behind in their bills.
  • COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP): The Ontario Government is committing over $9M to families who are struggling with their energy bills due to COVID-19. Residential customers may be eligible for up to $750 in their overdue electricity and natural gas bills. Contact your local utility company for more information.

Page last updated 23 Feb 2021.