March 30, 2020 COVID – 19 Update


March 30, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

As the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, please see the following information and resources regarding our community.

Please click here for the updated list of food banks in Ward 24.

Unfortunately the food bank at 202 Markham Road was forced to close due to the size of the location. Agincourt Community Services continues to update their website with changes to services.

Scarborough Good Neighbours Drop-In at 193 Markham Road continues to serve the area on Fridays. Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.

Physical distancing at City parks

Parks are only open for walking, cycling and running. Amenities in parks or congregating in groups is not permitted. Starting today, March 30, City staff together with the Toronto Police Service are prioritizing the patrol of hot spot parks. While education is the first line of enforcement, there are fines, which range between $750 to a maximum of $5,000. City staff are re-installing signage, locks and caution tape at parks where these have been removed. Additionally, the City’s Parks Ambassadors have begun a downtown hot spot education blitz and electronic portable signs will display messages near some busy parks. More information is available on the City’s website.

Physical distancing and self-isolation at home

There are provincial and federal mechanisms in place related to gathering of people or self-isolation:

Toronto Police Service FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

Toronto Police Service’s website has responses to Frequently Asked Questions relating to COVID-19 concerns. Check out their website if you have any questions about police services, protecting yourself, and more.

Canada’s Economic Response Plan

The Federal Government’s Economic Response Plan lists a number of economic supports for businesses and individuals. Read more about ithere.

This information was shared by M.P. Hon. John McKay’s Community Update. To sign up for his updates, or if you have any questions regarding the below federal programs, please contact his office by phone at 416-283-1226 or by email at

EI Support 

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) 

·         The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide $2,000 per month to workers impacted by COVID-19 for up to 4 months.

·         The CERB benefit will be paid every 4 weeks and will be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020

·         The benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in on April 6th. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.

Regular EI Program 

·         Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of today would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply for the CERB benefit.

·         Learn more about eligibility and apply here

Support for Seniors 

·         reducing the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020

·         Learn more about this benefit here 

Support for Families

·         Increasing the Canada Child Benefit by an extra $300 per child for 2019-20

o    This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May and current recipients do not need to re-apply to receive this.

·         Increasing the Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment one time in early May for low- and modest-income families.

o    The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples and current recipients do not need to re-apply to receive this.

·         The new filing due date for 2019 tax returns for individuals is June 1, 2020.  

o    Learn more about this extension here

·         Canadian banks have committed to work with their customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19. Please contact your financial institution if you are experiencing financial hardship.

o    Learn more about mortgage support here

·         Effective March 30, those with Canada Student Loans will have a 6 month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of those loans. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time.

Support for Small Businesses

·         As previously announced, a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.

o    More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of the month.

·         The maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program will be extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

o    Learn more and apply to this program here

·         The Canada Emergency Business Account – a new loan program, will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits that paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

o    Additional details on accessing this program will be available soon.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services and social supports.  for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at 

All my Best, 


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