Federal Update: Support for seniors and main street businesses

Submitted by Ottawa-Centre MP Catherine McKenna

Dear Neighbour, 

As I travel around Ottawa Centre, it’s great to see our community entering Stage Two of COVID-19 reopening with ongoing care. 

The data shows that Ottawa residents have heard the messages of public health experts loud and clear – it is YOUR ACTIONS that have allowed us to transition into this new stage.

Now, it’s never been more important to get tested for COVID-19 and take everyday actions to reduce exposure and protect the health of your family, friends, neighbours and co-workers.

Physical distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing a non-medical face covering will continue to be crucial in our fight against this virus. Keep up the fantastic effort, Ottawa Centre!

Many Canadian seniors are facing significant health, economic, and social challenges due to COVID-19. To help with extra costs during COVID-19, seniors who are eligible for OAS and GIS will receive a special one-time, tax-free payment during the week of July 6.

The federal government is also extending and expanding the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to help even more businesses support their workers and rehire people as they reopen. The expanded CEWS will be extended by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020. 

Furthermore, eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has been extended by eight weeks. This emergency aid gives $2,000 a month for people who can’t work due to the pandemic. This will help in the transition as people start getting back to work, while others are still unable to work due to COVID-19, including some business owners and contractors.

The government will also be investing $42.5 million in the Digital Main Street Platform. Five partners, including Invest Ottawa will help main street businesses:  

  • Adapt to a more digital world
  • Recover from the impact of COVID-19
  • Help create 1,400 student jobs over the summer and fall work terms
  • Learn more at : LINK

As MP for Ottawa Centre, I have continued to have vital discussions with local organizations providing essential services during the pandemic. This included a virtual meeting with the incredible organizations serving women across Ottawa about the major impacts COVID-19 has had on shelters and services for women. We appreciate all of your critical work and we know there is more work to do together.

With the Ontario government emergency order now allowing gatherings of no more than 10 people, ensure that you stay informed and up to date with the City of Ottawa’s rules and restrictions. 

Here are five steps to building a safe social circle:

  1. Start with your direct household.
  2. If under 10 people, add to your circle.
  3. Agree with all members they are in the circle.
  4. Physical distance with anyone outside your circle.
  5. Only one circle per person.

Let’s continue to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as facilities, businesses, and services gradually resume operations in the city. Stay safe out there while enjoying your summer activities! 

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