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Ward 11 - Jeromy Farkas

Resources, COVID-19

Resources to help you navigate through COVID-19
The Ward ​11 office understands this pandemic knows no boundaries with respect to impacts on financial and mental health. Jeromy is looking to all avenues of support for individuals and small business owners at this time.
We have compiled this list of resources that are available to Calgar​ians during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office at any time if you require further assistance:
Financial Supports
  Emergency Isolation Support (Gov’t of Alberta). NOTE: PROGRAM IS NOW CLOSED. Scroll down to link to Federal EI supports.
o   A one-time payment of $1,146 will be distributed to bridge the gap until the federal emergency payments begin in April.
The Government of Alberta's Emergency Isolation Support program is now closed after successfully distributing funds to over  79, 596 eligible Albertans since the launch of the program, for a total of approximately $91.7 million, close to double the amount originally allocated.
 Emergency Financial Assistance  (Gov’t of Alberta)
o   Qualifiers of this program:
o   you are a current Income Support client
o   you are an Albertan earning an income, but you do not have enough money to cover this one-time, short-term emergency that will last no longer than a month
o   you meet the Income Support program eligibility requirements
o   What this program is for:
o   a situation is caused by unforeseeable circumstances beyond your control, and
o   it presents a severe health risk, and;
o   you cannot access other resources or wait until your next pay-cheque or Income Support benefit cheque.
o   The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
o   Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period
o   People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
o   Employment Insurance sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance sickness benefits
o   People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) (Gov't of Canada)
o   The CERB wil provide you with $500 a week for up to 16 weeks, if you have lost income because of COVID-19.
  o To apply for the CERB, click HERE. If you were born January, February and March apply on April 6. If you were born April, May or June apply on April 7. If you were born July, August or September apply on April 8. If you were born October, November or December apply on April 9. After those dates, apply at your convenience and please be patient with the system.
o   This is a joint benefit through the CRA and Service Canada. You only need to apply through one channel and if you have already applied for EI you need not re-apply.
o   To be eligible you must be a resident of Canada; be 15 years of age at time of application; stopped working for at least 14 consecutive days within the 4-week benefit period or, if you are filing for a subsequent benefit period, you did not receive any employment 
      or self-employment income for the period for which you previously claimed the benefit and do not expect to receive any employment
     income in the 4-week benefit period; you have not quit your job voluntarily; you are not received for the CERB from the CRA nor are you receiving EI for the same benefit period; you have earned at least $5000 in income in 2019 or within the last 12 months from one either
      employment of self-employment income.
o   Eligible recipients will receive $300 more per child with their regular May CCB payment.
o   If you have previously applied for the CCB, you do not need to re-apply.
o   For more information on the Canada Child Benefit such as how to apply and eligibility requirements, go to Canada child benefit or call 1-800-387-1193.
o   The Government of Canada is proposing to provide a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC). This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average boost to income for those benefiting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.
o   The Government of Canada is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child. The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment.
o   For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.  However, the Agency encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.
o   To support student and apprentice loan borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has announced its plan to pause the repayment of Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans until September 30, 2020, with no accrual of interest. Pending parliamentary approval, these measures will become effective March 30 2020. This will include pre-authorized debits. These measures will provide relief to nearly 1 million CSLP borrowers in repayment. We will provide more details shortly.
o   Proposed legislation would temporarily pause the repayment of Canada Student Loans.
o   Effective March 30, 2020, all student loan borrowers will automatically have their repayments suspended until September 30, 2020. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
o   These measures will provide relief to nearly 1 million CSLP borrowers in repayment.
o   Students who are currently studying can continue to apply for Canada Student Loans. There will be no change to the application process. If a borrower wishes to apply for student financial assistance during the pause, they should apply through their Province or Territory of residence.
Mortgage Deferrals
o   The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.
o   The Government, through CMHC, is providing increased flexibility for homeowners facing financial difficulties to defer mortgage payments on homeowner CMHC-insured mortgage loans. CMHC will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately.
o   Please contact your lender as soon as possible to learn more about available options.
o   ATB Financial Customers
o   Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to 6 months.
o   Alberta Credit Unions
o   Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow.
o   Contact your credit union to work out a plan for your personal situation

Info for Renters

  • New protections are in place for residential and mobile homes site tenants facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • Tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent and/or utlities before May 1, 2020. No rent increases during this time, until the provincial Public Health Emergency is no longer in effect.
  • Late fees cannot be applied to late rent payments until June 30 and cannot be collected retroactively.
  • Landords and tenants need to work together during this time, to develop payment plans.
  • Landlords can still filed applications and receive orders for possession if the reason for the eviction is unrelated to rent and/or utility payments or if a tenant refused to negotiate or comply with a payment plan.
  • Suspending Eviction Enforcement
  • Rent Payment Plans
  • Ministerial Orders
Property Taxes
o   Education property tax deferral for six months
o   Education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level – reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020.
o   Collection of non-residential education property tax for businesses will be deferred for 6 months.
o   Municipalities are expected to set education property tax rates as they normally would, but defer collection.
o​   Deferred amounts will be repaid in future tax years.
o   Commercial landlords are encouraged to pass savings on to their tenants through reduced or deferred payments to help employers pay their employees and stay in business.
o   Businesses capable of paying their taxes in full are encouraged to do to so. This will assist the province in supporting Albertans through the pandemic.
Support for Small Businesses, Employers, and Employees
            o   NEW: The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would cover up to 75% of salaries paid out by eligible employers for up to 3               months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This is in place of the previously-announced 10% wage subsidies anounced in late March.                      
                      o   Learn more about eligibility requirements by CLICKING HERE
o   WCB payment deferrals for small and medium-sized businesses for 2020 until 2021. The Alberta Government will cover 50% of the balance owing when it is due in 2021.
o   Are you self-employed and need to apply for EI? Self-employed individuals must register online with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission to participate in the EI program. In order to do so, you must have a My Service Canada Account.
o   Extending the Work Share Program
o   Providing small businesses with wage subsidies
o   More flexibility to pay business taxes.
o   The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.
o   Changes to the Employment Standards Code will allow full and part-time employees to take 14 days of job-protected leave if they are:
o   required to self-isolate
o   caring for a child or dependent adult that is required to self-isolate
o   To be eligible, employees:
·         will not be required to have a medical note
·         do not need to have worked for an employer for 90 days
·         This leave covers the 14-day self-isolation period recommended by Alberta’s chief medical officer. This leave may be extended if the advice of the chief medical officer changes.
·         The leave does not apply to self-employed individuals or contractors.
o   Vacation Pay, Banked Time or Holiday Pay:
o   Employers and employees may consider using other available leaves should an employee be required to self-isolate.
o   Employees can request using their vacation pay or banked overtime, but employers are not required to grant the request. Provincial employment rules only require employers to provide vacation pay, vacation leave or pay banked overtime within a year of it being earned.
o   Employers can request employees voluntarily take vacation leave and/or use their vacation pay or banked overtime, but cannot force them to do so under provincial employment rules.
o   Check out: WCB Employer Fact Sheet
o   Check out: WCB Employee Fact Sheet
o   Learn about: Business Continuity Planning
o   Residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.
o   Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.
o   This program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. For example, those who have lost their employment or had to leave work to take care of an ill family member.
o   Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments.
o   Learn more about the 90-day utility payment deferral (PDF, 128 KB)
o   Learn more about the Enmax COVID-19 Customer Relief Program HERE
  City Programs and Service Changes
Visit the City of Calgary’s Response to COVID-19 to learn about what City facilities are closed, what events are cancelled and how you can prevent the spread of COVID-19 in public spaces.
NEW: You will find new resources located in the left-hand menu under ‘ Support for Individuals’ and ‘ Support for Community Partners’ .  
Calgary Neighbourhoods has been working with the community partners to ensure that citizens like newcomers, Indigenous people, low-income families and seniors have the information and supports they need during this time when they may feel isolated and alone.
With our strong connection to community and partners, we have been able to coordinate, strategize, and support the delivery of the services, goods, and programs people need right now.
Information has been identified as a need and as such, we have combined easy to access information for community members and partner organizations. 
There is a section on the new website for our partners where they can learn about funding and other resources that are available to them during the pandemic.
Please check out the links below to connect you to city resources:   
NEW: We are pleased to let you know about a new collection of online resources for Calgarians to stay active, engaged, healthy and learning while at, and close to home. features videos, text-based learning modules, games and ideas for activities for Calgarians of all ages.
 The City of Calgary has declared a Local State of Emergency. Notable changes include:
o   All employers are asked to accommodate staff to work from home, wherever possible.
o   Mass gatherings are limited to a 50 person capacity, as are all cafes, restaurants and food-serving facilities.
o   Albertans are restricted from attending bars or nightclubs, where minors are prohibited from entering.
o   Effective March 24, 2020 there are changes to green cart collection to maintain service for Calgarians while keeping collectors safe and healthy by reducing interactions with the public and contact with various surfaces.
o   Green cart collection will remain at every other week, instead of switching to weekly collection in April.
o   Black carts are collected every other week.
o   Blue carts are collected every week.Please hang on to extra garbage, recyclables or yard waste until your next collection day, when you can fit them into the appropriate cart. Alternatively, please ask your neighbours if they have space in their carts that you could also use.
o   No extra bags of yard waste or garbage will be picked up. Extra recycling is not accepted.
o    Stores are still open by appointment.
o    Our Family Resource Centres (FRC) Team will continue to provide services at our Dover location only, Monday to Friday (by appointments only screened clients). FRC team can be reached at 403.255.5102, ext. 226 or by email at
o    Retail Ready Employment Service has been temporarily suspended until further notice.
o    WINS thrift stores (all locations) are operating as usual at this time.
o    Delivery and pick up services are ceased temporarily until further notice.
o    The Free Goods Referral Program (FGRP) will remain operating as usual, except for our delivery service which will cease until further notice. Our referring agencies are requested to encourage their clients to cancel their referrals if they or any member in their household are developing cold/flu like symptoms as described on the Alberta Health Services website and to call our office at 403.255.5102 ext. 224 for assistance.

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.