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April 6, 2020 | No Comments

Apply for federal cash

Today (April 6) is the first day you can apply for the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) meant to help people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government of Canada says it’s paid in blocks of four weeks in the amount of $2,000 at the rate of $500 per week. A maximum 16 weeks of benefits can be paid. Apply online here (based on your birth month): www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this weekend promised that if Canadians who are eligible apply, they’ll receive money in as soon as three to five days.

I sincerely hope that promise can be met because scores of Canadians are in dire straits and they need money quickly. As the Member of Parliament for Edmonton Griesbach, I want to hear about your experiences if you apply for this program. 

Canadians deserve the best possible service from their federal government during this time of crisis and I want to ensure they get it. E-mail me directly at: kerry.diotte@parl.gc.ca

Convicted criminals shouldn’t be released

Anyone serving time in a federal prison is serving serious time for a serious crime.

Convicted criminals should be behind bars not out in the public.

Releasing serious criminals puts the Canadian public at an increased risk that is unacceptable.

How to prevent COVID-19

You can find up-to-date information from Alberta Public Health or the Public Health Authority of Canada

Alberta Public Health can also be reached by phone at 811. 

What are COVID-19 symptoms? 

 

 

 

What is social distancing?

 

 

 

What is self-isolation?

 

 

 

Wage subsidy available 

 

 

 

New travel rule in effect

There are compulsory rules for Canadians who return home. 

 

 

 

Assistance programs offered from the Government of Alberta

 

 

 

Bad timing on MP pay hike

By now, you’ve likely heard about the 2.1% pay raise for Members of Parliament that kicked in automatically April 1.

Sadly, Opposition MPs cannot legally stop this federal government-legislated pay raise.

But I intend to donate the money I get in this pay hike to charities and organizations in my Edmonton Griesbach riding that are working hard to make life better for people amid this COVID-19 health crisis.

Carbon tax hike unfair

Regardless of how one feels about the federal carbon tax, it shouldn’t be raised during a crisis. Yet, that’s exactly what the government has just done. On April 1, the carbon tax went up by 50%.  

This tax makes it harder for struggling Canadians who are currently in no position to pay more in taxes.

During a crisis like this, the government should help struggling Canadians, not raise their taxes. 

In the news

  • Alberta Health reports 69 new COVID-19 cases as of Sunday, bringing provincial total to 1,250. Link
  • Youngest COVID-19 death so far in Canada is Alberta woman in her 20s. Link
  • An Albertan teen is making productive gear for health services. Link
  • Sure-fire way to re-start the economy. Link
  • U.S. health organization urges use of masks. Link
  • Chinese markets are still selling bats. Link
  • Cooped up with the kids? Consider these tips from a mom who home-schooled 5. Link
  • Girl and her grandpa hold socially distant dance-off under COVID-19 rules. Link
  • U.S. outbreak predictions paint grim picture. Link
  • Mini ventilators prove useful. Link

You said it

I always like to hear feedback from my constituents. 

There’s nothing more important than hearing from everyday Canadians, especially during a crisis.

As your Member of Parliament, I need to know your experiences accessing the government services that have been created for you.

With your feedback I can pass along any issues and work to fix any problems with services.

Please do send me your feedback on your experiences with government services.

Here’s some feedback I’ve received:

“I think that people really should be trying to avoid going out a lot regardless of whether they have symptoms.” Adrienne K.

“I have been calling this number 1-800-531-7555 every day, all day since Sunday but the line is busy. They won’t even put me on hold.” Agnieszka H.

“I have been calling everyday and cannot get through on the phone lines.
When I go on to my Service Canada it states they need to talk to me for more information and to call 1-800-531-7555 to talk to a agent. Nothing will be processed until I talk to an agent.” Sherry D.

 “I am out of options and have spent over 16 hours on the phone with CRA and Service Canada to receive information, and have had no luck.” Amanda S.

“I’ve tried for three days to reach Revenue Canada on their help line and it’s impossible to get through.” Jim B.

Share this valuable e-newsletter with a friend 

If you’re not subscribed to this regular e-newsletter, sign up below.

Members of Parliament get the most current, accurate and comprehensive updates regarding the COVID-19 crisis. Want regular highlights of these? Sign up for my e-newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time. Sign up here.

I want to hear from you 

I’m always eager to hear from you. Do you have beefs? Bouquets? Suggestions?

Drop me a note at my e-mail address.

Please note our local Edmonton constituency office is currently still open to serve you but it’s by appointment only. We simply ask that you call ahead to book an appointment.

Thanks so much. Stay healthy!

E-mail:
Kerry.Diotte@parl.gc.ca

Phone:
(780) 495-3261

Mail (postage free): 
Kerry Diotte, MP 
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Filed under: General

April 6, 2020 | No Comments

MPs shouldn’t be getting a pay raise

By now, you’ve likely heard about the 2.1% pay raise for members of Parliament that kicked in automatically April 1.

Sadly, Opposition MPs cannot legally stop this federal government-legislated pay raise.

But I intend to donate the money I get in this pay hike to charities and organizations in my Edmonton Griesbach riding that are working hard to make life better for people amid this COVID-19 health crisis.

Filed under: General

April 5, 2020 | No Comments

What are COVID-19 symptoms?

 

Health Canada lists the following as symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Cough.
  • Fever.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Pneumonia in both lungs.

Symptoms may take 14 days to appear after exposure. If you have symptoms you’re required in Alberta to self-isolate for 10 days. 

 

 

Filed under: General

March 30, 2020 | No Comments

COVID-19 info from MP Kerry Diotte

I’m here for you

My staff and I have been kept busy helping travellers return to Canada after the federal government ordered them to do so.

A couple of cases come to mind — requests to assistance constituents in Peru, Morocco and on a ship in the South Pacific. 

We’ve also been helping folks to get COVID-19-related benefits promised by the feds and province. 

We’re here to help.

But I’m also interested to know your situation. Are you working from home or an office or shop? Have you been laid off? Are you feeling ill and have to be in isolation? 

Are you getting the help you need from various levels of government or other organizations? Have you had good service or bad when you’ve sought help and information? What can be done to improve the response to COVID-19 and all the challenges of living in these exceptional times? Let me know. I’m always interested in your feedback. 

There are lots of challenges ahead but if my staff and I can answer any questions, point you in the right direction or navigate some red tape we’ll do our best.

All the best, to you and your loved ones. Stay healthy! My e-mail is kerry.diotte@parl.gc.ca


Edmonton Griesbach cruise ship couple safe

Here’s an update on the story of two Edmonton Griesbach constituents of mine who were aboard the ill-fated Norwegian Jewel cruise ship.

They were among 350 Canadians (and at least a half dozen Edmontonians) aboard the vessel that’d been turned away from allowing passengers to disembark at multiple ports even though there were no cases aboard of COVID-19. 

They reached out to me and I liaised with Global Affairs to try to help.

Good news they where eventually allowed to disembark and are now safely back in Canada.

If you are a Canadian abroad in need of assistance please contact me. As your Member of Parliament I’m here to help. 

“Norwegian Jewel passengers are finally leaving the once-stranded cruise ship” Link


You can find up-to-date information from Alberta Public Health or the Public Health Authority of Canada

Alberta Public Health can also be reached by phone at 811. 


What is social distancing?

 

 

 


 

What is self-isolation?

 

 

 


Benefits available for you and your family

See below for information of measures Parliament has passed to help you and your family: 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Employment Insurance

Tax and benefit changes to help Canadians

 

 

 


 

Support for Canadian workers and businesses 

 

 

 


 

Canadians returning home

There are Compulsory rules for Canadians who return home.

 

 

 


 

Help from the Government of Alberta

 

 

 



In the news

  • Alberta reporting five more covid deaths. Link
  • Own a business?: Take advantage of the COVID-19 wage subsidy. Link 
  • Pro tip from CRA: File your taxes sooner than later. Link
  • GOLDSTEIN: The Conservatives were right about COVID-19. Link
  • John Robson on COVID-19: We revert to type in a crisis — Trudeau reverted to authoritarian. Link
  • Local restaurant makes care packages for families to make at home. Link
  • Canadian Blood Services sees ‘dramatic’ surge in donations after making public appeal. Link
  • Canadian auto parts makers team up to build ventilators with three companies. Link
  • Edmonton Councillor frustrated at lack of financial info ahead of Monday meeting. Link
  • Coronavirus: Alberta school boards review fees amid temporary COVID-19 school closures. Link
  • Here’s what powers the Alberta government has during states of emergency. Link 
     


Share this valuable e-newsletter with a friend 

If you’re not subscribed to this regular e-newsletter, sign up below.

Members of Parliament get the most current, accurate and comprehensive updates regarding the CORONA-19 crisis. Want regular highlights of these? Sign up for my e-newletter. You can unsubscribe at any time. Sign up here.


I want to hear from you 

I’m always eager to hear from you. Do you have beefs? Bouquets? Suggestions?

Drop me a note at my e-mail address.

Please note our local Edmonton constituency office is currently still open to serve you but it’s by appointment only. We simply ask that you call ahead to book an appointment.

Thanks so much. Stay healthy!

Email:
Kerry.Diotte@parl.gc.ca

Phone:
(780) 495-3261

Mail (postage free): 
Kerry Diotte, MP 
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Filed under: General

March 30, 2020 | No Comments

Assistance programs offered from the Government of Alberta

  • Emergency isolation support:
    Eligible Albertans can receive a one-time Emergency Isolation Support payment of $1,146. See if you qualify here
  • Utility payment holiday:
    Residential, farm, and small commercial customers can defer bill payments for the next 90 days. This will cover electricity and natural gas, regardless of the service provider. Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments.
  • Provincial student loan holiday:
    Six-month interest-free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments.
  • Emergency credit and mortage deferrals:
    Emergency deferrals are available for ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to six months. Contact the ATB, bank or credit union to work out a plan for your personal situation
  • Education property tax freeze:
    Residential education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level. 

Learn more here

Filed under: General

March 30, 2020 | No Comments

Wage subsidy available

  • We Conservatives pushed for more support for workers and now businesses in need will receive a wage subsidy equal to 75% of wages paid during the emergency period. That’s up from the original 10% the government proposed. 
  • Working Capital Loan and the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) available through the Business Development Bank and and Export Development Canada (EDC).to help support entrepreneurs during the crisis.
  • Deferral of Sales Tax remittance and customs duty to June 30, 2020. This is applicable to businesses, including self-employed individuals, on the GST/HST as well as customs duties owing on their imports.  

Support for farmers

  • Increasing Farm Credit Canada by an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to farmers and food processors. This will help them bridge cashflow issues during this emergency. 

Learn more here

Filed under: General

March 30, 2020 | No Comments

Benefits are available for you and your family

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides emergency support of  $2000 a month for Canadians affected by the COVID-19 emergency. 

You can apply here

You can contact the department of Finance by email at fin.financepublic-financepublique.fin@canada.ca or phone 613-369-3710. 

Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance (EI) remains available for Canadians. 

If you are sick or your employment has been affected by COVID-19 and you qualify for EI you can apply here

  • Waived the one-week waiting period for EI benefits. 
  • Waived doctor’s note requirement to access EI sick benefits.

For more information visit their website or contact EI’s COVID-19 phone line at (833) 381-2725.

 

Tax and benefit changes to help Canadians

  • An increased Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC) payment. 
    Average additional benefit will be near $400 for individuals and near $600 for couples. No need to apply eligible individuals will receive the benefit automatically. 
  • Increase to the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, by $300 per child.
  • Tax return date is deferred until June 1.
  • Payment for taxes owed is deferred till August 31.
  • Interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans until September 30, 2020. 

Learn more here

 

Filed under: General

March 30, 2020 | No Comments

What is Self-Isolation?

As of March 25, Albertans are legally required under to self-isolate for:

  • 14 days if they recently returned from international travel or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
  • 10 days if they have a COVID-19 symptoms. 

How to self-isolate:

  • Stay home.
  • Avoid close contact with other people, including household members but especially seniors and people with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Watch for symptoms in yourself or a family member.

If you have no symptoms, you may go outside for a walk or fresh air, provided you practice social distancing at all times and stay two metres away from other people.

Fines for breaching a self-isolation order are as high as $500,000. 

If you know someone who is not self-isolating when they are legally required to you file a complaint here

Learn more here

 

Filed under: General

March 30, 2020 | No Comments

What is Social Distancing?

 

Social distancing or physical distancing  is a method to minimize close contact with others to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Everyone should be practicing social distancing.  

What you can do: 

  • Stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from others as much as possible. 
  • Stay home.
  • Avoid crowds. 

Use technology to keep in touch with friends and family.

Learn more here

Filed under: General

March 30, 2020 | No Comments

New travel rule in effect

 

Rules for travelers returning to Canada:

If you are asymptomatic (no symptoms) you can travel directly to your home where you must self-isolate for 14 days. 

You can stay at a commercial hotel or take public transit home though you must practice social distancing. 

If you are symptomatic you will not be allowed to further travel in Canada. Depending on your circumstances you will required to:

  • Stay at a federal facility (hotel) to self-isolate. 
  • Drive directly home if you live within driving distance and have a private vehicle available. Once home you must self-isolate.  
  • The government can facilitate medical transportation to your home. Once home you must self-isolate.
  • If you are entering Canada from a land border from the United States with symptoms you may return home in your vehicle. But you can not stop anywhere. Once home you must self-isolate. 
  • If returning home would put a vulnerable person at risk, public health can help find alternate accommodation or arrange lodging in a federal facility (hotel) to self-isolate.

Contact information for Canadians overseas and in need assistance in this emergency:

  • Global Affairs Canada 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre. They can be reached by email at sos@international.gc.ca or by phone at (613) 996-8885.

Learn more here

 

Filed under: General