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General Resources for Friendship Centres
During this time, we advise Friendship Centres to:
- Contact their funders to confirm flexibility on use of funds, reporting, and completing deliverables.
- Track your expenses that are a response to the pandemic.
- Follow their provincial and local public health authorities for the most updated and relevant information for your community.
Public Health Canada has dedicated a webpage towards Community-based measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada. This provides a more in-depth explanation on COVID-19 and includes conversation on social distancing at a community-level, community-based measures and COVID-19, and how we should move forward with this outbreak.
Here are a few resources that can assist with how to proceed amidst the COVID-19 outbreak at a local Friendship Centre level.
- Community Foundation of Canada - Dealing with COVID-19 as a Community Foundation
- Ontario Non-profit Network: Non-profit on the frontline of COVID-19
- Communicating Through the Coronavirus Crisis
- Managing through and building resilience during the outbreak
- Sponsorship During Times of Crisis: Cancelled Events, Postponing and Refunds
- Hosting, Postponing, or Cancelling Mass Gatherings
- What Non-profit Board Members Should be Doing Right Now to Address the COVID-19 Situation
- Pandemic Law Canada
- COVID-19 Response Framework for People Experiencing Homelessness
Federal Supports and Funding
- Separate Temporary Wage Subsidy (10%) and Emergency Wage Subsidy (75%) programs
- Commercial rent relief announcement, emergency business account update
Indigenous Community Support Fund
Will flow directly to communities (First Nation, Inuit, and Metis, as well as regional, urban, and off-reserve Indigenous organizations) $15 million is set aside for “regional and urban Indigenous organizations supporting their members living away from their communities, and to regional organizations such as Friendship Centres and the Metis Settlements General Council of Alberta”.
These funds could be used for measures including, but not limited to:
o support for Elders and vulnerable community members
o measures to address food insecurity
o educational and other support for children
o mental health assistance and emergency response services
o preparedness measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19
More information can be found here.
The fund is not accepting new applications at this time. NAFC received $35,894,000 million dollars from the fund to disperse to local friendship centres.
Shelters + Homelessness
Shelters are not mentioned in Bill C-13, however, the following measures have been announced:
o Up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities
o The Government is “continuing to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing $157.5 million to the Reaching Home initiative” – this is existing funding, not new funding
Government of Canada announces agreement with the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Women’s Shelters Canada to provide funding for gender-based violence supports. (December 17, 2020)
More information about Reaching Home can be found here.
Support for Employers, Small Businesses, Non-Profits
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program will cover up to 75% of employee wages and is open to big and small businesses, non-profits, and charities. Additional info:
o The subsidy will cover annual earnings up to $58,700; the maximum subsidy for each employee would be $847 a week.
o The program is retroactive to March 15, 2020.
The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Non-profits and registered charities are eligible for this.
o To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.
o Business owners can apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions.
Extending the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 75 weeks. This program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.
Temporary wage top-up for low-income essential workers: This is being provided by the provinces/territories and supplemented by the Federal Government. No additional information is available at this time.
Calculation details for claim periods 11 to 13 now available.
For more information about the temporary wage subsidy, click here.
More information about the emergency business account can be found here.
Canada will be investing an additional $100 million into organizations that address food security. $30 million is set aside for “local-level organizations who serve people experiencing food insecurity”
Funding will be delivered through the Government of Canada’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund.
On October 9, 2020, the Government of Canada announced an additional $100 million to further support food security. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) was provided with $30 million from this funding to bolster its Indigenous Community Support Fund. With the remaining funding, the Government will continue to work with the same six organizations to ensure food reaches those in need.
No applications open yet; more information available here.
Not mentioned in the Act, no specific supports announced to date
Elder care is listed as a possible expense in the Indigenous Community Support Fund (see above)
Otherwise, “senior support” is limited to reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds by 25% for 2020
No additional information available at this time
Youth, including youth in care
Educational and other support for children is listed as a possible expense for the Indigenous Community Support Fund (see above)
The government is funding Kids Help Phone for an additional $7.5 million
The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
See also “Non-Governmental Supports” below
Otherwise, the only other measure specifically related to “youth” is a six-month moratorium on student loan payments, effective March 30 (no application is required, the deferral is automatic)
Learn more about the moratorium here
Learn more about CRCB here
Employment Insurance (EI)
Canada will no longer require a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
After CERB: Transitioning to new benefits
The Government of Canada announced changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program and new recovery benefits that will better support Canadians.
If you need financial assistance after your CERB ends:
As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help you access EI benefits. These changes will be in effect for 1 year.
Apply for EI sickness benefits online here
Other Federal Payments / Initiatives
A one-time additional payment under the GST/HST tax credit, which is automatic if you are already receiving the benefit;
Temporary additional amounts under the Canada Child Benefit, which are automatic if you are already receiving the benefit;
The federal government has also moved the filing date for income tax to June 2019
Apply for the Canada Child Benefit here
The Children’s Aid Foundation announced a COVID-19 youth support fund for “youth aging out of the temporary or permanent care of a Canadian child welfare agency”, and have been overwhelmed with applications. As of April 6, applications are on hold, but you can sign up for notifications for when they open again.
More information is available here
Additional Resources / Information:
Indigenous Community Support Fund - https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1585189335380/1585189357198
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Benefits and services: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
Support for Businesses: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-businesses.html
What you need to know about the new COVID-19 benefits program: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-income-supports-covid19-1.5509247
Bill C-13 (An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19): https://www.parl.ca/Content/Bills/431/Government/C-13/C-13_3/C-13_3.PDF
Canada's Response to COVID-19
A list of resources that outlines the immediate actions that the Government is taking to help and support Canadians facing hardship as a result of this outbreak:
- Government of Canada Takes Action on COVID-19
- Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
- Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- News Releases
- News releases from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
COVID-19 Assessment Centres
- The NAFC has compiled a google document with information on COVID-19 testing sites based on provinces. There is information regarding the locations of these testing sites, how appointments are being made, and when you can collect your test result.
- The IncludeMe Canada Social Movement has created a disability-related resource page that can better aid folks with different abilities.
- The World Blind Union has created a resource page that consists of external resources that can better assist folks that may be visually impaired.
- The webpage has audio on handwashing advice.
- The Rick Hansen Foundation has compiled a list of in-house resources and external resources relating to COVID-19. Their resources vary from sharing the best times to go shopping, lessons on accessibility and inclusion, and financial assistance.
- The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) has compiled a list of disability-related resources that respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Disability Rights Fund has created a webpage dedicated to disability-inclusive responses to COVID-19 at an international scale.
- The University of Rochester Medical Centre has created a resource page to better assist folks that may be deaf or hard of hearing. There is information that can help you get ready for a hospital visit, how to communicate with hospital staff during COVID-19. The page also consists of a link to a playlist of COVID-19 videos in ASL that the CDC uploaded.
Use of Masks / Clean and Disinfect
Use of Masks
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has created an informative webpage regarding the use of masks. This webpage also includes a number of useful infographics that can easily be downloaded and shared.
- Public Health Canada has released information on the use of non-medical masks and face coverings.
- This webpage included information on how to put the non-medical masks on, what is deemed as appropriate masks, who should be wearing masks, and also how to make your own mask at home.
- The John Hopkins Education and Research Centre for Occupational Safety and Health has provided an in-depth take on the use of masks and answers FAQ on the use of masks.
- The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared information on the use of cloth face coverings and methods on creating home-made cloth coverings (sew and no sew)
- The CDC has also provided printer friendly versions of the webpage: Use of Cloth Face Covering to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
- The Huffington Post has published an entry on how to wash homemade cloth face masks. This entry includes advice from Health Canada and the CDC and attempts to answer FAQs on the maintenance of cloth masks.
Clean & Disinfect
- The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has a helpful and updates resources on COVID-19. Provides an array of information on how to clean and disinfect, how to clean your environment if someone is sick, and information on environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendations.
- The Government of Canada created a document outlining what is coronavirus, the symptoms and treatment, how to be prepared, prevention and risk, and Canada's response to this virus.
- There is also an updated list on the areas in Canada with COVID-19 cases.
- There are is also a number of printable resources and downloads that can be easily shared with community members.
- About Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Vulnerable Population and COVID-19
- Be Prepared (COVID-19)
- How to Care for a Person with COVID-19 at Home: Advice for Caregivers
- Reduce the Spread of COVID-19: Wash Your Hands
- Cleaning and Disinfecting for Public Settings
- There is also information on the different forms of Hand Hygiene.
- Be sure to check out the following infographics:
- If you are seeking for further information, there is a COVID-19 Virtual Assistant that can help narrow down your search and direct you to the appropriate page to better answer your questions.
- Indigenous Services Canada has provided a number of information and resources pertaining to COVID-19 and Indigenous communities, this also consists of a video from Indigenous Services Canada and their updates on this outbreak.
- Public service announcements regarding COVID-19 have also been provided in various Indigenous languages.
- The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has shared a list of resources, including the Important Steps for Communities.
- Here is a flowchart to assist when attempting to get further guidance on getting checked over the phone, in person, and what to do if you are showing symptoms.
- This is an active document that consists of international updates and resources on COVID-19 that was compiled by Public Health Ontario.
- The Urban Indian Health Institute has a downloaded resource with people living with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Diabetes Voice has provided information to better assist individuals that are diabetic during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Provides information on ensuring a safe and clean environment for drug use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Online Intergroup Alcoholics Anonymous group offers a directory of AA Canada meetings in various mediums such as Zoom Meeting, one tap mobile, and one can dial by their location.
- There are resources available for folks’ part of the LBGTQ+ community, folks that are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, loners/internationalists, and atheist/agonistic.
- Ending Violence Association of Canada has provided a directory of resources based on provinces for individuals that are experiencing domestic violence.
- The Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) will continue providing emotional support to women experiencing gender-based domestic violence.
- Shelter Safe will still be providing support to women and children that are fleeing from violence. Their crisis lines will also still be open to provide information on creating safety planning.
- Crisis Services Canada (CSC) has provided a list of local resources and support for individuals that may have suicidal thoughts, and has COVID-19 Resources.
- LGBT Youth Line has provided an online directory of support and resources that can respond to the needs of individuals within the LGBTQ+ community.
- Good2Talk provides support for post-secondary students in Ontario and Nova Scotia.
- Hands The Family Help Network has a list of resources and tools that can help youth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Kids Help Now will continue providing support and assistance to youth. (They have also provided additional resources based on one’s location.)
- Child Trends has compiled a list of resources and recommendations on how to better support a child’s emotional well-being.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has shared a list of myth busters in relation to COVID-19.
- The Conversation has shared a piece on the most frequently asked questions on COVID-19.
- With the increased spread of misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global and Mail has released an opinion piece on the dangers of misinformation.
- CBC News has released an article debunking myths and remedies surrounding COVID-19.
Indigenous Specific Resources
Although there hasn’t been any information regarding the use of traditional medicine and COVID-19, we believe it is important to include Indigenous resources in this resources list and may be of value to you!
Indigenous Services Canada
- Protecting the health and safety of Indigenous Communities in close proximity to natural resource operations: Guidance for Indigenous communities https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1592487905243/1592487940872
- Financial supports for Indigenous businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak
- First Nations, Inuit and Métis businesses have access to all measures provided through the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, and are encouraged to review it to see what financial supports might be available to them. Attached is a product that provides more information on benefits provided, such as the Funding for small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, Canada Emergency Business Account, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses. We appreciate your support in sharing this information widely.
For more information on the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, visit: Canada.ca/economic-response-plan
- Guidance on Re-Opening Northern, Remote, Isolated, and Indigenous Communities
- Indigenous Climate Action has provided a number of amazing resources that are Indigenous focused to help stay informed and provide guidance during this outbreak.
- These resources touch on:
- Social Distancing
- Mental Health Support
- Traditional Medicines and Holistic Practices
- Entertainment for Teens and Adults
- Maintaining Community Connection
- Making a Clean Space
- Community Care
- The NDN Collective has shared information on traditional practices that can help manage stress and reinforce community care during COVID-19.
- The Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP. (OKT) has created a blog with general assistance to First Nations regarding pandemic planning, funding and potential legal issues.
- The Yellowhead Institute complied a document to summarize the conversations surrounding Indigenous communities and COVID-19.
TVO has shared a video identifying the challenges that are specific to Indigenous communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
List of Resources and Information based on Province and Territories
Prince Edward Island
Maad’ookiing Mshkiki — Sharing Medicine
The Maad’ookiing Mshkiki – Sharing Medicine is a virtual hub that provides culturally relevant and trauma-informed information about COVID-19 vaccinations for First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The community-centered resources aim to empower informed consent for Indigenous peoples and have been developed by the Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health (CWP-IH) at Women’s College Hospital in partnership with the Indigenous Primary Health Care Council (IPHCC), Anishnawbe Health Toronto (AHT), The Indigenous Health Program at University Health Network (UHN) and Shkaabe Makwa (CAMH).
The National Association of Friendship Centres is proud to partner with this project as a Circle of Community Engagement & Review member.
COVID-19 vaccines (ingredients, allergies, side effects)
- What’s in the Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines approved by Health Canada: Pfizer-BioNTech & Moderna & how do they work? [PDF - 816 KB]
- Covid-19 Vaccine Presentation [PDF - 15 MB]