CIJA COVID-19 Atlantic Canada Resource Guide
This resource guide has been prepared by CIJA for our Federation partners to provide relevant and timely information for your constituents. The guide contains useful resources for individuals, communities, and businesses and includes information from the Government of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Government of Canada. We will continue to share the most recent information on our website (cija.ca) and social media feeds (@CIJAinfo on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram)
For any questions about this content, or if you need additional support, please contact Naomi Rosenfeld at nrosenfeld@CIJA.ca.
Support for individuals and families
The province has made the following announcements to help vulnerable Nova Scotians. All of the following measures are explained in an overview, available here.
Every individual and family member on income assistance will receive an additional $50 starting Friday, 20 March. People do not need to apply.
Feed Nova Scotia
$1 million to help Feed Nova Scotia purchase food and hire more staff.
To enable students to continue studying while schools are closed, the province has made several online resources available for families in English and French. An overview of changes due to COVID-19 are available here.
Nova Scotia’s Learning Continuity Plan is designed to support learning for P-12 students in the province in different ways during COVID-19. The plan allows learning to continue while keeping students, their families and school staff safe. It also allows regional centres of education, CSAP and teachers flexibility to meet the unique needs of their students. An overview of the plan is available here.
Information and resources for parents and families are available here.
Suspending student loan payments
Nova Scotia Student Loan payments are suspended until 30 September 2020. You don’t need to make any payments, and your loans won’t accrue interest. The suspension is automatic – you don’t need to apply.
Support for seniors
Community Links and Seniors’ Safety Programs are programs that respond to the needs of vulnerable older adults across the province. Government is investing $230,000 in these programs to expand their capacity to provide more supports and services like:
- volunteers for delivering groceries
- technological options for keeping people connected by phone
- responding to other social issues as they emerge
Support for businesses
- Government will defer payments until June 30 for all government loans, including those under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.
- Government will defer payments until June 30 for small business renewal fees, including business registration renewal fees and workers compensation premiums (a list of fees will be posted online early next week).
- Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, administered through credit unions, include deferring principal and interest payments until June 30, enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000, and for those who might not qualify for a loan, government will guarantee the first $100,000.
- Small businesses which do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days.
- Ensuring more Nova Scotians can access the internet to work from home, by providing $15 million as an incentive to providers to speed up projects under the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative and complete them as soon as possible.
Commercial rent deferral
To support small and medium-sized businesses, landlords are encouraged to defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for 3 months, spreading the deferred rent amount over the rest of the lease term. If you’re deferring rent because your tenant’s business is closed due to the Health Protection Act order, you could be eligible for coverage (up to a maximum of $50,000 per landlord and $15,000 per tenant) if you can’t recover the deferred rent.
Details on rent deferral are available here.
Closures and Essential Services
An overview of the services, facilities, businesses, and schools that which open or closed are available here.
A Guide to Businesses: Provincial and Federal Relief Measures
The Government of New Brunswick has created this guide as a simple tool that lays out all available programs and supports currently available. The guide includes information on provincial and federal benefits for businesses and individuals.
Programs in the guide include Working Capital for Small Businesses, Income Tax Payment Deferrals, Electricity Bill Payment Deferrals, Self-Employed and Worker Emergency Income Benefit, and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
It provides an overview of the programs, eligibility, instructions on how to apply, and details about the benefit. The Government will keep this guide updated as new information and sources are released.
COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses
On March 24, the Government of New Brunswick announced additional supports for businesses. The assistance will support the economy, help keep workers employed, and enable businesses to continue to operate.
The assistance is complimentary to existing federal and partner institution support and is targeted to specifically address impacts associated with COVID-19. The province will continue to monitor economic impacts and respond proactively to the needs businesses and employers.
An overview of provincial supports is available here.
COVID-19: New Brunswick Business Webinar Series
Business leaders across New Brunswick have launched a series called NB Business Webinars. Subject matter experts are coming together in this weekly video series answering some of your most frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 and business. These webinars are being facilitated by Thomas Raffy, CEO of le Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick (CENB). They are a collaborative effort of the CENB, Opportunities NB, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, the Atlantic Business Council, the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, and many other network partners.
The webinars are available here.
NB Public Health
Updates on COVID-19, information for residents, community preparedness, and health resources are provided by the New Brunswick Chief Medical Officer of Health, and are available here.
Learning at Home: Resources for Families
Schools in New Brunswick are closed indefinitely, so the province has compiled online educational resources for children of all ages. No requirements are posted on the site. Families know best what learning expectations will be reasonable based on their own circumstances.
The website is available here.
Newfoundland and Labrador
COVID-19 Resources Page
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has compiled both provincial and federal resources about COVID-19, including public health updates, information for businesses and residents, news updates, and mental health resources. The page is available here.
News releases and updates related to COVID-19 are available here.
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and the government response are available here.
Business Closures and Openings
An overview of what businesses are open or closed in Newfoundland and Labrador is available here.
Child Care for Essential Workers
Regulated childcare services for children (one to 13 years) are permitted to operate in order to support and enable essential workers to provide critical services if they have no other options available. If you are an “essential” worker in need of childcare, please visit Essential Worker Child Care Service Application for more information.
The application is available here.
As of Tuesday, March 17, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has suspended all in-school class instruction throughout English District schools. This suspension will continue for an indefinite period, as part of province-wide efforts to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Further information can be found in the public releases are available here.
Public Health Orders
Effective March 18, 2020, the Minister of Health and Community Services declared COVID-19 a public health emergency under the Public Health Protection and Promotion Act. While a public health emergency is in effect, the Chief Medical Officer of Health can introduce special measures that they believe are necessary to protect the health of the population. A person found in breach of these orders could face a fine or jail time. A corporation found in breach of these orders could face a fine of $5,000 to $50,00.
Details on the public health orders are available here.
Mental Health and Wellness
The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. You may be experiencing a high degree of uncertainty, worry, anxiety and stress about the health and safety of your loved ones, and how COVID-19 may disrupt the lives of you and your family.
Mental health and wellness resources are available here.
Prince Edward Island
COVID-19 Updates and Resources
News, public health directives, resources, and information for businesses and residents are available here.
An overview of provincial COVID-19 supports and services is available here.
Supports for Families and Youth
Resources for families and children, including mental health and educational resources, information about school closures, and changes to spousal and child support payments are available here.
Information on co-parenting and COVID-19 is available here.
Following the recommendations of the Chief Public Health Office, all public schools will remain closed until at least May 11. For the duration of school closures, students and families will have access to online and offline home learning materials. We recommend home learning focus on three key areas; health and well-being, literacy and numeracy.
Further information, and educational home learning resources, are available here.
Frequently asked questions about school closures in PEI are available here.
Emergency Child Care Services for Essential Workers
In response to COVID-19, all licensed childcare centres across the Island are closed until further notice. The province is working on implementing emergency childcare services for children, in order to help alleviate the pressures. Frequently asked questions about school closures in PEI are available here.
More information is available here.
COVID-19 Income Support Fund
Details on the Income Support Fund for individuals impacted by COVID-19, including the application, is available here.
Support for Businesses
If you are self-employed, an employee, or a business, there are now supports available for emergency relief.
An overview of provincial COVID-19 supports and services is available here.
Employee Gift Card Program
The Government of Prince Edward Island has partnered with Sobeys to offer a $100 Sobeys gift value to any employee, living and working on Prince Edward Island, who has received a ROE as lay-off notice as a direct result of the impacts associated with COVID-19. The program was put in place to assist the employee while they await their EI payments. The application form is to be completed by the employer, who will then distribute the gift card letters to affected employees.
More information is available here.
Support for Employees and Self-Employed
COVID-19 has impacted the lives of many Islanders, including those in the workforce. The situation is rapidly evolving. Information on supports for workers is posted as it becomes available.
Information about resources and supports available to workers is available here.
Information on the Emergency Relief Worker Assistance Program is available here.
Information on the Emergency Income Relief for the Self-Employed is available here.
Support for Renters
In March, Social Development and Housing launched the Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit. This will provide temporary rental assistance to renters who are struggling to pay their rent as a result of income loss or reduction due to COVID19 measures. Eligible tenants will have the benefit paid directly to their landlord, benefiting both the landlord and the tenant.
Further details are available here.