May 15, 2020
I imagine you’re as relieved as I am, that we British Columbians will soon enter Phase 2 of the province’s COVID-19 recovery plan. More local businesses can open carefully, cafes and restaurants can serve us safely, and small family gatherings will be permitted. I’m very grateful to have a lead public health official, Dr. Bonnie Henry, so skillfully speaking science from the heart in her calm voice of reason!
Supporting Canadian Seniors: Several people have written me to advocate for seniors affected by higher expenses related to the COVID-19 crisis. Happily, this week our government announced we will be providing a one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors receiving the Old Age Security pension, with $200 more for those receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement. This measure comes in addition to previous actions taken to support seniors.
Supporting Canadian Workers and Businesses: In good news for employees of large companies, this week our government announced the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers economically impacted by COVID-19. The key intent is to help protect Canadians’ jobs. Also, the Business Credit Availability Program will be expanded to include mid-sized companies.
In order to ensure taxpayer dollars loaned through the LEEFF credit also support Canadians’ social and environmental values, there are a number of required conditions:
You can find more supports available for businesses and individuals on my website www.JoyceMurray.ca/covid19.
Protecting Southern Resident Killer Whales: We British Columbians know that, unfortunately, Southern Resident killer whales (SKRW) face multiple threats to their survival and population recovery. Last week Ministers Garneau (Transport), Jordan (Fisheries and Oceans), and Wilkinson (Environment) announced more protective measures to support the survival and recovery of the SKRW. They focus on the primary threats to the species, such as prey availability and accessibility, acoustic and physical disturbance, and contaminants. This year’s measures once again reflect the advice from First Nations, industry, and public consultations. You can find more details at the Transport Canada news release, and the Fisheries and Oceans website.
Working on COVID-19 response plans with Ministers Sajjan and Wilkinson.
Free Tax Clinics, Virtually: Every year the Canada Revenue Agency coordinates free tax clinics through its Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. If you have modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers may be available to do your taxes for free! This year, these clinics are being held virtually. This website has info on how to attend, host or volunteer at a free tax clinic. And don’t forget, this year’s deadline to file your taxes is June 1; any amount owed is due by September 1.
Enough for now, please have a safe and enjoyable Victoria Day weekend!
The Hon. Joyce Murray, P.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra
Minister of Digital Government
P.S. Do you know someone who might like to receive these updates? They can go to www.joycemurray.ca/email-updates to be added to my email list.