Credit: Bernard Thibodeau, House of Commons Photo Services Credit: Bernard Thibodeau, House of Commons Photo Services

Gray: Answering constituents questions on COVID-19

MP for Kelowna-Lake Country Tracy Gray’s latest column

I recognize that these are challenging and unprecedented times. My heart goes out to all those affected. Our office is here to serve, and my entire team and I are working non-stop every day and night to ensure that we are informed, proactive, and responding to you. We are hearing from seniors, students, families, businesses and not for profits with many questions and situations.

I thought for this column, that I’d go though some of the most frequent questions that I am getting right now.

What are the kinds of things that I should connect with your office about?

As always, for anything federal, but the main categories we are getting the most amount of correspondence on include:

  1. People travelling, especially internationally trying to get home
  2. EI and CRA inquiries and issues
  3. Small business owners trying to help their employees and businesses

When did mandatory self-isolation come into affect and who enforces it?

On March 26th, the Government of Canada put in place emergency measures that require mandatory 14-day self isolation for all persons entering Canada, even if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. (there are some exceptions such as essential service workers). Previous to this, health agencies and authorities were recommending self-isolation. Enforcement is done by local police service agencies.

I am not applicable for EI, what options do I have?

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is for wage earners, contract workers, and self employed who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). The CERB will cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB will be a taxable benefit that will provide up to $2,000 a month for up to four months. This program will be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), not through EI. You will need to have a CRA “My Account for Individuals” in order to apply for the CERB, which will open for application by April 6th.

What help is there for my business?

The government took recommendations from the Official Opposition and added to their initial proposal. There is now a 75% wage subsidy, the ability for businesses to apply to BDC for a business loan, expanded loans from Farm Credit Canada, business deferral of GST/HST, and back business loans up to $40,000.

What can I do to help?

Follow health authority recommendations. Social isolation will be hardest at this time, so call someone you know or reach out in a way so you are distanced. Call local charities to see how you can help as many are changing their service models. Local businesses are the heart of Kelowna-Lake Country and they need our support more than ever. Many small businesses are still operating with social distancing procedures, delivery service or pick up. Maybe buy a gift certificate online to use at a later date, or order products online. Many restaurants are offering delivery and some are even offering cocktails to go! The most important thing is for all of us to have compassion and understanding during this time.

We can provide more details on the mentioned items and any other inquiries, so please phone or email.

In your service,

Tracy Gray, MP for Kelowna-Lake Country

Phone: 250-470-5075


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Federal Politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police watchdog investigating fatal crash in Kelowna

Kelowna RCMP received a report of a single-vehicle collision on Bulman Road near Highway 97 on June 1

Kelowna council greenlights ‘The Wedge’

The wedge-shaped building will be built at the corner of Leon Avenue and Water Street

Single vehicle rollover on Clifton Road

The incident happened just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday in Kelowna

Province looks to seize Kelowna home owned by alleged drug trafficker

Michelle Collins and Nigel Byrne were also recently investigated by Kelowna RCMP for drug trafficking

Oyama Zipline Adventure Park opening for the season

The Lake Country zipline is scheduled to open on June 12

WATCH: North Okanagan golf cart stolen, then returned

Homeowners have footage of two men taking the cart and then bringing it back

Vehicle stolen in Revelstoke recovered near Salmon Arm after occupants suffer overdoses

Police say they were alerted to the vehicle after occupants treated by ambulance after drug use

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Highway 1 closed after body found near Hope

Coroners Service reportedly on the scene, highway has been closed for 10 hours in both directions

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

LETTER: Questions raised about Summerland property taxes

Dear Editor: By now property owners in Summerland will have received their… Continue reading

COLUMN: Is parliament essential?

We need time to dig into the books and ensure that taxpayers are being respected

Sicamous RCMP catch driver going twice the speed limit

The car was impounded for seven days and the driver received a hefty fine

Most Read