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

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

Email: tracy.gray@parl.gc.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Federal Politics

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

(Big White Ski Resort/Contributed)
Big White’s big clean-up: Large turnout for post-melt mountain tidy

More than 165 people showed up to help gather the litter left behind from the winter season

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Delays expected on Lakeshore Road this week

Northbound traffic on Lakeshore between Richter and Barrera will be detoured for paving

David Larsen, left, and co-host Tony Peyton. (K96.3/Twitter)
Popular Kelowna radio host dies after battle with cancer

David Larsen was half of the longtime Kelowna morning-show duo David and Tony

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Most Read