#CRA; #CERB; #COVID19Crisis; #CanadianTaxes; #HighRiskApplications;
Ottawa, May 14 (Canadian-Media): New measures are being planned by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to check up on Canadians receiving Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) during the COVID-19 crisis, although federal officials said all fraudulent benefit claims could only get resolved during 2021 when taxes are filed, media reports said.
CRA, Image credit: Twitter handle
CRA officials also said that resolution of the fraudulent claims will be only possible in months of Jan and Feb, when CRA starts to receive the T4 information from employers' summarizing individuals' earnings.
This information would enable the CRA officials to compare the T4 information with CERB claims.
CERB implies that only those employees forced to stop working due to COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for CERB.
It also implies that these recipients are entitled to earn up to $1,000 a month while receiving the benefit.
Although CRA officials believed that most Canadians are honest, it was acknowledged by one CRA official that fraud rates for the $35-billion program could be higher than for most federal programs and could reach two or three percent.
All dishonest applicants in their CERB claims would be forced to pay back any money they were not entitled to receive, but may not face any other dire consequences.
CRA, which gets only the annual total in any normal year, is still finalizing the plans to get the details of how much employees were paid on a monthly basis during the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to a new verification procedure recently introduced by the CRA officials, applications would be flagged as "high risk" in case of any doubt.
All "high risk" applicants would be required to call a toll-free number to get their applications processed.
#CBSA; #AlbertaBorderCrossing; #ABHwy6; #Covid19Pandemic; #TravelAndTourism
Calgary (Alberta), May 12 (Canadian-Media): The travelers are being advised by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) about the delayed seasonal opening of the Chief Mountain, Alberta border crossing (AB Hwy 6) until further notice due to COVID-19, media reports said.
CBSA. Twitter handle
The port of entry originally scheduled to open on May 15, 2020, will now remain closed until lifting of the international travel restrictions.
All essential travelers are advised to seek entry to Canada at an alternate port of entry, such as the Carway border crossing (AB Hwy 2), which is currently open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
All non-essential travel at the Canada-United States border has been temporary extended until May 21, 2020, with probable further extensions for public health reasons.
Only asymptomatic visitors and those crossing the border for essential reasons, such as work or study. Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and Registered Indians under the Indian Act continue to enter Canada by right. Restriction is placed on all other categories of travel.
All travellers are subject to COVID-19 entry screening measures and must quarantine or isolate for 14 days with limited exemptions.
Healthy, non-symptomatic foreign nationals, travelling through Canada for non-discretionary purposes, such as to return home to Alaska, may transit through Canada.
Finally, persons considering a visit to Waterton Lakes National Park should be aware that Parks Canada has suspended camping, group activities, and events at all Parks Canada places across the country until at least May 31, 2020.
Vehicle access by visitors and visitor services are suspended, and facilities remain closed until further notice. For information and updates, People have been asked to follow @WatertonLakesNP
#Ontario; #CongregateCareSettings; #EmergencyOrder; #Covid19Pandemic
TORONTO — The Ontario government has approved an emergency order that would enable available school board employees to be voluntarily redeployed to congregate care settings during the COVID-19 pandemic, including hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes, and women's shelters. Many of these congregate care settings are in need of staff such as custodial and maintenance workers.
Image: Doug Ford: Twitter Handle
"Our priority continues to be protecting our most vulnerable citizens and the dedicated staff that care for them during the COVID-19 outbreak," said Premier Ford. "Many of our long-term care homes, and shelters are short of staff, so I am encouraging any available educational workers to help out if you can, because you can make a real difference in the lives of those most in need."
Under the emergency order, school boards would be authorized to develop and implement staff redeployment plans. Voluntarily redeployed staff would maintain their employment relationship with the school board and would continue to receive their compensation and other employment benefits. They would also be eligible for the provincial government's pandemic pay and emergency child care.
"While all the Trustee Associations that represent school boards, and many of the unions have confirmed their willingness to help out, there is no provision within the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act to redeploy staff to non-education employers," said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. "This emergency order opens the door for our educational workers to voluntarily go where they are needed most during this crisis."
Training and appropriate safety equipment will be provided to any educational worker who volunteers to be redeployed in a congregate setting.
#Canada; #CanadiansStrandedAbroad; #ForeignAirlines; #Covid19Pandemic
Ottawa, May 8 (Canadian-Media): Thousands of Canadians stranded abroad in remote mountain regions, on secluded islands and in locked-down countries that Canadian carriers can't reach amid the COVID-19 pandemic are being repatriated to Canada with the help of nearly a dozen foreign airlines, media reports said.
Global Affairs Canada. Image credit: Twitter handle
The repatriation effort is being spearheaded by Global Affairs Canada, which has completely retooled its operations to turn nearly every available employee into a full-time travel agent. Staffers who used to write ministerial briefing notes are now booking hotels, buses and flights.
The department, with the help of MPs, embassies and consular staff around the world, has returned more than 25,000 Canadians from 81 countries since the pandemic began.
Canada had sought the assistance of international airlines due to the logistics limitation faced by some Canadian airlines which could not fly to places like India, the Philippines, India and some countries in Africa to bring back stranded Canadians.
Some of the problems the Canadian airlines faced were some countries with stranded Canadians' shutdown of airspace, temporary ban imposed on people from travelling to airports without government documentation, introduction of travel ban by some countries to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Although Canadian airlines, including Air Canada, Air Transat, WestJet and Sunwing, were involved in repatriation efforts, more than half of the Canadians brought home to date flew on foreign airlines, said Liberal MP Rob Oliphant, parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs.
After arranging transport home for about 25,000 people, the federal government reported that it was now in the process of bringing back to Canada the last 20 percent of outstanding cases of stranded travelers. But the federal government said that still it won't be able to get everyone home before the pandemic itself ends.
Oliphant said that it would be difficult to repatriate small numbers of people, often in isolated or remote places and some of whom will be left behind.
The government says it will help those stranded people, who could not be brought back to Canada, to find shelter in place with consular support until the pandemic passes.
#Canada; #AMultibillionDollarDeal; #LowWageEssentialWorkers;
Ottawa, May 7 (Canadian-Media): Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced May 7 in Ottawa of a $4 billion deal his government has reached with the provinces and territories to increase payments for low-wage essential workers, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official site
According to the agreement, $3 billion would be kicked in by the federal government while the provinces will contribute the rest.
Trudeau said that plans, to cost-share wage top-ups by provinces and territories, have either been confirmed or are in the process of being confirmed and added that each province or territory will decide which workers are eligible for support.
Some provinces already have moved ahead. According to the Saskatchewan government's recent announcement employees making less than $2,500 a month while working with vulnerable people are eligible for a wage top-up of $400 per month for 16 weeks. That includes people working at long-term care homes, daycares and shelters.
A $4-per-hour increase had been announced by Ontario for front-line workers at long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, group homes, correctional institutions and youth justice facilities, including those providing home and community care and some hospital staff.
Even before Trudeau's initial offer, Quebec had announced to increase essential workers' pay by $4-per-hour, private long-term care homes, and $24.28-per-hour salary to attract new workers to fill in as attendants at the facilities.
Residents in Canada's long-term care facilities have accounted for a disproportionate number of Canada's pandemic deaths and has brought into spotlight health and personal care workers' typically lower salaries.
Both Ontario and Quebec, leading in coronavirus cases and struggling to keep a full staff, have requested help from the military.
#Canada; #JustinTrudeau; #BanOnAssaultStyleWeapons; #MassShooting; #NovaScotia
Ottawa, May 2 (Canadian-Media): A ban of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms was announced May 1 by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, weeks after worst mass shooting in Canada's history by a gunman in Nova Scotia claiming 22 lives, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official website
A full list of the firearms that have been banned is available through the Canada Gazette.
The newly prohibited firearms and components are prohibited for legal use, and cannot be sold or imported, Trudeau said.
Trudeau said that a two-year amnesty period would be provided for fair compensation to people who own these firearms.
All Canadians must be in compliance with the law by April 2022, and gun owners who have not disposed of their banned firearms by that point could face sanctions under the Criminal Code.
While there is an amnesty period, the firearms cannot be used anywhere as of today.
The firearms ban comes less than two weeks after the Nova Scotia gun massacre, an incident Trudeau called "the deadliest rampage in our country's history."
Coalition for Gun Control president Wendy Cukier said a ban like this was long overdue.
Nova Scotia shooter used illegal firearms
The RCMP has confirmed that the Nova Scotia shooter used firearms obtained illegally in Canada and from U.S. sources to carry out his crimes. He was not licensed to own firearms.
Illegal firearms from U.S. sources are used in 70 to 90 per cent of all gun-related crimes.
#CanadianArmedForces; #NATO; #NavalTaskForce; #HelicopterCrash
Ottawa, May 2 (Canadian-Media): The death of five missing members of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) was confirmed by a news release of CAF May 1 following Wednesday’s tragic accident involving a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CH-148 Cyclone helicopter in the Mediterranean Sea, are now presumed dead, media reports said.
Canadian Armed Forces. Image credit: Twitter handle
The helicopter was operating with HMCS Fredericton as part of the Standing North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2).
Although search resulted in the discovery of additional remains, but they could not be identified at that time.
CAF said over the next several days it will be doing everything possible to find out known details with the families.
Four RCAF members and two Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) members were on board the CH-148 Cyclone when it crashed in international waters between Italy and Greece on Wednesday.
The death of Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough, a marine systems engineering officer originally from Toronto, was confirmed Thursday.
Five missing crew members presumed to be dead are Capt. Brenden MacDonald, a pilot originally from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia; Capt. Kevin Hagen, a pilot originally from Nanaimo, British Columbia; Capt. Maxime Miron-Morin, an air combat systems officer originally from Trois-Rivières, Québec; Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke, a naval warfare officer originally from Truro, Nova Scotia; and Master Cpl. Matthew Cousins, an airborne electronic sensor operator originally from Guelph, Ontario.
The ships from Canada, Italy, and Turkey, with air support from Greece and the U.S are continuing the search for survivors and debris from the crash since Wednesday.
The recovery efforts by NATO allies will continue at the scene as HMCS Fredericton departs for the port in Italy.
The ship is expected to arrive in Canada Saturday morning local time.
An RCAF flight safety team, which is departing Canada May 1, would investigate the crash.
Grieving the loss of 6 members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Julie Payette Governor General of Canada said in a tweet, "Our heart goes out to their families and to all those who are affected by this tragic accident."