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BC Federation of Retired Union

Posted April 4, 2020; updated May 12, 2020




Social Distancing, Self-Isolation, Quarantine

· 14-day isolation on return from being outside of Canada

· Know the Difference: Self-Monitoring, Self-Isolation and Isolation for COVID-19

· Wash Your Hands Poster



• Contact Information during office closure to visitors


BC Federation of Labour

• Resources for Workers during COVID-19


Canadian Labour Congress

• COVID-19 Resource Centre


COVID-19 Resources from the United Steelworkers (USW)


Additional FAQs answered by USW


World Health Organization

• Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic


Mental Health Resources

• Crisis Centre – more information and phone numbers available on this website

• Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868


Federal Government of Canada Resources

• Public Health Agency of Canada – numerous resources including self-assessment for symptoms.

• Service Canada – for information on:

Employment Insurance (EI): provides up to $573/week to workers who have been laid off – apply online.

• Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefits: provides $2000/month to workers who lose income due to COVID-19, including contractors and self-employed workers; one week waiting period has been waived. Apply online.

• Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): provides a taxable benefit of $2000/month for up to 4 months, read details here.

• GST Credit: Available in May, 2020, paid according to your income tax return: one-time boost of up to $600 per eligible couple; $400 for eligible individuals.

• Canada Child Benefit: One-time boost of $300 in May, 2020. Requires registration if you are not already receiving CCB, apply online.

• Canada Student Loans – six-month interest-free moratorium, starting March 30, 2020.

Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) – minimum withdrawals from RRIFs has been reduced by 25% for 2020.

• Income tax filing deadline has been deferred to June 1, 2020 with payments owed deferred until after August 31, 2020. Read more here.

• Government of Canada: Coronavirus Outbreak updates

• April 15, 2020 - News 1130 reports “More Canadians can now apply for Emergency Response Benefit, PM says”

• May 12, 2020 - CBC report: “Seniors to receive up to $500 in a one-time payment to offset added costs due to COVID-19”


BC Provincial Government

• Seniors Help phone 211 – now available in communities across British Columbia

• Non-medical information phone number: 1-888-COVID19; 7:30 am to 8:00 pm; available in 110 languages

• Medical Related COVID-19 Questions phone number: 811

• Senior’s Supplement **IMPORTANT INFO: According to information provided by the BC Federation of Labour, this supplement will not impact GIS or SAFER payments.

• BC Ministry of Health website - features numerous resources

• HealthLink BC

• BC Centre for Disease Control Health Information

• COVID-19 Provincial Support & Information

• COVID-19 Leave from your job – unpaid, job-protected leave related to COVID-19

• BC Emergency Benefit – one-time additional tax-free payment of $1000 to those on EI or CERB.

• Climate Action Tax Credit: Available in July, 2020: up to $564 for eligible families of four; $218 for eligible individuals, plus other qualifying requirements.

• BC Student Loans – six-month interest-free moratorium, starting April, 2020.

• COVID-19 App (for mobile device): available on Apple App Store Google Play

COVID-19 Self-Assessment website


Worksafe BC

COVID-19 information and resources

Refusing unsafe work


For parents with school age children

Government of BC – Open School BC: Keep Learning


Housing Supports

Freeze on rental rates - no rent increases are allowed in BC effective April 1, 2020; immediate halt on all evictions; landlords may now restrict use of common areas by tenants or guests; landlords may not enter tenants’ homes without their expressed consent, unless there is a clear threat to people or property. Contact Residential Tenancy Board with questions.

Rent supplement providing up to $500/month towards rent, paid directly to landlords

Mortgages (CMHC insured) - Mortgage payment deferrals available for CMHC-insured loans; check with your lender.

• Mortgages (non-CMHC insured) – check with your lender about options available to you.


Domestic Violence Resources

VictimLink BC – 24/7 information and referral service for all victims of family and sexual violence. Phone 1-800-563-0808; Text 604-836-6381; email

Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) – rape crisis centre + 24 hour crisis and information line 604-255-6344, 1-877-392-7583

ShelterSafe – Women’s Shelters Canada

Government of BC Resource page


Additional Supports + Information

BC Hydro: bill deferral, payment plans and crisis funding – call 1-800-BCHYDRO or apply online

ICBC payment plan deferral – find out more here including online resource tool

• Hospital parking is now free of charge across the province at all health authority owned/operated sites.

Sick Notes

Prescription Refills - College of Pharmacists of BC

FAQs from People’s Law School for British Columbians

Canadian Medical Association COVID-19 Resources


From USW:

Clarifying the Confusing World of New Government Programs

USW COVID-19 RESOURCES – It’s easy to get confused by daily announcements and changes to government support programs during this pandemic. A new USW guide outlines the details as clearly as possible, including who is eligible, what each program covers and how to apply. 

USW Guide to Benefits During COVID-19: By Province and Territory

USW COVID-19 RESOURCES – Laid off? In quarantine? Unable to work because kids are out of school? Check out the guide for your province or territory on the government support programs you may be eligible to apply for.

USW Guide – Right to Refuse in Western Canada (District 3)

USW COVID-19 RESOURCES – During COVID-19, workers need to know how the right to refuse unsafe work applies in their situation. This guide provides a summary of the current legal situation with respect to Health and Safety laws governing workers’ rights to refuse unsafe work across District 3 (Western Canada).

USW Guide to Maternity/Parental Benefits During COVID-19

USW COVID-19 RESOURCES – For those currently on maternity or parental leave or planning to start leave soon, see how the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) applies to your situation.

Equal Pay Day 2020

STATEMENT, 1 April 2020 – For April 4, Equal Pay Day, the USW calls on governments of all levels to put in place programs that give all workers economic security and close the gender pay gap. In Canada, women workers still take home, on average, 30% less each year than what men earn.

Ottawa’s Wage Subsidy Must Be Designed Primarily to Help Workers

NEWS RELEASE, 1 April 2020 – The USW is warning the federal government that its new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program (CEWS) can be misused and abused if it is not carefully designed to prioritize workers’ incomes rather than profits for businesses.

Commercial Drivers Need Government Action on COVID-19 Protection

NEWS RELEASE, 31 March 2020 – Provincial and municipal governments must ensure rest stops and other businesses allow washroom access to truckers, couriers and other commercial drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now Online – News@6 Spring 2020

USW NEWS, 3 April 2020 – The newsletter for District 6 is now available online. We’ve added good information on how to stay safe during COVID-19, as well as great reading on all that’s been happening with Steelworkers around Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

COVID-19 Crisis Response Must Address Gender Faultlines

CCPA BEHIND THE NUMBERS, 2 April 2020 – Women are at the forefront of the crisis in their work as primary caregivers and care workers. Not only are women more likely to contract the virus given their roles as caregivers within families and as front-line health-care workers, they also have the least say in the policy response.

Petition: Governments Must Support Workers During COVID-19

USW CAMPAIGNS – If you haven’t already, please take a moment to send our USW letter to politicians asking federal, provincial and territorial governments to take the necessary measures to support workers in this difficult time.


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