It’s been a tough few weeks


Across Québec, over 1000 have now died from COVID-19.

Across Québec, over 1000 have now died from COVID-19. Some will say we’ve been spared in the Pontiac, but it’s been a tough few weeks for many here too: healthcare workers worry about getting sick; seniors have been ordered to stay confined, businesses may have seen years of work go down the drain, and those who have lost their job may not know if they’ll ever get it back.
With strict regulations, government has essentially asked you to put your
normal life on hold. Most have followed instructions to a tee.  Thank you.
You also rightfully expect a lot from your government: to make the right decisions, protect citizens by properly planning healthcare, provide economic relief so our businesses make it through and for everyone to be able to pay their mortgage. Many programs have been put forward and they change constantly to meet needs.
The federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) gives $2,000 per month to anyone who has lost their job due to COVID-19. Self-employed workers, parents who had to stop working to take care of children
and seasonal workers who cannot return to work are eligible. If your earnings have decreased to less than $1,000 per month, you can apply.
Given that the salaries of essential workers can often be less than the CERB, workers earning less than $2,000 per month can apply for up to 400$ per month.
Businesses who have seen a 15% drop in revenue can receive a temporary wage subsidy for the employees they keep: 75% of their salary, up to $847 per week per employee.
Through banks and credit unions, credit is more easily accessible for business. To help cover operating costs, interest-free loans up to $40,000 can be obtained, part of which may be non-reimbursable.
The province has set up a fund to reimburse employee training and development costs given that employee turnover may be important.
Finally, agri-stability provisional payments will be increased from 50% to 75%.
These programs aren’t perfect. If you do not fit in any of these categories, please call my office. We may know of additional programs and can work with government to address the needs of folks in your situation. We’re also happy to help you apply to programs. Call us at 819-648-7070. Don’t hesitate, that’s why we’re here.
Most importantly, keep doing what you’ve been doing. Stay safe. Check in on your friends and neighbours. If you’re fortunate enough to do it, consider a small donation to Bouffe Pontiac or any community group. Thank a healthcare worker. Even if we’re apart, we’re still a strong and proud community. We’ll get through this.

MNA André Fortin