There is some good news on the horizon about our work to stem the spread of COVID-19. Vaccines are critical to this work and Canada will receive up to 249,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this month. Health Canada has just approved the vaccine. These doses are part of the 76 million doses Canada has secured through its existing agreement with Pfizer.
While many parts of the country continue to have strong restrictions to prevent the spread of the pandemic, there was also hopeful news that almost 80% of the more than 3 million jobs lost at the outset of the pandemic have been recouped. There are still sectors and communities that are deeply impacted. My focus - and that of our government - has been to provide continued support to the people and businesses who still need it.
Tomorrow evening marks the start of Hanukkah. Chag Hanukkah Sameach to everyone celebrating in our community and across our country. The festivities may be a little more subdued this year, but we still have our traditional means of celebrating. I'm looking forward to eating latkes from Crowded House, olliebollen (traditional Dutch doughnuts) from Borrel and sufganiyots (jelly-filled doughnuts) from Glory Hole Doughnuts. Please let me know if there are other local businesses with Hanukkah treats to enjoy over the next week of festivities. I also liked these tips about how to light a menorah outdoors and other tips about how to celebrate the holiday during Covid.
In this newsletter, you will find information about:
Facebook Live: Ask Me Anything!
Last week, I was joined by Ride Away Bikes Riverside to talk about winter cycling and best practices to maintain bike safety in winter conditions. If you missed it, you can catch up here.
Tonight at 7:30 pm I'll be hosting an Ask Me Anything Facebook Live to answer your questions about last week's Fall Economic Update, federal programs, and anything else that may be on your mind.
CEBA, the Canada Emergency Business Account is now accepting applications for secondary support. Qualifying businesses who have not accessed the program can apply for the full $60,000 loan, while those businesses that have already accessed CEBA are able to apply for a $20,000 top-up loan that is 50% forgivable. CEBA is delivered through Canada's banks and trust companies, so please consult the financial institution where you hold your business account to learn more and to apply.
To date, almost 800,000 businesses and not for profits have received emergency financial support through the CEBA program.
Emergency Community Response Fund
Federal supports and programs have had tangible impacts locally through The United Way Greater Toronto. Round 1 provided funding to 7,000 programs serving vulnerable people across Canada. Fifteen organizations in Toronto-Danforth have received this support, including Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre, Applegrove Community Complex, and St. John the Compassionate Mission.
Free Virtual Concert by Well Seasoned Productions
Well Seasoned Productions is an entertainment production company that works with Canadian Stage Artists 50 years and up. They have received New Horizons for Seniors Program funding previously and are still going strong during the pandemic. Please enjoy their free virtual Holiday Cheer show!
Federal COVID-19 Response: Facts and Figures
Stay safe and please reach out by email or phone (416.405.8914, leave a message) for any questions, suggestions or feedback.