Investing $763 million to ensure a safe return to schools

Safe Return to Schools

With the arrival of fall and the gradual restart of our economy, parents should be able to return to work and trust that their children are learning in a healthy environment. That is why the Government of Canada is investing $763 million to support the province of Ontario through the Safe Return to Class Fund.

This investment will provide the province with the complementary funding necessary to ensure the safety of students and staff members throughout the school year. The Safe Return to Class Fund is flexible, allowing provinces and territories to address their immediate needs including support for adapted learning spaces, improved air ventilation, and the purchase of personal protective equipment.

COVID Alert App

The Government of Canada has developed a new nation-wide mobile app to let users know if they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The app, called COVID Alert, is available to all Canadians for free download. COVID Alert is another tool Canadians can use to help slow the spread of infection, prevent future outbreaks, and protect our communities as we ease restrictions and restart the economy.

While the exposure notification app is voluntary, the more Canadians who use it, the more useful it will be in protecting our loved ones and limiting further infection. Do your part to help keep our community safe by downloading the COVID Alert App today!

Employment Insurance Updates

This August, our government announced changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program and new income support benefits that will better support all Canadians. As we begin to transition away from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, we still need to ensure that Canadians have the support they need as they get back on their feet.

Those receiving EI will be eligible for a taxable benefit rate of at least $400 per week, or $240 per week for extended parental benefits. Regular benefits will be accessible for a minimum duration of 26 weeks.

The government will also freeze the EI insurance premium rates for two years, so Canadian workers and businesses will not face immediate increases to costs and payroll deductions.

Additionally, our government is proposing three new benefits:

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will provide $400 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI and who are available and looking for work.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500 per week for up to two weeks for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19.

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) will provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for eligible Canadians unable to work because they must care for:

  • a child under age 12 due to the closures of schools or daycares because of COVID-19.
  • a family member with a disability or a dependant because their day program or care facility is closed due to COVID-19.
  • a child, a family member with a disability or a dependant who is not attending school, daycare or other care facilities under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high risk if they contract COVID-19.

By returning to the EI program and introducing new complementary recovery benefits, we are ensuring Canadians have access to better supports that will help them through the next phase of our recovery.

As always, I encourage you to reach out to my office if we can be of any assistance. Contact my team any time via email at or telephone at: 416-283-1414