Memorandum from the Emergency Management Team March 26, 2020

As our Community is continuing its preparation for the Covid19 Pandemic, our Emergency Management Team (EMT) has been working diligently on doing preparation to assist our band members as this pandemic continues to progress. Not knowing what the extend or the time frame of this virus the EMT is taking all precautions and continuing to provide updates as our plans unfold.

On March 11, 2019 the Chief & Council had its official last Council meeting, and put financial controls for Beardy’s and Okemasis until such a time that a new Governance is in place.

The Finance department is still continuing with essential services and payments will continue as normally done with extra precautions being taken into consideration.

Post-Secondary Allowances: these will continue to be released as per your Post-Secondary Coordinator. Even thou there are no day to day classes the universities are taking necessary steps so that students can do their course work online or live stream, please check your institution for more information.

Social Assistance payments: will be conducted on March 31, 2020, to limit the amount of personal contact and practice Social Distancing the following will be the procedures for the release of SA payment.

  • Two rows with be created in the parking lot between the Arena and the High School for drive through pick ups
  • One row will be for A-G and the second row will be H-Z.
  • For reimbursements of power bills, energy bills, propane or heating oil, phone allowance, there is a drop off box outside the band office.
  • An information sheet will be provided to each client on the procedures of producing your ID’s and the signing of your Budget and Decision sheets.

As all people are hearing and reading on the news that the government has passed its stimulus aid package on March 24, 2020. As of this date no funds have been sent or received by any First Nations, there are also numerous posts on Facebook and social media regarding these funding, not all of these posts are real. There are also numerous scams being circulated through the internet PLEASE DO NOT FALL PREY to these scams. To protect our band Members, I would like to Highlight some of the funds that have been allocated to all Canadians and other funding specifically for Indigenous People.

 Support for individuals and families Increasing the Canada Child Benefit

 We (The Canadian Government) are providing an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family. This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May.

Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply.

Apply for the Canada Child Benefit

Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment

We are providing a one-time special payment by early May through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families.

The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.

There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

Extra time to file income tax returns

We are deferring the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals.

For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.

We will also allow any new income tax balances due, or instalments, to be deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties.

Learn more   Press Control and click on link

Note: If you expect to receive benefits under the Goods and Services Tax credit or the Canada Child Benefit, we encourage you to not delay your 2019 return filing to ensure that your entitlements are properly determined.

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit

We will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.

This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.

Apply for Employment Insurance

If you were recently laid off or have reduced hours and qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, you can submit your request today.

Apply for Employment Insurance benefits

The Indigenous Community Support Fund will be distributed as follows:

  • $215 million for First Nations: allocated to each First Nation based on population, remoteness and community well-being;
  • $45 million for Inuit, which will flow to each of the four land claims organizations through an allocation determined by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and regional Inuit land claims organizations;
  • $30 million for Métis Nation communities, which will flow through each of the Governing Members;
  • $15 million for regional and urban Indigenous organizations supporting their members living away from their communities, and to regional organizations such as Friendship Centres and the Métis Settlements General Council of Alberta.

These new funds will flow directly to Indigenous communities and groups across the country and will provide Indigenous leadership with the flexibility needed to address the immediate needs in their communities as they prepare for and react to the spread of COVID-19. These funds could be used for measures including, but not limited to:

  • support for Elders and vulnerable community members,
  • measures to address food insecurity,
  • educational and other support for children,
  • mental health assistance and emergency response services,
  • preparedness measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Fund is in addition to the needs-based funding designated for First Nations, Inuit and Metis through the COVID-19 Response Fund announced on March 11, 2020 and to the initial $50 million provided to support the immediate public health response. To support women and children fleeing violence, we have also created a $10 million fund for emergency family violence prevention shelters on reserve and in Yukon, as announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on March 18, 2020.

The Indigenous Community Support Fund is also in addition to needs-based support to address public health issues, including the provision of personal protective equipment, testing and health care personnel. It is also in addition to needs-based funding to address the growth in demand for income assistance and for emergency planning programming.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis will also benefit from all of the government’s efforts to support and improve the health response to COVID-19, and to reduce the impact of the situation on workers and businesses. The Government of Canada recognizes more support may be needed and will continue to offer financial support for Indigenous communities to meet their evolving needs

Beardy’s & Okemasis would like to be prepared for when is funding released, therefore we are asking memberships help to keep our data base up to date. Please fill this form out for yourself and family, one form per family unit will be easier for the administrators for this process. Members who need assistance please reach out to family and friends to help out so we can reach as many members as possible.

Please follow the link and provide us with your most recent information, this data base will be utilized when and if this fund has funding available for band members as:

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