Salma Zahid
Salma Zahid
Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre
May 8 update to constituents on COVID-19 response
May 8, 2020


I'd like to wish a happy early Mother's Day to all the mothers in Scarborough. It's never easy to be a Mother and, during these challenging times, there has been even more pressure on Moms to keep families together, safe and healthy. Sunday is your day! I hope all the fathers and children out there help to make it a great one for you.

Today, we also remember the sacrifices made by past generations, as it was 75 years ago today that Canada and the Allies celebrated Victory in Europe. We pause today to remember the young men and women that went off far from home to protect our freedoms, and the many that never came back home again. We thank them for their service, and we strive to keep their memories alive.

This morning's job numbers show what we already knew - the impact of this pandemic is vast and it's not over yet. This morning the Prime Minister announced the time period for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be extended. We've also reached an agreement with the provinces to provide a boost to essential workers making low wages - the Ontario government will have more details on eligibility and amounts soon.

And while some businesses are slowly beginning to re-open, we need to know that this will be a slow process and it won't be the normal we remember right away. We still need to limit our trips out and keep our distance from others. Keep following the advice of the public health experts. Wash your hands often. We don't want to fall back on the progress we've made.

Have a great weekend. Keep safe, keep healthy, and be kind to one another.



Scarborough update

Saluting first responders and essential workers

Great job by Rev. Denise Gillard and the Toronto Children's Concert Choir & Performing Arts Company producing this tribute to the first responders and essential workers working on the frontlines of COVID-19 in Scarborough and across Canada!

Virtual Iftar

Thank you to the Intercultural Dialogue Institute for inviting me to their virtual Ramadan Community-Building in Social Distancing Iftar Dinner this week. Wonderful to connect with the community in this way.

Weekly town halls

My guests for this week's town hall were Jasmine Noureddin from Al-Huda Muslim Society and Dr. Tai Adeboboye of Wilmar Heights Baptist Church, who spoke about their work in the community and shared advice for us all during COVID-19. You can find a replay of the town hall below, and the details on next week's event. Hope you can join us!

National updates

Boost to the Canada Child Benefit

Families receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will get $300 extra per child in May to help them deal with the added pressures of COVID-19. Eligible families will automatically receive this one-time increase as part of their scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply for this one-time increase. This increase will deliver almost $2 billion in extra support across the country to help families with the high cost of taking care of their kids during this challenging period.

Essential worker top-up

While many of us are being asked to stay home, millions of Canadians are being called on to go to work every day. We are relying on these workers now more than ever. That is why we have confirmed, or are in the process of confirming, plans to cost share wage top-ups for essential workers, with all provinces and territories. We will provide up to $3 billion in support to increase the wages of low-income essential workers.  Each province or territory will determine which workers would be eligible for support, and how much support they will receive.

Investing in mental health supports

We recognize the significant strain that COVID-19 has placed on individuals and families across the country. Many people are concerned about their physical and mental well being. That's why we're investing $240.5 million to develop, expand, and launch virtual care and mental health tools to support Canadians, through the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding includes support for Wellness Together Canada, an online portal that provides Canadians with free resources, tools, and professional support services to help with wellness and resilience, as well as mental health and substance use.

Keeping food on the shelves and on our tables

Canadians working in the food industry are working harder than ever to ensure Canadians have access to the food they and their families depend on during this challenging time. Our government is investing over $252 million to support farmers, food businesses, and food processors who ensure that Canadians have access to the food they need.

Working with the world to fight this virus

We know that COVID-19 is a virus that knows no borders and are committed to working with our international partners to protect people and stop the spread of COVID-19. That's why we have come together with our allies to launch the Coronavirus Global Response, an online pledging event aimed to raise more than $8 billion (USD) to help researchers and innovators develop solutions to test, treat, and protect people and build a safe and prosperous future for everyone.

COVID-19 Resources for Parents and Children

We recognize this is a difficult time for many families. Children, just like adults, have an important role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19. It can be difficult for some to understand why they have to stay home or cannot see loved ones and friends.  The Public Health Agency of Canada has developed resources to help children understand what's going on and how they can help. There are activities for children, resources for parents and much more.

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