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Bulletin | Covid-19

COVID-19 Relief Resource: Provincial Assistance - Quebec

Fasken
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COVID-19 Quebec Government Relief

The aim of this document is to provide an overview of resources available from Quebec's provincial government, for individuals who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]

Financial Measures

Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW)

Description and Eligibility

The Quebec government launched a financial assistance program for individuals working essential jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible workers can apply online as of May 19, 2020 and until November 15, 2020. The program provides $100 for each week of qualifying work as of March 15, 2020 and for a maximum period of 16 weeks thereafter. Eligible workers must: work part-time or full-time in an essential service sector during the program period, receive gross wages of $550 or less per week, have an annual employment income of at least $5,000 for 2020 and a total annual income of no more than $28,600 for 2020, and be at least 15 years old on the application date.

Note that to receive assistance for a given week covered by the program, the worker must not have received amounts under CERB or TAWP for that same week. The worker is eligible even if the employer receives assistance through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. 

Programme actions concertées pour le maintien en emploi (PACME - COVID-19)

Description

This program aims at taking advantage of the current interruption of workplace activities to increase the skills of employees or self-employed workers by reimbursing work-related training programs. While this program applies to businesses, it also applies to self-employed workers (incorporated or not) with employees. The Government of Quebec has announced a $100 million budget, which will be used to reimburse eligible expenses incurred for eligible training activities. The terms and conditions are available on the PACME web page.  

Shelter Allowance Program

Description

The Shelter Allowance Program continues to apply during the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a monthly allowance of up to $80 for low-income individuals who spend a bulk of their budget on rent. The Government of Quebec has announced a deferral of the renewal of the Shelter Allowance Program to December 1, 2020.

Support Payments

Description

Please note that no relief has been announced by Revenu Québec for support payments.

Suspension of Student Debt Repayment

Description

The Quebec government has postponed student loan debt repayment for six months as of March 2020. Additionally, no interest will be calculated for the six-month period. This measure applies automatically to all Aide financière aux études clients.

Electricity Bill Payment Deferral

Description

Hydro-Quebec implemented measures to help its affected customers that are experiencing financial difficulties. Some examples include not cutting off a customer's power for non-payment of their bill, no planned service interruptions, and no administration charges for unpaid bills as of March 23, 2020, as well as the possibility to enter into a payment arrangement with Hydro-Quebec in order to defer the payment of electricity bills.

Energir Assistance

Description

Energir has suspended collection procedures and will not be proceeding with any service interruptions for both residential and business customers, including the suspension of late-payment-fee billings. Energir also invites its customers who are facing financial difficulty to contact them in order to discuss possible payment solutions.

Tax measures

Provincial Tax Deferral

Description

The deadline for filing income tax return for 2019 with Revenue Quebec has been extended to June 1, 2020 for individuals. For self-employed individuals, no extended deadline has been announced for filing their income tax returns. However, for both individuals and self-employed individuals, the deadline for paying an income tax balance for 2019 has been extended to September 1, 2020.

Municipal Taxes Deferral

Description

Several municipalities in the province of Quebec have postponed the payment of municipal taxes. It is recommended that individuals consult their municipality's website to confirm these measures.

  • Montreal - The City of Montreal is postponing the second instalment of the annual property tax account and SDC contribution payments. This does not include other duties such as duties on transfers of immovable,
  • Laval - The City of Laval has delayed payment of the first and second instalments of the 2020 annual tax account. Taxpayers have until September 1, 2020 to make the two payments, 
  • Longueuil -  The City of Longueuil has granted a month-long extension for each of the three upcoming municipal tax payments. The City of Longueuil has announced it will take the necessary steps to ensure that postdated cheques are cashed on the new due dates. The city has also announced other various relief measures with respect to municipal taxes, including that until July 14, 2020, it will temporarily cease issuing various bills including transfer taxes,
  • Brossard - The City of Brossard has postponed the second installment of municipal taxes to October 6, 2020,
  • Quebec City (French only) - The City of Quebec has postponed the payment of municipal tax accounts. The payment due May 4th, has been postponed to August 4th. The payment due July 3rd has been postponed to September 3rd, and the payment due September 3rd has been postponed to November 3rd.

Other Measures

Housing - Suspension of Evictions

Description

The Régie du logement has suspended the effects of any decision authorizing the repossession of a dwelling or the eviction of the lessee of a residential dwelling. In addition, there has also been a suspension of the effects of any decision or any judgement ordering the eviction of the lessee or occupant of a residential dwelling, unless the lessor rented the dwelling again before March 17, 2020, and the suspension of the decision would prevent the new lessee from taking possession of the premises.

Extensions on Renewing or Replacing Health Cards

Description

RAMQ services are maintained. However, the two RAMQ reception desks, in Montréal and Québec, are not accessible to the public. Other service points, at SAAQ service outlets or at CLSCs, may not be renewing health insurance cards during this period. For people who have received a renewal notice, health insurance cards can still be renewed by mail without a photo. Exceptionally, an expired card will be accepted if an individual needs urgent health care, whether the care is related or not to COVID-19.

Validating Drivers' Licenses and Related Services

Description

The SAAQ outlets remain open to those individuals who work in essential services, by appointment only. For those who do not work in essential services, please consult the SAAQ website as there are several services available online. The SAAQ has also indicated that individuals may hold onto their expired driver's licenses and that police forces have been informed of the SAAQ's decision in this regard. The SAAQ has announced that no fees will be charged for any cancelled knowledge or road tests. The deadlines with regard to a mandatory reassessment of driving ability will be extended as well.

Free Legal Aid Hotline (French only)

The Minister of Justice has launched a COVID-19 Legal Aid Clinic, available from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday to Friday, offered to help the population receive advice on their rights and duties in light of the current pandemic. The hotline can be reached at the following numbers :

  • 1 866 699-9729 (toll free)
  • 514 789-2755 (Montréal)
  • 418 838-6415 (Capitale-Nationale)
  • 819 303-4080 (Gatineau)

Emergency Daycare Services for Essential Workers

Emergency school daycare services are reserved exclusively for children of parents who are entitled to emergency childcare services by governmental decree. Emergency daycare services will be offered free of charge, Monday through Friday, until May 1, inclusively. The list of workers entitled to this service is available online.

Open School - Educational Resources

The Ministry of Education has launched Open School, which provides educational resources for the pre-school, elementary and secondary levels, as well as adult general education and vocational training.

COVID-19 Local Non-Government Relief

The aim of this document is to provide an overview of resources available from non-government entities that operate within Quebec, for individuals who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.[2]

Food banks and Other Food-Related Resources

Description and Eligibility

Les Banques alimentaires du Québec continues, through its network of regional organizations, to supply food to local organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help Les Banques alimentaires du Québec, La Tablée des chefs, another initiative, has launched Les Cuisines Solidaires, a project that mobilizes the food industry and Quebec chefs to produce more than 1.6 million meals to feed people in need during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

Locations

Various locations across the province:

  • Individuals in need can find the closest local organization offering food aid services by entering their postal code in the interactive map available on the webpage of Les Banques alimentaires du Québec.

Montreal:

Quebec City:

Shelter/Housing

Description and Eligibility

Various organizations are providing temporary shelter and housing to Quebec citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. These initiatives include providing shelter to the homeless and at-risk youth, and childcare services to families that are in need. Details will vary with each resource, so please review the links below to determine eligibility and availability.

Locations

Various locations across the province:

  • Although Les Banques alimentaires du Québec only provides food aid to citizens in need, their webpage provides a list of shelters available for individuals in situation of homelessness or at-risk of homelessness. Individuals in need can find the closest local organization offering shelter by entering their postal code in the interactive map available on the webpage.

Montreal:

Quebec city:

Support for Women

Description and Eligibility

The organizations below provide support specifically for women. These organizations may provide shelter, legal support, childcare, and other social services. Details vary with each resource, so please review the links below to determine eligibility and availability. The government of Quebec has announced an additional emergency budget of $2.5 million to support the increased needs of organizations helping women who are victims of domestic violence and abuse.

  • Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale continues to operate its network comprised of 43 shelters for women who are victims of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. All of their member houses are open and strict hygiene measures are in place to protect the health of the workers and the women and children housed,
  • Fédération des maisons d'hébergement pour femmes brings together, supports and represents shelters in order to promote and defend the rights of women and their children living with multiple social problems. Their network comprises various shelters for women in difficult situations,
  • SOS Conjugal Violence offers support and referral services that are bilingual (French and English), free, anonymous and confidential, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to victims of domestic violence, and to all persons concerned by this problem.

Locations

Various locations across the province: Individuals in need can find the list of shelters through both aforementioned networks on their respective website and can contact a specific shelter by phone or email.

Montreal:

Quebec City:

Support of Indigenous Communities

Description and Eligibility

Regroupement des centres d'amitié autochtones du Québec - This network of Native Friendship Centres around the province offers Indigenous people culturally relevant services and continues to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Friendship Centres are also a point of reference for Indigenous people during the crisis, as the government of Quebec has invited Indigenous people to contact their local Friendship Centre for any questions related to the COVID-19 crisis and to stay up to date with local measures adopted during this time.

Locations

Various locations across the province: Individuals in need can find the list of centres comprised through this network on their website and contact the organization by phone.

Mental Health and Telemedicine Initiatives

Description and Eligibility

Various organizations are providing mental health services to Quebec citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. These initiatives include treatment service information for people experiencing problems with mental health. Details will vary with each resource, so please review the links below to determine eligibility and availability.

Locations

Various Locations:

  • La Croix-Rouge Canadienne has set up a friendly call service for people in isolation who have been referred to the Red Cross by a representative of the health care system,
  • Ami-Québec helps families and individuals manage the effects of mental illness through support and guidance. Their website offers an extensive list of call-in services offering mental health support, ranging from domestic violence to suicide to children's mental health and more,
  • Telemedicine services (Dialogue, VirtualMED) -  RAMQ (Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec) now includes telemedicine as an insurable health expense. Dialogue and VirtualMED are two private telemedicine services that offer health consultations via video chat.

Support for the Elderly

Description and Eligibility

Various organizations are providing services to Quebec senior citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. These initiatives include phone lines to denounce older adults' mistreatment or to help senior citizens break the feeling of isolation. Details will vary with each resource, so please review the links below to determine eligibility and availability.

Locations

Various Locations:

  • Elder Mistreatment Helpline (LAAA) is a listening and referral phone line specializing in older adults' mistreatment. It is aimed specifically to older adults in situations of mistreatment, but anyone who is concerned about an older adult in a situation of mistreatment can call,
  • Tel-Aînés offers free and confidential listening and referral services that aim to help senior citizens to break their isolation and express their emotions.

Support for Families

Description and Eligibility

Various organizations are providing support and parenting strategies to Quebec families during the COVID-19 pandemic. These initiatives include online educational resources and coping mechanisms for both young and old. Details will vary with each resource, so please review the links below to determine eligibility and availability.

Locations

Various Online Resources:

  • Montreal Families is an online resource that provides local information and professional advice to support all aspects of parenting and family life. Montreal Families has published a series of six blog posts since mid-March featuring a compendium of online family resources, ranging from government, to educational, to artistic and scientific resources.

Other Initiatives

  • The Provincial Centraide Network has set up an Emergency Fund during the COVID-19 pandemic to help local organizations that provide front-line services to various communities in Quebec so that they can maintain their operations during the crisis. For example, the Emergency Fund has benefited various centres in the YMCA network and organizations helping immigrants. Individuals wanting to see the complete list of agencies that benefit from Centraide's Emergency Fund can visit their local Centraide website,
  • Fédération des centres d'action bénévole du Québec - Jebenevole.ca is a provincial web platform dedicated to the pairing of volunteer centers and non-profit organizations with potential volunteers. Managed by the Fédération des centres d'action bénévole, the Jebenevole.ca website presents volunteering opportunities along with the search tools and filters that facilitate the pairing of organizations and individuals with the goal of filling out open volunteering positions.

 


 

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