March 18 4:00 PM Update from MPP Mitzie Hunter regarding COVID-19

  • Community Update


Earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a temporary closure of the Canada-US border to non-essential travel, as well as an economic support package totalling $82 billion. I have compiled information on the announced measures below:

Closure of Canada-US Border  

“Non-essential” travel across the border includes crossing for recreation or tourism purposes. This closure will not affect the supply chain across both countries.

Economic Support

The Prime Minister announced a government spending package of $27 billion in direct support to Canadians and $55 billion through tax deferrals totaling to $82 billion.

For Canadians who do not have paid sick leave or qualify for Employment Insurance

These benefits include an Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks which will be available to Canadians without paid sick leave, who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children. 

For those who have lost a job or face reduced hours as a result of COVID’s impact, the federal government will be providing an Emergency Support Benefit to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for Employment Insurance or paid sick leave.  

The federal government has also announced an automatic waiving of the 1-week delay for EI benefits for sick leave.

You can access Service Canada online at:

Support for Small Business

The federal government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of the remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. 

Support for Families

The federal government will also be topping up GST payments and Canada Child Benefit payments.

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.

Many large Canadian banks are offering a six-month mortgage deferral and other forms of debt relief. Contact your financial institution for more information.

For Students and Student Loan Debtors

The federal government is proposing placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals in the process of repaying these loans. 

Find complete information on direct supports and how to qualify at:

As of now, Telehealth Ontario is experiencing technical difficulties. Telehealth Ontario has advised the public to contact their local Public Health unit directly during this service disruption. You can reach the Toronto Public Health Hotline at 416-338-7600.

You can find the latest public health information online at the following sources:

As the situation evolves, we will continue to provide up to date information when we receive it.

My constituency office remains open and ready to assist you. We are closed to walk-in visitors for the time being, but are accessible by phone at 416-281-2787 or by email at during normal business hours. Please contact us if you require assistance.

Stay healthy,