Updated: March 24, 2020

This newsletter will reflect the current emergency supports being provided by the Federal, Provincial, Municipal and private sectors. 

Any new additions from the previous edition will have the header New Update

Earn*Save*Build is a monthly compilation of Financial Empowerment activities in the Edmonton area. Your editor is Katie Walker ( with Family and Community Supports with the City of Edmonton; your comments and submissions are welcome.  To subscribe, go to

In This Issue:












EI CLAIMS: Employment and Social Development Canada:

Service Canada has set up a dedicated phone line for those who are employed who cannot work due to illness, injury or quarantine to set up EI claims due to COVID-19. 1-833-381-2725

  • The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim

  • Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period

  • Priority EI application processing for EI sickness claims for clients under quarantine

  • People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate

  • People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay

For more information, click here


  1. Gather supporting documents – You must have your records of employment (ROEs), but a medical certificate won’t be necessary for those who have been asked to self-isolate or quarantine. Service Canada advises people to apply right away even if you don’t have these documents as you can send them in later.
  2. Complete the online application– This includes making sure you have: the names and addresses of your employers in the last 52 weeks, the dates employed with each employer and the reasons you’re no longer employed, and personal information including mailing address, Social Insurance Number (SIN), and banking information.
  3. Provide supporting documents- You can visit My Service Canada Account (MSCA) to view ROEs that have been issued to you by past and current employers.
  4. Receive access code by mail – Service Canada will mail you a benefit statement, which includes a 4-digit access code. You need this code and your SIN to get updates about your application and to complete biweekly reports.
  5. Review your application status

There is a high volume at this time at they are doing what they can to resolve this issue.

EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, by extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, easing eligibility requirements, and streamlining the application process.


Emergency Care Benefit:

Who Qualifies

  • For workers who must stay home and do not have access to paid sick leave or do not qualify for EI Benefits 
  • Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
  • Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
  • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.

What do you recieve

  • Up to $900 biweekly for up to 15 weeks

How to apply

  • This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • Application for the Benefit will be available in April 2020, and require Canadians to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements. They will need to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility. Canadians will select one of three channels to apply for the Benefit:
  1. by accessing it on their CRA MyAccount secure portal;
  2. by accessing it from their secure My Service Canada Account; or
  3. by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process: 1-800-959-2019


Emergency Support Benefit:

  • This benefit is aimed at Canadians who lose their job and are not eligible for employment insurance, including people who are self-employed.
  •  will be implemented in early April and no new information is available at this time


Income Tax Returns:

  • All Canadians have until June 1, 2020 to file.
  • Canadians owing this tax season will have until August 2020 to pay their tax bill. 
  • Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily recognize electronic signatures, effective immediately, to reduce necessity for taxpayers/tax preparers to meet in person and administrative burden, effective immediately. This provision applies to authorization forms T183 or T183CORP.
  • Individuals who qualify for the CVIT programs can also use the File my Return Website information

  • The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will continue to offer this free service for the 2019 tax‑filing season to help eligible individuals with low or fixed income do their taxes.

  • With the File my Return service, eligible individuals will be able to file their income tax and benefit returns simply by giving some personal information and answering a series of short questions through an automated phone service.

  • File My Return is free, secure and easy to use. There are no paper forms to fill out or calculations to do.

  • Individuals with questions about the File my Return service can call the CRA’s individual tax enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281.

  • The CRA encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.



  • Boost maximum annual Canada Child Benefit payments by $300 per child for 2019-20.
  • The increase will be about $550 on average for eligible families.
  • Families will receive an extra $300 per child in their May payment.

No application necessary if you are already getting the Canada Child Benefit


GST Credit Supplement:

  • Provide a special GST Credit top-up payment by early May 2020 for individuals and families with low and modest incomes.

  • This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year.

  • The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.


For seniors

  • Reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings.

  • This will provide flexibility to seniors that are concerned that they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements. Similar rules would apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.


For businesses

  • Export Development Canada: Additional support to companies impacted.

  • Farm Credit Canada: Will be boosted details to follow.

  • Canada Account: Will be boosted, details to follow.

Temporary Wage Subsidy:

  • The government will provide a subsidy to businesses for 10% of salaries paid to their employees for up to three months to encourage staff to remain on payroll.


Gender-based Violence: 

Funding for shelter’s providing sanctuary for those who cannot self-isolate at home will be boosted.

  • $50 million, will be implemented in April and requires Royal Assent

  • If you need to speak with someone at a shelter near you, call our toll free line at

  • 1-866-331-3933

  • Health Canada now provides a First Nation and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line

  • Counseling is available in English and French, and upon request in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktut

  • Call 1-855-242-3310 to access the First Nation and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line


For families still out of country:

Global Affairs Canada: Emergency Loan of up to $5000 for essential needs for Canadians who have no available source of funds to return home, Canada has announced the creation of the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad.

Eligible Canadians currently outside Canada and needing help to return home can contact the nearest Government of Canada office or Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted where available) or email





Emergency Isolation Support: 

  • This will be a temporary program for working adult Albertans who must self-isolate because they meet the Government of Alberta’s published criteria for self-isolation, including persons who are the sole care-giver for a dependent who must self-isolate because they meet the public health criteria, and who will not have another source of pay or compensation while they are self-isolated.
  • A one-time payment of $1,146 will be distributed to bridge the gap until the federal emergency payments begin in April.
  • You only need to apply once and will be replaced April 1 with the Federal Governement Emergency Care Benefit 

To apply:

Go to Service Alberta and create a My Alberta Account online ID


New update:


To help contain the spread of COVID-19, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench is limiting hearings to emergency or urgent matters only. 

To read update, click here

Day Care Support For Core Service Providers

The province of Alberta announced the plan to introduce 15,000 spaces across a selected group of daycare centres, starting next week. The spaces will be offered to parents employed in health care jobs and to parents who work in essential services like utilities, fire and police. These daycare centres must restrict their number of staff and adhere to strict health guidelines.


Vehicle Information

Vehicle registration:

  • Albertans with surnames or company names beginning with B, D, G, Y will now have until May 15, 2020 to renew their vehicle registrations.

Driver's licences

  • Albertans who have birthdays between March 17 and May 15 and whose cards expire this year, now have until May 15, 2020 to renew.

  • Expiry dates can be found on your card and Albertans with birthdays between March 17 and May 15 are encouraged to confirm whether or not they need to renew this year.




New Update

Closures of In-Person City of Edmonton Services (effective March 24, 2020)

  • Edmonton Service Centre located at Edmonton Tower

  • City Hall Service Counter

  • Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board Front Counter

  • Reuse Centre and Ambleside EcoStation

  • the paint exchange and Reuse areas at the Kennedale and Ambleside Eco Stations are closed until further notice

The service counter at the Animal Care & Control Centre will be open for services by appointment only.

The City offers a number of online options for services. The online options available will be found within the department pages that offer the service. More information on these online services will be made available in the coming weeks.

Any other services can be accessed through the 311 app or by calling 311.

New Update

Support For Homeless Individuals

In response to the public health need created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Edmonton, Community and Social Services, Alberta Health Services, Homeward Trust and community partners are working together to create a safe space at the Edmonton EXPO Centre for community members experiencing homelessness.

The EXPO Centre will welcome:

  • Any person who is homeless and currently using shelters and is not exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms for day drop-in service from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., 7 days a week, beginning March 24.
  • Any person who is homeless and currently using shelters and who is exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms at the isolation shelter.

The EXPO Centre is:

  • Not open to the general public for regular day programming and other events
  • Not open to the general public for medical care, COVID-19 testing or any other health matter
  • Not open to the media, to provide the protection and privacy that everyone deserves
  • Not for children or pets (alternative arrangements will be made for homeless families with children needing to self isolate)

The Edmonton EXPO Centre is not currently operating as an overnight shelter for individuals who do not require health services related to COVID-19. The overnight shelters in the city that are already in place will continue to operate and accept those individuals who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19 and do not require isolation.

For more information, click here



As of March 21, 2020

  • All transit services are FREE until further notice
  • Included Bus, LRT and DATS
  • Riders of buses are to entre at the back of the bus unless otherwise required
  • Holders of March low-income Ride Transit Program passes will be able to use their passes throughout April.



  • The option to delay residential and non-residential property tax payments until August 31 is available.
  • THIS 2 - month delay is an option meant to support those who need financial relief. We encourage others who are able to meet the regular June 30th deadline to do so know they will be helping to keep the city running during these difficult times.



  • All recreation centres remain closed

Membership and Program Accommodation

  • Registered programs, swimming lessons, and leader-led drop-in programs are cancelled starting Saturday, March 14, until further notice. Prorated refunds will be given to those who have already registered for cancelled programs. Further information will be provided on how refunds will be processed.

  • Annual and continuous monthly membership holders can put a 60-day hold on their memberships during this time.



  • City Hall will be closed to the public.
  • City Hall Parkade remains open.
  • City employees and Council members with access cards will be able to enter the building.
  • Accredited media will also be allowed access.


New Update:

YEG Community Response to Covid-19 Resource List

click here


City of Edmonton COVID-19 UPDTES: click here



Student Loans

Federal Government: 

  •  A six-month interest-free moratorium will be placed on all Canadian student loans

Alberta Governement: Student loans repayment holida

  • We are implementing a six-month, interest free, moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans in the process of repaying these loans.

  • Alberta Student Loan repayments will be paused for 6 months, beginning March 30, 2020.

  • Interest will not accrue during this period. This mirrors the approach of the Canada Student Loans Program.

  • Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

  • Borrowers may continue making payments during this period if they choose and this will not affect their eligibility to receive the benefit.





  • Residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.

Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments. To learn more, click here

Direct Energy: If people need assistance, please call 1-866-420-3174 to explore flexible payment options, extend payment dates or answer other questions.

EPCOR Water Payment Holiday: Edmonton residential customers can defer EPCOR water bill payments penalty and interest free for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off. The company will not disconnect customers who are in arrears. To apply: contact EPCOR at 780-310- 4300 



ATB financial customers

  • Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to 6 months.

Alberta Credit Unions

  • Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow.

  • Contact your credit union to work out a plan for your personal situation

Banking Sector: Delay of 6 months on paying mortgages for hard-hit customers

  • banks in Canada have affirmed their commitment to working with customers to provide flexible solutions, on a case-by-case basis, for managing through hardships caused by recent developments.

  • This may include situations such as pay disruption, childcare disruption, or illness. Canada’s large banks have confirmed that this support will include up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

  • Mortgage Default Management Tools:The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.

  • The Government, through CMHC, is providing increased flexibility for homeowners facing financial difficulties to defer mortgage payments on homeowner CMHC-insured mortgage loans.



New Update:

Volunteer IncomeTax Sites in Edmonton - reported by 211

The following sites are currently listed with 211 as offering income tax support. Please call first to verify availablity.

  • The Canadian Arab Friendship Association, 780-473-7241 by appt. only for 55+ and Newcomers. 
  • Fred with Adom Savings and Investments: 780-434- 5178 by appt only. 
  • Shaama Centre, 780-465-2992: is not doing taxes now but will take phone numbers and call people back when they are resuming in-person tax filing (329 Woodvale Road West) 


New Update:


Cyber security incidents involving malware and fraudulent activities, including identity theft, are being reported across Alberta in the wake of COVID-19.

  • Anyone who receives a call asking for credit card information should hang up immediately and call the non-emergency line for local law enforcement.
  • Albertans are encouraged to continue to exercise caution when clicking on links or providing personal information to people and organizations that request that information, unsolicited.


New Update:

Addiction and Mental Health Supports

click here


New Update:

City of St. Albert: Response to Covid-19

 click here


Managing financial well-being in tough times

This toolkit contains resources and information which may offer support to organizations, agencies, or frontline staff supporting individuals, during a challenging time.

This toolkit was developed in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and more resources will be added as they become available.

click here



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Your name, email address and phone number is collected in accordance with 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act. Your personal information will be used to provide you with the online City of Edmonton, Financial Empowerment Newsletter. If you have any questions about the collection and use of your personal information, contact Katie Walker 780-944-5469, Family and Community Supports, 18th Floor, Edmonton Tower, 10111 - 104 Ave., NW, Edmonton, T5J 0J4.