COVID-19: Alberta economic support programs

Current as of November 9, 2020.

50 minute read
09 November 2020

Alberta economic support programs

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On March 17, 2020, Alberta declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act.

On May 14, 2020, Alberta entered Stage 1 of its Relaunch Strategy. Under this stage, some businesses are allowed to resume operations with enhanced infection prevention and controls in place. Calgary and Brooks did not enter Stage 1 with the rest of Alberta due to higher case numbers.

On June 1, 2020, Calgary and Brooks entered Stage 1 of Alberta's Relaunch Strategy.

On June 12, 2020, Alberta entered Stage 2 of its Relaunch Strategy. Under this stage, additional businesses and services are allowed to reopen with physical distancing requirements and public health guidelines in place. Under Stage 2, event and gathering sizes have increased to 50 people maximum for indoor gatherings and 100 people maximum for outdoor gatherings.

On June 15, 2020, Alberta's state of emergency ended.

On July 13, 2020, Premier Jason Kenney announced there is no target date set for Stage 3 of Alberta's the Relaunch Strategy. Alberta will commence its second phase to distribute free non-medical masks across the province. 20 million mask will be circulated to A&W, McDonald's and Tim Hortons chains for distribution to the public.

On August 27, 2020, Alberta updated its school (K-12) re-entry plan. The plan includes a statement on PPE for schools and guidelines on non-medical mask use for Grade 4 to 12 students, staff, and visitors in indoor spaces.

On September 24, 2020 the Government of Alberta released a document providing "Advice for Safe Holiday Entertaining".

See the Government of Alberta's Relaunch Strategy here.

In this section:

Economic support for businesses - Alberta

Corporate Income Tax Deferral

DESCRIPTION

On March 18, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that the collection of corporate income tax balances and instalment payments due between March 18, 2020 and August 31, 2020 are deferred until August 31, 2020.

Payments deferred will not be subject to penalties or interest.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Alberta businesses with corporate income tax balances that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 or installment payments coming due between March 18, 2020 and August 31, 2020, can defer making these payments until August 31, 2020.

This deferral measure is not available in respect of tax balances or installment payments coming due during the deferral period for which payments were made to government prior to March 18, 2020.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's special notice here.

ATB Customer Relief Program

DESCRIPTION

On March 18, 2020, ATB Financial announced that small business customers effected by the COVID-19 crisis can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit, and mortgages for up to six months.

Small business customers, in addition to payment deferrals on loans and lines of credit, will be provided access to additional working capital.

Interest will continue to accrue during the period of deferral of payments

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Small business customers whose business has been interrupted in any way as a result of COVID-19 are encourage to contact ATB to discuss deferring payments and accessing working capital.

Other business and agriculture customers can contact their ATB Relationship Manager to discuss their situation, needs, and potential solutions.

LINKS

See ATB Financials information page about the Customer Relief Program here.

Relief for the Energy Sector

DESCRIPTION

On March 20, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced multiple programs established in light of challenges facing the energy sector due to COVID-19 and an ongoing international price war.

Alberta Energy Regulator Levy: AER industry levy will be funded by the Government for six months, providing $113M in industry relief.

Resource Tenures Extended: the terms of mineral agreements expiring in 2020 are extended by one year in order to allow additional time to raise capital and plan future activities.

Orphan Well Association Loan: $100M loan, announced March 3, is expected to increase current reclamation efforts, decommission 1000 additional wells and commence 1000 environmental assessments.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's info page about the relief to the energy sector here.

WCB Premiums Deferral

DESCRIPTION

On March 23, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that payments required by private sector employers for WCB premiums are deferred until early 2021.

No interest charges will be applied for unpaid 2020 premiums.

The government will cover 50% of the 2020 premium when due in 2021 for small and medium sized businesses (<$10M in insurable earnings) which is expected to save small and medium sized businesses $350M.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

All private sector employers are eligible. This includes businesses with coverage only in place for business owners and directors (personal coverage), as well as those in voluntary industries with coverage in place on or before March 23, 2020.

No application will be required for the deferral or the 50% payment in 2021.

Payments already made towards 2020 premiums will be automatically refunded to employers (expected to be mailed the week of April 6, 2020).

LINKS

See the Worker's Compensation Board - Alberta info sheet here.

Education Property Tax Freeze and Education Property Tax Deferral for Businesses

DESCRIPTION

On March 23, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that education property taxes will be frozen at 2019 levels rather than proceeding with the 3.4% population and inflation adjustment set out in Budget 2020 and that effective immediately, education property tax payable by businesses will be deferred for six months.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Education property taxes are automatically deferred for businesses, however, businesses capable of paying their taxes in full are encouraged to do so in order to assist the province in being able to support Albertans through this pandemic.

Commercial landlords are encouraged to pass savings on to tenants through reduced/deferred rent payments to assist employers in paying employees and staying in business during the COVID-19 crisis.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's info page about the education property tax freeze/deferral here.

Emergency Funding for Social Services

DESCRIPTION

On March 17, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced $30M in emergency funding to charities, not-for-profits and civil society organizations to provide help and services to individuals, seniors, families and other vulnerable Albertans who are isolated or impacted by measures to contain COVID-19.

This is in addition to $25M in funding for adult homeless shelters and $5M in funding for women's emergency shelters.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Eligible services must address the social well-being of those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and the measures implemented to help the spread.

Will be distributed as grants from Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) in Edmonton and Calgary and Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta (FCSSAA) for the remainder of the province. Organizations should contact a local FCSS program to request funding for programs or services in their community.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's overview of the program here.

Relief for Forest Companies

DESCRIPTION

On April 4, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that it will defer timber dues for six months in order to help forest companies continue operating and retain staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Businesses are encouraged to submit a request for relief to the Revenue Analyst responsible for their account.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's overview of the program here

Relief for Continuing Care Facilities

DESCRIPTION

On April 20, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that it will advance $24.5 million to operators of continuing care facilities to address the cost of pressures caused by COVID-19.

In addition, the province is providing additional provincial healthcare funding for continuing and acute care facilities to be used to increase health-care aide staffing levels, provide a $2/hour wage top up to health-care aides, and create up to 1000 paid student practicum positions. 

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's release about the funding here

Rent Relief for Small Businesses

DESCRIPTION

On April 24, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced it will be supporting the federal government's Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program and expects to commit up to $67 million dollars.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The CECRA program will support small business by providing a loan supporting 50% of monthly commercial rental costs for April, May, and June 2020. Eligible landlords and tenants would each be responsible for 25% of the remaining costs.

The loan will be forgivable if the property owner and tenant come to a rent forgiveness agreement that lowers the eligible small business's rent by 75% for the three month and includes a moratorium on eviction.

The program will be administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) expired on Wednesday September 30, and there's no replacement ready. Another emergency bill to address rent relief for small businesses is likely be tabled in the House of Commons sometime soon.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's release about the funding here

Site Rehabilitation Program

DESCRIPTION

On April 28, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced the Site Rehabilitation Program which will provide grants to oil field service contractors to perform well, pipeline, and oil and gas site closure and reclamation work.

The program has up to $1 billion in funding available from the federal government's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for eligible abandonment and reclamation projects, which will be available in $100 million increments

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Oil field services contractors who do work such as upstream oil and gas infrastructure abandonment (well/pipeline/facility abandonment and pipeline segment removal) or environmental work (Phase 1 and 2 environmental site assessments, remediation, and reclamation) can apply for the grant.

Eligible costs included materials and supplies, wages, equipment rentals, laboratory analyses, and transportation.

Oil and gas sites must be located in Alberta and put Albertans to work.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's overview of the program here

Utility Payment Deferral Program Act

DESCRIPTION

On May 6, 2020, the Government of Alberta introduced the Bill 14: Utility Payment Deferral Program Act. If passed, the Act will allow electricity and natural gas providers to apply for loans to allow them to support Albertans participating in the Utility Payment Deferral Program.

Deferred payments are anticipated to reach about $337 million. To cover this amount, up to $119 million has been approved for loans through the Balancing Pool and a further $104 million has been provided by government. It is estimated that utilities, including the Alberta Electric System Operator, will defer about $114 million.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Utilities providers may apply to the Alberta Utilities Commission to access loans from the Balancing Pool (for electricity providers) or the Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity (for natural gas providers)

Loans to retailers will be recovered over a 12-month period after the program concludes, as customers pay down their deferred balances.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's page about the Utility Payment Deferral Program Act here

Relief for the Child Care Sector

DESCRIPTION

On May 6, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that it will provide $17.8 million in grants over three phases to child care centres and approved family day home agencies to assist in safely restarting operations and supporting families through Alberta's economic recovery from COVID-19.

Once child care centres reopen, they will be required to adhere to public health guidelines developed by Children's Services and Alberta Health.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Day care centres and out-of-school care centres be provided with grants administered in 3 phases.

  • Phase 1, provided immediately, will cover 25 per cent of overhead costs like rent and utilities.
  • Phase 2, provided upon reopening, will provide grants for cleaning and sanitation supplies and for staff recruitment and training.
  • In Phase 3, centres may receive a grant to offset deferred bill and address unforeseen operational issues.

Approved family day home agencies will also be able to access funding, up to $1 million total.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's overview of the program here.

Supports for Farmers and Ranchers

DESCRIPTION

On May 7, 2020, the Government of Alberta introduced a new fed cattle set-aside program to compensate beef producers forced to hold on to cattle due to reduced processing capacity. Cattle producers will be compensated for the extraordinary costs incurred due to holding onto additional cattle until the backed-up inventory is cleared.

The interim payments under Agristability will also be increased from 50% to 75% for the hog sector.

The Government will also increase the advance payment under AgriStability from 50% to 75% for the potato industry.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's information page about the program here

Funding for Front-Line Non-Profits

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Alberta announced on May 12, 2020, that the money from the Community Initiatives Program Project-based Grant (approximately $8 million) will be reallocated to the Community Initiatives Program Operating Grant in order to help front-line charities and non-profits during the COVID-19 epidemic.

The limit for Community Initiatives Program Operating grant requests will be increased from $60,000 to $75,000.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The May and September intakes of the Community Initiatives Program Operating grant will be combined into one intake in June. Funding for this one-time intake will be prioritized for small and medium-sized organizations that focus on food security, shelter and housing, and addictions and mental health supports so they can continue to care for vulnerable Albertans.

The three-year eligibility period for the Community Initiatives Program will be waived to allow all organizations in need of operational funding to apply for this one-time intake.

The January 2020 Community Initiatives Program Operating intake is being reviewed for funding. Applicants for this grant will be notified in May regarding grant decisions.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's news release about the changes here.

Funding to Help Support Vulnerable Seniors

DESCRIPTION

On May 19, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced $170 million in funding to support vulnerable seniors in the province. Funding will go towards enhancing staffing, providing more cleaning supplies and addressing lost accommodation revenue at long-term care facilities, designated supportive living facilities and seniors lodges across Alberta

The funding is retroactively available from March 15, and will see $14.2 million per month allocated to senior facilities across the province.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The funding will be distributed in coordination with Alberta Health Services and the Ministry of Seniors and Housing.

There will be a requirement to report on the use of these funds, and facilities will need to return money not spent on COVID-related purposes.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's news release about the funding here

Rrelief for the Tourism Industry

DESCRIPTION

On May 19, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that hotels and lodging providers will be allowed to keep tourism levy amounts collected between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. This measure is expected to free up between $16 million and $27 million in additional cash flow for the hospitality sector.

Amounts collected prior to March 1, 2020 that are being deferred under the previously announced deferral program can continue to be deferred until August 31, 2020.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Accommodation providers are still expected to file returns throughout 2020, as required by legislation, and will be expected to resume regular tourism levy payments in 2021.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's May 19, 2020 announcement about the changes here.

See the Government of Alberta's March 27, 2020 announcement about the changes here.

Relaunch Supports and Commercial Tenancy Measures

DESCRIPTION

On June 5, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that it will commit $200 million in funding to eligible businesses and non-profits to access up to $5,000 to offset a portion of their relaunch cost.

The Government is also planning to introduce legislation to ensure commercial tenants will not face rent increases or be evicted for non-payment of rent due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The program's online application is expected to be available in the coming weeks as the Government finalizes eligibility details.

Funds can be used for implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, (such as physical barriers, personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies), rent, employee wages or replacement of inventory.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's announcement about the supports here.

Support for Beekeepers

DESCRIPTION

On June 5, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced a new Canadian Agricultural Partnership program that will include up to $1 million to help beekeepers offset the costs of increased colony replacements due to COVID-19, which has made importing colony replacements from typically affordable sources like Australia and New Zealand more difficult.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The program, available this summer, will be retroactive to cover issues faced in spring 2020.

It is anticipated that the $1-million program will be able to support about 13,000 replacement colonies.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's announcement about the new program here.

Reinstating Environmental Monitoring

DESCRIPTION

On June 23, 2020, the Alberta Energy Regulator announced its decision to end its temporary suspension of reporting and monitoring requirements for industries. Effective July 15, 2020 reporting and monitoring requirements will come back into effect.

LINKS

See the Ministerial Order reinstating the monitoring requirements here.

Guidance for Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars

DESCRIPTION

On June 29, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced additional guidance for restaurants, cafes, and bars.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's information page on the guidance here.

Alberta Recovery Plan

DESCRIPTION

On June 29, 2020, the Government of Alberta released its Alberta Recovery Plan which provides details on the government's plan to address the economic challenges faced by the Province due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the decline in oil prices. The purpose of the plan to is to diversify and create jobs in Alberta.

The Alberta Recovery Plan includes supports for small and medium businesses, tax cuts, increasing opportunities for investment in Alberta, and reforms to employment legislation.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's Recovery Plan here.

Accelerate the Job Creation Tax Cut

DESCRIPTION

On July 1, 2020, as part of the Alberta Recovery Plan, the Government of Alberta will decrease the corporate tax rate from 10% to 8%. This change makes Alberta the most tax-competitive business jurisdiction in Canada and lower than almost all states in the United States.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's Job Creation Tax Cut page here.

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

DESCRIPTION

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to business, cooperatives, and non-profit organization that were ordered to close or curtail operations as a result of COVID-19.

Eligible organizations can apply for 15% of their pre-COVID-19 revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 of funding.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

This funding is available to businesses, cooperatives, and non-profits that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 50%, as a result of COVID-19.

Applications will remain open until the later of: (i) August 31, 2020; or (ii) for four (4) weeks following the start of Phase 3 of Alberta's Relaunch strategy.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Program Guidelines here.

Additional Funding for Municipal Stimulus Program to Help Create Jobs and Cope with COVID-19

DESCRIPTION

On July 28, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced it will be providing municipalities and Metis Settlements with an additional $500 million in funding to build shovel-ready infrastructure projects starting in 2020. This funding is part of Alberta's Recovery Plan.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Construction of eligible projects must begin in 2020 or 2021 and applicants must attest the project would have not gone forward without the support of the stimulus program.

LINKS

See the Municipal Stimulus Program Eligibility and Application webpage here.

See the Additional Funding Announcement Here.

Infrastructure Spending for Central Alberta

DESCRIPTION

Joint federal and provincial funding of $152 million for 20 infrastructure projects in central Alberta. Alberta's portion of the funding ($69.7 million) is part of Alberta's Recovery Plan.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Not applicable. The 20 infrastructure projects have been named as of the date of the announcement of funding.

LINKS

See the additional funding announcement Here.

Smart Sustainable Resilient Infrastructure Funding

DESCRIPTION

Alberta Innovates and Western Economic Diversification Canada are providing funding to the Smart Sustainable Resilient Infrastructure Association as part of Alberta's Recovery Plan. The $6.3 million will create immediate and future jobs in Alberta for testing energy-efficient innovation and technology in the construction centre.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

See project funding application process at https://www.ssria.ca/project-funding.

Funding for 5 New High Schools

DESCRIPTION

Alberta's government is inviting industry to submit qualifications to deliver five new high schools through a public-private partnership. The schools will be part of the more than $10 billion infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta's Recovery Plan. The schools are anticipated to open in September 2024 with a total student capacity of 6,938 students.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Apply with a RFQ (Request for Qualifications) through http://www.purchasingconnection.ca/.

Alberta Investment and Growth Strategy

DESCRIPTION

Alberta's Investment and Growth Strategy (IGS) is a $75-million initiative led by the Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. The IGS focuses on driving investment and diversification in Alberta as well as a consultation on modernizing intellectual property in the province.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

See the Government of Alberta's Investment and Growth Strategy here.

U of L, Medicine Hat College, Red Crow Community College, French community-based college in Calgary

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Canada and Government of Alberta announced $52.7 million in infrastructure funding through the Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). The projects focus on post-secondary institutions.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's October 1, 2020 press release here.

Natural Gas Vision and Strategy

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Alberta announced its Natural Gas Vision and Strategy as part of Alberta's Recovery Plan. The Plan details the actions Alberta's government will take to grow the sector and seize emerging opportunities for clean hydrogen, petrochemical manufacturing, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and plastics recycling.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's October 6, 2020 press release here.

Support for Energy Companies

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Alberta announced that energy companies will be exempt from property taxes for three years when drilling new wells and building new pipelines. The government will also eliminate the Well Drilling Equipment Tax province-wide for newly drilled wells. The government will also lower assessments for less productive oil and gas wells while continuing the recently implemented 35 percent assessment reduction on shallow gas well for three years.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's October 19, 2020 press release here.

Changes to the Builders' Lien Act

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Alberta has released proposed changes to the Builders' Lien Act. The proposed legislation eliminates the need for contracted payment timelines, extends the deadline for unpaid contractors to file liens against a project, prohibits "pay-when-paid" clauses from construction contracts, and establishes an adjudication system to resolve disputes.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's October 21, 2020 press release here.

Lifting Oil Curtailment Program

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Alberta has announced that it will stop setting monthly oil production limits to allow producers to utilize available pipeline capacity and create jobs.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's October 23, 2020 press release here.

Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER)

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Alberta is spending $50 million from the industry-funded Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction system to create jobs and grow the clean-tech industry.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

New project applications can be submitted to the Alberta Innovates Application Portal until Nov. 30, 2020.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's October 27, 2020 press release here.

Prioritizing Jobs for Albertans

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Alberta is launching two new immigration streams to spur job-creating entrepreneurship, tech startup ventures and boost economic growth.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's October 26, 2020 Press Release here.

Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Alberta has announced that the APIP will offer direct financial incentives to new petrochemical or fertilizer facilities:

  • Once a project is up and running, companies that have successfully applied will receive grants worth 12 per cent of their eligible capital costs.
  • The grant will be issued in the final step in the process, ensuring that only projects already built and employing Albertans receive funds.
  • Prior to the grant, companies will need to show their project meets the program requirements by detailing the scope and expected cost of the project.
  • The application window for small projects (between $50 million and $150 million in capital costs) will be open for five years. Applications for larger projects will be open for 10 years.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Companies can apply to the program through the Electronic Transfer System. Companies will have to first register for an APIP account through the ETS. Further details on eligibility and applications can be found here.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's October 30, 2020 Press Release here.

Creating Jobs with Green Tech

DESCRIPTION

Alberta's Government is using up to $280 million from the TIER system and LCELF to fund three Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) programs.

  • Shovel Ready Challenge - $150MM
  • Energy Savings for Business Program - $55MM

Partnership Intake Program - $75MM

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Details and applications for each program are available as follows:

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's November 2, 2020 Press Release here.

ECONOMIC SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUALS - ALBERTA

Job-Protected Leave

DESCRIPTION

Alberta will allow full-time and part-time employees to take up to 14 consecutive days of unpaid, job-protected leave if:

  • The employee is required to self-isolate; or
  • The employee is caring for a child or a dependent adult that is required to self-isolate.

The leave may be extended based on the advice of Alberta's chief medical officer.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Employees do not need to have worked for their employer for a minimum period of time in order to qualify, and employers cannot request a medical note as evidence of entitlement to the leave. The leave is retroactive to March 5, 2020.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's "Support for Employers and Employees" webpage here.

Changes to the Eviction Process

DESCRIPTION

Landlords are no longer required to develop a payment plan when a tenant is struggling to pay rent but landlords and tenants are still encouraged to do so. Scheduled rent increase may now take effect with proper notice.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's webpage on Rental Eviction  here.

Protections for Tenants Facing Financial Hardship

DESCRIPTION

Landlords can now apply late fees that are a reasonable estimate of the landlord's losses if it was set out in the rental agreement. Late fees cannot be applied retroactively for the period between April through June.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's webpage on Tenant Protections here.

Student Loans Payment Deferral

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Alberta has implemented a 6 month, interest free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments beginning March 30, 2020.

All payments are deferred and interest will not be accrued until September 30, 2020.

ACCESSIBILITY AND ELIGIBILITY

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.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's webpage on  Post-Secondary Learning During COVID-19 here.

Food Bank Funding

DESCRIPTION

On April 10, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that it is providing $5 million in funding to support food banks and community organizations in their food supply efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure safe food distribution and secure access to food for vulnerable Albertans.

ACCESSIBILITY AND ELIGIBILITY

Organizations should contact a local FCSS program to request funding for programs or services in their community.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's info page about providing access to food during the COVID-19 crisis here

Increasing Mental Health Supports

DESCRIPTION

On April 15, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that it is spending more than $53 million to implement more online, phone and in-person mental health and addiction recovery support to make it easier for Albertans to access services from anywhere in Alberta during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

ACCESSIBILITY AND ELIGIBILITY

Services including the Addiction Helpline, the Mental Health Helpline, the Kids Help Phone and the Community and Social Services Helpline (Alberta 211) can be accessed by phone or online.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's release about mental health services funding here

Increased support for Alberta caregivers

DESCRIPTION

On April 14, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced it will provide $3 million to Caregivers Alberta to expand the supports that it provides to the nearly one million Albertans who are caregivers for family and friends.

The increased funding is expected to allow Caregivers Alberta to expand and update support programs, develop a coaching program for caregivers, expand the hours of its hotline, compile an inventory of supports across the province, and establish a referral system to link caregivers and the organization through healthcare referrals.

ACCESSIBILITY AND ELIGIBILITY

Psychosocial, along with other peer and community supports, are currently available through the toll-free caregiver advisor line and online for all caregivers, including those caring for someone with COVID-19 or in self-isolation.

Medical concerns or questions about COVID-19 or how best to care for someone with COVID-19, are best directed to Alberta Health Services' Health Link at 811.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's release about increased supports to Caregivers Alberta here

Utility Payment Deferral Program Act

DESCRIPTION

On May 6, 2020, the Government of Alberta introduced the Bill 14: Utility Payment Deferral Program Act. If passed, the Act establishes the right of Residential, farm, and small commercial customers to defer payments to utilities provides in respect of their electricity and natural gas accounts. The Bill also provides that electrity and gas services providers are prohibited from disconnecting customers during the deferral period which shall end June 18, 2020.

The Bill also sets out the repayment criteria for those who defer payments through the program. Once the deferral program ends on June 18, 2020, repayment may occur by way of equal monthly repayments or a plan agreed to by the customer and the provider.

ACCESSIBILITY AND ELIGIBILITY

Residential, farm, and small commercial customers experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19 can request deferrals by contacting their utility provider.

All deferred payments must be paid back by June 18, 2021.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's page about the Utility Payment Deferral Program Act here

Additional COVID-19 Homelessness Supports

DESCRIPTION

On August 5, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced It would be providing an addition $48 million to continue providing supports for people struggling with homelessness during the pandemic.

This funding is in addition to the $25 million announced in March 2020.

ACCESSIBILITY AND ELIGIBILITY

Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Grand Prairie, Lac La Biche, Lloydminster, and Drayton Valley.

LINKS

See the Government of Alberta's page about the Additional Homelessness Supports here


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