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Connecting Ottawa Communique

Connecting Ottawa Communique
July 27, 2021

Connecting Ottawa welcomes N4 Network as a new partner
We are excited to welcome the National Newcomer Navigation Network (N4) Network to the Connecting Ottawa partnership network.  The N4 Network is a centralized national platform for newcomer serving professionals to connect, learn, and collaborate on best practices to assist newcomers in navigating the complex Canadian healthcare and social service systems.   The Network is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and hosted at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).  For more information on the network, visit: https://www.newcomernavigation.ca/en/index.aspx.  Also, check out their extensive list of upcoming and past webinars and educational materials at:  https://www.newcomernavigation.ca/en/education/upcoming-webinars.aspx

Legal Aid Ontario: Extended hoursNew extended hours for Legal Aid Ontario are 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (EST) from Monday to Friday.  Call toll free at 1-800-668-8258 or through Bell relay service at 1-800-855-0511.  More information on-line at www.legalaid.on.ca

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit update The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) has been extended for a total of 42 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. The CRCB provides support to employed and self-employed people who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program, or facility is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. If you are eligible, your household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period.

Canada Recovery Benefit updateEligible CRB recipients can now apply for a total of 25 periods (50 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. However, payment amounts will change from $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period to $600 ($540 after taxes withheld) for each 2-week period if either:

  • you have already applied for 21 periods
  • you are applying for your first period on or after period 22 (July 18-July 31, 2021)

You must have filed an income tax and benefit return for the 2019 and 2020 taxation year in order to be eligible for the CRB. However, this requirement only applies to those who have already received 42 weeks of CRB or who did not apply for the CRB before July 18, 2021. The CRB provides support to employed and self-employed people who are directly affected by Covid-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance benefits. 

Old Age Security increase
On July 6, 2021, Canada’s Minister of Seniors announced that Old Age Security (OAS) will be automatically increased by almost $100 over the coming year and that a $500 one-time payment will be made to older seniors during the week of August 16, 2021. The one-time payment will be made to seniors who are eligible for the OAS pension in June 2021 and were born on or before June 30, 1947. The payment will be received automatically – no action is required by seniors. The Guaranteed Income Supplement and the Allowances will also be adjusted for inflation.

Canada Child Benefit young child supplement
Parents with children under six years old receiving the Canada Child Benefit will automatically get an additional payment on July 30, 2021. For details, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/ccb-young-child-supplement.html?utm_campaign=not-applicable&utm_medium=vanity-url&utm_source=canada-ca_ccb-young-child-supplement

IRCC Parents and Grandparents Program accepting applications
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will invite a record number of people to apply under the 2021 intake of the Program. IRCC will accept up to 30,000 additional applications.  Using the same random selection process as used in previous years, IRCC will send invitations to potential sponsors who have already submitted an interest to sponsor form in 2020.  Invitations to apply will be sent over the course of 2 weeks, starting the week of September 20, 2021.

Housing and the duty to accommodate — letter templates and resources
On July 21, 2021, Connecting Ottawa, in conjunction with Reach Canada and Community Legal Services of Ottawa hosted an information session on “Housing and the Duty to Accommodate”.  Here are two letter templates — one for requesting medical documentation and one to present to landlords — produced by CERA (Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation) that you may wish to share with clients seeking accommodation in housing.  For your reference, we have included below a list of resources related to housing and the duty to accommodate.

Air conditioning and rental housing
As temperatures rise, air conditioners can become a hot topic between landlords and tenants.  The following two resources can help answer tenant questions:

Tribunals Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board navigator tool
Tribunals Ontario has set up a Landlord & Tenant Board Navigator as a self-help tool for individuals to receive more information and resources on their LTB issue.  To access the tool, visit: https://navigatetribunalsontario.ca/ltb/

Two City of Ottawa Client Service Centres now open by appointment
Laurier Client Service Centre and Nepean Client Service Centre are now open for in-person service by appointment only.  Services include Commissioner of Oaths and claim submissions.  A list of all services and information on how to book an appointment can be found at: https://ottawa.ca/en/client-services
The City of Ottawa has now lifted the state of emergency; however city masking rules remain in place. 

Mandatory vaccination policy for post-secondary students returning to residence in Ottawa
The University of Ottawa has mandated that any students living in residence must have received their first dose of a Health Canada-approved vaccine before their move-in date and provide proof of vaccination before moving in. At this time, mandatory vaccination is not required for students living in residence at Carleton University, Algonquin College or St. Paul University.

Text message scam related to COVID-19 vaccines
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has received reports of phishing text message scams tied to COVID-19 vaccines. The text messages claim to be from the Government of Canada and says that due to a recent vaccination, Canadians are eligible to receive funds from a Vaccine Relief Fund. Please share widely and encourage users not to click the link and not to provide any personal information. For more information, visit: https://t.co/zdWQQrze2v

New drop-in legal clinic at Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre
The Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre is offering a free drop in legal clinic on the first and third Wednesday of the month from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Services include assistance with family law issues, employment law issues, wills, estate and POA law issues, litigation and conflict resolution and real estate/tenant rights. More information available at: https://eorc-creo.ca/2021/05/new-legal-clinic-information/.

N4 Network accepting expression of interest for online certificate program in Newcomer Navigation
The N4 Network is now accepting expressions of interest from organizations who have candidates who may be interested in the online Certificate program in Newcomer Navigation through St. Paul University. This 10-course, 1-year online educational opportunity provides students with knowledge and guidance to better serve their newcomer clients. Students will learn about social justice, ethics, and how to provide socio-culturally safe and sensitive care in healthcare, social or settlement services. Further information is available at: https://www.newcomernavigation.ca/en/education/online-program.aspx. N4 is reviewing program interest and hopes to fully support selected candidates (value: $10,000) to participate in the program. Employer organizations can nominate up to 3 possible candidates by emailing the Education Coordinator Andrew Tomayer at ATomayer@cheo.on.ca by August 31, 2021.

Steps to Justice interactive criminal court illustration
Steps to Justice has a new interactive illustration of a criminal courtroom. This illustration provides an idea of what a typical criminal courtroom looks like and has pop-up buttons to click to get more information about who the key players are and their roles.

Steps to Justice: “Can I get EI if I quit my job?”
Steps to Justice has a prepared comprehensive information for individuals seeking information on EI benefits if they quit their job. More information is available at: https://stepstojustice.ca/questions/employment-and-work/can-i-get-ei-if-i-quit-my-job/?fbclid=IwAR3_OCiKG0A89qUe4fJyM5m_8MEftVumgYLoSxJTPg5rfdsJPr5wuGxs9H0

Federal Pay Equity Act Comes into Force August 31, 2021
On July 7, 2021, the Government of Canada announced that the Pay Equity Act will come into force on August 31, 2021 and that the final Pay Equity Regulations are now available in Part II of the Canada Gazette.  The Pay Equity Regulations will support the implementation of the Pay Equity Act, together ensuring that workers in federally regulated workplaces receive equal pay for work of equal value.  The legislation aims to close the gender wage gap by requiring federally regulated employers to ensure that workers receive equal pay for work of equal value.

WesternU Learning Network webinar: Legal advocacy to end discrimination against women with disabilitiesDate & Time: August 17, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30 PM Eastern Time
To Registerhttps://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KD5Ako6vT3qNusS1FikB3A
This webinar brings together representatives from DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada (DAWN Canada), ARCH Disability Law Centre, and Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) to discuss their ongoing legal advocacy regarding gender-based violence against women with disabilities.

Reminder:  Comments on Disability Inclusion Action Plan due August 31, 2021
The Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion has launched a public engagement process to help guide the development of a Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP).  An accessible survey is now available online to allow Canadians to provide insights and feedback on priority areas of the plan. These include financial security, employment, disability-inclusive spaces, and building a modern approach to disability within the Government of Canada. All Canadians, especially persons with disabilities, their caregivers and family members, stakeholders and organizations working with persons with disabilities, are invited to complete the survey.  Individuals can access and complete the survey online, or print and mail in the accessible PDF version, by August 31, 2021. More information is available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/accessible-canada/consultation-disability-inclusion-action-plan.html

Amazon virtual recruitment event
Amazon is hiring.  Join the virtual information session on Wednesday, July 28 at 1:30 p.m.  Registration is required.  To register call 613-742-4400, x 3 or email verslareussite@cscvanier.com.  You can find out more about this opportunity at www.amazon.com/ottawahourlyjobs

Connect with Us … Connecting Ottawa is available to support front-line workers in Ottawa to provide appropriate legal information and referrals to clients with communication barriers as a result of language or sensory disability. If you have a question or require a consultation, please send it to info@connectingottawa.com along with an Intake Form: https://connecting-ottawa.fpbeta.com/request-for-information-consultation/ .  This will ensure the most efficient response to your request.  As a reminder, we do not provide direct legal services to individuals