April 16, 2020 – To our Members,
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
Yesterday we heard encouraging comments from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the potential to earn partial income and still qualify for the benefit. Prime Minister Trudeau’s address from April 15, 2020, included the following:
“Today I can announce we are expanding the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to include people making up to $1000 per month…If you earn a thousand dollars or less per month you can now apply to the CERB…[also] royalty payments will not prevent creators from qualifying for benefits under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).”
As of 5:00 pm on April 15, 2020 the Canada Emergency Response Benefit website, including the Questions and Answers on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, did not yet reflect the announced changes. We also could not find any published amendments to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act or regulations that would put the announced changes into practice. The most official indication of changes comes from the following unanimous motion from the Speaker of the House of Commons on April 11, 2020, then replaced by a motion from Jagmeet Singh, representative for Burnaby-South and Leader of the NDP :
“That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House, paragraph r) of the order adopted earlier today be replaced with the following: the government implement measures without delay to address gaps in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, or other programs, existing or proposed, to address the needs of seasonal workers, those who have exhausted their EI benefits, students, owner/operators, those who continue to receive a modest income from part-time work, royalties, and honoraria, and that, in addition, the government work to ensure essential workers who receive low wages will receive additional income support during this time of crisis, and commit that those who have applied in good faith for and received benefits through CERB or other programs to support them through this crisis will not be unjustly penalized.”
As soon as we are aware of official changes and we have answered additional questions we will bring you more on the benefit,which is now open for applications.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
For those who own or run companies with employees, or who may be wondering what support their engagers or employers may be eligible for, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has been put into place through the passing of Bill C-14 and the accompanying changes to the Income Tax Act within that bill. Applications for the subsidy are not yet open at the time we wrote this letter.
HST Remittance Deferral
As a reminder, the government will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST).
Auto Insurance Discounts during Covid-19
We are passing this message on from our Home & Auto Insurance partner thePersonal and understand similar discounts may be available from any of your auto insurance providers.
In an effort to support its clients, The Personal is offering an auto insurance premium discount to clients who are staying at home. As people are currently driving their vehicles less, The Personal wants to reflect this situation, offering this discount to clients whose commuting habits have significantly changed and who are only using their vehicles for essential trips to such places as the pharmacy or grocery store. This discount is open to people who, for example, are now working from home or have lost their job, or to anyone who is self-isolating. The discount will be calculated over a three-month period and will be in proportion to the annual mileage declared on their insurance contract. Eligible clients who are interested in receiving this rebate should apply by May 31 at : www.thepersonal.com/tma149 This news can be found on our dedicated landing page at www.thepersonal.com/covid-19-en
Save Live Arts
Please remember to consider and ask your contacts to consider signing onto a set of asks of all levels of government under the title Save Live Arts. You may review the asks and sign the petition at www.savelivearts.ca.
Covid-19 Town Hall #3 – Friday April 24, 2020 @ 10:00 AM
We are going to hold our next town hall for members to ask questions and share resources on Friday April 24, 2020 @ 10:00 AM. Please join us with the details below: Topic: TMA Covid-19 Town Hall #3
Time: Apr 24, 2020 10:00 AM America/Toronto Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/98197536089 Meeting ID: 981 9753 6089
Recording of April 8, 2020 Town Hall
Suspension of Dues Penalties and Reinstatement Fees, Extension of Life Member Dues Deadline
In response to the economic needs of our membership the Board of Directors of TMA149 has decided to make a motion to the membership to suspend all late fees, penalties and reinstatement fees found in Articles 14 1(c), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of theTMA149 By-Laws. This means that if you fall behind on dues you will be able to bring your membership into good standing by simply paying for missing quarters. Further to provide relief for our longest standing and most senior members the Board of Directors has extended the deadline to pay for 2020 Life Membership from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
TMA149 Health Benefits
Further, although no rule changes were required, the Board of Directors wishes to clarify that all members who have been diagnosed with, or tested positive for, Covid-19 may apply for support to the TMA149 Health Benefit and Extended Health Benefit, as well as the Federation’s Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for Disabled Musicians.
TMA149 and CFM Office
Our office is physically closed and we are working from home. Although we are still accepting phone calls, mail and courier delivery, we ask that you access services by email whenever possible. Those working please do continue to send contracts, reports, dues and pension contributions. Please note the Canadian Office of the Federation is open for electronic services and accepting P2 applications by mail for those planning a post-Covid tour.
Covid-19 Update Archive
We also wanted to repeat and add to our list of additional resources:
- Canadian Federation of Musicians Covid-19 Resources Page
- SOCAN Covid-19 Resources Page
- Toronto Hydro, Ontario Energy Board, Toronto Utilities, Toronto Property Taxes, resources for bill assistance – City of Toronto has announced a 60 day grace period for taxes and other City of Toronto payments as of March 16, 2020
- Bill Payment arrangements for Rogers (also Fido), Telus, Bell, Koodo, Freedom
- Financial Assistance from the AFC
- Financial Assistance from Unison Benevolent Fund
- Province of Ontario Social Assistance
Again feel free to reach out to myself or any of our office staff with specific requests including regular business inquiries.
In Solidarity, Michael Murray, Executive Director