March 23, 2020 – To our Members,
I am getting back in touch with you to update you on TMA149 initiatives in response to the Covid-19 pandemic’s economic fallout on the live arts, government support that may be available to support you at this time, and a town hall to help keep members informed.First, you should have received an invitation to review and 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 http://www.savelivearts.ca. I ask that you take ten minutes of your day to review this information and if you agree with the measures requested that you sign the petition. The measures speak to immediate and long-term relief and you know better than anyone what a difficult journey this has already been and will continue to be for some time.
Many members have shared information about their list of cancelled gigs and we have been collecting that information, aggregating the data, and sharing where it has the most impact. We are developing a new online form to collect this information. You will receive a personal email in coming days asking you to sign up for an account on the new TMA website and enter your cancelled gig information. There are many other surveys on this subject, please see the following offered by Music Canada as one example.
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 the TMA149 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.
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.
Understandably there has been a lot of interest in the Government of Canada’s newly announced Emergency Support Benefit and Emergency Care Benefit. Both benefits need to be enacted through legislation and few details have been released regarding the eligibility criteria or application process for either benefit. We know that for the Emergency Care Benefit, for those who are sick or quarantined, those who are taking care of the sick, and those who are taking care of children, you will be able to apply though either the My Service Canada portal or the CRA My Account portal. We do not know what, if any portal, will handle applications for the Emergency Support Benefit. We highly recommend that if you are considering applying for either benefit that you immediately ensure you have access to at least your CRA My Account. We believe CRA My Account will be the easier of the two portals to access.
- CLICK HERE to register for, or sign into, your CRA My Account, we recommend using the option of a sign-in partner which will allow you to use an account you sign into more frequently, such as online banking, in order to access your CRA My Account.
We are having a Town Hall this Wednesday March 25, 2020 @ 11:00 AM until 12:30 PM where you will be able to attend by phone or video conference and ask questions about Covid-19 (or really about anything TMA149 related) on the Zoom platform. Please note that if the public health restrictions continue upcoming general meetings may be in this format and the Town hall provides a great opportunity to attend as a test run. The following are the access details for the Town Hall:
Time: Mar 25, 2020 11:00 AM Toronto Join Zoom Meeting (Use this for simple videoconferencing)
https://zoom.us/j/176886476 Meeting ID: 176 886 476 Call In Numbers (for Phone audio on its own, or with computer video)
+1 647 558 0588
+1 647 374 4685
+1 587 328 1099
+1 438 809 7799
+1 778 907 2071 Meeting ID:
176 886 476 No need to enter a participant ID.
Our office is now 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.
We will also wanted to repeat the list of additional resources:
- 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