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This webpage has been designed to provide ASPECT members with updates about the COVID-19 with regards to how our members can best serve their clients, keep their employees healthy, and meet their contractual obligations. It will be updated as information becomes available.  If you have information or resources to share with your colleagues, please email us to have them included here. 



Updates from
Funders


This section is currently being updated. See information below for now.

Updates from Government

Information will be posted once it becomes available. If you have an update regarding government contracts that is not listed here, please share it with us and we will add it to the page. 

Service Canada

This update is from March 30, 2020 at 3:02pm

Information received from Service Canada,

1. Will the current COVID-19 situation affect my project or funding agreement?

The current COVID-19 situation may affect your organization. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is committed to ensuring that the management of grants and contributions is flexible to adapt to various situations. 

The Department will exercise flexibility to reduce potential impacts on recipients, clients and participants as well as on project duration and the types of activities that can be funded. 

ESDC will continue to work with our provincial, territorial, indigenous and municipal counterparts to ensure maximum flexibility and a streamlined process for recipients to allow them to modify or amend their grants and contribution agreements in dealing with the challenges posed by COVID-19.

 

2. In the current context, what will happen if I submit my reports and claims late?

The Department will exercise flexibility to accommodate for delayed transmission of documents, reports and payment claims.

 

3. Do I need to adapt my project activities in the context of COVID-19? What should I do if the activities of my project are affected or cancelled?

The current COVID-19 situation may affect the activities and timelines set out in your funding agreement. If the situation merits, based on advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), alternate activities to reduce travel, group-based activities and personal contact could be considered, such as virtual conferences or teleconferences. We recommend that you refer to the advice provided by the PHAC to stay informed on current prevention measures. 

If your activities need to be adapted or cancelled due to the current COVID-19 situation, or if you require an extension of your funding agreement, please provide a written rationale describing the situation. 

 

4. What costs, if any, will be allowed moving forward for organizations that may be closing indefinitely due to the COVID-19 situation?

The current COVID-19 situation may result in organizations closing for an indeterminate period. Should this occur, ESDC will continue to work with the organizations to allow costs such as staff and participant wages and subsidies. Overhead costs (such as invoices and rent) may also be covered through the contribution agreement. In these cases, the recipient is requested to provide a rationale to explain the situation. Please provide a written rationale. 

 

5. What should I do if participant-based activities set out in my agreement are disrupted due to COVID-19?

Additional flexibility will be given for participants to accommodate situations such as delayed orientation activities or registrations, group activities or interrupted workshops and training, as well as to ensure the continuity of salaries and allowances for affected participants.

Flexibility measures will have to respect the terms and conditions of the program in question. Please provide a written rationale describing the situation. 

 

6. I had to cancel some activities set out in my agreement. Do I have to reimburse the Department for the funds I already received to cover the expenses incurred for these activities? 

No. Project activities may be disrupted, postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19. Flexibility will be exercised on all reasonable costs associated with the event and its cancellation. These costs can be covered through the contribution agreement. In these cases, the recipient is requested to provide a rationale to explain the situation.Please provide a written rationale describing the situation.

 

7. In the current context, I am concerned that I will not meet the results set out in my agreement. What should I do?

The Department will provide flexibility in terms of expected results. In cases where an amendment to your agreement is required, for instance to substitute or withdraw certain activities, the expected results will need to be revised to reflect the current situation. Please provide a written rationale describing the situation.

 

8. Will ESDC continue to accept Applications for Funding?

Some program intakes may be delayed or postponed. Programs currently accepting applications will continue to operate although there may be delays in processing.

Please refer to the ESDC funding programs page for more information. Updates will be posted as they become available.

Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction

This update is from March 25 at 10am.

Notes coming soon.


Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training

This update is from March 27, 11:47am

From Catherine Poole, Executive Director

We are sensitive to impacts of COVID-19 for our service providers and participants.  Our priority at this time is to support service providers in getting through year-end.  We are also committed to ensuring that we can continue to meet skills training and employment needs of British Columbians in the coming months, working with our service providers.  We will be reaching out to service providers to engage with them on this after year-end.

Thank you for your note!  We certainly appreciate ASPECT’s engagement and will continue to connect with you on planning and solutioning within the next few weeks. 

Catherine Poole

Executive Director

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

This update is from March 16 at 10:16am

Good Morning AMSSA Members,

I just finished a call with the National Settlement and Integration Council, including many delegates from IRCC NHQ and the IOM. Please note that you will be receiving communication today that will inform you that:
IRCC, on the advice and recommendations of the Chief Health Officer of Canada, will recommend that all Service Provider Organizations SUSPEND all non-essential IRCC funded services effective today. Please note that this will not have a financial impact on your CA, and you will not be penalized. All efforts to provide essential services remotely through either teleconferencing or video conferencing will be supported by the department. The communication that you will receive will go into detail about what constitutes an essential service, however LINC classes, information and orientation services are not deemed essential and can be suspended without financial penalty.
I am sure you have a ton of questions, and I encourage you to wait until you have received the communication from IRCC, which will come out later today. I do not know how much information your Officers have, so please do not forward this message to them and wait for the communication.
As of tomorrow, the AMSSA office will be closed and I will be reachable by email as we wait to learn more from health officials.
 
Thanks, 
Katie
 
Katie Rosenberger, Chief Executive Officer
Direct Phone: 604 718-2781
Email: krosenberger@amssa.org  
4445 Norfolk Street, Burnaby, BC V5G 0A7
Toll Free: 1 888 355-5560 • T: 604 718-2780
www.amssa.org

 

Daily Questions for Government

We are collecting questions from our members to take forward to Government. When answers are received, we will post the answers, understanding that it might be necessary to be patient for answers during this crisis. We will take your questions forward to government and post responses as quickly as possible. If you have a question that has not been asked here, please send it to us. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 @ 9:48am

  1.  Can we make the decision close our offices to the public and offer services virtually? Or does the Ministry have to approve it? SDPR answer: it is up to the contractors and information they receive from local health officials.
  2. While we are mindful of adhering to appropriate social distancing right now, our offices are not huge and it is hard to accommodate as they were not designed for that. What should we do?
  3. As employers, contractors are required to provide a safe work place for their employees.  Staff have the right to refuse to work in any environment that they feel is unsafe.  How would the Ministries like us to respond to staff who are concerned about exposure in our workplace and do not want to come to work?  We could find ourselves with no staff willing to come to work.
  4. How will Ministries compensate contractors who are unable to meet deliverables in their contracts due to these circumstances which are out of their control?
  5. If clients are Employment Obligated or obligated to attend at a Contractor’s office for services, how should they deal with not being able to attend because they do not feel well.
  6. Where do employment Services fall on the spectrum of Essential Services? Are we considered an essential service?  With services like Family Court pausing for a number of weeks, should we do the same?
  7. As we are inclusive employers, we have a  number of staff with disabilities and/or compromised immune systems.  How can we assure them that we are a safe workplace for them if we are open to the public at this point in time.
  8. Our legal counsel has indicated that there is a liability for us if we are open to the public and someone contracts the COVID-19 virus at our site. 
  9. In some areas MLAs are not having face to face meetings due to the risk, yet we are expected to continue to do so. Is this fair?

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Toll Free: 1-888-287-4957
Telephone: 250-382-9675

Email: info@aspect.bc.ca



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