Coronavirus Update 9, April 1 2020 – new resource website, CERB application dates up, parks really are closed

This update was posted afternoon of April 1, 2020. The situation is changing by the hour. Please check the CanadaNova Scotia and Halifax websites for the most up to date information.

You can also check out my COVID-19 resources, with information on current Government ResponseIndividuals & FamiliesBusiness as well as Links to Resources including key social media to follow.

Hello all!

Another short update today. I’ll get to the reasons for that. First I have to remind folks that in my earliest updates I said: “to be effective, it will look like we are overreacting. We are going to look like we are overreacting.”

So I know some folks are upset parks are closed, and social distancing, school kids are at home, and daily virus updates are so stressful. But the Premier was not overreacting when he closed the parks. Yes, most of you used them appropriately, but enough people were congregating and risking spreading the virus that I think he made the right, effective, decision.

We need you to help us. Follow the spirt and the letter of these directions. Encourage everyone you know to follow the these rules. We’ve had reports of people moving barricades, driving into closed gates, following staff around and cutting zip ties almost as fast as gates are tied shut.  Please help us stop this.  Also, know you will be charged if the police find you there.

Cases are spiking.  Dr Strang said “now is the time for us to stay home’. The next two weeks are critical if we are going to slow the spread of this virus.  Please listen to the directions of Dr Strang so we can make sure we smooth the curve.

So on to better news!  I took all the material from my COVID-19 updates and I created a new microsite to act as a one stop resource with links to critical resources.  The website includes five sections:

I will continue send updates three times a week with good news, bad news, resources and updates, but they will be much shorter and will point you toward these pages, which I will keep up to date.

The other reason this update is short and a bit late is there is just too much work to do right now, and not enough time to do it in. If you’ve called or emailed the last three days and I have not responded yet, I am sorry. I think once we get through Council tomorrow, things will settle down and I will be able to get caught up.

Halifax Regional Council will hold virtual special meetings April 2, April 9, April 14 and April 28, each starting at 1 p.m. The purpose of these special meetings is to deal with matters as determined by the CAO and Mayor.  The meetings can only be watched by click the video link on to “watch on web” and enter the webcast by selecting ‘join anonymously’. Hopefully we will return to TV broadcasting by the second meeting.

I know small business owners, local landlords of all sizes, and self employed folks continue to be very worried about what the future holds. I wish I had the answers. My new
Business Info section has links to a couple of websites that are really useful for all sizes of business.  I think a lot more business resources will come in time, but it takes time for governments to create and roll out programs.

A particular concern is the rent deferral program.  My friend Lara Cusson from Cafa Lara has been working to represent retail and restaurant operators to bring the challenges to light. If you want to know more you can contact her through her facebook page.

Application days for the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit have been announced:

If you were born in the month of Apply for CERB on Your best day to apply
January, February or March Mondays April 6
April, May, or June Tuesdays April 7
July, August, or September Wednesdays April 8
October, November, or December Thursdays April 9
Any month Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Finally sign up for hfxALERT,  the new mass notification system for the municipality, keeping residents informed about emergencies and operations updates. hfxALERT will send urgent and non-urgent notifications and is now being used to send COVID-19 related updates.  Sign up today.