As your federal Member of Parliament, I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out and provide you all with an update during what can only be described as the most unprecedented of times.
The impact of COVID-19, on our community and throughout the nation, has resulted in governments at all levels coming together to provide the needed programs and services required to see us through this most difficult period.
With the House of Commons adjourned because of COVID-19, I have been working in the riding with my staff to assist constituents, small businesses, and our local industries. Constituents who need assistance on federal matters are always welcome to call or email my offices for help. Contact information can be found on my website, www.tonybaldinellimp.ca.
One of the biggest challenges during COVID-19, has been ensuring we are able to share the most accurate of information, as new programs are created and rolled out to address the impacts of coronavirus. For that reason, I have been working closely with constituents and small businesses to share your concerns directly with my opposition colleagues and the federal government. Likewise, I have been actively sharing information provided by the federal government on social media. You can find the latest by visiting https://www.facebook.com/tonybaldinellimp/.
For constituents who have stopped working because of COVID-19, the federal government has launched the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The application period began on Monday, April 6. More details about this program, such as eligibility criteria and how to apply, can be found online at: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html.
In addition, I have been actively engaged in supporting constituents who have become stranded while travelling abroad. Although some constituents have already returned home, please be assured, I will continue to work with Global Affairs Canada and the federal government to help bring other local residents home. We have had cases in Nepal, Peru, Ecuador, Laos, India, and many other countries, as well as a number of individuals aboard cruise ships.
In addition to these efforts, I have continued to advocate for measures to support our local industries. For tourism, I have been advocating for an economic aid package. So far, the government response has been disappointing, but I remain hopeful they will understand the significance of tourism for Niagara Falls and our riding.
For our local agriculture and wine industries, I am pleased to announce we were successful in persuading the federal government to allow border entry to temporary foreign workers and seasonal agricultural workers. Without these important workers, these industries would face an immediate and devastating labour shortage that could have impacted our future food supply and security.
We will continue to work with the government and ensure adequate supports are put in place to support our tremendously important small and medium size enterprises. While the government has created the new 75 per cent Wage Subsidy Program and Canada Emergency Business Account, more needs to be done to flow financial resources to our small business sector, more quickly.
I can also assure you, I will continue to advocate for the federal government to secure and supply more personal protective equipment for our frontline healthcare workers. I want to thank them for all the work they are doing to keep us safe and healthy during this international pandemic.
For the rest of us, please stay home whenever possible and practice safe social distancing. Also, always remember to wash your hands frequently. Together, we can prevent the spread of this deadly virus and if we follow the advice given to us by our medical officers, we will get through this together.