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Programs, details and logistics are updated daily.  Be sure to check the Federal Government website for more information. This is what we know:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit - available April 6

The CERB pays a monthly, tax-free $2,000 payment to workers who wouldn’t otherwise be eligible for employment insurance.  Any Canadian who has stopped working for a 14-day period due to COVID-19 can qualify for the new benefit, which covers a period of up to 16 weeks. Applications open online and by phone on Monday, April 6.

Employment insurance

If you have been approved for EI benefits on or after March 15, you will be moved over to the new emergency benefit when it becomes available. If you were already receiving EI, you can switch to CERB if your benefits end before October and are jobless due to COVID-19. EI-eligible workers should apply for EI now rather than wait for the CERB application to come online on April 6.

Wage Subsidies

Your employer may be eligible for Wage  Subsidies. This program is aimed to help businesses retain and return workers to their payroll.  Keep in touch with your employer to find out if you will receive this aid.

Canada Student Loans

Effective March 30, there is a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required, interest will not accrue during this time and students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

Mental health support

Kids Help Phone has received additional funding to provide young people with the mental health support they need during this difficult time.

Practical services for Seniors

Increased funding to the  United Way will provide services to seniors that include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports.

Other aid for families and individuals:

  • Increasing the Canada Child Benefit. This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply.

  • Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment by early May as a one-time special payment. There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

  • Extra time to file income tax returns until June 1, 2020.


CCEC Is Here to Help

CCEC is your local credit union. We are here to help you. Call us Tuesday to Friday 9:30am-5:00pm. Please try not to visit the branch and use ATM’s, online and telephone banking.  We are offering flexibility on Loans and Mortgage Payments - call us or email so that we can review your options.  Be sure to call us and we can help you to securely and safely handle your banking needs.


 
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Programs, details and logistics are updated daily.  Be sure to check the Federal Government website for more information. This is what we know. 

For Businesses

For individuals and families

  • Rent Relief in BC - read this article for information.

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit, available April 6, pays a tax-free $2,000 payment to workers.

  • Employment insurance - If you are approved you will receive the new emergency benefit. If you were already receiving EI, you can switch if your benefits end before October.

  • Canada Child Benefit - will increase in May. 

  • Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment by early May as a one-time special payment. 

CCEC Can Help!

  • Businesses and organizations can sign up for Payment Stream (AFT Automatic Funds Transfer) our online service to create and deliver pre-authorized debits and direct deposit transactions. Call Atilio  for more information.

  • Get flexibility on your Loans and Mortgage Payments - call us or email so that we can review your options.

  • Move to online banking - if you have two signers, consider temporarily moving to one signer. This way you  can do online banking providing you with more flexibility.

 

CCEC is your local credit union. We are here to help you. Call us Tuesday to Friday 9:30am-5:00pm. Please try not to visit the branch and use ATM’s, online and telephone banking. 

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"Pandemic Pals," Caremongers, and Good Ol' Friendliness are practical ways more neighbours are now helping neighbours. COVID-19 has led to many random acts of kindness. These are uncertain times and we are being urged to reduce our social interactions to “flatten the curve”.   We have implemented "social distancing" guidelines and a voluntary  "shelter in place".

Many CCEC member groups and businesses have been impacted as they have closed their galleries and restaurants, or postponed festivals and events. Local businesses are struggling as they operate on tight margins. Restaurants that offer take-out are open and may not be accepting cash -  only debit and credit cards. With K-12 classes suspended indefinitely, school meal programs are being reviewed to ensure kids in need don’t suffer.  

We have neighbours who are struggling financially, who live month to month on a fixed income, and cannot afford to stock their pantry.  Let’s knock on their door (respecting social distancing) or phone them and ask how you can help.  

We all know examples of how our  community is reaching out and making connections to help those who are feeling even more isolated and lonely. It is inspiring to learn that some stores are dedicating times each day day for seniors or those who need assistance or consideration; accepting donations to distribute to those in need in their area;  starting initiatives like Breaking Bread that lets you know how you can support your local, independent restaurants.

It's heartening to see so many more people and groups become ignited about neighbourly mutual aid!


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We lend to your neighbours and local businesses.  We have always invested in the regenerative and circular economy.  We don’t need to change our course of investment or divest from ‘fossil fuel’.  We stand by what we believe in that works for you and our community. 

We are proud of the impact we have in our  community and in the lives of our members. Our solidarity with our brotherhood and our hereditary chiefs continues. We will not waver. 

“Thank you for having ethics and representing the community (us members) so well.  A great moment to ask folks to divest from unethical banks to move to us.”  CCEC Member

Our number one priority is to serve - and provide a model for services to - those facing systemic barriers to financial services, to credit, and to economic opportunity. Too many are turned away by conventional banks and are exploited by cheque-cashing hucksters and others.  We want to work with our members and member groups to develop services that meet those needs at fair cost. 

Refer friends, family and neighbours to join CCEC. Stand by us.  Call us today. 


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Camp registration is Open!  A CCEC tradition is to see the “Camp YES Thermometer” go up in the branch. The “Thermometer” tracks the funds donated by our member-owners to pay the camp registration fee for our youth. Each year, through the generosity of our members, we have sent up to 10 youth to the YES Camp and a few to the Reunion. 

Meet CCEC Members, Helen Spaxman and her teen, Claire. Claire has been to camp and to the Reunion. Helen’s family started donating to the Camp YES Fund for many years even before having kids. She says they donated because they hoped that their children and the youth of our community would be able to go to this camp.

Claire Says, “Thank You” 

“At the YES Camp, we do “reflections” at the end of the day, where we reflect on how our day went and then answer questions, which are sometimes light and funny, but sometimes very personal and heavy. 

When I truly opened up in reflections, I benefited by getting things out of my head that I wouldn’t normally talk about with people at home. Before camp, I felt like I couldn’t talk to my friends about certain things, maybe I didn’t want to burden my friends with my thoughts. I was also afraid it’d start rumours and more people would know about it than I originally intended. 

I have learned that YES Camp is a safe space, I can talk about anything there and get so much support from the staff and my fellow campers. Funnily enough, many of these “fellow campers” have become very close friends. Now that I’ve been to camp a few times, I’m not just a good communicator and listener at the camp, but I’m also applying these skills to my friend group at home. 

Since I’ve started opening up to friends at school, I’ve noticed so many more people sharing things with me that they never thought they’d share. My friends now feel the same comfort in talking about their feelings that I used to only feel at camp and they’re not afraid to ask me for help when they need it. I’m so so grateful to have been able to  attend YES summer camps and fall camp reunions. I’ve grown so much as a person and as a friend and I’m so ready to grow even more. Honestly, without the YES Camp, some of my closest friendships wouldn’t even exist.”

“Camp YES is a Game Changer!” says Helen Spaxman

For more information, visit the Camp YES website. To make a donation to our Camp YES Fund, call us or visit the branch. Youth interested in being sponsored to attend Camp are asked to complete an application form that will be available on our website.
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THE PEOPLE'S PROM is a fundraiser for creative resistance and direct action. It's a radical, community-oriented, annual event in East Vancouver held Feb. 14th.  It is a queer, cross-dressing, big dress wearing prom you never had in high-school.

The Prom Committee is a volunteer-run group of seven individuals who organize the People’s Prom and oversee the People’s Trust Fund. Since 2001, they have raised funds and provided micro-grants of $200 - $5,000 to grassroots organizations for initiatives that may have difficulty securing funding from other sources. Several grants are given out annually.  Check back for their funding application.  

Over the years the fund has given micro-grants to Indigenous groups, women’s centres, anti-poverty and homeless activists, environmental and anti-pipeline initiatives, political arts festivals, and transit education. In the last 20 years, they have given out an estimated $80,000 in micro-grants.  There are CCEC Member associations including No One is  Illegal who have received funds from the People's Prom. 

Congratulations! 

A big shout out to the other nominees this year:  Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks, Alliance Against Displacement and Mountain Protectors. 

The award is in recognition of an individual who contributed lots of time and effort to the early years of CCEC and who had a strong interest in community development.   Hence the award goes to member groups that are active in social justice and co-operative development activity. The award is comprised of three elements; recognition from our community, our commitment to promote the project further through CCEC, and a financial contribution from the Roger Inman Trust to support the project.

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Invest in you and your future with an RRSP.  RRSP’s continue to be a good investment fit for many of our member-owners’ financial plans and lifestyles.


There are two main reasons our members invest in an RRSP:  to reduce taxable income (paying less tax in that year); and to be saving tax-free as (taxes are payable later on withdrawal in what would be a lower income year).  At this time, you can contribute up to 18% of your 2019 earned income, to a maximum of $27,230 plus any carry-forward contribution room that you may have until the year you are 71 years of age. 


If you would like to contribute, ask us about an RRSP loan so that you can maximize or top-up your RRSP contribution (before March 2, 2020).  You may be able to save tax dollars by investing the funds from the loan into your RRSP. By starting a monthly contribution plan, you can earn compound interest making more than if you contribute a lump sum. 


RRSP’s are considered longer-term retirement investments. However, you can withdraw funds,  for use towards the Home Buyers’ Plan or the Lifelong Learning Plan; which must be repaid within a specified time.  A word of caution before you resort to withdrawing from your RRSP - look for alternatives and talk to us. 


Are RRSPs worth it in the long run? Even though you have to pay the tax back when you withdraw the funds, yes, they are worth it. They are a valuable tool to reduce your tax burden and save for the future. Be sure to include an RRSP as an investment option in your financial plan. And, be sure to review your plan each year.  


Need a plan?  We can help you with that.


Call us today to speak with one of our investment specialists. 

Pick up the leaflet, Your Guide to Understanding RRSP’s in the branch or visit the CRA website for more information. 


A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a retirement savings and investing vehicle for employees and the self-employed in Canada. Pre-tax money is placed into an RRSP and grows tax free until withdrawal, at which time it is taxed at the marginal rate.

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At this time of year, we are encouraged to “Create Memories Not Garbage”.  We are reminded that we all should be doing our part to make less waste. Our awareness level  has increased about food waste, single use plastics and taking our own bags when we go shopping. However, we need to be doing much more.  

We need to adopt an economy that operates within planetary boundaries and focuses on keeping materials in circulation (and out of the landfill). We need to be designing products that can be 'made to be made again' and powering the system with renewable energy. This is the circular economy.  

A circular economy “offers a solution to the growing problem of waste, generates economic growth, increases the number of local green jobs, and encourages  innovation.” The BC Minister for the Environment and Climate Change at #COP25Madrid discussed the circular economy and how the way we use waste and resources impacts climate change. 

The circular economy is also about sharing, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. As we welcome 2020, let’s do our part to support a circular economy and community economic development.

So, if you could do just one thing differently to create memories and reduce waste, what would it be? Visit the Metro Vancouver website for ideas! 

Learn more about how to accelerate the transition to a circular economy with best practices, case studies and worksheets from these websites: 

https://ceaccelerator.zerowastescotland.org.uk/ - exists to create a society where resources are valued and nothing is wasted; to influence and enable change. 

https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/concept - works with business, government and academia to build a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.
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We need public development of non-market rental stock and social/supportive housing, including temporary modular housing. Our greatest housing need is for rental stock for low-to moderate-income households that is unprofitable for private-sector developers.  We need to change the assumption that private-sector developers should take the lead on building the housing that we need for people and community.  


Housing is for community not developers. Let’s look at the Little Mountain Housing site. Ten years ago the residents were removed and the buildings demolished on what was Vancouver’s first social housing site (built in 1954). The 15 acre site continues to be vacant. The community is calling on the government to #Take Back the Mountain (sign their petition) into public hands and “to build the kind of housing that people need and deserve in Vancouver.”


The City is taking a more planned approach toward approving new affordable housing (2018 Housing Strategy), including financial incentives for developers to build rental housing instead of condos. However, the construction of affordable housing is inadequate for the current needs let alone the anticipated future needs. There’s a case to be made for a more public planning model, including public land assembly, project financing and rental housing development for the large build-out we need.


How do we define “social housing” and “affordability”?  Recent Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative (CCPA) research considers affordability by looking at the hourly wage that would be required to afford an apartment and allocating no more than 30 per cent of pre-tax earnings to be spent on rent. In Metro Vancouver, a household needs a wage of $26.72 per hour to afford a one-bedroom and $35.43 per hour for a two-bedroom apartment. A person in a minimum wage job, on disability or social assistance cannot afford the current rents. 


We need a building program where priority is given to households in extreme housing

need. We need a range of housing options that work for people with different incomes and at different stages in their lives that include larger, family-sized units. The top 3 needs for public housing investment include the following:

  • Housing people who are homeless

  • Non-market rental housing that is locked in as affordable

  • Housing for seniors.


We can pay for this! CCPA has crunched the numbers.  We can move forward with a build-out program that would see the construction of 10,000 new units of non-market rentals, public housing and co-op housing per year. As an example, City Council just approved the first projects under the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program, which they approved in November 2017 to create more affordable housing. The pilot allows for up to 20 buildings where at least 20 per cent of the residential units must be set aside for "moderate income households," defined as households earning between $30,000 and $80,000 per year. It’s a start! 


Read the CCPA report, “Planning for a build-out of affordable rental housing in Metro Vancouver”.

 
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We need social housing and welfare rates enough to cover basic rent in the city. There are 2,223 homeless people in Vancouver, up only 2.2% but there are more seniors, women and those who had housing now in the homeless count. It takes political will and all levels of government to address the problem. Read more in the just released  The Vancouver Homeless Count 2019 


In 2015, Medicine Hat declared it had ended chronic homelessness. The program continues to be successful. "Our definition of ending homelessness never did include the idea that it would never exist again, and that people would never fall back into that state of homelessness," said Jaime Rogers, the manager of homeless and housing at the Medicine Hat Community Housing Society. ​"We still need emergency shelters and we absolutely have people in our community that still experience homelessness. However, anyone who experiences being homeless is for a period that is "brief and short-lived," she said. 


The Mayor of Medicine Hat calls on provinces and Ottawa to provide the funding, but then to allow municipalities to implement strategies that makes the most sense wherever they're at. He says that their homeless strategy is saving taxpayers money in  terms of declining costs of crime, health care and child welfare services. 


Housing is for community not developers. On November 30, a rally was held at what was the Little Mountain Housing site. Ten years ago the residents were removed and the buildings demolished on what was Vancouver’s first social housing site (built in 1954). The 15 acre site continues to be vacant. A rally spokesperson says, “It was a successful social housing community. Many, many thousands of people grew up and lived their lives there. The buildings could have been renovated.”  The spokesperson adds, “It’s clear that the redevelopment of Little Mountain has been a failure. We are calling on the government to #Take Back the Mountain,’ to take the Little Mountain site into public hands and to build the kind of housing that people need and deserve in Vancouver.”


Read the  Vancouver Homeless Count 2019 Report 

Learn more about the Homeless Action Strategy in Alberta 

 
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