MP Report: A new year and resources

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As we move further into 2021, we leave behind a challenging and difficult year for many in Kelowna-Lake Country.

The start of a new year always brings anticipation and the chance at a fresh start. Yet, we still find ourselves in the middle of uncertainty and adversity.

I remain committed to serving by:

  • Expeditiously helping with federal program inquiries
  • Continually connecting directly with you to be your voice
  • Holding the government to account
  • Working with my caucus colleagues on recommendations, motions, and bills that are important to the constituents of Kelowna-Lake Country and Canadians.  

Four topics I’ll be covering in this In Your Service report:

  • Fraud scams
  • The federal job bank
  • How to determine what federal support programs you may be applicable for
  • Mental health assistance. 

Unfortunately, the pandemic has led to an increase in scams, often from fraudsters claiming to be with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA).

By phone or email, the CRA will never ask for information about your passport, healthcare card, or driver’s license and will never demand immediate payment by Interac, e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards, or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes or Amazon. 

Legitimate communication from the CRA also won’t include aggressive language, threats of arrest, or threats of sending the police.

When it comes to these types of scams; seniors, international students, and newcomers are especially at risk.

I encourage everyone to speak to friends, family, and neighbours about these scams, especially with those who may be most vulnerable. 

Due to the pandemic and through no fault of their own, many individuals have permanently or temporarily lost their jobs. There are resources to help with finding employment, including job listings at jobbank.gc.ca.

You can also download the app, set up job alerts, look for skills matches, and build your resume.  I’m talking to people every day who genuinely want to get back to earning a good living to provide for their families and plan for their retirement.

If you are in need of government assistance benefits, visit www.canadabenefits.gc.ca. After answering 20 multiple choice questions, you will be provided with a list of the benefits you may be eligible for.

For those affected by COVID-19, there are a number of resources available. Often, we find people may be uncertain of what they may be applicable for, and this online resource tool can help. 

The pandemic not only poses a physical health risk, but many societal impacts including social isolation. Mental health and wellness are of increasing concern. 

No one should suffer in silence. If you need to speak with someone, call a friend or family member, call 811 or the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642.

For youth, help and a listening ear is available through Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.

There are many dedicated local organizations serving our community in this field and a new mental fitness app for men that was developed locally called “he.”

Despite the obstacles we face both as a community and as a country, I know that we will support each other together. 

I wish you and your family a safe and healthy 2021. I look forward to hearing from you, and stay well. 

If you need any assistance with programs or have any thoughts to share, feel free to reach out. 250-470-5075 or tracy.gray@parl.gc.ca


This article originally appeared on Castanet. You can read the original article here.