COVID-19 News

Guaranteed Annual Income System payments for low-income seniors will be doubled for six months

On March 25, 2020, the Ontario government announced a temporary top-up to payments made through the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS). Beginning in April 2020, monthly GAINS payment amounts will be doubled for a period of six months. This action will provide additional and immediate financial support to low-income Ontario seniors who may need more help to cover essential expenses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Changes to summary legal advice services at Legal Aid Ontario due to COVID-19 pandemic

From Legal Aid Ontario –  As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is working to offer more resources to clients through the telephone and online.
Effective March 24, LAO is making the following changes to our summary legal advice services across the province:

Clients who would have received in-person legal aid services through the Family Law Information Centres will be able to get help from LAO over the phone by calling 

Canadian goverment combines emergency COVID-19 aid benefit for Canadians (CTV News)

From CTV News – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the government is merging two previously announced employment insurance benefits for Canadians who are out of, or off work because of COVID-19.
He is also vowing that more financial assistance will come as the pandemic wages on, with the first $82-billion aid package set to flow as soon as it passes Parliament on Wednesday.

Law Society of Ontario launches emergency family law referral phone line

From the Law Society of Ontairo – In response to COVID-19, as an interim measure, with support from the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice, the Law Society has launched an emergency family law referral telephone line to provide assistance to people who are self-represented (SRLs) and who are trying to determine whether or not their family court matter meets the criteria to be heard by the Court on an “urgent” basis and,

OREA Urges Realtors to Cease All Face-to-Face Business, Including Showings of Tenant-Occupied Homes, During Ontario State of Emergency

From the Ontario Real Estate Association – The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is urging Ontario’s REALTORS® to stop all face-to-face business, including open houses, agent and public office hours, and in-person showings, particularity of tenant-occupied homes, during the Province’s COVID-19 State of Emergency. In these unique situations, where a property listed for sale is occupied by tenants,

Ontario Providing Electricity Relief to Families, Small Businesses and Farms During COVID-19

From the Government of Ontario – To support Ontarians through the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, the Government of Ontario is providing immediate electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms paying time-of-use (TOU) rates.
For a 45-day period, the government is working to suspend time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour.

Ontario releases list of essential workplaces that can remain open amid COVID-19 outbreak

From CBC News  – Workplaces that have been deemed “non-essential” or “at-risk” have until the end of Tuesday to close up shop.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has ordered all non-essential stores and services to close at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Read more at:

The Ontario Court of Justice update on Family Law Matters

From the Ontario Bar Association –  On March 20, 2020, the Ontario Government passed Regulation 73-20 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This regulation automatically extends statutory timeframes during the length of the provincial state of emergency.
The Ontario Court of Justice will continue to adhere to the existing statutory timelines for urgent matters as per the COVID-19 Pandemic Planning – Scheduling of Family Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice (March 20,

Court of Appeal for Ontario goes digital in response to COVID-19

From the Court of Appeal for Ontario – Effective March 23, 2020 and until further notice, public counter services will be closed. All filings can be mailed, sent via email to or dropped off outside the Intake Office. For more information on new procedures for filing, visit:

Here’s what’s available to help Ontario renters through COVID-19 (CBC News)

From the CBC – In Toronto, a city where 47 per cent of people rent, many are wondering what to do when April 1 arrives and their rent is due.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $82 billion in aid for families and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Homeowners were given the option to defer their mortgages for up to six months.

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