Whitehorse Daily Star

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ENRICHING FAMILY BUDGETS – Premier Sandy Silver discusses COVID-19-related issues and reopening plans Tuesday afternoon with members of the media. Photo courtesy YUKON GOVERNMENT/ALISTAIR MAITLAND PHOTOGRAPHY

Families offered benefit for school-aged children

Families are now eligible to receive $250 per child in kindergarten to Grade 12 to help offset the costs of COVID-19.

By Gabrielle Plonka on May 20, 2020

Families are now eligible to receive $250 per child in kindergarten to Grade 12 to help offset the costs of COVID-19.

“Adding to the mental and physical challenges of the global pandemic and major changes to your routine, working from home for example, this is in no way an easy task,” Premier Sandy Silver said in a statement to families on Tuesday afternoon.

“We appreciate there are … increased costs.”

The government will provide this one-time payment to all eligible families.

The payment is intended to support home learning and the provision of supplies associated with it.

“Students and families have different circumstances and the best understanding of what their needs are,” Silver said.

Families can access this funding through Sport Yukon. Applications are available immediately, and will be sent directly to families by schools.

Silver announced the new funding during a media update with Dr. Brendan Hanley, the chief medical officer.

The first phase of the territory’s COVID-19 reopening plan launched last Friday (see details in Tuesday’s Star).

Yesterday, guidelines were released for businesses that provide personal services. Business owners can now begin to create their operational plan in preparation for Hanley’s planned lift of the ordered closure on personal services.

Once businesses have submitted their operational plans, government officials will review and approve the plan within 48 hours, Silver said. The deadline for operational plans is May 29.

Guidelines for restaurants will be made available later this week.

Officials only need to approve the operational plans for businesses that have been ordered to close, but all businesses should have one, Silver clarified.

On Tuesday, Hanley repeated the new guidelines associated with phase one. Those include the “double bubble”, which permits a Yukon household to pair up with another household and ease physical distance restrictions within the two.

Hanley asked that Yukoners use “common sense” when implementing the double bubble rule, and to maintain appropriate safety precautions while socializing within the two households. This includes hand washing and isolating while sick.

For Yukoners who have been working from home during the pandemic, Hanley recommended that remote work continue for now, if possible.

“I think this is something that’s fluid and is going to be a fluid situation; I don’t think we should do too much at one time,” Hanley said.

“If employers have worked out ways for employees to be working from home, and that’s working well, I see no hurry to change that.

“On the other hand, there are situations where it may be straining to employers.”

Hanley recommended that employers find ways to create a safe and well-spaced workplace if they feel it’s necessary to bring staff back into the office.

Silver and Hanley emphasized that the reopening of the territory and return to normal need to be slow.

“I know you are looking for an end, for a signal that this strange time is over,” Silver said.

“We are not there yet, but we are getting ever closer every day that passes without new cases, and every restriction that we lift is a positive step on our path to normal.”

Comments (8)

Up 16 Down 3

My Two Cents on May 21, 2020 at 6:00 pm

I am over 65. Due to a closure at my work, I was on EI until the third week of December (it was my first time on EI in 50 years of working). I had no plans to retire yet. I am one week short to receive CERB. Tough luck! I applied for OAS/Pension months ago (at the Whitehorse Service Canada office - so there would be no mistakes and no reason for delays). I am guessing that the reason they, "have no recent application on file for you at this time," is because the federal Liberals are so busy throwing money everywhere, they don't have time for the senior's applications. And because they don't have me on file, I won't be receiving the $300 for people on OAS. Tough luck, again. I know many, many people who are receiving money that don't really need it. My RRSPs are way down (As for many people around my age, we are hooped. There will not be a recovery by age 70). The feds already gave money for each child (at least $300), now the territorial government is providing more for school children. I feel for families, but so many seniors are suffering and will be suffering for years due to all of this.
The Liberals are not even close to getting it right. I will never vote for them again.
Why are non-essential travelers coming through the territory? Keep them out and get us open so we are not in debt for the next several years.

Up 14 Down 17

Itookalook on May 21, 2020 at 1:22 pm

UFB, vote con and get free stuff if you are in a select group, the rest of the Yukoners can be dammed.

Up 24 Down 8

Unfeckingbelievable! on May 21, 2020 at 7:08 am

In other related news... The Liberal gave a family their own car and said... Here take this vehicle from us and use it to do the things you need to do... Don’t forget the Liberals come voting day! We were there for you... Remember?!?! A vote for the Libs is a vote for free stuff... Even if we had to take it from you or someone else first... We are all about the giving... Freedom, whoa freedom, that’s just some people walking this Liberal government back to power, you better let someone lead you, let someone lead you, before its too late...

Up 15 Down 12

Not sufficient on May 20, 2020 at 9:41 pm

$250 does nothing to offset the ‘cost’ of being a full time teacher, caregiver and employee simultaneously. The message that families simply have to figure it out without childcare options while being expected to work full time (or work full time at ridiculous hours to ensure we have full time hours), or else lose income is simply ludicrous. But it’s all good, we’re supported by 30 minutes of Zoom a week by the Department of Education. And given a whopping $250. Way to support families YG.

Up 25 Down 5

Unfeckingbelievable! on May 20, 2020 at 8:07 pm

Feck off! More taxpayer monies being redistributed to buy more Liberal votes. Viva Las Yukonnas... You get a check, you get a check, and you get a check! Not only are you now financially enslaved for generations to come you are grounded... And you are separated from your fellow citizens and the possibility of righteous political action against the oppressor who has convinced you of his/her righteousness - The collective well being under the guise of friendly paternalism.

Up 25 Down 3

The More You Know on May 20, 2020 at 7:32 pm

Why is this being run through Sport Yukon? This isn’t even close to being in their mandate. Surely YG has enough people working from home that they could administer this online.

Up 21 Down 4

Matthew on May 20, 2020 at 5:26 pm

Woo hoo, more money spent! Is this a deja vu? Ha! I've heard this article many times in past few weeks...

Up 20 Down 4

jc on May 20, 2020 at 4:04 pm

What! Banker Larry wasn't invited to attend the announcement? Oh my!

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