Catherine McKenna
Hon. Catherine McKenna
Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre
Together Apart: COVID-19 Update #22

Le français suit l'anglais

November 29, 2020

Dear Residents

I hope you and your family are staying well and the recent news of several positive vaccine candidates has you feeling hopeful. 

Until vaccines can be rolled-out, it's crucial we all continue to follow the public health measures that are keeping us safe - stay home if you're not feeling well, wash your hands, wear a face mask, physically distance and download the COVID-19 alert app.

Throughout the pandemic, I have been in frequent contact with small businesses in Ottawa Centre. I hope the recently enhanced Canada Emergency Business Account, extended the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy will provide the vital support these businesses need to retain employees and keep their doors open.

Thank you to everyone helping local shops and restaurants in our community by shopping local and ordering take-out. Please keep up this support in the coming weeks and months, if you are in a position to do so. 

Thank you for your continued patience, kindness and generosity. We are all in this together!



In the News

Federal Government Updates 

CERS Application Now Open

On November 23, CRA launched the application for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). The CERS offers easy-to-access commercial rent and mortgage support until 2021 to businesses who have been affected by COVID-19.

Through the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, the hardest hit small businesses would receive a subsidy of up to 65%. We are also providing Lockdown Support of an additional 25% for businesses that are subject to a lockdown under mandatory public health orders.

Apply here.

Black Entrepreneurship Program

This week we announced the launch of two of the three pillars of the Black Entrepreneurship program - applications are now open for both the National Ecosystem Fund and the Knowledge Hub.

The National Ecosystem Fund will provide funding to Black-led not-for-profit business organizations to strengthen their capacity to provide support and financial planning services for Black entrepreneurs. 

The Knowledge Hub will gather data on Black entrepreneurs in Canada and help identify critical gaps, barriers to success, and opportunities for growth.

More details here.

Universal Broadband Fund

The pandemic has made our commitment to connecting all Canadians to high-speed internet, more important than ever. It is necessary to telework, to access on-line health care, for distance learning and more. It helps businesses thrive, no matter where they are located, and it ensures that rural Canadians can transition smoothly to the digital economy. 

That's why on November 9th, our government committed to providing high-speed internet to the most rural and remote parts of Canada. We are investing $1.75B in rural broadband to connect 98% of households and businesses across Canada by 2026 to connect underserved communities, improve lives and create good jobs.

Read more here.

Vaccine updates

We are all anxiously waiting for a vaccine, and our federal government has signed deals to secure hundreds of millions of doses of promising COVID-19 vaccines for Canadians, which health experts predict will be ready sometime next year, contingent upon the results of safety trials.

We've purchased freezers that will work for specific vaccine candidates and we will continue to coordinate with the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities so we can reach everyone who wants a vaccine, no matter where they live.

When a vaccine is ready, Canada will be ready.

Historic Net-Zero Legislation

Huge congratulations to my friend and colleague Minister Jonathan Wilkinson who tabled the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act in the House of Commons on November 19. This legislation will enshrine greater accountability and public transparency into Canada's plan for meeting net-zero emissions by 2050.

This historic Net-Zero legislation demonstrates that Canada is stepping up to protect our communities, grow a cleaner economy, create good jobs and protect our kids and our planet. 

Read more here.

Local Updates 

As difficult as these past few months have been, I'd like to share positive news for Ottawa Centre and beyond.

Supporting Ottawa's Tech Sector 

On November 2nd, Invest Ottawa's Area X.O, launched the first electric Low-Speed Automated Shuttle trial of its kind in Ontario! 

Our government is committed to the development, validation and safe implementation of leading-edge technologies, including low carbon transportation solutions.

I had the opportunity to test the shuttle at Tunney's Pasture along with Mayor Watson! These vehicles have the potential to enhance the lives of our citizens, create new market opportunity for our companies, and help move us to a low carbon future. 

New tunnels now collecting sewage during heavy rainfall events

On November 20th, Ottawa reached a huge milestone in protecting the health of the Ottawa River. The Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel (CSST), to which the federal government contributed $62 million, is now in operation! 

The two inter-connected tunnels, totaling over 6 kilometers under downtown Ottawa, will capture 18 Olympic sized pools (45,000,000 litres) of sewer and runoffs during heavy rainfalls. 

This will reduce sewage overflow into the Ottawa River during severe weather and help reduce flooding for thousands of homes in Ottawa.

Further, the CSST will help ensure that residents can swim, drink, and fish safely. I am so proud to see this project to its completion, and know the impact it will have on protecting our beautiful heritage river. 

Checking in with Immaculata H.S. students

This month, Prime Minister Trudeau and I had the pleasure of virtually connecting with Grade 11 students from Immaculata High School, located right here in Ottawa Centre. 

The pandemic has been really tough on young people. We understand how difficult this is and we thank you for doing your part. Thank you for your insightful questions about vaccines, mask wearing and politics! We're in this together.

Checking in with local Community Associations 

It's always wonderful connecting with local community associations in Ottawa Centre. This month, I met with the Hintonburg Community Association, the Mechanicsville Association and the Wellington West Community Association.

We spoke about the importance of urban green spaces in our neighborhoods, and the needs of our growing communities. 

Thank you for sharing your feedback with me and a huge thanks for your hard work and dedication to the Ottawa Centre community.

M.P. Podcast with Dave "The Groomer" Adams

Now that we've had our first official snowfall in Ottawa Centre, I'm so eager to get on the SJAM Winter Trail!

Prior to the pandemic, I had the pleasure of hosting Dave Adams on "The Builders". In our conversation we learn a little more about Groomer Dave and what led to him developing the SJAM trail. Tune in and hear about winter activities that the whole family can enjoy

Listen to the full discussion here. 

Download the COVID-19 Alert App

Stop what you're doing and take one minute to download the COVID Alert app! This app was made to notify users of possible exposure to people who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

It is free, voluntary, and uses strong measures to protect your data. Users who test positive for COVID-19 will receive a one-time key from their health authority that they can enter into the app. Read more here.

Community Resources 

Groceries & Meals 

Visit or call the Community Information Centre of Ottawa at 2-1-1 for information on how to access food.

Respite Centre for Ottawa's Homeless

Free washrooms and showers are open at Tom Brown Arena, 141 Bayview Station Rd.  

Kids Help Phone

Kids needing  help or to talk to someone about what they are going through can text or call the Kids Help Line, 24/7:

Text: CONNECT to 686868

Call: 1-800-668-6868

A Friendly Voice for Seniors 

A Friendly Voice is here to talk 8:00 am - 12:00 am at 613-692-9992. Calling is FREE.

The Distress Centre of Ottawa 

If these unsettling times are affecting your mental health, please know that it's completely OK to ask for help. The Distress Centre of Ottawa is there for you 24/7 at 613-238-3311

If You Feel Unsafe at Home

If you are dealing with physical, emotional, sexual, or other kinds of abuse at home text 613-704-5535 or chat online at This service is available 7 days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to midnight. 

COVID-19 Information and Updates   

Ottawa Public Health: 

Any Ottawa resident who is showing one or more symptoms of COVID-19,  can go for testing at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre or the COVID-19 Care Clinics

Ottawa Public Health's dynamic format for reporting on COVID19 in Ottawa is now available. Data is updated daily and more in-depth reports will be shared weekly.

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC):

How risky is it to get a haircut or go to the gym? PHAC has set up a new tool for Canadians to gauge the risk levels of their plans outside the home.

The Government of Canada Novel Coronavirus website.

Canada COVID-19 Situational Awareness Dashboard.

PHAC Detailed Epidemiological Summary of COVID-19 in Canada report

Stay in Touch Ottawa Centre 

My Constituency Office is virtually open and ready to support and serve you. 

Phone: 613-946-8682

Email: [email protected]

Share this E-Newsletter 

Please forward this newsletter to anyone who might find the information helpful. 

To subscribe to my digital "M.P. Newsletter," click here. 

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