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Latest News from CF Canada— April 7

COVID-19 INFORMATION & SUPPORT 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit & Other Government Supports

This week, the government of Canada introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The CERB will provide $2,000 a month, for up to four months, for Canadians who have lost their income as a result of COVID-19 (whether they are EI eligible or not). Canadians eligible for the CERB will be able to apply online as of April 6.

In addition to the CERB, the provinces are providing supports to residents such as: deferral of payments and loans, restricting landlords from evicting tenants, financial assistance for eligible residents, child care support for essential workers and more. Check our government supports web page for regular provincial updates or visit your province’s official website for announcements.

The government of Canada also raised the federal wage subsidy from 10% to 75% of employee wage costs for eligible businesses affected by COVID-19. This support is intended to help businesses pay their employees and minimize layoffs. The program will be in place for a 12-week period—March 12 to June 6, 2020. Employers will be able to apply through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal in the coming days.

We’ve added information for caregivers and provided recommendations on what you can do to ensure your local business and services are taking necessary precautions to protect you from COVID-19 to our Q&A.

Ask the Experts: Web Series

Cystic Fibrosis Canada is hosting a series of webinars where members of the CF community can have their COVID-19-related questions and concerns addressed by CF clinicians. The web series kicked off on April 1st with Dr. Valerie Waters from the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto)  and Dr. Anne Stephenson from St. Michael’s Hospital (Toronto). Topics ranged from—how to avoid getting sick, social distancing to general questions about COVID-19 and cystic fibrosis. 

For more information on the web series, to submit a question for the next Ask the Experts session on Wednesday, April 8th, or to watch a recording of the session on April 1st, please visit our website. Our Ask the Experts Q&A series in French will be available shortly. Please stay tuned for details. 

For general COVID-19 questions and answers, please visit our COVID-19 Q&A web page. If you need help or further information regarding cystic fibrosis and the COVID-19 pandemic, please send an email to advocacy@cysticfibrosis.ca or call us at 1-800-378-2233 ext. 403, and we’ll do our best to assist you. We know that this is a very difficult time for our community, but please know that we will be there with you every step of the way. 

WHAT’S MAKING HEADLINES

#WalkYourWay4CF with our Virtual Challenge

Our 2020 Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History has been changed into a virtual challenge in an effort to keep everyone safe, especially people living with CF. This year, our virtual challenge means you can complete your walk however you want and whenever you want. For the virtual challenge, you pick an activity or challenge of your choice and start fundraising! 

Encourage your supporters to donate to your personal fundraising page by sharing videos/photos of yourself training for and completing your challenge by the end of Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month (May 31st). You can do this in any way that works for you including highlights on your personal fundraising page, social media accounts, email or even a live-stream. By registering, fundraising and donating to the Walk, you’ll help us continue our work to improve the health outcomes and lives of everyone living with cystic fibrosis.  

To learn more about the virtual challenge, to register, or to make a donation, please visit our website

#CFcantwait: ADVOCACY UPDATES

Protecting People Living with CF During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cystic Fibrosis Canada is reaching out to key ministries across the country to inform them of how certain policies and programs may impact people with cystic fibrosis during this time of COVID-19.  These letters will detail the needs of people with CF in terms of accessing these programs, such as infection prevention and control, physical and mental health resources, medical equipment, financial and employment supports, and more.

Stopping the PMPRB Changes

President & CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Kelly Grover, reached out to the PMPRB once again to restate our interest in meeting with their Board.  The March 18 meeting of the PMPRB board with 15 patient groups, including CF Canada, was cancelled due to COVID-19. A call to discuss this request with the PMPRB’s Executive Director was scheduled for April 6.  

As part of our advocacy education efforts, we held a webinar for cystic fibrosis clinicians on changes to the PMPRB and its impact on access to Trikafta and future CF drugs. Approximately 70 clinicians registered for this webinar and learned about how they could help  improve access to Trikafta for their patients. 

French webinars for clinicians and members of our National Advocacy Network are being held this week.  The English advocates session from last week is now available for download. Please note that you need to download the presentation to your local computer to view it in its entirety.

We continue to apply pressure to stop the PMPRB changes on or before the scheduled July 1st implementation date. To that end, we are writing letters to the Prime Minister, federal Minister of Health, and the PMPRB to show our support for the letter on March 23rd  by Canada’s leading health charities and patient groups.

For more information on the PMPRB changes, please visit our website

CF Canada’s Constituency MP Meeting Challenge

Our National Advocacy Network is gearing up to hold virtual meetings with as many of the 338 MPs as possible during CF Awareness Month in May to call on them to stop the PMPRB changes, and to fast-track access to Trikafta.

If you are interested in joining these efforts please email advocacy@cysticfibrosis.ca. We will be tracking and sharing our MP reach as we go, so please stay tuned.

COMMUNITY IN ACTION

Do you have anything you’d like us to share? We want to see your CF related stories, news, pictures and updates, and possibly share them! Email us at hello@cysticfibrosis.ca to submit your content.

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