P.E.I. announces funding for those laid off in latest lockdowns

In a last-minute media conference Monday, P.E.I. Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture, Matthew MacKay announced funding for Islanders impacted by the latest lockdown measures.

The funds include $500 for workers or self-employed P.E.I. residents who have completely lost their income, or had their hours reduced by at least 12 hours a week from Feb. 28 to March 14.

This comes as the province announced a ‘circuit breaker’ Saturday after an uptick in new cases and fear of community spread, and then even tighter measures Sunday.

MacKay says the benefits are available in addition to federal supports, such as CRB, EI, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

According to MacKay in Monday’s conference, the application will be available on the province’s website by Tuesday.

Also announced Monday, an "employee gift card" program, where laid-off workers can apply for a $100 gift card. This program is for workers laid off between Feb. 28 and March 14 as well.

MacKay says more information, along with the application form are available on the province’s website.

"I want to thank all islanders for your patience as we roll out these supports," said MacKay. "And lastly, there’s a variety of safe ways to support our local businesses during this time, like ordering online, delivery, social distance pickups, or curbside drop-offs."

MacKay added his thanks to business owners on the island who he says have been innovative in accommodating safe options for their customers.