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News and Events in the Community

Tamil and Urdu Family Support Groups

The CMHA York and South Simcoe will be offering virtual Family Support Groups for Urdu and Tamil speaking families in the York and South Simcoe region in January 2021. This program is designed for families who are supporting their loved ones on their mental health journeys with a safe and supportive environment free from language barriers.

Please see the following flyers for the registration form:
Tamil Support Group Flyer.pdf

Urdu Support Group Flyer.pdf

The registration forms below will also be available on the CMHA website and the Community Connections calendar.

Tamil Family Support Group


Urdu Family Support Group


Multilingual 9-1-1 Fact Sheet

The Tempory Foreign Worker community can often face language barriers, and may experience fear or lack of understanding on how to access public services. 

With spring upon us, we enter another season of increasing numbers of seasonal workers in Ontario while continuing to struggle with the pandemic response.

The attached 9-1-1 Fact Sheet has been prepared to inform migrant workers on how to access 911 services for ambulance response. Please, click on the 9-1-1 Fact Sheets below to access the information:

​LanguageFact Sheet #1​Fact Sheet #2
​English​Calling 911 when you need emergency health care
911_factsheet_8-5x11_EN v3 1.pdf
​What to expect when calling 911 for a health emergency
911_factsheet_8-5x11_EN v3 2.pdf
​FrenchComposer le 911 pour obtenir des soins médicaux d’urgence
911_factsheet_8-5x11_FR v3 1.pdf
À quoi s’attendre lorsqu’on compose le 911 lors d’une urgence médicale
911_factsheet_8-5x11_FR v3 2.pdf
اتصل برقم 911 عندما تحتاج إلى رعاية صحية طارئة
ما الذي يمكن توقعه عند الاتصال برقم 911 في حالة الطوارئ الصحية
Simplified Chinese
S-Chinese-911_factsheet_8-5x11 1.pdf
S-Chinese-911_factsheet_8-5x11 2.pdf
Traditional Chinese
T-Chinese-911_factsheet_8-5x11 1.pdf
T-Chinese-911_factsheet_8-5x11 2.pdf
Spanish​Llame al 911 cuando
necesite atención médica
de emergencia
Spanish_911_factsheet_8-5x11_EN v3 1.pdf
​Qué esperar cuando llama al
911 debido a una emergencia
Spanish_911_factsheet_8-5x11_EN v3 2.pdf
Filipino (Tagalog)Pagtawag sa 911 kapag kailangan
ninyo ng pang-emergency na
pangangalaga ng kalusugan
Tagalog_911_factsheet_8-5x11_EN v3 1.pdf
Ano ang dapat asahan kapag
tumawag sa 911 para sa
emergency sa kalusugan
Tagalog_911_factsheet_8-5x11_EN v3 2.pdf
Thai​โทร.911 เมื่อคุณต้องการการดูแล
THAI-911_factsheet_8-5x11 1.pdf
​สิ่งที่จะเกิดขึ้นเมื่อโทร 911 สำหรับ
THAI-911_factsheet_8-5x11 2.pdf
​Goi 911 khi quý vi  can cham sóc suc khoe khan cap
VIET-911_factsheet_8-5x11 1.pdf
​Moi viec se  dien ra nhu the  nào khi quý
vi goi 911 de thông báo mot truong hop
khan cap ve  suc khoe​
VIET-911_factsheet_8-5x11 2.pdf

Multilingual COVID-19 Health Resources

COVID-19 Resources

Mental Health Resources

  • The Ontario government has expanded its online and virtual mental health tools, including BounceBack (https://bounceb​​ackontario.ca). It has developed a series of videos that contain practical tips on managing  your mood, sleeping better, building confidence, increasing activity, problem solving and healthy living. Videos are available in English, French, Arabic, Farsi, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Punjabi.​

Resources for Children:

​1- A resource on how to speak to children about COVID-19 is available in En​​glish and Spani​sh​.
2- UNICEF has tips on how to speak to children about COVID-19 available in English​, Fren​​ch​ and Spa​nish​.

What is Social Distancing?
Social Distancing.JPG

Multilingual Income Benefits, Credits and Assistance

Emergency Child Care - January 2021

With direction from the Ministry of Education, The County of Simcoe is collaborating with local system stakeholders to facilitate access to targeted Emergency Child Care that will support eligible parents of school-aged children, at no cost to eligible parents, from January 4-8, 2021. ​​

Please visit the following webpage for more information about eligibility and application process: 


The Canadian Child Benefit (CCB)  was translated in:

PLEASE NOTE: New information is being updated daily, so we can only confirm accuracy of this document to the last updated. It is important for readers to confirm accuracy of this information.  ​

Georgian College Career and Community Services developed helpful Resources for individuals struggling through COVID - 19. See document below:​

Income Support_BA_V3.pdf

1- Employment Insurance
To find out if you are eligible to receive EI regular benefits, you must submit an application online. It will take about 60 minutes to complete the online application. The website takes you step by step through the application process, and provides detailed instructions on how to complete the form. When you apply for Employment Insurance benefits, you will be asked for your email address. If Service Canada needs more information about your claim and cannot reach you by phone, a Service Canada agent will send you a toll-free number by email, asking you to call an agent.

Ontario Works - people who are already receiving social assistance:
Ontario Works provides a range of health-related discretionary benefits to those in receipt of social assistance. These benefits now include assistance with costs related to hand sanitizer, masks or additional cleaning supplies due to the need to self-
isolate or quarantine. Requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis. The maximum benefit available is $100 for single individuals and $200 for couples/families.
To apply for Ontario Works Assistance including Emergency Assistance and Discretionary Benefits, contact 705-722-3132.
Ontario Works - Emergency Assistance for Ontarians Ontario Works helps people who are in temporary financial need. It includes Emergency Assistance for Ontarians who are in a crisis or facing an unexpected emergency, have no access to other supports and are unable to meet basis living expenses. Access to Emergency Assistance may be available to those who are waiting for new COVID-19 support from the federal government to become available. Applicants may be eligible for up to 48 consecutive days of assistance.
To apply for Ontario Works Assistance including Emergency Assistance and Discretionary Benefits, contact 705-722-3132.

3 - Additional Support for Individuals and Families:
South Simcoe COVID-19 Community Response Fund:
If you are in need of a one time financial assistance for basic needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible to receive assistance from a limited fund. To see if you qualify please see the document below:​ SouthSimcoeCOVI​​D_EmergencyFund.pdf

One-Time Financial Assistance for Ontario Parents - The Province annou​​nced additional funding support to parents while Ontario schools and child care centres remain closed. The funding will include a one-time payment of $200 per child age 0-12, and $250 for those 0-21 years of age with special needs. 
Parents must apply to receive this funding and can do so online
Parents already receiving Support for Parents payments through direct deposit will be automatically eligible for this new financial support and do not need to submit a new application. ​​​

Special GST Credit Payment - The government is providing a one-time special payment starting April 9 through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

Mortgage Support - Canadian banks have committed to work with their customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19. This includes permitting lenders to defer up to six monthly mortgage payments (interest and principal) for impacted borrowers. Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship as a result should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral. This gives flexibility to be available − when needed − to those who need it the most. You are encouraged to visit your bank’s website for the latest information, rather than calling or visiting a branch.

Check your local City website for additional supports such as free transit, additional garbage collection, deferred property tax payment and additional community support projects including funding for families.

Simcoe County Settlement & Language Training Services

Bradford Immigrant and Community Services (BICS):

BICS has now resumed operations after the holidays.  Clients can be assisted via telephone, and email.  LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) classes are currently offered online.  ​

Clients requiring any assistance can call the office number (905-775-3343) or send an email to inquiries@bradfordimmigrant.ca.​

For more information please visit: http://bradfordimmigrant.ca​​

English Language Learning Classes:

The English Learning Classes want to assure you that the health and well-being of our students and staff remains a top priority for the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB). We are in regular contact with our local health authority, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), and continue to take their direction on all matters related to COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). ​


​​To register for our classes and get more details please contact the Learning Centre:

  • Barrie – 705-725-8360 x 45151
  • Bradford – 905-775-4432
  • Collingwood – 705-445-9019
or email Gerry Anderson at ganderson@scdsb.on.ca

Job Finding Club for Immigrants:

In efforts to slow and prevent further spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Job Finding Club for Immigrants at Georgian Employment Services centres will be closed to walk-in traffic until further notice. However, they will continue to serve clients remotely. That means this site will not provide face-to-face services at this time.

You can access all services by connecting to them with:
TEXT: (705) 315-0393 or 705-796-2016;
EMAIL: iwantajob@georgiancollege.ca;
PHONE: (705) 722-1505 ext. 4103 or 4110

For more information please visit: https://www.georgiancollege.ca/job-finding-club-immigrants/

Occupational Specific Language Training (OSLT) Classes:

Georgian College will be offering Workplace Communications Skills for Professional Managers (focused on business and technology) from October to March, and a variety of courses for health care professionals starting at the end of September.

All courses are offered remotely, with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous delivery, and are open to permanent residents and protected persons whose English skills are at an intermediate level (Canadian Language Benchmark 6 to 8.) There is no charge for students to participate in these courses and, as the courses are delivered remotely, students from across the province can participate.

See  www.GeorgianCollege.ca/oslt for more information. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about a course or to book a CLB assessment, please send an email oslt@georgiancollege.ca or call 705.728.1968, ext.5329. 



Welcome Centre - Mobile Unit:

The Mobile Unit will be serving clients virtually​ in:

- AllistonMU Alliston Gateway Flyer - Virtual Service Update.pdf​, 

Collingwood MU Collingwood Gateway Flyer - Virtual Service Update.pdf

- Orillia MU Orilla Gateway Flyer - Virtual Service Update.pdf

Wasaga Beach MU Wasaga Beach Gateway Flyer - Virtual Service Update.pdf

Staff will be maintaining their regular availability of 8am-8pm, Monday – Friday. Clients can reach the Mobile Unit at mobileunit@welcomecentre.ca or call our multilingual communication line at 1-877-761-1155.

The Mobile Unit is hosting online English Conversation Circles Mondays from 10:00-11:00 am and Thursdays from 5:00-6:00 pm ​for Simcoe County Residents. For more information please see the following flyer: Simce County English Conversation Circles - Online.pdf

For more information please visit: http://www.welcomecentre.ca/

YMCA ​of Simcoe/Muskoka - Immigrant Services​:

As of Friday March 13th, 2020 YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Immigrant Services suspended their in person services.  They continue to provide settlement support services via phone, text, email and zoom.

English Language Learning services are using remote and online services and platforms to connect with students.
If you are having contact with individuals who require support please have them phone or text - 705.241.2501. 

The YMCA is hosting Virtula English Conversation Circles every Tuesday from 4:30-5:30 pm. For more information please email jessica.dinner@sm.ymca.ca.

YMCA of Simcoe-Muskoka Conversation Circle.pdf

For more information please visit: https://ymcaofsimcoemuskoka.ca/immigrant-services/

Ontario Health Coverage

March 20, 2020

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve globally and locally, Ontario is waiving the three-month waiting period for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. Additionally, the province will cover the cost of COVID-19 services for uninsured people who do not meet the criteria for OHIP cove​​ra​ge. Together, these measures will ensure that no one will be discouraged from seeking screening or treatment for COVI​D-19 for financial reasons.​

For more information, please visit: https://news.ontario.ca/mo​​​​hltc/en/2020/03/ontario-expands-coverage-for-care.html​​

If you do not have health coverage

Document for Uninsured Simcoe County Residents.pdf

​Community Health Centres are mandated to provide services to people residing in Ontario who do not have Ontario Health Insurance coverage and who are considered a priority population for the purposes of Community Health Centre services.

There are 3 Community Health Centres in Simcoe County:

Barrie Community Health Centre
Address: 490 Huronia Road, Barrie, ON, L4N 6M2
Telephone: 705-734-9690
Website: www.bchc.ca​

Centre de sante communautaire Chigamik Community Health Centre
Address: 845 King Street Unit 10, Midland, ON, L4R 0B7​
Telephone: 705-527-4154 or 1-855-527-4154
Website: www.chigamik.ca

South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre
Address: 14 Ramblewood Drive Unit 202, Wasaga Beach, ON, L9Z 0C4
Telephone: 705-422-1888
Website: www.southgeorgianbaychc.ca​

Ontario and Simcoe County COVID-19 Healthcare Resources

Ontario Ministry of Health

For information on COVID-19 please visit the O​ntario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care w​​ebsite. It provides information about the virus, how people can protect themselves and what to do if they have contracted the virus.

Self-assessment tool

Ontario launched an enhanced and ​interactive self-assessment tool. This tool takes the public through a series of questions to inform those who are concerned they may have contracted COVID-19.

Contact your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 if you are experiencing symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Please do not visit an assessment centre unless a health care professional has referred you.

Simcoe County COVID-19 Assessment Centres

Please visit the Simcoe Musk​​oka District Health Unit website to see the locations and hours of operations of the assessment centre in your area.

There are currently eight assessment centres in Simcoe County:

  • Alliston
  • Barrie
  • Bradford​​
  • Collingwood
  • Innisfil​​​
  • Midland
  • Orillia ​
  • Wasaga Beach

COVID-19 Mental Health Resources

Immigration and Travel

June 8, 2020

The Government of Canada has implemented travel restrictions. Below is an overview of some of the travel restrictions, exemptions and immigration impacts.

PLEASE NOTE: New information is being updated daily, so we can only confirm accuracy of this document to the last update. It is important for readers to confirm accuracy of this information. 

1 - Leaving Canada

The Government of Canada has issued an official advisory to Avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. Many countries across the globe are issuing similar advisories and closing their borders to international travellers.

Click here to find out more information about travelling outside of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

2 - Entering Canada

COVID-19 testing required for people flying into Canada

Starting 11:59 pm (EST) January 6, 2021, air travellers 5 years of age or older will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result to the airline prior to boarding international flights bound for Canada. See the news release for air travellers.

Mandatory 14-day quarantine or isolation

Everyone entering Canada must follow mandatory isolation or quarantine requirements. Not respecting the mandatory requirements is a serious offence with consequences and penalties.

Travel Requirement App - ArriveCAN

Starting November 21, 2020, all travellers flying to Canada will need to submit the following information via ArriveCAN by either using the free mobile app, or by signing in online before they board their flight:

•           contact information

•           travel information

•           quarantine plan (unless they are exempt)

•           COVID-19 symptoms self-assessment

3 - Temporary and Permanent Residency Applications

The Government of Canada has put in special measures to help temporary and permanent residents and applicants affected by COVID-19. For more information, click here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html

4 - Refugee Claimants

There are many changes to the procedures for those intending on claiming asylum in Canada and those who have already made claims and are awaiting their hearings: Please check out the UNHRC's website on the most up to date information: https://www.unhcr.ca/newsroom/key-information-asylum-seekers/

5 - International Students

International students post-graduation work permit eligibility won't be affected if their Fall 2020 courses are only offered online due to #COVID19. Students can begin programs online from outside Canada and complete up to 50% of them outside the country. In addition, students will not have time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit for studies completed outside of Canada, up to December 31, 2020. For more information, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/notices/pgwpp-rules-covid19.html

COVID-19 Employers/Employees, Landlord/Tenants rights Q&A

​​​COVID-19: A Guide for Temporary Foreign Workers in Ca​​nada

Please find below the “COVID-19: A Guide for Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada" from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) in the following languages:​

The themes covered include:

  • Information about COVID-19, including how the disease spreads and individuals at an elevated risk for developing complications related to COVID-19;
  • What TFWs should know before coming to Canada;
  • Rights and Responsibilities of TFWs during the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, including employer responsibilities and tips to maintain good mental health;
  • Rights and Responsibilities of TFWs during non-quarantine period, including how to access health care and health-related information;
  • Income supports for TFWs in Canada;
  • Contact information for government authorities related to health care, TFW Program compliance, Employment Standards, and Occupational Health and Safety.

Open Work Permit for Vulnerable Workers - Multilingual Resource​​s

​​Migrant workers in Canada on employer-specific work permits who are experiencing abuse, or who are at risk of abuse, in the context of their employment in Canada may be eligible to receive an open work permit that is exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process, per section 207.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).​

Click on the following link for more information: ​https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/te​mporary-residents/foreign-workers/vulnerable-workers.html

Multilingual video resources are also available on the IRCC YouTube channel in:

Ontario Huma​n Rights Code

​​​The Ontario Human Rights Code has developed a series of questions and answers for understanding your human rights and obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. These questions and answers cover the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees, tenants and landlords, as well as residential institutions.

Please click on the following link for more information: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/news_centre/covid-19-and-ontario%E2%80%99s-human-rights-code-%E2%80%93-questions-and-answers-0

COVID-19 Resources for Businesses and Employers

​1 - The County of Simcoe Economic Development Office is working with partners to consistently update COVID-19 business resources. 

For more information, please visit the website: https://edo.simco​e.ca/covid-19-business-resources​​

Do not hesitate to reach out to the team at: edo@simcoe.ca ​​

2 - Georgian College Career and Employment Community Services developed a document to help support local businesses affected by COVID-19. See document below to access the resources: Support_for_local_businesses_BA_V3.pdf