MM2C Podcast by Ben Alagnam

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24 April 2020

Benefits We Received in Canada During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Went to a creek near our rental cottage. Looks awesome!

I have been monitoring the Covid-19 pandemic cases online to know how the virus propagated to other countries. Surprisingly, it has spread so fast that it reaches millions in just few months.

Let's have a breakdown of the highest confirmed cases in the world and rank them.

Top 5 Highest Cases
Total World Cases - 2,622,571 confirmed cases

1. United States - 842,319
2. Spain -208,389
3. Italy - 187,327
4. France - 157,125
5. Germany - 150,062

It's an alarming number in United States that it's 4x than the other four countries.  Remember that we were alarmed by Italy when it was the highest? Now, the number is astronomical in USA, a great challenge on their health care.

Meanwhile, I'm also surprised about China, where the number of cases has plateaued. As of this posting, there is a city in China that is under lockdown, here's the news.

There are controversy theories spread online saying the country is hiding something from the public.  Unless proven, it will remain as that.

How about the status in Canada? 
I'm residing in Toronto, one of the biggest city in Canada, where the number of Covid-19 confirmed cases had already reached 41k, 41,650 to be exact, and growing. There are already 2,239 death, where Quebec is the highest with 1,243 people died.

Most of the residents are still staying indoors to help flatten the curve. The whole province of Ontario is in partial lockdown, meaning all non-essential businesses are closed down. To find out about the essential business in Ontario, here is the list.

After two weeks off work, I'm now back in the workforce as I'm included in the list of essential worker. I can now travel to visit customers, though some companies are closed for visitors as one of their policy.

Premier Doug Ford said that it won’t be reopening the province on May 24. They will continuously monitor the situation and will have weekly meetings to address the issue.

When going out to buy groceries or a scheduled visit to the doctor, we always wear mask and practice precautions like washing our hands with sanitizers. But, unfortunately, many are still not wearing mask because it was not set as mandatory from the Ministry of Health.

Our kids are still at home. It's been more than a month now that Canada had closed the school gates. Premier Doug Ford says it will be the last to open if everything is cleared up.  That means our budget for food has changed. Kids are constantly nibbling food so the consumption of our household food has increased. 

We are fortunate that the province had provided us benefits for the kids and me.

What are the Benefits We Received in Canada?
Workers Benefit
For us, workers, who have lost jobs or are off work for over 14 days, are grateful that the Federal government provided us the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit).  It provides $2,000 a month, $500 per week, of benefits for a maximum period of 16 weeks.

Since I was off work for two weeks, I have $1,000 to compensate the no-work-no-pay from my employer.

When I applied for the CERB, the options are in batches of months, but the day I started and ended my "off work" are in both months, so I selected both.

For just three days, we received a direct deposit of $4,000 from the Federal Government of Canada.  I have to return the difference because I only need $1,000 or I will be taxed for the whole amount on next tax season.

Kids Benefit 
The government also had provided us benefits for the kids. We received $200 for our 8-year-old, but haven't received for our newborn yet.  Maybe the birth registration has not been processed, so his name is still not in the system.

Two days after processing, we received the $200 from the Support for Families MSP on direct deposit.

One of the Foundations of the Toronto District Catholic School Board had also provided $50 for each kid who is enrolled in that school. We applied for it and we gonna receive it soon. It will be a great help on our budget

Just recently, the Federal government also announced that College students will receive $1,250 monthly from May to August.

We are fortunate to be in this country and grateful for the benefits we received. So, still no regrets migrating to this beautiful country with a good governance.

Where to Listen?
Apple Podcast Episode EP166
Spotify - Episode EP166
Google Podcast Episode 166

Shownotes Links:

07 March 2020

How I Founded Me Moving To Canada

The first time we stepped into Canadian soil, we have a little idea about the country. The culture and people were different from where we used to live, Southeast Asia.

For readers who haven't known me before, my name is Ben (  I worked as an overseas foreign worker in Singapore. I worked in a Singaporean company and was assigned as a technical support for customers in Southeast Asian region.

Life is good in terms of financial matters, but the downside is that I'm far away from my family. That's when I realized that I need to find a way to be with them until the rest of my life.  The only way I thought to be with them is to immigrate to Canada.

Newcomers in Canada
As newcomers, we saw some things that were strange to us.  Rice is not a thing that we can see in most of restaurants and soon discovered it in some Asian stores.  Races are diverse. There are Filipinos, Africans, Italians, Russians, Middle Easterns, Vietnameses, Jamaicans, Europeans, and others.

Although we can get the information on the internet or in the Canadian government services regarding the process of getting benefits and legal documents, we still need someone to advise us about surviving in Canada. Every information that we get were valuable to us.   We follow what our friends and relatives tell us.

How I founded MM2C
When I was in Philippines and Singapore, I told myself if only I had someone or a community where I can join to ask questions regarding immigrating to Canada, I would be the happiest applicant.  Although I got in to forum sites and are very helpful in terms of telling us stories and providing good advices in the form of text and few photos, I need something where I can also view the latest scenes of Canada.  I haven't got in to a community where they share videos about life of immigrants in Canada.

Because of that obstacle, I created a community Facebook page.  The goal is to create a media where we can share information through videos and photos.  The eye is the most powerful data sponge in our body.  We get the most experience through our eyes.

Since I had named my website to MeMovingToCanada, I decided to name it MM2C for short.  The facebook page that I created was named MM2C Community.  In this community, I can share information mostly on videos and photos.  This is the best way to show how Canada looks like in the eyes of immigrants who went to Canada, hoping for a better future.

If you want to join the community. Go and visit the facebook page MM2C Community to learn more about Canada through videos and expect the following:

  - See the hilly roads of Vancouver, British Columbia
  - Check out the plane fields of Calgary and Edmonton
  - Know more about the diversity of Toronto
  - French speakers in Quebec
  - The shore of East Coast, New Brunswick

Links to help you with your journey to Canada:
Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada