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My Money, My Rights

Many Canadians are experiencing financial difficulty during the pandemic due to a reduction in employment income. You may be seeking information on financial aid supports, or legal advice on your employment, housing, debt and consumer rights. These valuable resources compiled by staff at Ottawa Public Library can help you find the best support to face these financial and legal challenges.

Personal Finances Resources

City of Ottawa: Full property tax deferral program

The City of Ottawa offers two deferral programs for property taxes for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Eligible homeowners may apply for a full or partial deferral of their annual property taxes.

City of Ottawa: Water utility deferral program

The City of Ottawa offers a deferral program for water utility bills for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities.

City of Ottawa: Help for People Not Receiving Financial Assistance

Many Ottawa residents are experiencing financial difficulty during the pandemic. The Essential Health and Social Supports (EHSS) program helps Ottawa residents who cannot afford to pay for items or services needed to maintain their housing and for health items that are not available through other programs. EHSS may help to pay for things like urgent dental care and dentures, eye exams and glasses, fuel/gas/hydro arrears, cremations and burials.

Government of Ontario: Apply for Emergency Assistance

Learn how to get short term financial support if you are in a crisis or an emergency situation and don’t have enough money for things like food and housing.

Government of Ontario: Renting

Learn about the temporary changes to residential rental processes, and where landlords and tenants can get more help. 

United Way, East Ontario: AffordAbility Fund

Through the AffordAbility Fund, you may be eligible for free energy upgrades that can lower overall home energy use and electricity bills. You may qualify to receive new energy-saving appliances like a microwave, oven or refrigerator. You may also be eligible for installation of in-home energy retrofits like an upgraded heat pump, new insulation or weather-stripping.

Canada Revenue Agency

Administering tax laws for the Government of Canada and for most provinces and territories. For this tax season, many community organizations are hosting free virtual tax clinics.

Government of Canada: Managing Financial Health in Challenging Times

You may be worried about the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on your finances. Whatever the source, financial emergencies can be stressful and cause considerable hardship to you and your family. Be sure to get the help you need with financial decisions during an emergency. Through this webpage you will also find Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

Prosper Canada: Financial Relief Navigator

More than seven million Canadians have lost their jobs or seen a drop in earned income due to COVID-19 and are urgently seeking financial relief. For many Canadians on low incomes, COVID-19 has made their lives much more challenging. In response to the crisis, Prosper Canada has developed the Financial Relief Navigator (FRN), an online tool that helps vulnerable Canadians access critical emergency benefits and financial relief from governments, financial institutions, telecoms and internet providers. While some other tools focus on only emergency benefits, the FRN acts as a one-stop portal where Canadians can access relief measurers from many entities.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: COVID-19— Understanding Mortgage Payment Deferral

The COVID-19 crisis has left many homeowners in Canada without a job or with reduced hours and wondering how to pay their mortgage. Homeowners facing financial stress may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral up to 6 months to help ease the financial burden.


Legal Resources 

Community Legal Services of Ottawa

Many people are facing legal issues due to COVID-19, and don’t have the financial resources to pay for legal advice. This clinic provides free legal services for persons with low income, living in Ottawa. They are continuing to offer their services during the pandemic through a phone service. Telephone interpretation is available in over 200 languages. They can help you with a number of legal topics, including employment and work, health and disability, housing law, income assistance, and more.

Connecting Ottawa

The Connecting Ottawa project is funded as an Access to Justice initiative of the Law Foundation of Ontario. Their aim is to improve access to justice for linguistic minorities; people who are not proficient in English or French or who face communication challenges as the result of a disability or sensory impairment. Their website offers fact sheets on COVID-19 and various legal issues and provides information on legal, counselling and accessibility services that these groups can refer to.

Community Legal Education Ontario: Steps to Justice 

Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) is working to give practical answers to the important questions that people are asking about the law relating to the COVID-19 situation. You can get information on: abuse and family violence, criminal law, debt and consumer law, employment and work, family law, health and disability, housing law, immigration, income assistance, provincial offenses, tribunals and courts, and wills and powers of attorney. Make sure to check out their webinars on COVID-19 and the law.

Legal Aid Ontario

Legal Aid Ontario provides legal assistance for low-income people. During the COVID-19 crisis, requirements for proof of financial eligibility for some services have been waived. Legal aid services continue to be available via telephone.

Government of Ontario: Report a Scam or Fraud

Learn how to spot common consumer or financial scams. How to report it and what to do if you’ve been scammed.

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: COVID-19 Fraud 

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, watch out for associated scams. Fraudsters want to profit from consumers' fears, uncertainties and misinformation. Fraudsters are exploiting the crisis to facilitate fraud and cyber crime. Protect yourself!

Online resources