UPDATE: Additional Services at OPL Branches – Starting Feb. 22

17/02/2021

Starting Monday, February 22:

  • 25 of our 28 open branches will offer returns and holds pick up inside the branches, as well as browsing, and use of public computers.
  • Rosemount, Orléans, and Metcalfe branches will offer contactless returns and holds pick up inside the branches.
  • The Bookmobile will offer browsing of a small collection at all stops.
  • Hours of operation will remain the same.
  • Mask wearing inside the branches, and outside in line, remain mandatory.

For more details, go to the OPL blog.

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My Money, My Rights

toy house, coins and piggy bank on a table

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: Property Tax Payment Deferrals

The City is offering a Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program for City of Ottawa residential property owners and small business property owners that have been financially affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

United Way, East Ontario: AffordAbility Fund

Access to the AffordAbility Fund could make a difference and provide relief from the ongoing stress of juggling household finances. The United Way has partnered with Hydro Ottawa, The Good Companions Seniors’ Centre, and the Nepean, Rideau and Osgoode Community Resource Centre (NROCRC) to provide support and information about energy affordability and other programs that can help you lead a happy, healthy life when facing financial hardship.

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.

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 Canada: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak. This web page connects families, seniors, youth, and Indigenous peoples with the government resources that are available to help them at this time. If you are not sure of your eligibility to receive support, you can complete a short questionnaire that will get you started.

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 hardships for you and your family. Be sure to get the help you need with financial decisions during an emergency. 

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: COVID-19 Mortgage Payment Deferral Program

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.

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 upcoming webinars on COVID-19 and the law.

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.

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!

Government of Ontario: Renting

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

Online resources

  • Homepage for Value Line
    The Value Line Investment Survey and Small & Midcap Survey offers access to over 3,500 stocks across 100 industries. This includes analysts’ reports, statistics and forecasts of stock performance.
    Notice: This product is limited to 6 simultaneous users. If you have trouble logging on you may wish to try again later.
  • Homepage for Lynda.com
    With over 4,000 video courses from top experts, Lynda.com is the place to go for learning technology, creative and business skills you can use today.
    Lynda.com will be upgraded to LinkedIn Learning on January 13, 2021. For more detailed information, please check the blog post “Lynda.com upgrading to LinkedIn Learning”