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The Spectrum Office will be closed Wednesday July 1st ______________________________________________________________________

If your Emergency First Aid Community Care Training has expired we have good news!

St. John Ambulance (SJA) has resumed Emergency First Aid Community Care training.

To accommodate the new distancing regulations, SJA has reduced class sizes, provides full body mannequins to remove the need of partner activities, and is selling masks for students to wear during the course.  Spectrum can provide you with a cloth mask prior to you attending the course. If you choose to purchase a mask through SJA for $12.99, you can do so separately on the day you attend the course.

If you have already obtained your certificate, please forward a copy of your certificate to the office so we may update your file.

If you have not obtained your first aid certification, please register yourself and email me ( please, letting me know the date you have registered to complete the course.

How to Register for Emergency First Aid Community Care:

  • Call St. John Ambulance: (604) 321-7242
  • They above number is their main line, but they have a number of locations across the lower mainland if you would like to call a location directly:
  • Register yourself for Emergency First Aid Community Care.

If you did not have your first aid certificate upon hire, you are responsible for the initial cost, which is currently $102.00, and Spectrum covers renewal fees.

  • If you are renewing your first aid, ask St. John Ambulance to invoice Spectrum Society
  • Let them know Spectrum Society will be paying for your course fee.

*St. John Ambulance may request authorization from Spectrum. Email with the date/location you want to complete the course and we will call them to confirm your registration.

First Aid is a requirement for employment as indicated in ‘Policy 4: Requirements for Employment.’

If requirements for employment are not met within a timely manner, shifts will be suspended without pay until this requirement is met. Below is a link to Spectrum’s First Aid policy:

Please respond back with your course date by August 1st, 2020.

Please let Judy know if you have any questions or issues registering, by emailing her at


For employees on our SunLife Group Benefits plan:

A reminder to staff that our SunLife benefits now include access to virtual doctor’s appointments and prescription deliveries.

Through Lumino Health Virtual Care, plan members can access a virtual“walk-in” service and connect with medical professionals, including nurses, doctors and others. The service is available via mobile and tablet apps and a website. By connecting with health-care providers virtually, plan members can get the care they need while supporting physical distancing efforts and reducing the strain on our health care system.

About 70% of walk-in clinic cases are suitable for Lumino Health Virtual Care. The service is available 24/7, as long as you are within Canada. You can consult other health professionals (e.g. nutritionists) for an additional fee.

To take advantage of this service, have your SunLife group contract and member ID numbers ready, to register before you login.

Let’s all do our part to practice physical distancing and live healthier lives.

You can learn more about Lumino Health Virtual Care by visiting .

There is a frequently asked questions page here:

Have you tried this service?

Do you have a family doctor that offers virtual appointments so don’t need this service?

Are you interested in having this service included in our benefits for some future need that might arise for you and your family?

Here is an article about Canadians across the country and their experience of virtual doctor’s appointments:

Almost half of Canadians have now accessed a physician using virtual-care options and are highly satisfied with the results, according to a new survey by the Canadian Medical Association.

The poll, conducted by Abacus Data between May 14 and 17, found those who’ve connected with their doctor virtually during the coronavirus pandemic reported a 91 per cent satisfaction rate — 17 points higher than in-person emergency room visits.

Moving forward, almost half (46 per cent) of Canadians who had the opportunity to use virtual care since the pandemic outbreak said they’d prefer a virtual method as a first point of contact with their doctor.


Masks required on BC Ferries effective June 15

BC Ferries announced on Monday that sailings between Departure Bay in Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver will resume on June 3.If you’re planning on travelling aboard BC Ferries next week, you better have a face mask. Starting June 15, BC Ferries will be requiring passengers to be in possession of a “face covering that covers their mouth and nose” and will be required to wear such face coverings or masks in situations when a physical separation of two metres cannot be maintained. The measure applies to all BC Ferries sailings that are longer than 30 minutes and applies to all passengers over the age of two, including vehicle passengers. Those passengers without masks will be denied boarding, BC Ferries said in a press release.  For more information, visit

______________________________________________________________________    New Payment for People with Disabilities from Government of Canada

The Government of Canada is providing a special one-time-tax payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) as of June 1, 2020, as follows:

  • $600 for Canadians with a valid DTC certificate.
  • $300 for Canadians with a valid DTC certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension.
  • $100 for Canadians with a valid DTC certificate and who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

People who are eligible for this special payment will receive it automatically.

The Government of Canada recognizes that people with disabilities are also at higher risk of job loss during economic downturns. To help Canadians with disabilities get and maintain good jobs so they can continue to support themselves and their families, the government will:

  • Create a National Workplace Accessibility Stream through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. A new investment of $15 million in 2020-21 will provide community organizations with resources to improve workplace accessibility and access to jobs in response to COVID-19, including by helping employers set up accessible and effective work-from-home arrangements. This support will also cover expanding accessible online training opportunities and helping connect Canadians with disabilities working from home with employers.
  • Invest $1.18 million in five new projects across the country through the Accessible Technology Program. With this funding, organizations will develop dynamic and affordable technology, such as accessible payment terminals for retailers and tools to make communication easier for Canadians with disabilities in the digital economy.

As we mark National AccessAbility Week, we reaffirm our commitment to continue listening to and working in partnership with persons with disabilities to maintain their health, safety, and dignity as we address the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19.

‘minimize, manage and modify’

(From Thursday, June 4th 2020 Presentation with Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix)

“Today, we shared our latest modelling to show British Columbians where we are in our COVID-19 pandemic and what we are watching for in the B.C. epidemic curve over the coming weeks.

“We have seen the incredible work of our provincewide public health teams in action, which is allowing us to quickly identify and contain new clusters and outbreaks.

“We have learned we need to stay on our path. The measures we have in place are working and so is the gradual easing of some restrictions. The modelling also shows that to keep our curve flat, we must continue to maintain our slow, thoughtful pace.

“Moving forward, our approach is to ‘minimize, manage and modify’: minimize the number of new cases, manage cases and clusters with rapid contact tracing, and modify our measures as needed.

“That means assessing your risks with every step and following the rules for safe physical distancing are key. These include always staying home when ill, keeping your number of contacts small and not having large gatherings where the risk for spreading COVID-19 is so much higher.

“We know no one intends to pass on the virus. When this happens, it most often affects those we care about the most, so we must do all we can to keep our loved ones, our communities and ourselves safe.

“We all have a role to play in our COVID-19 response. What we do today will make a difference tomorrow.”

The latest modelling presentation and information is available online:
June 4th Presentation:

Pandemic Pay Update

CLBC provided the following update on Pandemic Pay today.  I don’t think it says much new, so I’ll repeat what I have been able to put together from the various government sources:

  • All of our front-line CSWs, Supervisors, and night staff will be paid $4/hour for each of their straight time hours worked between March 15 to July 4th, 2020.  (Our live-in caregivers who are employees also qualify as they are funded by the hour in our CLBC contracts).
  • Government will fund us for this wage increase after we report the number of hours delivered, after July 4th, 2020.
  • We will pay our workers with a lump sum payment for the hours worked X $4 after we receive the funding.

Link to CLBC Update on Pandemic Pay

Dr. Bonnie Henry in the New York Times

That Tuesday in March was the day Bonnie Henry had been preparing for her whole life.

Overnight, 83 people had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and three more had died. The pandemic had officially broken out in British Columbia.

Standing inside the provincial legislature’s press gallery, the preternaturally calm top doctor of Canada’s westernmost province declared a public health emergency. Under her orders and recommendations, schools closed, bars shuttered and social distancing measures were put in place.

“It seemed so surreal,” she said. “I felt like someone was standing on my chest.”

That day, March 17, Dr. Henry ended her presentation with a line that would become her trademark, and a mantra for many Canadians struggling to cope under a lockdown. It has since been hung in windows, painted on streets, printed on T-shirts, stitched on shoes, folded into songs and stamped on bracelets.

“This is our time to be kind,” she said in her slow and low-pitched voice that many call comforting, “to be calm and to be safe.”

Read the whole article here:

#AccessFromHome Stories: Liz & Leona

#AccessFromHome Stories features people from the disability community and advocates and lived experiences at home during COVID-19. How are you managing during this time? We want to hear your story! Contact us to contribute.

Words by Liz Etmanski

My name is Liz. I have Down Syndrome. My parents are Helen and Allan. Since the Covid 19 I have been staying in Victoria with my aunt and uncle. My sister, Catherine, lives in Victoria as well. I like to write and do lots of different types of art – mostly electronically. Sometimes I go for walks to the park and nowadays I go for car rides. I always keep my distance of two metres. Pizza is my favourite food and my favourite colours are from the rainbow. I like to have catnaps around the house. I like taking photos of pretty things. And I get excited for ‘Zoom’ time with family.

Recovery Planning with CLBC

We participated in a webinar with CLBC this morning to review their process for moving services from phase 1 to phase 2, following the Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafeBC guidelines.

From CLBC’s website:  Stage 2 COVID -19 Recovery is about adjusting and restoring CLBC services in a safe way. The shift to Stage 2 needs to be based on guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, WorkSafeBC and the unique needs of individuals and families. It also needs to be coordinated with the agencies that are involved in the individuals’ lives.

Spectrum will be developing a recovery plan that will describe our one person at a time planning for adjusting, resuming or maintaining services as decided with the individual and their family, considering the risks and vulnerabilities of the person and their team.  This plan will be reviewed by CLBC and must be complete by June 30, 2020.

There is also a survey that all agencies must complete to help CLBC better understand the expected impacts of COVID-19. Hopefully this information will be shared with everyone so we can all learn more about the impacts of COVID-19 and the best ways to keep people safe and healthy.

There is lots more information about recovery planning on the CLBC website and we will keep you informed of our progress.

Let us know if you have any questions.



The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia outlines ways we can all get behind anti-racism in unity and develop kindness as one movement here.

Take the #DifferentTogether Pledge:
Join in sharing the #DifferentTogether pledge on social media and encouraging others to take part.

Ways to Participate in Three Easy Steps:

  • Download the #DifferentTogether pledge graphic for TwitterFacebook or Instagram.
  • Share it on social media and tag five friends, family members, or leaders in your community.
  • Encourage them to do the same.

Share a video of yourself highlighting your commitment to opposing racism, and upload it to social media using the hashtag #DifferentTogether.

Where is Nigel Colouring Pages

Nigel is one of the sign language interpreters who translates the daily press conferences with Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.  Hi

You can find these colouring pages and more Nigel mementos here:

Partial proceeds go to the Deaf Children’s Society of B.C.

Below is another update from CLBC for Individuals and Families with more information on recovery planning and other great resources.

Be Calm, Be Kind, Be Safe (and have a quiet weekend)


Please click the heading to access the article

Lumino Health Virtual Care post-June 1: Emails to plan members

We’re pleased to support plan members with the recent launch of Lumino Health Virtual Care, powered by Dialogue. With the Sun Life-funded access, thousands of plan members have experienced the benefits of virtual care.

An update to our Teladoc Health’s Best Doctors offering

We recently added Mental Health Navigator to our Best Doctors offering through Extended Health Care (EHC). We’d like to share more exciting changes to our Best Doctors offering. Effective June 1, 2020, we’ll add Oncology Insight and Mental Health Navigator under the Group Critical Illness (CI) benefit.

Service provider delisting update 

In an effort to better protect your plan, Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain health-care service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers from claims processing and reimbursement.



Get the latest news and information in group benefits


Life’s brighter under the sun


© Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. All rights reserved, 2020.

Group Benefits are provided by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada,
a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies.


Welcome to the June 4 edition of CLBC’s Update for Individuals and Families. As a reminder, you can find all Updates (including past editions) posted on our website here. If you know of anyone who would like to receive future Updates, please share the link to our sign up page with them. If you have a specific question, or feedback about this update, you can send an email to

CLBC and Government Updates

Plain language teleconference summary now available

Last week, a fourth teleconference for individuals and families took place to share updates and answer questions about CLBC’s COVID-19 recovery planning.

A plain language summary of questions and answers addressed on the call is now available by clicking here and is also posted on the plain language page of our website here.

Upcoming teleconference for individuals and self advocates

A teleconference for individuals CLBC serves and the self advocacy community has now been scheduled for Tuesday, June 16 with Dr. Daniele Behn-Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, and Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO. This teleconference will be a chance to have COVID-19 health-related questions answered.

If you have a question to submit for the call, please send it by email to and write “Individual and Self Advocate Call” in the email subject line.

The call in details are below, and an invitation will be sent out soon. We will share the audio recording of the teleconference and a plain language summary in a future edition of this update after the call takes place.

Date: Tuesday, June 16
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m
Vancouver: 604-681-0260
Elsewhere (outside Vancouver): 1-877-353-9184
Participant code: 37568#

Stage 2 Recovery information now available

Last Friday, CLBC CEO Ross Chilton sent letters to individuals and to family members explaining what CLBC is doing to support service providers as they adjust services moving into Stage 2 recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier today a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document for individuals and families was posted on our website here. You can also click here to read the FAQ document.

Information about tools and guidance for services providers is also posted on the website here.

Find Indigenous resources on our website and news of CLBC’s commitment to Indigenous service

As First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples take steps to keep every person safe from threat of the COVID-19 virus, we’re reminded of the strength and resiliency of people when we rely on each other.

To help make information easier to find, CLBC in consultation with its Indigenous Advisory Committee has compiled a page of resources to share with Indigenous individuals we support, which you can find on our website here.

The page includes links to a number of Indigenous organizations, including the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). The FNHA’s resources benefit those that may have already experienced isolation prior to this crisis and are a great reference for us all of as we watch over our most vulnerable. You can find their COVID-19 portal here, which helps First Nations in B.C. and their health care providers and community leaders keep themselves and others safe. FNHA also regularly posts updates in their News section here. People in B.C. who may require emotional support can contact the 24-Hour KUU-US Crisis Line at 1-800-588-8717.

Also, earlier this week, CLBC announced the creation of a new director position that will lead the Indigenous CLBC team to improve Indigenous services throughout the province. You can read the full announcement on our website here to learn more about the new director position and the Indigenous CLBC team.

B.C. government shares regular updates on social media

In a May 27 tweet, @BCGovNews shared the following key message that summarizes the current approach to COVID-19 recovery: “We are moving forward carefully into Phase 2, assessing our progress week by week. This slow and thoughtful approach is our ‘new normal’ and will continue to be adapted as we learn more.”

As a reminder you can follow the B.C. government’s Twitter and Facebook accounts at the links below for daily updates and links to information and resources:

VIDEO: How to wear a non-medical mask

The Government of Canada’s Healthy Canadians YouTube channel has posted a video providing instructions on how to properly wear a non-medical mask or face covering to limit the spread of COVID-19 when physical distancing is difficult. Click here to watch the video.

Staying connected and supported

myCommunity BC maps for COVID-19

myCommunity BC is an online map built by British Columbians to be an online resource for people to find welcoming places in their own communities and around the province. The myCommunity BC site, which you can visit here, helps strengthen opportunities for inclusion and connection in communities.

myCommunity BC has created a category in the map’s dropdown menu called “Community Emergency Resources” to help map the amazing gifts and resources that are currently in effect and being offered during the COVID-19 pandemic. A big thank-you to the CLBC Welcome Workshop presenters who joined our Community Mapping for COVID-19 team. Over the last month we have worked in partnership with the Family Support Institute to research and map everything from food drives to access to medical supplies to creative ways to keep social connection. To learn about or share inclusive resources and places in your community, visit the myCommunity BC map here.

Mental Health First Aid COVID-19 self-care and resilience guide

More than ever, staying healthy means protecting our mental health. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a program of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), aims to improve mental health literacy and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague. MFHA has created a COVID-19 Self-Care & Resilience Guide which you can read here. You can also find other helpful COVID-19 resources from the MHCC here.

Self Advocate Corner

Share your video

Self Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS) and the Self Advocate Leadership Network (SALN) have been releasing videos like this one sharing the different ways they are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they are inviting others to take part by submitting their own 30-second video clip about being more independent to by Monday, June 15 for a chance to be featured. Learn more by watching Michaela’s video here.

Here are some helpful tips for filming a great video:

  • always film with your camera sideways
  • check your video: make sure you’re clear, not in shadows and the volume is good
  • record for 20 to 30 seconds
  • by sharing your video, be aware that your image, voice and words will be shared publicly on the SALN website and social media sites
  • and last but not least, have fun!

Self Advocate Net website publishes positive stories during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 crisis, is looking for positive stories about people overcoming challenges and adapting to new routines. If you, or someone you know has a story idea to share, find more information by visiting the story submission page here.

And remember to visit the site to check out new stories that have been published. Here’s a great one written by Krista Milne, in which she shares this message: “I want to tell other people to try and think of the good things, and stay away from the negative. Always think about the positive. We can fight this together. You are not alone in this. Together we are powerful.”

Cooking up a storm

Being at home more during these times means that many of us are looking for new, easy to prepare recipes. Here’s a recipe we came across for a pizza bagel on the website Accessible Chef. Enjoy!

Stories of hope and encouragement

Easter Seals virtual summer camps

Easter Seals of British Columbia / Yukon is bringing their summer camp experience for children, youth and adults with diverse abilities to the online world through a new program called Camp@Home. Through interactive, fun and social online activities and programs, campers of all ages and abilities learn with trained counsellors through role-playing game adventures, crafts, drawing, cooking and more.

Find all of the details here, including information about how to register.

ConnecTra Society’s virtual gatherings

ConnecTra Society is a connecting agency, linking people with physical disabilities to activities and programs to help them grow, gain confidence and be active and involved in community life.

To help unite people, ConnecTra is hosting virtual community gatherings called ConnecTogether until June 30 using YouTube, Zoom, Soundcloud and Facebook. The scheduled list of online gatherings can be found on their website here and activities including educational videos, live and interactive webinars, podcasts and accessible fitness programs.

Toolkit highlights resources and things to do

We’re grateful to all our community partners, CLBC staff, self advocate and family leaders and many others who have shared resources, ways to connect and things to do during these challenging and unknown times. For your easy access, we have gathered links to resources and activities into one document that you can see here and will continue to add to and share in our weekly updates. Please let us know if you have something to add to the toolkit by emailing

Signing off

We hope you have enjoyed reading this edition. Until next time, here’s a reminder of the importance of the connections and relationships we have with each other: