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The Spectrum Office will be closed Wednesday July 1st


Here is a summary of the office use guidelines for June and July 2020.

  • The Office is available for appointments on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Pick up of supplies on Wednesdays each week – order supplies and forms in advance with Judy
  • Reimburse receipts on Friday – send totals to, bring in receipts, get reimbursement on Friday each week.
  • Sign in at the front as soon as you come to the office.

  • Wash your hands:

  • The mailboxes for managers’ mail have moved up front to the book room:

Keep your distance from each other – remember the 2 metre physical distancing:


Other Updates

    • Pandemic Pay – The Province of BC and the government of Canada have announced a $4/hour supplement to front-line workers in government funded services including community social services.  This pay is for a 16 week period beginning March 15th and ending July 4th, 2020.  The pay will be calculated on hours worked at straight time and paid as a lump sum once government has provided the funding to agencies.
    • Emergency Funding for home-share providers – Spectrum has submitted our application for Emergency Advance Funding for the month of June and included a request for the emergency amounts for our home share providers.  Once the applications are approved, we will confirm a payment date for additional amounts for our home share contractors.
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Managers make the requests for PPE supplies for people we support.  Let your manager know if there is equipment you need.  We have a good supply of both medical masks for providing close personal care and fabric masks for times when you know it will be difficult to maintain physical distancing.

Thank you to everyone for your efforts to keep the people we support and their teams safe and healthy!


COVID-19: Going Forward June 23 2020

Yesterday, Dr. Bonnie Henry presented information on how people in BC are doing with keeping everyone safe and healthy.  The full presentation is here:

She emphasized a number of key points:

  1. There are still people getting sick every day from Corona virus.  Between 10 and 13 people every day test positive for COVID-19 and some of those people end up in hospital with serious illness. We must continue to keep physically distant from people who are not in our family bubble.
  2. Our contacts with people are increasing and concerning. It is estimated that the average is now 65% of the pre-pandemic normal, in terms of the number of people we are interacting directly with.

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  1. There is a significant risk of a rebound in the number of cases of people getting sick if we do not reduce our interactions and increase our participation the safety practices that have been taught over the past three months:
    1. Keep your physical distance
    2. Wash your hands
    3. Stay Home if you are sick

Today, the Premier announced that the Province would be moving to Phase 3 which includes the following additional activities:



  • Hotels and resorts (June)
  • Parks – broader reopening, including some overnight camping (June)
  • Film industry – beginning with domestic productions (June/July)
  • Select entertainment – movies and symphony, but not large concerts (July)
  • Post-secondary education – with mix of online and in-class (September)
  • K-12 education – partial return in June, full return in September

Please get out and enjoy the summer weather, but stay vigilant and keep yourself, your family and the people you work with safe and healthy.

More on Phase 3 and the Restart Plan here:

COVID-19, Canadians with disabilities, and the need for major reforms

Michael Prince / June 23, 2020

Going forward, it is time the federal government be responsible for providing an adequate income security program for Canadians with disabilities, while enabling the provinces to invest in an affordable and safe supply of personal supports and care services. As a society, we’ve determined that seniors and children aren’t expected or required to participate in the labour market, paving the pathway for federal programs like the Canada Child Benefit and the Canada Pension Plan. In a post-COVID-19 future, individuals with severe disabilities should be part of this group.

Provincial governments have demonstrated a serious lack of leadership in providing financial aid to people with disabilities during the pandemic. Only three provinces have offered COVID-related income support to people on social assistance. In most provinces, people on social assistance who receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will no longer be eligible for social assistance. And, contrary to the stated wishes of the federal government, most provinces are partially or fully clawing back CERB received by individuals on social assistance. This means these vulnerable, low-income Canadians are not getting the full support intended. Just one province, Ontario, which is applying a partial clawback, has said it will reinvest the funds into social assistance to further help those who need to access income support.

Four months into the pandemic, the federal government, announced plans for a one-time, tax-free payment, up to $600 payment for people who are registered for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), a non-refundable federal tax measure for those with severe disabilities. The necessary legislation for this measure did not pass, so this benefit is not immediately forthcoming.

Read more of this article here…

As we have learned during this pandemic with long term care facilities, there is a central role by provincial and territorial governments in ensuring the availability of affordable, quality and accessible services and supports for people with disabilities in their everyday lives. And there is a principal role for the federal government in the provision of income security to people with disabilities through direct transfers to individuals and families.

Michael J. Prince is a Broadbent Policy Fellow and the Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy at the University of Victoria.


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



       Please click on the heading to read the entire story.


Ontario Infectious Disease Emergency Leave updates

Recent changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA) could impact your coverage obligations under your group benefits plan.


Out-of-country travel insurance – what you and your plan members need to know

Provinces and borders are starting to reopen and international travel will start to resume. It’s important that you and your plan members understand their Out of Country coverage. This includes how it applies to COVID-19.


Supporting employees at risk for mental health issues

New webinars help employees struggling with mental health issues get the support they need.


Support for plan members transitioning out of their workplace benefits plan

Recent pandemic-related events have led to changes in many workplaces. This includes the need to lay off employees, sometimes on a permanent basis. If you’re considering a workforce reduction, we can help support you and your employees when making this transition.