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Posted on: March 17, 2020

Banff readies support system for residents

Downtown Banff in Winter

The Town of Banff Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) is preparing a support system to help residents who have been laid off due to business closures throughout the resort town.

The national and provincial measures to stop the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in business closures throughout the community, which depends on tourism.

“This is a dire situation for so many people in Banff who are out of work and uncertain about housing, food and their future,” said Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen. “Our federal and provincial counterparts assure us that help is coming in the form of financial support and services. But there may be a gap between people finding out they don’t have a job, and when the support comes through. Banff and local businesses are here to help.”

Tomorrow, the Town will open an email service and web page for residents seeking assistance. The email service will access a 15-person team dedicated to providing information and referral services to meet specific requests. Topics include accessing employment insurance, mental health services, immigration and work visa services and referrals on housing and child care, among other issues.

The Town will maintain an updated web page dedicated to information, resources and assistance, which are changing rapidly, with new announcements from the provincial and the federal government every day. A phone line will be available for people without email or web access.

The Town is also working with Banff & Lake Louise Tourism and the Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association to identify other support services needed by residents.

The ECC will begin coordinating resources in the community, such as food and supplies, to reallocate from businesses that have surpluses, to individuals and organizations that are in need, if this becomes required in Banff.

The web resources, coordination initiative and phone line will be identified at Banff.ca/COVID tomorrow.

For health-related questions about COVID-19, visit Alberta.ca/COVID.

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