VIRL offering online registration and more while branches closed

VIRL offering online card registration and more while branches closed

Friday, March 27, 2020: Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) branches remain closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we still have so much to offer VIRL cardholders across our library system. From existing online resources to new and enhanced offerings, VIRL is committed to offering services, amenities and entertainment to help in these challenging times.

Here are some of newest services and enhancements VIRL has made available:

Online Registration

We are so excited to be able to offer online registration for anyone who wants to take advantage of VIRL’s amazing online resources. A library card is your gateway to ebooks, audiobooks, streaming movies and TV, music, and more.

Sign up here: https://virl.bc.ca/get-help/get-a-card/

Overdrive

VIRL has added unlimited copies of ebooks and audiobooks available on a wide selection of popular titles — no holds, no wait lists.

Here some more examples of exciting online resources at VIRL:

RBDigital

Access to thousands of downloadable audiobooks and magazines.

Lynda.com

Lynda.com offers courses with a focus on skills for business, creative industries, education, information technology, software, and web development. The tutorials are high quality and led by industry experts.

Find Lynda.com in our All Databases section.

Press Reader

The world’s largest online newspaper and magazine kiosk, where you can browse and read hundreds of full-content premium newspapers and magazines from around the globe.

IndieFlix

This streaming movie service provides unlimited access to award-winning shorts, feature films, and documentaries from major festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes.

Tumblebooks

Teachers and homeschoolers can find free educational ebooks for students from kindergarten to high school. No library card is required to access Tumblebooks.

Kindergarten – elementary
Middle school – high school

Mango Languages

Mango immerses you in real, everyday conversations in 45 different language courses, including Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.

Music

Access millions of downloadable and streaming music from Freegal Music and the Naxos music library.

“Social distancing can be a lonely experience for our customers, and VIRL staff have been working hard to find new, innovative, and exciting ways to help,” says VIRL’s Executive Director, Rosemary Bonanno. “Your libraries remain as places you can turn to for support, services, and connection. We will continue to innovate in the face of the fluid and unpredictable landscape we find ourselves in as a result of COVID-19.”

We’ve got a lot more to keep you engaged, entertained and informed in these uncertain times. Be sure to follow VIRL on social media, check our website regularly at virl.bc.ca

or sign up for our monthly eNewsletter for tips, tricks, recommendations, and stories from across our system.

We’re here for you, just like always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TELUS

We received a very generous donation of tablets from TELUS in response to a request we received from one of our local care facilities that they were in need of devices to facilitate communication between residents and their loved ones. We understood that the necessary restrictions on isolating residents would take a significant toll on their mental wellbeing. We were thrilled to receive a shipment of tablets from Telus we are sharing with care facilities and others who work with clients in their homes throughout the Saanich Peninsula.

We are pleased to be delivering them today, along with the current issue of Seaside Magazine for residents who are in need of reading material.

If your organization would like to share a note of thanks to TELUS on social media (and we hope you do!), please tag @telus and use the hashtag #AllConnectedForGood
The staff at the Town of Sidney’s Emergency Operations Centre generously donated time to charge the tablets, set up them up for log-in and load the apps users might need, so shout out as well to Town of Sidney.

 

 

 

 

 

BC Government Listens to Urgent Business Feedback

As you may know on Monday, March 23rd the BC Government announced a COVID-19 Action Plan, which includes $5 billion allocated for programs that support businesses, workers, and economic recovery.

This announcement was directly informed by the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey conducted by our BC chamber network and partners, which ran from March 13-18.

Businesses said they need immediate relief and flexibility on tax remittance, specifically the EHT and PST. Today, the government promised deferred payments on these taxes, and many others, until September 30th, 2020. We also shared with government that property tax relief would be helpful for businesses right now, and they responded by cutting the provincial school tax on property in half for commercial and industrial businesses in Class 4, 5 and 6.

The BC Government also announced further wage replacement programs, as our network requested, including a tax-free, one-time payment of $1,000 to those whose ability to work has been affected by the outbreak. This benefit will be aligned with the enhanced EI eligibility put forward by the federal government.

While this isn’t yet a panacea to the crisis our members face – yesterday’s announcement will help you work through your business continuity and contingency plans. We know you’re eager to gain more clarity on how to access these initiatives, and the province will provide these details tomorrow.

Premier Horgan said that these announcements are “just the beginning,” so it’s imperative you keep using your voice. Sign up for BCMindReader.com to participate in future surveys. We’ll be using this platform to continue to ask what you need, so we can advocate to government on your behalf.

The BC Chamber of Commerce has created a page of resources for businesses affected by COVID-19. We’ll continue to update you as new resources and supports are added.

You’re not in this alone.

Denny Warner, Executive Director
Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce

 

Federal Package for Business and Provincial update – March 18 Eblast

Dear Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce member,

Federal Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, just unveiled the “first phase” of Canada’s “Economic Response Plan” – which includes $27B in direct support and aid to Canadians and $55B in tax deferrals.

The federal package includes a number of desired-actions you flagged in the network-wide COVID-19 Business Impact Survey the results of which were shared with both the federal and provincial government, including:

  • A reduction of 90% of payroll taxes for companies with payrolls under $1 million
  • Liquidity measures for business that will be available through banks, other financial institutions as well as BDC and EDC
  • An emergency support benefit for those who lose their jobs and don’t qualify for EI (this includes self-employed workers who have to close up shop)
  • Extending the tax filing deadline to June 1
  • Allowing taxpayers to defer tax payments until after August 31 (for amounts that are due after today and before September)
  • Temporarily boosting of the Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering about $2 billion in extra support.

Of note in this morning’s federal announcement is the new “Emergency Care Benefit” which offers up to $900 biweekly (for up to 15 weeks) to provide income support to workers who have to stay home and don’t have access to paid sick leave. The measure could disburse up to $10 billion. Also of note is a six-month, interest-free reprieve on student loan payments.

More on this later today.

On the Provincial Front

Additionally, on the BC front, the Provincial Chamber President & CEO, Val Litwin, and Dan Baxter, Director of Policy, Government & Stakeholder Relations, met with Premier Horgan and Minister James yesterday morning.

During their time with the Premier and Minister they shared the preliminary results of the network’s province-wide COVID-19 Business Impacts Survey on BCMindReader.com – and that over 7000 businesses have now chimed in. Thank you for your engagement in this critically important survey. The data the BC Chamber shared painted a dire, real-time picture of SMEs operating in the province today. The full results will be released tomorrow, first thing.

The Premier and Minister confirmed that the insights our network shared will help them craft their stimulus/relief package, which they hope to unveil in the days ahead. As mentioned above, the federal government just announced its updated stimulus package – and we understand the province won’t be far behind.

How is BC tackling the situation? The Premier confirmed that the province has a “three stage” focus in these early days:

  1. The health and safety of BC citizens
  2. Support for people and businesses
  3. Economic recovery

On the subject of business continuity and recovery, the BC Chamber tabled our network’s key considerations around what the province should further consider as it crafts its package for businesses, including but not limited to:

  1. Being more flexible around tax remittances (including the EHT)
  2. Working with municipalities to allow for delayed property tax payment
  3. Working with credit unions to ensure zero interest loans, lines of credit
  4. Enhancing EI access and wider wage replacement options for employees
  5. Providing funding for business to work remotely

We will continue to provide information as it becomes available. Call or email us if you have suggestions for other ways we can be supporting you in this challenging time.

Denny Warner
Executive Director