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COVID-19 Updates | Weekly Workplace Recap from July 10 to July 16, 2020

COVID-19 Resources for Small Business

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Below are the key announcements from the FederalOntario and B.C. governments that touch on workplace issues from July 10 to July 16, 2020.


Federal

$19 Billion Contribution to Safe Restart Agreement 

The federal government will give the 13 provinces and territories more than $19 billion to help pay for the costs of restarting the economy after several months of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. 

Justin Trudeau stated in a news conference today that over the coming 6 to 8 months, the funds are meant to cover extraordinary costs for things such as: 

  • contact tracing;

  • providing protective equipment to workers;

  • helping struggling municipalities pay operating costs;

  • aiding local transit operators;

  • “safe spaces” for daycare; and

  • improving long-term care for the elderly.

For more information, check out this news release from the Financial Post. 


$30 Million to Fund COVID-19 Safety Measures in Forest Operations

The federal government intends to provide up to $30 million dollars for small and medium enterprises in the forest sector to offset costs associated with COVID-19 safety measures. 

These funds will primarily cover costs for:

  • sanitization stations;
  • additional accommodations and/or transportation;
  • facilities and services targeted at maintaining social distancing; and
  • personal protective equipment.

For more information, check out this news release


Ontario

Nearly All Businesses to Reopen in Stage 3

Stage 3 of Ontario's reopening framework begins at 12:01 a.m. on July 17, 2020 in specific regions, with nearly all businesses and public spaces permitted to reopen with public health and safety measures in place.

For regions permitted to enter Stage 3, the province will increase gathering limits as follows, subject to physical distancing requirements:

  • indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people; and
  • outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people.

Effective July 17, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., all public health unit regions in Ontario will be permitted to enter Stage 3, except the following regions, which will remain in Stage 2:

  • Durham Region Health Department;
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
  • Halton Region Public Health;
  • Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Lambton Public Health;
  • Niagara Region Public Health;
  • Peel Public Health;
  • Toronto Public Health;
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit; and
  • York Region Public Health.

Helpful Resources for Employers:

For more information, check out this news release


Emergency Orders Extended until July 29

On July 16, 2020, the Ontario government extended all emergency orders in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 29, 2020. 

Here are a few of the orders under the EMCPA that have been extended until July 29, 2020:

For a full ist of orders that have been exteneded, check out this news release


British Columbia

COVID-19 Related Measures Act Receives Royal Assent

Bill 19, COVID-19 Related Measures Act, received Royal Assent on July 8, 2020.  This legislation allows provisions created in response to the pandemic to be formalized and unwound as appropriate after the provincial state of emergency ends.  Instead of ending immediately at the conclusion of the provincial state of emergency, ministerial orders made under the Emergency Program Act will now be extended after the end of the state of emergency by 45 or 90 days. 

In anticipation of a second wave of COVID-19, Bill 19 also provides for the possibility of an extension of COVID-19 related orders by up to one year. 

For more information, check out this article


Proposed Changes to Workers Compensation Act

On July 14, 2020, the B.C. Government proposed changes to Bill 23, Workers Compensation Act designed to provide better support to injured workers and to enhance WorkSafeBC’s ability to investigate workplace incidents, while keeping premiums low.

The changes include:

  • raising the maximum annual salary amount on which workers’ compensation benefits are based;
  • authorizing WorkSafeBC to provide preventative medical treatment before a claim is accepted;
  • giving powers to the court to issue WorkSafeBC search and seizure warrants that are appropriate for investigating workplace safety infractions; and
  • using victim impact statements in serious workplace prosecutions and trials.

For more information, check out this news release


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Sarah Visca
Sarah Visca is the Operations Manager at ConnectsUs HR, a company that provides tools & resources to quickly set up a Human Resources department.  
You can contact her here

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