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COVID-19 Updates | Weekly Workplace Recap from July 24 to July 30, 2020

COVID-19 Resources for Small Business

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Below are the key announcements from the FederalOntario, Alberta and BC governments that touch on workplace issues from July 24 to July 30, 2020.


Expansion & Extension of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

On July 27, 2020, Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures, received Royal Assent.  This legislation expands and extends the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) as follows:

  • extending the CEWS until November 21, 2020, with the ability to extend the CEWS by regulation to no later than December 31, 2020;
  • making the subsidy accessible to a broader range of employers by including employers with a revenue decline of less than 30% and providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all qualifying employers;
  • introducing a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25% for employers that have been most adversely affected by the pandemic; and
  • providing certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules.

Click here to learn of further amendments and adjustments made by Bill C-20.

$98 Million Invested in Minerals and Metals Sector

On July 29, the federal government announced that it will invest $98 million over five years to support the minerals and metals sector recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The investment will go towards two geoscience programs led by the Geological Survey of Canada, namely, Geo-mapping for Energy and Mineral Program and the Targeted Geoscience Initiative

For more information, see the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan.


Toronto and Peel Region Moving into Stage 3

Toronto and Peel Region will move into Stage 3 of reopening Friday, July 31 at 12:01 a.m.  Stage 3 will allow nearly all businesses and public spaces to gradually reopen, with public health and workplace safety restrictions in place.

In Stage 3, indoor gathering limits are increased to 50 and outdoor gathering limits are increased to 100, though physical distancing remains a requirement for people not from the same household or social circle.

Businesses that are not able to reopen in Stage 3 or that are experiencing significant challenges opening with restrictions in Stage 3 can work with the government on a reopening plan

For more information on the restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, visit Reopening Ontario.


Bill 23 Provides Protection for Commerical Tenants

Bill 23, Commercial Tenancies Protection Act received Royal Assent on July 23, 2020. The bill addresses gaps in the federal government’s Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program by protecting a wider range of tenants than are eligible for the program and tenants whose landlords have decided not to apply.

Bill 23 provides the following measures:

  • Protects eligible commercial tenants from having their leases terminated if they can’t pay rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Prevents landlords from raising rent and charging late fees and penalties on missed rent. Any late fees, penalties, or rent increases imposed on a commercial tenant by their landlord between March 17, 2020 and August 31, 2020 would need to be reimbursed.

These protections are retroactive beginning on March 17, 2020 and end on the emergency end date. 

For more information, visit CECRA for small business

British Columbia

$2.95 Million Invested in B.C.'s Technology Sector

The federal government will provide $2.95 million in funding to support businesses in B.C.’s technology sector cope with the impact of COVID-19. This investment is part of the previously announced $304 million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund for Western Businesses.

The funding will create up to 1,000 jobs and support up to 2,500 companies. It will be delivered through the BC Technology Sector Resiliency Program, which will expand existing advisory services and resources to support tech entrepreneurs starting and scaling up their businesses, with a focus on training, advice and resources dedicated to helping them recover from the impact of COVID-19.

For more information, check out this news release. 

New Order for Gatherings and Events

On July 27, 2020, the Provincial Health Officer issued a new Order to people who organize or attend events at vacation accommodations or other places.  This order repeals and replaces the previous Order of May 22, 2020 with respect to mass gatherings. 

Some of the requirements of the new Order are:

  • a maximum of five individuals may attend a social gathering or an event in a vacation accommodation, in addition to the occupants;
  • up to 50 patrons may attend an event in a place if a number of specified conditions are met;
  • the first and last names and telephone number, or email address, of every patron who attends an event must be collected and retained for 30 days; and
  • if the event is a drive-in, more than 50 patrons may be present if a number of specified conditions are met.

For a complete list of conditions, check out the Order. 

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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