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COVID-19 Updates | Weekly Workplace Recap from July 4 to July 9, 2020

COVID-19 Resources for Small Business

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Below are the key announcements from the FederalOntario, Alberta and B.C. governments that touch on workplace issues from July 4 to July 9, 2020.


$343 Billion: Projected Federal Deficit for this Fiscal Year

The deficit projection released this Wednesday indicates the federal deficit may hit $343.2 billion this fiscal year. This latest projection is dramatically larger that the latest pre-pandemic economic update in December 2019, which pegged the 2020 - 2021 deficit at $28.1 billion. 

This increase in government spending is due in large part to massive economic aid and stimulus plans—that are on-par with Second World War level spending— that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has rolled out in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, check out this news release

$4.5 Million Invested in Franco-Ontarian Businesses 

On July 9, FedDev Ontario, announced a $4.5 million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) investment in three not-for-profit organizations to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and organizations across southern Ontario.

These organizations will provide non-repayable contributions as follows:

Through these investments, 460 Franco-Ontarian organizations and SMEs will be supported across southern Ontario.

For more information, check out this news release

Phase 2 of COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

The funds for the final component of Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations will be distributed as follows:

  • $45 million to assist free magazines and weekly newspapers through the Canada Periodical Fund;
  • $25 million distributed through partners to assist independent news and community radio broadcasters;
  • $20 million to go towards Musicaction and FACTOR to help live music presenters;
  • $2.5 million to support producers of content in languages other than French or English;
  • $52.1 million to go to various arts and culture organizations not normally eligible to receive funding from Canadian Heritage programs and/or those that did not receive funding during Phase 1 of the program.

As of July 7, 2020, applicants can seek assistance from the Canada Periodical Fund.  Application details for the other Phase 2 funding opportunities will be available soon on the COVID-19 emergency funding section of the Canadian Heritage website.

For more information, check out this news release and backgrounder.


Emergency Orders Extended until July 22

On July 9, 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 22, 2020. 

A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

For more information, check out this news release

Bill 197: COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act

On July 8, 2020, the Ontario government introduced proposed legislation: Bill 197, COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020. The legislation focuses on restarting jobs and development, strengthening communities by ensuring municipalities are equipped with the proper tools to provide critical services, and creating opportunities for people throughout the province as they recover financially and return to school.

For more information, check out this news release and backgrounder.

Bill 195 Introduced to Protect Public Health as Economy Reopens

On July 7, 2020, Ontario announced proposed legislation that, if passed, will allow the government to extend or amend some emergency orders a month at a time, with the law expiring a year after it's passed. Under current legislation, the province can only issue emergency orders while the state of emergency is in place.

Bill 195, Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, would ensure that important measures remain in place to address the threat of COVID-19 once the provincial declaration of emergency ends on July 15, 2020.

For more information regarding the proposed legislation, see this news release.


Bill 32: Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act 

On July 7, 2020, the Alberta government announced proposed legislation designed to support economic recover and restore balance in the workplace. 

Bill 32: Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, will provide employees and employers with more transparent rules promoting fairness and productivity, including more clarity about rest periods and temporary layoff notices.  If passed, this legislation could save job creators an estimated $100 million per year by reducing red tape from daily operations. 

For more information about Bill 32, see this press release.

British Columbia

Virtual Townhall on Supporting Small Businesses - Monday, July 13

On Monday, July 13, at 12 pm (PDT), join the following participants in a virtual townhall meeting to support small business:

  • Michelle Mungall Minister of Jobs, Economic Development, and Competitiveness
  • Tom Conway CEO of Small Business B.C.
  • Jinny Sims MLA Surrey-Panorama

These participants will answer questions on small business in light of BC's economic recovery from COVID-19.

  • Submit your idea or question on small businesses before 12 pm (PDT) on Friday July 10.
  • Join the live event on Facebook and ask questions in the comments during the livestream.
  • A YouTube livestream will also be available for viewing only.

State of Emergency Extended until July 21

On July 7, 2020, the provincial state of emergency was extended to July 21, 2020. Order No. 389 allows the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General to continue using extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support COVID-19 response efforts.

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