COVID-19 Updates & Announcements

COVID-19 Updates and Announcements

COVID-19 is a fast-changing situation with numerous updates and announcements happening very quickly. To stay organized, we've created this updates page specifically for COVID-19 announcements. 

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October 2, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: Bill C-4, An Act relating to certain measures in response to COVID-19 receives Royal Assent

Bill C-4, An Act relating to certain measures in response to COVID-19 (Bill C-4) received Royal Assent this Friday, October 2, 2020. The bill has two main objectives, the implementation of three new benefit programs for workers unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19, and the amendment of the Canada Labour Code provisions concerning COVID-19-related leaves of absence. These two objectives are detailed below. 

New Legislation & Federal Resources All Provinces & Territories

September 29, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: State of Emergency Extended until October 13

The state of emergency has been extended through the end of the day on October 13, 2020. 

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

September 25, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Ontario Implements Mandatory Screening for Workplaces

Ontario Regulation 530/20 requires businesses to comply with any advice, recommendations, and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening for COVID-19.

This includes the recommendations set out in COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces.  See the highlights of the mandatory recommendations in the details below.

Issuance of Policy Province of Ontario

September 24, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: Extends CEWS & Boosts Training Initiatives

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program has been extended until the summer of 2021. The government says that with the extension, it will work with businesses to ensure the CEWS meets the needs of the health and economic situation as it evolves. 

Extended Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

September 10, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: $7.9 Million Invested to Improve Competitiveness of Ontario's Farms

The Federal and Ontario governments are investing in the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help farmers improve their business operations and bring more safe, high-quality foods to markets.

More than $7.9 million in funding will support more than 670 projects across Ontario for eligible farmers and agri-food businesses.

New Provincial Resources Province of Ontario

September 8, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Amended Orders for BC's Nightclubs, Bars & Banquet Halls

Effective September 8, 2020, all nightclubs and stand-alone banquet halls in BC are ordered to close until further notice.  Additionally, venues allowed to remain open must reduce the volume from music or other sources to conversational levels.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

September 4, 2020 - SASKATCHEWAN
COVID-19: Extension of State of Emergency

The Saskatchewan government announced the extension of the provincial State of Emergency, effective September 2, 2020, to address the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Extension of Policy Province of Ontario

September 4, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: Rent Relief for Small Business Extended (CECRA)

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses will be extended by one month to help eligible small businesses pay rent this September.

This September extension will be the final extension of this program as the government explores other options to support small businesses.

Extended Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

September 3, 2020 - SASKATCHEWAN
COVID-19: Saskatchewan Expands & Extends the Temporary Wage Supplement Program

The Saskatchewan government has amended the Saskatchewan Temporary Wage Supplement Program, a program which provides eligible workers with $400 for each four-week period, for up to 16 weeks.

Extended Provincial Resources Province of Ontario

September 3, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Orders Extended under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020

The Ontario government is extending the maximum periods of temporary layoffs a second time. The extension will prevent temporary layoffs from automatically becoming permanent job losses until January 2, 2021.

This announcement provides more flexibility for Ontario employers, allowing them to preserve jobs longer and avoid costly termination and severance costs.

Extended Provincial Resources Province of Ontario

September 2, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: BC Confirms Tax Measure Implementation Dates & Deferral Deadlines for Businesses

To support BC businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is delaying implementation dates to April 2021 for previously scheduled changes to provincial sales tax (PST) and BC's carbon tax.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

September 1, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: State of Emergency Extended until September 15

The state of emergency has been extended through the end of the day on September 15, 2020. The extension will allow the BC government to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns, such as recent outbreaks in some areas of the province.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

August 31, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: Greater Flexibility & Extension of CEBA & BCAP Programs

The application deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) has been extended from August 31 to October 31, 2020. Launched on April 9, CEBA provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their expenses that cannot be avoided or deferred as they take steps to safely navigate a period of shutdown.

Extended Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

August 24, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: New Temporary Public Policy Will Allow Visitors to Apply for a Work Permit Without Having to Leave Canada

Thanks to a new public policy announced on August 24, 2020, visitors currently in Canada who have received a valid job offer will be able to apply for an employer-specific work permit and receive that permit without having to leave the country.

This policy will help employers find the workers they need and allow for temporary residents who would like to contribute their labour and skills to aid in Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Temporary Public Policy All Provinces & Territories

August 24, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: CEWS Extended for Furloughed Workers until September 26

The federal government is extending support for furloughed employees under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) by four weeks – from August 30 to September 26, 2020.  This extension will mean that employers who qualify for the CEWS will be able to continue to claim up to $847 per week to support remuneration for each of their furloughed employees. 

Extended Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

August 21, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: $4 Million Invested in Northern Ontario's Communities & Businesses 

The Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages has announced that more than $4 million in federal investments will go towards helping Northern Ontario’s communities and businesses expand, prosper and create jobs. 

New Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

August 21, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: New Fines and Enforcement Measures for COVID-19 Public Safety

On August 21, 2020, BC introduced new measures to enforce public safety with respect COVID-19 for gatherings and events. See details below for new enforcement measures. 

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

August 20, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Orders Extended under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020

All orders under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 have been extended to September 22, 2020, with the following exceptions:

  • The Education Sector order will end on August 31, 2020.

  • The Limitation Periods order will end and suspended time periods will resume running on September 14, 2020.

Extended Provincial Resources Province of Ontario

August 20, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: $37 Billion for CERB Transition to New Benefits

The Canadian government announced this afternoon that $37 billion in fresh spending will go towards new and revamped federal income support programs for workers affected by the pandemic. 

The current CERB program will be extended by an additional four weeks for a maximum of 28 weeks worth of emergency benefits. In addition, new measures include broad, if temporary, changes to the EI program as well as the creation of three new benefit programs for workers who do not qualify for EI. 

Updated Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

August 18, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: State of Emergency Extended until September 1

The B.C. government has extended the provincial state of emergency until September 1, 2020 to further allow extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province's COVID-19 pandemic response.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

August 17, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: Applications Open for Enhanced CEWS 

The Government implemented changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), which was created to help businesses affected by COVID-19 keep employees on their payroll or bring them back from temporary layoffs.  Program changes include the following:

  • Extension of the CEWS to November 21, 2020
  • Increased eligibility (all employers who experienced a drop in revenue can qualify for a base subsidy)
  • Employers who are hard-hit will qualify for a top-up of up to 25%.
Updated Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

August 17, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: Free Online Course for Employers: "Pandemic Planning: Reopening for Business" 

Pandemic Planning: Reopening for Business is a brand new, free online course thats been released by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) to help businesses across Canada safely return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This awareness course guides employers, managers and workers on how to prepare for a safe return to work, along with what controls must be put in place to minimize the impact of the pandemic.

New Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

August 13, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Reminder to Apply for Temporary Layoff Extensions - August 25 Deadline

With less than two weeks until the application deadline, employees and employers who need to extend temporary layoffs beyond the August 30, 2020 expiry date are entering a critical phase to meet deadlines.

Workers and employers who need to extend temporary layoffs beyond August 30 can jointly apply for a variance using the Employment Standards Branch’s new online application by August 25.

Extended Provincial Resources Province of British Columbia

August 12, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: $30 Billion Projected  for Ontario's Action Plan

The government of Ontario released an update to Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 with additional investments which include:

  • An increase of $4.4 billion to provide ongoing support for health care services.

  • An increase of $7.3 billion to support people and jobs.
Updated Provincial Resources Province of Ontario

August 9, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: Temporary Change to EI Program

The Government of Canada is preparing to transition as many Canadians as possible from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) back to the Employment Insurance (EI) system at the end of the month.

Effective August 9, a minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% will be applied temporarily for all EI economic regions across Canada. 

Updated Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

August 8, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: CEWS Calculator Updated with Greater Support for Employers

An updated CEWS calculator has been launched to help employers prepare to apply for the next period (period 5) of the CEWS program, which opens to applications Monday, August 17. The CEWS calculator allows employers to enter their information to get an estimate of the subsidy they can expect to receive.

Updated Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

August 7, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Additional Safety Measures for Bars & Restaurants in Stages 2 and 3

Additional measures have been announced for restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments that are able to re-open under Stages 2 and 3.  The measures are below.

Issuance of Policy Province of Ontario

August 5, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: $83 Million Invested in Grant Program for Non-Profits

Ontario is investing $83 million through the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to provide grants to help eligible non-profit organizations recover from COVID-19.

New Provincial Resource Province of Ontario

August 4, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: State of Emergency Extended until August 18

The B.C. government has extended the provincial state of emergency to further allow extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province's COVID-19 pandemic response.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

August 1, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: Download the New COVID Alert App

COVID Alert is Canada's free exposure notification app. The app is designed to help limit the spread of COVID-19 by allowing users who have tested positive to enter a ‘Key’ provided by the health authority. Other users who have been in contact with that person for at least 15 minutes will then be notified, and told to seek guidance from their local public health authority.

New Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

July 31, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Stricter Rules for Bar, Restuarant & Coffee Shop Operators

On July 31, 2020, the provincial health officer ordered more stringent rules for owners and operators of restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, cafeterias, bars, pubs, lounges and nightclubs.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

July 31, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: August Extension Now Available for CECRA for Small Business

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It was announced on July 31 that the program has been extended by one month to help businesses pay rent through August.

Extension of Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

July 31, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: 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.

Issuance of Policy Province of Ontario

July 27, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: 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 described in the details below.

Extension & Expansion of Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

July 27, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: 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. 

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

July 23, 2020 - ALBERTA
COVID-19: 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.

New Legislation Province of Alberta

July 22, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: New Rules on Restuarants, Bars & Nightclubs

Amid rising COVID-19 numbers in BC, the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry stated on July 22, 2020 that new measures will be introduced in restaurants, bars and nightclubs to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Under the new measures, "all patrons in restaurants, bars and nightclubs will be required to be seated, alcohol self-service will not be available (that means no ordering from the bar), and dance floors will be closed".

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

July 21, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Bill 195 Passes: Declared Emergency Will End But Emergency Orders Will Continue

On July 21, 2020, Bill 195, Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 received Royal Assent. The Ontario government has announced that the new Act will be proclaimed in force on July 24, 2020. See details below. 

New Legislation Province of Ontario

July 21, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: State of Emergency Extended to August 4

BC has formally extended the provincial state of emergency through the end of the day on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. This extension will allow the continuation of extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the province's COVID-19 pandemic response.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

July 20, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID 19: Extend a COVID-19 Temporary Layoff with a Variance

Employers and workers who need to extend temporary layoffs due to COVID-19 beyond August 30, 2020, can now easily apply for a variance using the Employment Standards Branch’s new online application.

An application deadline of August 25, 2020, has been set to ensure that all applications will be processed by the August 30 expiry date. 

New Provincial Resource Province of British Columbia

July 20, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Businesses Unable to Open Due to Stage 3 Restrictions

Businesses that haven't been able to open or resume full activities due to Stage 3 restrictions, or those that have ideas to safely amend Stage 3 restrictions or requirements, should submit a reopening proposal on the Government’s website.

New Provincial Resource Province of Ontario

July 20, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: Bill C-20: An Act Respecting further COVID-19 Measures

Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures, was introduced in the House of Commons on July 20, 2020. 

Proposed Legislation All Provinces & Territories

July 17, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: Proposal to Extend and Overhaul the CEWS

On July 17, 2020, the Canadian government released draft legislative proposals that would broaden the reach of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program and provide better targeted support for businesses.

Proposed Extension of Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

July 17, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: 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.

Issuance of Policy Province of Ontario

July 16, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: 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. 

Issuance of Policy Province of Ontario

July 16, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: $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. 

New Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

July 14, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID 19: 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.

Proposed Legislation Province of British Columbia

July 14, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: 75% wage subsidy for businesses to be extended to December

As more businesses reopen, the federal government announces continued support for employers with the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (the “CEWS”) until the end of 2020. 

Justin Trudeau stated in a press conference yesterday that businesses and non-profit groups under (the “CEWS”) program will receive funding of up to 75% of their employees’ wages – or a maximum of $847 per week per employee – until December 2020. 

Extended Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

July 13, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Virtual Townhall on Supporting Small Businesses

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
New Provincial Resources Province of British Columbia

July 10, 2020 - ALL CANADA
COVID 19: $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. 

New Federal Resource All Provinces & Territories

July 9, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: 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. 

Issuance of Policy Province of Ontario

July 9, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: $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.

New Provincial Resources Province of Ontario

July 8, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: 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. 

New Provincial Resources Province of British Columbia

July 8, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: 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.

Proposed Legislation Province of Ontario

July 7, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: 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.

Proposed Legislation Province of Ontario

July 7, 2020 - ALBERTA
COVID-19: 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. 

Proposed Legislation Province of Alberta

July 7, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: 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.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

July 3, 2020 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Ban on Commercial Evictions Extended until End of July

British Columbia's Emergency Order protecting eligible businesses from eviction has been extended. The ban on commercial evictions will remain in place for the duration of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistant program (CECRA) which has been extended through the month of July.

Updated Legislation Province of British Columbia

July 3, 2020 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: $3 Million Invested in Health & Safety Online Training to Promote Safe Workplaces

The Ontario government is investing $3 million to provide free online health and safety training to make it easier for job seekers and workers to get essential qualifications, while practising physical distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

New Provincial Resources Province of Ontario