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Volunteer Advocate

Government Supports

Federal and provincial governments across the country have responded to the current COVID-19 pandemic by providing resources, tools and relief for those affected. Examples include emergency child care services, financial supports and online tools to help Canadians cope during this difficult time. Click below to find out what is available to you and your family.

 

July 24, 2020

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has been extended by 8 weeks (2 months). Starting July 5th, CERB recipients for the new phase will be required to sign an attestation acknowledging that the government is encouraging them to look for work. CERB does not renew automatically. You must apply for each period that you are eligible for separately, up to a maximum of 6 out of the 7 periods available. Learn more online

The government of Canada announced the extension of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) by one month to cover eligible small business rents for July. Applications will continue to be processed through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) website. Learn more online.

The government has proposed changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, including the extension of the program to December 19, 2020. Learn more online

June 5, 2020

The government has proposed the doubling of Canada Student Grants and an increase to the weekly cap amount for student loans. 

More at: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/education/student-aid/notice-covid-19.html

May 29, 2020

The government of Canada has introduced a new benefits finder tool, find financial help during COVID-19, to help people determine which government programs best meet their needs. This tool provides information on federal, provincial and territorial benefits programs as well as measures such as mortgage and student loan referrals. After answering a few questions, the tool presents individuals with a personalized list of benefits based on their circumstances. 

April 24, 2020

This week, government supports for businesses were highlighted during a digital town hall. A summary of the measures available can be found online.

Supports for students and new graduates affected by COVID-19 are being proposed, including the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) which would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. Other measures include a new Canada Student Service Grant which would provide up to $5,000 for eligible students’ education in the fall. More at: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/22/support-students-and-new-grads-affected-covid-19

April 15, 2020

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit that provides $2,000 a month, for up to four months, to eligible Canadian workers who lose their income as a result of COVID-19 has been open for applications as of April 6th, 2020. The benefit is being expanded to include the following new criteria:

  • Individuals can earn up $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB
  • Seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to return to their regular seasonal work as a result of COVID-19
  • Workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19 

You can apply for the CERB here.

The federal government is working with the provinces and territories to cost-share a temporary top up to the salaries of low-income essential workers.

The measures in place for businesses during this pandemic include:

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) which provides a 75% wage subsidy for up to 12 weeks for qualifying employers, retroactive to March 15
  • The Canada Emergency Business Account with $25 billion of interest-free loans through private financial institutions to qualifying organizations
  • The Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending to meet operational cash-flow requirements
  • Deferral of all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as GST and customs duty payments owed for imports.
  • The Work-Sharing program duration was extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for workers who agree to reduce their normal work hours because of developments beyond their employer’s control
  • More at: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses

April 13, 2020

There are new changes proposed for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) under discussion, including:

  • Option for companies to use January and February as reference periods to demonstrate a 30% reduction in revenue when comparing one month this year to the same month in 2019 (the initial proposal limited reference to the months of March, April or May only)
  • Reduction of the threshold for eligibility for the month of March to 15% instead of the initial 30% (the threshold would remain at 30% for April and May)

The government also proposed refunding certain employer contributions to Employment Insurance (EI), and the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans (the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan would also be considered), for employers who are eligible for and access the CEWS.

The government has turned its attention to those who do not qualify for the CERB and expressed awareness of the challenges experienced by hospitality workers, volunteer firefighters, GIG workers, contract employees and students.

Learn more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/04/government-introduces-covid-19-emergency-response-act-no-2-to-help-businesses-keep-canadians-in-their-jobs.html

April 07, 2020

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit that provides $2,000 a month, for up to four months, to eligible Canadian workers who lose their income as a result of COVID-19 is open for applications as of April 6th, 2020. Individuals are encouraged to apply according to their birth date. You can apply here.

April 03, 2020

Learn more about all the supports available from the federal government for individuals, businesses and industries as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

April 02, 2020

As of April 6, Canadians eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) previously announced will be able to apply online. To prevent surges in applications, individuals are asked to apply on the following days based on birth date:

  • April 6: apply if born in January, February or March 
  • April 7: apply if born in April, May or June 
  • April 8: apply if born in July, August or September 
  • April 9: apply if born in October, November or December 

The government is allocating $2 billion to cover public health and medical-related equipment.

The government also announced details on the proposed emergency wage subsidy of 75% to help qualifying businesses, for up to three months, keep Canadians in their jobs. The details are as following:

  • The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020
  • The subsidy would apply at a rate of 75% of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees, representing a benefit of up to $847 per week
  • Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30% in March, April or May, in comparison to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy
  • Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities, as well as not-for-profit organizations and charities
  • An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees
  • Applications will be through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal 

Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may continue to qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10% of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

More at: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/04/government-announces-details-of-the-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy-to-help-businesses-keep-canadians-in-their-jobs.html

March 27, 2020

Health Canada is advising that everyone (general public and health professionals included) use caution when considering the use of homemade masks to protect against the transmission of COVID-19. These types of masks may not be effective in blocking virus particles that may be transmitted by coughing, sneezing, or certain medical procedures.

The federal wage subsidy was raised from 10% to 75% of employee wage costs for eligible businesses affected by COVID-19.

March 26, 2020

The government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to support workers and help businesses keep their employees. This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month, for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result to COVID-19. 

  • The CERB will cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, and working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.
  • Workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19 would also qualify for CERB.
  • All Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, whether they are EI eligible or not, will be able to receive the CERB.
  • CERB payments will begin to be received within 10 days of application, which is expected to become available early April. 

Additional measures to support Canadians, under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, include:

  • Temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payments to provide additional assistance to families with children.
  • Special top-up payment under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit to provide additional assistance to individuals and families with low and modest incomes.
  • A pause on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all borrowers currently in repayment, for a six month moratorium.
  • Providing eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months.
  • Reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds by 25% for 2020.
  • One-time funding of $500 million through the Canada Health Transfer to support provinces and territories with a COVID-19 Response Fund for their critical health care system needs and to support mitigation efforts as needed
  • Government authority to make regulations to address any future shortages of therapeutic products, including drugs and medical devices required to treat COVID-19.

The information above and more is available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/the-covid-19-emergency-response-act-receives-royal-assent0.html

Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefits
Effective as of March 15th 2020, the Government is temporarily waiving the following:

  • one-week waiting period for people in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits and,
  • the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits Emergency Care Benefit

The new Emergency Care Benefit will become available in April 2020 and is expected to provide income support of up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks, for:

  • Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits
  • Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
  • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.

Note, application for the Emergency Care Benefit once available will require applicants to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility. 

Emergency Support Benefit
For Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID-19 and are not eligible for EI, the Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the CRA will provide up to $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.

EI Work Sharing Program
For Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID-19 and are not eligible for EI, the Government is implementing the EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, by extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, easing eligibility requirements, and streamlining the application process.

Additional supports:
Income support for low and modest-income families: The Government is proposing to provide a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.

Income support for families with children: The Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-2020 benefit year, by $300 per child as part of their May payment.

For additional information, read the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Supports for Canadians and Businesses

June 11, 2020

Albertans can receive up to four non-medical face masks from one of almost 600 A&W, McDonald’s Canada or Tim Hortons drive-thrus in the province, free of charge with no purchase necessary.

Local businesses have joined forces to build and donate 200 high-tech ventilators to Alberta Health Services. These ventilators are intended to provide short-term respiratory support, monitoring, and treatment for adult patients if a conventional ventilator is unavailable. 

Virtual physician visits via telephone and video calls introduced for the pandemic will become permanent. More information online.

May 5, 2020

The government has launched a voluntary, secure mobile contact tracing application to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The ABTraceTogether app is available to download for free from the App Store and Google Play.

Regulations for nursing homes have been modified to allow nurse practitioners to provide expanded care to nursing home residents during COVID-19. The modifications are expected to remain in effect until August 14, 2020. Changes include:

  • allow nurse practitioners to act as primary care providers in nursing homes, admitting and assessing residents, as well as offering follow-up care
  • enable nurse practitioners and other qualified health professionals to prescribe medication and order treatments in nursing homes, according to their scopes of practice

The government is investing in highway safety to create 600 jobs in southern Alberta. Learn more at: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=71266FB8250A8-0804-B10D-39B738A1B133CAFB

April 29, 2020

The Site Rehabilitation Program, a new program mainly funded by the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide the energy industry with access to up to $1 billion, creating jobs to help Albertans get back to work.

Investments are being made to support rural physicians in order to protect access to rural health care.

A reference guide on COVID-19 for people with disabilities has been developed to provide information on how to stay safe and limit the spread of the virus.

April 24, 2020

The government is launching Alberta Cares Connector, a new tool to connect Albertans with volunteer opportunities during the pandemic.

April 22, 2020

Indigenous communities that need more time for consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for a timeline extension to add up to 10 days for Levels 1 and 2 consultations and up to 15 days for Level 3.

New supports for continuing care facilities include additional funding for:

  • Increased health-care aide staffing levels
  • A $2 per hour wage top-up for health-care aides
  • Up to 1,000 paid student practicum positions to fast-track certification and get more staff into continuing care facilities

April 20, 2020

Overview of measures proposed and established last week in light of COVID-19 outbreak: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=70122C3B11CEC-F50D-5968-3DFC5C06333644DC

 April 17, 2020

In Alberta, food supply facilities have very strict sanitation protocols and practices. In addition to the usual practices, a plan was developed for food processors in response to the confirmed case of COVID-19 at a food processing plant. 

Alberta Parks is suspending and refunding camping reservations up to and including May 19. More at: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=7011056B6667A-E5C1-825C-8F7B66BDEC873779

April 15, 2020

The government is providing Caregivers Alberta with $3 million to expand support programs and resources for caregivers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Supports include: 

  • Developing a public awareness campaign to highlight the importance of caregivers and their work.
  • Compiling an inventory of caregiver supports across the province.
  • Expanding the hours of the Caregiver Advisor phone line.
  • Establishing a referral system to link caregivers and Caregivers Alberta through health-care providers.
  • Updating and expanding support programs.
  • Providing employers with resources to support caregivers in the workplace.
  • Developing a coaching program for caregivers.

The government is investing in the implementation of more online, phone and in-person mental health and addiction recovery supports for Albertans. Some resources currently available include:

  • Alberta’s Mental Health Helpline: available 24-7 toll-free and offers confidential support for mental health concerns: 1-877-303-2642.
  • Alberta’s Addiction Helpline: available 24-7 toll-free and offers confidential support for alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and problem gambling: 1-866-332-2322
  • The Kids Help Phone: available 24-7 and offers professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people by texting CONNECT to 686868.
  • The Crisis Text Line Alberta:  a service available 24-7 that offers information, referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support for Albertans of all ages, by texting CONNECT to 741741.
  • Alberta 211: a free helpline that connects Albertans to community and social services in their area 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 150 languages.
  • Learn more at: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=70099FD5A018B-07BD-2B06-3BD3E6BD3108AF41

The government is continuing its procurement and distribution efforts for personal protective equipment (PPE). AHS is working to connect PPE to Alberta’s health-care workers and the Provincial Operators Centre is working to connect PPE to non-AHS facilities including, but not limited to, optometrist offices, funeral homes, pharmacies, disability service providers and social service and civil society groups.

  • Non-AHS facilities are encouraged to continue requesting PPE by email at pessecc-logistics@gov.ab.ca
  • In addition to regular procurement methods, the government is continuing to procure PPE through the Alberta Bits and Pieces Program, which has received about 4,000 offers to date, including 400 specific offers for PPE such as masks, respirators, sanitizer and ventilators

April 13, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 recession, the government will allocate nearly $2 billion from the 2020 Capital Plan to get Albertans back to work by resurface roads, repair bridges, restore schools and fill potholes.

The government introduced temporary regulation changes to allow commercial truck drivers transporting essential supplies in direct support of COVID-19 relief efforts.

The government is also:

  • Extending the timeline for most drivers who require a medical evaluation to provide their completed medical form when applying for or renewing their licence.
  • Extending expiry dates of vehicle inspection certificates and decals will to May 15 for those certificates set to expire between March 17 and May 15.
  • Allowing Albertans and businesses until 30 days after the public health emergency ends to file appeals to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board and 30 days after the ministerial order ends to file judicial reviews of the board’s decisions
  • More at: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=70052C2266915-0167-5E5D-B30120ECF3BE4302

Small businesses can seek free advice, coaching and information on COVID-19 resources and supports through Business Link, a non-profit organization jointly funded by the provincial and federal governments. To access Business Link services, contact 1-800-272-9675 or visit www.businesslink.ca

There will be about 100 more care spaces for Calgary-area patients during the COVID-19 outbreak as a result of the donation of a temporary structure to Alberta Health Services (AHS) from Alberta-based Sprung Structures. 

The government has launched an online resource to help strengthen the food supply chain and fill agriculture and agriculture-food jobs. Agriculture and food employers and workers can access hiring, job search and farm safety resources through the new Agriculture Job Connector at alberta.ca/AgJobConnector

The government is providing $5 million to support food banks and community organizations in their food supply efforts.

Alberta is safely sending N95 masks, procedural masks, gloves, goggles and ventilators to provinces that need them, while also maintaining supply for Alberta’s health care system. More at: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=700712B3EF0B4-BD47-9A6A-2D89FB5277F1E7CA

April 07, 2020

The government is putting temporary rules in place to provide job protection for workers and flexibility for employers during the pandemic:

  • Employees caring for children affected by school and daycare closures or ill or self-isolated family members due to COVID-19 will have access to unpaid job-protected leave. The 90-day employment requirement is waived and leave length is flexible.
  • Increasing the maximum time for a temporary layoff from 60 days to 120 days to ensure temporarily laid off employees stay attached to a job longer. This change is retroactive for any temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 that occurred on or after March 17.
  • Improving scheduling flexibility by removing the 24-hour written notice requirement for shift changes, and the two weeks’ notice for changes to work schedules for those under an averaging agreement.
  • The above and more at: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=700122D6A74F3-F688-D77B-42A3309636AA078B

A province-wide ban is being ordered on visitors to long-term care centres, licensed group homes and other facilities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

April 03, 2020

The government is directing Alberta Health Services (AHS) to temporarily suspend parking fees for healthcare workers and the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting April 3, parking at all AHS facilities will be free.

To continue to support the Nutrition Program for students, nine non-profits will receive $300,000 or $375,000 each to provide additional food assistance for vulnerable K-12 students and families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 02, 2020

The government is proposing three pieces of legislation that will:

  • Provide law enforcement agencies full authority to enforce public health orders during a pandemic
  • Ensure no one will be retroactively charged for residential rent increases or late fees while the state of public health emergency is in effect
  • Enable government to clarify and enable expanded, delegated authority for the Orphan Well Association to maintain and manage orphan sites

The government is expanding eligibility for select licensed child care centres to provide child care for all essential service workers. Child care is now available to anyone who works in the critical areas outlined as essential by government. A full list of those essential service positions can be found here: https://www.alberta.ca/essential-services.aspx

More at: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=699762C5E7F0F-EC8E-6B55-76C0AA7217CB6409

March 31, 2020

Alberta announced that MLAs are being called back to the legislature to discuss important legislation related to COVID-19.

March 27, 2020

Albertans are reminded that emergency isolation supports are available for Albertans who are self-isolating or who are the sole caregivers for someone in self-isolation, and have no other source of income. You can view eligibility criteria and apply at: https://www.alberta.ca/emergency-isolation-support.aspx

Albertans are reminded that there is no need to stockpile food and supplies as doing so creates additional pressure on the food supply chain, which can put the most vulnerable at risk. The Alberta government is focused on maintaining Alberta’s stable food supply system.

More at: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=69926EE5B4903-A9C3-5379-F0632EA42528DDAB

March 26, 2020

As of March 25, Albertans are legally required, under the public health order, to self-isolate for:

  • 14 days if recently returned from international travel or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19
  • 10 days if they have a COVID-19 symptom (cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat) that is not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition.

More at: https://www.alberta.ca/self-isolation.aspx#toc-0

March 25, 2020

The Emergency Financial Assistance web page now has information on the federal and provincial supports/programs and a link to the COVID-19 page for more information.

Community and Social Services has suspended in-person service delivery in its program offices and Alberta Supports Centres. Albertans should contact 1-877-644-9992 for more information.

More at: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=6991495C078D0-94B5-A5E1-368E71969C52907A

March 24, 2020

Learn more about the 90-day utility payment deferral and contact your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral.

There is a new approach to testing for COVID-19 that is being implemented in Alberta in order to help prioritize groups at highest risk of local exposure and at-risk populations.

More options for virtual patient care are underway as new temporary billing codes are being added so that physicians are compensated for providing virtual care. In-person physician and specialist care will continue. Virtual services will be offered by physicians and specialists where appropriate. 

The provincial government has made three additional decisions to provide financial relief for employers and Albertans:

  • Immediately cancel the decision made in Budget 2020 and will freeze education property taxes at last year’s level.
  • Defer education property tax for businesses for six months, effective immediately. 
  • Work Compensation Board (WCB) premiums deferral for private sector businesses and paying 50% of small and medium businesses WCB premiums.

More at: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

March 23, 2020

Previously announced, upcoming expiry dates for Alberta drivers’ licences, identification cards, vehicle registrations, other permits and certificates have been extended until May 15. As of March 20, all commercial and passenger road tests have been suspended for at least 4 weeks.

As of March 21, the government urged all Albertans to act with consideration and caution in light of there being many complaints related to consumer exploitation resulting from COVID-19, such as retail outlet stores raising prices for high-demand products, and private individuals purchasing mass quantities of supplies and reselling them at an inflated price. The Consumer Protection Act prevents suppliers from grossly raising prices with no explanation beyond what is reasonable for goods that are readily available.

All licensed child care facilities (daycare, out-of-school care and preschool programs) in Alberta are closed at this time. Select licensed child care centres will begin reopening to provide child care for core service workers. All classes in K to 12 schools are cancelled until further notice.

March 20, 2020

Financial relief measures for affected Albertans include:

  • Emergency isolation support: a one-time payment of $1,146 will be distributed to bridge the gap until the federal emergency payments begin in April for working adult Albertans who must self-isolate because they meet the Government of Alberta’s published criteria for self-isolation, including persons who are the sole care-giver for a dependent who must self-isolate because they meet the public health criteria, and who will not have another source of pay or compensation while they are self-isolated.
  • Utility payment deferral: residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off. Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments
  • Student loans repayment deferral: Alberta Student Loan repayments will be paused for 6 months, beginning March 30, 2020. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
  • Banks and credit unions: supports are available for ATB financial customers and Alberta Credit Union members. https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-supports-for-albertans.aspx

 More at: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=698455D70096B-DF57-A62A-778266237F3241C8

 

 

 

July 24, 2020

The climate action tax credit was boosted to provide B.C. families with additional funds. Eligible individuals will receive up to $218, children will receive up to $64 in a one-time increase and a family of four will receive up to $564. Learn more online. 

The B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service remains available to help businesses navigate the supports and services offered by the provincial and federal governments, and industry and community partners, during the pandemic. Call 1-833-254-4357 or email covid@smallbusinessbc.ca. Learn more online.

Passengers on the Province’s inland ferry system are reminded to adhere to Transport Canada’s COVID-19 safety protocols. Learn more online

The province will implement a repayment framework to support landlords and help renters pay back any rent they owe due to the pandemic within a reasonable timeframe. The framework will apply once the ban on issuing evictions for non-payment of rent is lifted September 1st 2020. Learn more online.

June 11, 2020

The B.C. COVID-19 Temporary Pandemic Pay is available to support health, social services and corrections employees delivering in-person, front-line care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply online.

The provincial state of emergency has been extended to June 23, 2020. More at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0032-001035

The Province is extending a temporary ministerial order until Dec. 31, 2020, to continue to allow health-care workers and other public sector staff to use communication tools not normally permitted for use during the COVID-19 state of emergency. More at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020CITZ0010-001019

May 5, 2020

The government has extended the temporary layoff  period to 16 weeks for COVID-19 related reasons. More at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020LBR0013-000810

The BC Emergency Benefit for Workers (BCEBW), a one-time, tax-free payment of $1,000 for eligible British Columbians, is now open for applications.

A temporary emergency response centre in Victoria is scheduled to open in the coming days and includes 45 beds with wraparound supports to provide safe accommodations. More at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020SDPR0025-000818

The province is launching a digital registration system for Emergency Support Services (ESS). The new platform will be available for communities to provide evacuee self-registration, digital registration and referrals, and basic reporting. More at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0025-000813

April 29, 2020

Guidelines have been developed for the silviculture sector to help contractors, tree planting operators and their employees reduce the risks of COVID-19.

The Connecting British Columbia program now includes a funding stream to help internet service providers with immediate network equipment upgrades to rapidly improve capacity and internet speeds in underserved communities throughout the province and to support rural internet connectivity. More at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020CITZ0008-000751

Students from the LGBTQ2S+ community, who may be feeling vulnerable and disconnected from their peers and schools, now have more virtual opportunities to connect with each other during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 24, 2020

Child care centres continue to receive funding through the Temporary Emergency Funding Program to remain open and provide child care services for essential workers. More at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020CFD0044-000740

A new temporary relief, Emergency Benefit for Workers (BCEBW), will become available May 1, 2020 for British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by COVID-19. The BCEBW will provide a one-time, tax-free $1,000 payment for eligible residents. Most people who are eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit from the federal government will also be eligible for the BCEBW. Learn more at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020FIN0023-000743

April 22, 2020

A temporary change under the Emergency Program Act will allow B.C. companies, societies and co-operatives to meet electronically during the province’s state of emergency.

A new framework developed to help rural, remote and indigenous communities outlines immediate actions to approve health-care services and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • improved medical transportation options to larger centres, including flight and ambulance; 
  • housing options for people looking to self-isolate near their families while remaining in their home communities;
  • new and faster COVID-19 testing technology;
  • culturally safe contact tracing that respects privacy in small communities;
  • access to Virtual Doctor of the Day, a program that connects First Nations members and their families in remote communities to a doctor or nurse practitioner using videoconferencing;
  • options for accommodation near larger centres with more medical services; and
  • increased mental-health supports in communities.

April 20, 2020

Electronic devices are being loaned to students across the province while in-class learning is suspended so students can continue their education.

Temporary housing is expected to be open by mid-May 2020 to provide 49 new homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the Squamish community.

Effective immediately, new measures to enforce Emergency Program Act orders are in place, including issuing $2,000 violation tickets for infractions throughout the COVID-19 state of emergency. 

April 17, 2020

A new B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service is available and will serve as the single point of contact for businesses seeking information and resources during the pandemic. The more recent supports and new measures for businesses can be found here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020FIN0020-000703

Here2Talk, a new mental-health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students, has been launched. This service is free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

WE Well-being, a free virtual program for students grades K-12 who are experiencing anxiety and social isolation, was launched as part of the WE Schools @home program.

April 15, 2020

Retail liquor services business hours have temporarily been extended to provide greater opportunity for physical distancing for seniors and people who are immuno-compromised.

The government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency to April 28, 2020.

April 13, 2020

Alberta is safely sending supplies to British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec to help address unprecedented demand in those provinces for personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators.  More at: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=700712B3EF0B4-BD47-9A6A-2D89FB5277F1E7CA

The government has introduced new measures to make sure B.C. residents returning home from international travel have the support they need to self-isolate. New measures include the legal requirement to provide a self-isolation plan, for the duration of 14 days, before or upon arrival to B.C. regardless of the point of entry to Canada. More at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/self-isolation-on-return

The Province is working in partnership with Foundry Youth Centres, the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division (CMHA-BC), the BC Psychological Association and other community partners to deliver new and expanded virtual mental health supports.

Renters who are experiencing a loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for the Province’s new temporary rental supplement to receive $300 per month for eligible households with no dependents and $500 per month for eligible households with dependents. The supplement will be available for April, May and June 2020 and will be paid directly to landlords on behalf of the renters. Learn more about eligibility criteria at http://bchousing.org/bctrs or call 1 877 757-2577.

For mental-health and anxiety support, residents are encouraged to visit: https://bouncebackbc.ca/ or www.anxietycanada.com 

April 07, 2020

Health authorities are identifying those who require self-isolation and working with BC Housing to refer people to hotel rooms or community centres.

More at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0019-000644

April 03, 2020

Students attending British Columbia’s 25 public post-secondary institutions, who are experiencing emergency financial pressures, will benefit from a one-time investment of $3.5 million in emergency financial assistance. Eligible students can access these funds by contacting their school’s financial aid office, which will assist with the application process. 

  • Each post-secondary institution will determine the specific amount a student can receive based on their individual needs
  • The ministry is working directly with public post-secondary institutions to ensure emergency assistance is provided for international and out-of-province students.

The province is implementing new temporary emergency supports for B.C.’s most vulnerable population, including people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors:

  • For people in B.C. currently receiving income assistance or disability assistance, the Province will temporarily exempt federal employment insurance benefits, for the next three months, including the new $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This will allow people receiving income assistance and disability assistance in B.C. to benefit from the new emergency federal support programs, without any reductions to their monthly assistance payments. 
  • For everyone on income assistance or disability assistance who is not eligible for the emergency federal support programs, including the CERB, the Province will provide an automatic $300-monthly COVID-19 crisis supplement for the next three months. 
  • The Province will provide all BC Bus Pass Program users receiving income assistance and disability assistance with the $52 Transportation Supplement for the duration of the BC Transit and Translink bus fare suspension
  • Existing Compass passes under the BC Bus Pass Program will not be cancelled and will remain active during this time, so people will not need to reapply for bus passes in the future.

More at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020SDPR0012-000620

April 02, 2020

The government has formally extended the state of emergency to April 14, 2020

A COVID-19 Supply Hub online platform is being introduced to help co-ordinate, source and expedite medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to support front-line health workers fighting COVID-19

BC Hydro will offer new, targeted bill relief

  • Residential customers who have lost their jobs or are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 will receive a credit to help cover the cost of their electricity bills. The credit will be three times their average monthly bill over the past year at their home and does not have to be repaid.
  • Small businesses that have been forced to close due to COVID-19 will have their power bills forgiven for three months. BC Hydro is waiving bills for these customers from April to June 2020
  • Major industries (ex: pulp and paper mills and mines) will have the opportunity to defer 50% of their bill payments for three months

March 31, 2020

To help essential service workers find child care, the province has launched a new matching process. Parents who are working on the front lines of COVID-19 in B.C. and have children up to five years of age will be matched with child care in their communities starting March 31st, 2020. Forms can be accessed by calling 1-888-338-6622 and selecting Option 4, or online at www.gov.bc.ca/essential-service-child-care.

A new B.C. built cable ferry, the Arrow Park III, will allow local residents who rely on the Province’s inland ferry to travel. Residents are reminded to avoid all non-essential travel and remain inside vehicles during sailings.

March 27, 2020

The province is funding the expansion of the province-wide information and referral service, bc211, to match seniors whose support network has been affected by COVID-19.
The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) is helping member markets move to an online model to continue providing consumers with locally grown and prepared food products. There are 145 member markets that are eligible to receive funding to help transition to an online market platform. B.C. residents can find a farmers market near them and see which markets have launched online operations in the weeks and months ahead at: https://bcfarmersmarkettrail.com/

March 26, 2020

The province of British Columbia is introducing a new temporary rental supplement of $500 a month for people with low to moderate incomes facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, but do not qualify for existing rental assistance programs. The funds will be paid directly to the landlord on the tenant’s behalf.

More at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0048-000561

March 25, 2020

Testing is available for all who need it but not everyone requires a test. Those who have severe illness, require hospitalization, are residents of long-term care facilities or are health-care workers will continue to be tested. 

If COVID-19 symptoms appear, call your health-care provider, call 811 for guidance or check your symptoms online or download a new self-assessment app.

Non-essential travel advisory from B.C. Ferries

B.C. Parks are moving to close certain parks and recreation areas.

March 24, 2020

In addition to previous updates:

  • The BC Emergency Benefit for Workers provides a one-time $1,000 payment for people who lost income.
  • At this time, employers must excuse workers for sickness without requiring a doctor’s note.
  • B.C. Hydro customers can defer payments or access grants to help pay their hydro bills.
  • Temporary emergency funding is available for child care centres.
  • K-12 and post-secondary in-person learning remains suspended.
  • B.C. student loan payments are frozen for six months until September 30, 2020, with no accrual of interest.

More online

March 23, 2020

The declared state of emergency from March 18th is ongoing and the government has since limited restaurants to take-out and delivery options only. The provincial health officer has ordered personal service establishments (nail salons, health spas and massage parlours, etc.) closed until further notice as these services require direct, personal contact with other people.

The BC government announced support and relief for the province’s most vulnerable population and those living in BC housing. Initial actions include:

  • a ban on evictions for non-payment of rent in BC Housing-funded buildings;
  • the development of distinct protocols and identification of sites to support isolation for vulnerable people experiencing homelessness – sheltered or unsheltered – and those in private single room occupancy (SROs) and social housing buildings;
  • sustaining service providers through continued payments to ensure they can pay their staff and operating costs; and
  • centralized procurement for critical supplies needed by frontline providers, including gloves and cleaning products.

Previously announced, the B.C. government waived the Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage wait period for people moving back to B.C. from COVID-19 impacted areas. The B.C. government is also planning to provide health coverage to British Columbians who are out of province and unable to return.  

There are resources available for managing COIVD-19 related stress, anxiety and depression.

More at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0102-000540

March 20, 2020

The government declared a state of emergency on March 18, 2020 which is initially in effect for 14 days and may be extended or rescinded as necessary.

A website dedicated to COVID-19 has been created. This site includes a section for questions about work for employees and employers, and covers topics such as:

More at: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/case-counts-press-statements

 

 

 

July 24, 2020

The government facilitated the creation of more than 7,100 student jobs this summer. Learn more on programs to support summer employment here.

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found online

Effective as of July 14, 2020, the provincial state of emergency has been extended for another 30 days. Learn more online

The province has expanded the Back to Work Wage Subsidy program by reimbursing up to $5,000 for up to 10 new workers to a maximum of $50,000 per business, not for profit or charity. Learn more online.

May 29, 2020

The province has introduced a Disability Economic Support Program which will provide eligible Manitobans who receive monthly benefits under the disability category of employment and income assistance a mailed cheque in the amount of $200 in early June for one-time support. This payment will not be considered taxable income and will not affect any other benefits received.

More at: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=48318&posted=2020-05-26

May 5, 2020

The province is providing direct financial support to Manitoba seniors through the Seniors Economic Recovery Credit which will provide every Manitoban aged 65 and older with a one-time, refundable tax credit of $200. The Department of Finance will mail a payment cheque as a credit advance to each senior who filed a 2018 income tax return prior to April 1, 2020.

InformNet, an online high school learning management system, is available for summer school for grade 9 to 12 students who have not successfully completed a course(s) during the regular academic year or wish to improve their grade(s). Student fees for summer school courses will be waived for 2020 and there will be no cap on enrolment.

The Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP) is now open for applications. Eligible businesses will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment of $6,000, electronically deposited into their business bank account. The application deadline is July 31.

April 29, 2020

The province is increasing testing criteria and capacity for COVID-19. Testing criteria will be expanded to include even mild symptoms of a cough, runny nose, sore throat and/or fever.

The province is implementing four new temporary orders, under the Emergency Measures Act, retroactive to the beginning of the state of emergency of March 20:
•    Youth in Care Provisions Order,
•    Student Aid Provisions Order,
•    International Fuel Tax Agreement Credential Provisions Order, and
•    Trucking and Transportation Provisions Order.

Learn more at: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=47663&posted=2020-04-28

April 24, 2020

The government has launched a new wage subsidy program, Summer Student Recovery Plan, to support high school and post-secondary students employed in the private and non-profit sectors. For the first two weeks of the program, priority for the new Summer Student Recovery Plan will be given to employers who do not qualify for the various federal government assistance programs.

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is returning up to $110 million to provide financial relief to its policyholders. Rebates will be based on what policyholders paid last year and expected to be around 11%, or between $140 to $160, per average policyholder. More information will be provided in the coming days.

The province received a substantial order of personal protective equipment (PPE), specifically disposable isolation gowns, to help in the fight against COVID-19.

April 22, 2020

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) board of directors has approved and authorized further relief for employers who fund the WCB by returning approximately $37 million in surplus funds. In May, eligible employers will receive a credit to their account based on 20% of their 2019 premium. 

The government is providing financial support to small and medium-sized businesses that have been affected by COVID-19 who do not qualify for the various federal government assistance programs and wage subsidies through the newly established Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP).

April 20, 2020

The province continues procurement efforts for personal protective equipment (PPE) and has invested $400 million to accelerate the pace of procurement of supplies to combat COVID-19.

The government’s bilingual service centres website has been redesigned to improve navigation and offer a more user-friendly experience.

April 17, 2020

AbilitiCBT, a virtual cognitive behavioural therapy program that is free and confidential, is now available to help support the mental health and emotional wellness of Manitobans during this pandemic. 

April 15, 2020

The province is expanding online and distance-learning courses for students throughout Mantioba such as, expanded access to InformNet online courses.

The government will now compensate health-care workers who are required to self-isolate due to possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace by providing health-care staff paid administrative leave for the full 14-day period of asymptomatic self-isolation. Should a worker become symptomatic during self-isolation, the individual will be compensated by sick leave benefits.

The province is also proposing changes that would allow employees protected leave for eligible purposes. 

The government is investing in the development of new mental health programs to provide peer and family support services. More at: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=47540&posted=2020-04-15

April 13, 2020

An estimate of over 65,000 Manitoba businesses are eligible for federal support programs, such as the 75% wage subsidy and Canada Emergency Business Account, which offers interest-free loans up to $40,000. The province is in the process of working with 24-7 Intouch to help businesses, not-for-profits and charities facing economic challenges due to COVID-19 connect with support programs.

The government is looking to the local business community to produce a new Manitoba-designed mask to enhance the supply of the personal protective equipment for front-line health-care workers.

Following the province’s declared state of emergency on March 20, orders were established under The Public Health Act to help reduce the spread of the virus including:
•    restrictions on public gatherings to 10 or fewer people,
•    require the closure of non-essential businesses, and
•    enforcement of social distancing measures by businesses and services that remain open including ensuring a two-metre distance is kept between people in the facility or premises.

Effective immediately, fine amounts for breaching these emergency orders will be set at $486 for individuals and $2,542 for businesses.

The province is providing a supplemental web portal resource for Manitoba families whose children are learning at home during the suspension of in-school classes because of COVID-19.

The Manitoba government is taking steps to extend supports and services to all young adults who would otherwise age out of the Child and Family Services (CFS) system during this difficult time. The government will continue to extend supports to all youth currently in care who turn 18 between March 20 and Sept. 30.

Repayment of Manitoba Student Aid loans is being suspended for six months to help reduce the financial burden on post-secondary students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 07, 2020

Manitobans are reminded to stay home if they can, this includes family gatherings. Residents are reminded to continue seeking care for regular and chronic medical conditions.

More at: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?archive=month

April 03, 2020

The government announced new measures in the Manitoba Protection Plan to provide additional support and relief to Manitobans. New measures include:

  • investing more than $100 million to accelerate the pace at which Manitoba is procuring essential medical supplies and equipment, hotel capacity and other critical needs
  • Providing the following protections for the next six months until Oct. 1: 
    • instructing Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) to not charge interest or penalties in the event that Manitobans are unable to pay at this time;
    • instructing MPI to relax ordinary practices on policy renewals and collections;
    • instructing Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries not to charge interest on receivables from restaurants, bars and specialty wine stores;
    • supporting Workers Compensation Board (WCB) to do the same and asking WCB to extend relief from penalties for late payments;
    • directing Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas to not disconnect customers during these times; and
    • Working with municipal partners to ensure municipalities do not charge interest on provincial education taxes and school division fees and the province is encouraging municipalities to do the same with respect to their own taxes and will start discussions to support implementation.
  • Deferring provincial income tax and corporate income tax filing deadlines until Oct. 1st, 2020 (should the federal government agree as the federal income tax deferral is until Aug. 1st, 2020.)
  • Expanding shelter capacity by adding more than 140 new shelter beds to support homelessness

More at: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=47380&posted=2020-04-03

April 02, 2020

New screening procedures are being implemented for staff working in acute and long-term care facilities beginning April 1st, 2020.

More at: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=47346&posted=2020-04-01

March 31, 2020

Manitoba is suspending classroom learning for kindergarten to Grade 12 students indefinitely for this school year. 

More at: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=47341&posted=2020-03-31

March 27, 2020

The government is introducing an internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) program to help anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic free of charge for Manitobans 16 years old and over. The program will be available in English and French in the coming weeks.

Effective as of 12:01am on Monday March 30, 2020, all public gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises.

March 26, 2020

Manitobans are reminded that pharmacies have been asked to limit individuals to a 30-day supply of medication.

The province is reaching out to businesses and their employees for products and their supplies to help fight COVID-19.

More at: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=47257&posted=2020-03-25

March 25, 2020

The Manitoba government will postpone eviction hearings and freeze rent increases. Rent increases scheduled to take effect on April 1 or later will be suspended. Measures to suspend non-urgent eviction hearings are in place until May 31 and will be monitored to determine if additional adjustments are required.

More at: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=47219&posted=2020-03-24

March 24, 2020

The province of Manitoba has launched an online tool to safely connect volunteers with Manitobans needing assistance with goods and services such as groceries, medication, snow-clearing and various necessities. Manitobans can access www.HelpNextDoorMB.ca directly or via www.Manitoba.ca/COVID19.

More at: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=47197

March 23, 2020

The government of Manitoba has declared a state of emergency. At this time, the public health orders apply to public places, not workplaces. However, workplaces are encouraged to still follow the social distancing practices recommended by public health authorities.

The online screening tool for COVID-19 is now available in an interactive voice response (IVR) format. The tool asks callers standard screening questions for COVID-19 and will direct those who may need a conversation with a health-care professional to Health Links-Info Santé. People who want to self-screen can call 1-877-308-9038.

March 20, 2020 

The Government of Manitoba has new programs in place to help ensure child care options are available to parents who are also front-line, essential workers during the COVID-19 response. 

The new programs include:

  • a new grant program to help early childhood educators begin independently offering child care services at their homes or in the community;
  • full operating grants and subsidies to licensed child care centres that continue to provide care for up to 16 children, with first priority given to children of health care and other essential workers; and
  • capital grants to child care providers to ensure safe, quality care. 

 

 

 

July 24, 2020

The provincial government has made amendments to the federally funded essential worker wage top-up program. The program now includes private sector home care support workers and early learning and childcare enhanced support workers who provide direct client care. Learn more online.

May 29, 2020

Landlords and tenants are reminded that the eviction protection from the province’s state of emergency that prevented evictions for non-payment of rent will end on May 31. More at: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.05.0285.html

May 5, 2020

The government has put in place job protection, retroactive to March 12, for individuals who are not able to work because they have COVID-19, are caring for a person with whom they have a close family relationship who has the virus, or are following self-isolation or quarantine protocols as directed by Public Health. The regulation also provides job protection for employees who cannot report to work because they are caring for their children due to school or daycare closures. 

  • Employees must request this emergency leave from their employers, in writing, as soon as possible. The request must include the reason for the leave, the anticipated start date and the duration of the leave.
  • Employers are not required to pay employees while they are on a leave due to COVID-19.

Further details on job protection for workers are available online.

April 29, 2020

Grade 12 students are encouraged to get an early start on their post-secondary education by enrolling in distance learning offered through the spring and summer intersession courses at the following universities:

  • University of New Brunswick, 
  • St. Thomas University, 
  • Mount Allison University 
  • Université de Moncton

Testing protocols for COVID-19 are being expanded to capture a wider range of symptoms for the disease. New symptoms include:

  • a new onset of fatigue;
  • a new onset of muscle pain;
  • diarrhea;
  • loss of sense of taste or loss of sense of smell; and
  • in children, purple markings on the fingers or toes.

Temporary foreign workers restricted from entering province as the province’s borders remain closed for the time-being. 

More at: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.04.0235.html

April 24, 2020

The government is providing nursing homes with iPads to help families stay connected.

The province will present a recovery plan in the coming days.

The 30-day limit on prescription drugs will be eliminated for drugs where shortages do not exist. The government will create a working group which will identify those drugs which could experience a shortage and put in place a 30-day supply limitation if necessary in order to protect the supply. More at: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.04.0224.html

April 22, 2020

Effective as of April 21st, a secure web portal is now available to enable eligible residents to access their COVID-19 test results faster. Individuals tested at an assessment centre will be given a registration code for the MyHealthNB website and can check for results as soon as their tests have been processed, usually within 48 hours.

April 20, 2020

The Human Rights Commission now has a process in place that allows people to file a complaint online. People who believe they are victims of discrimination or harassment can file a complaint to the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission online.

April 17, 2020

The government has extended the state of emergency previously declared to April 30, 2020.

April 15, 2020

Applications for the New Brunswick Workers Emergency Income Benefit are now closed as applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (federal support) are open as of April 6. Applications for the provincial emergency income benefit that were submitted by the deadline continue to be processed.

A process has been established for donating personal protective equipment (PPE) during COVID-19.

April 13, 2020

The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission released online information to help New Brunswickers understand their rights and obligations under the Human Rights Act during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Testing for COVID-19 in is being broadened to capture more potential cases of the disease and will now be recommended for people exhibiting at least two of the following symptoms:

  • fever above 38°C;
  • a new cough or worsening chronic cough;
  • sore throat;
  • runny nose; and
  • headache.

April 07, 2020

Law enforcement officials have been actively enforcing the emergency order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Fines can range from $292.50 to $10,200

Applications for the New Brunswick Workers Emergency Income Benefit will end at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 9.

Small, medium and large employers in New Brunswick whose businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 can now apply to the provincial government for loans for working capital. Businesses can access more information about the application processes and find resources online.

More at: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.04.0187.html

April 03, 2020

April 02, 2020

The state of emergency declared on March 19 is being extended for another 14 days. Failing to obey the emergency order has serious consequences, with fines ranging from $292.50 to $10,200.

More at: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.04.0173.html

March 31, 2020

Nine Service New Brunswick offices are re-opening for in-person services by appointment only.

More at: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.03.0171.html

March 27, 2020

The Red Cross will have a website online at noon on Monday, March 30, that will provide information about a one-time income benefit available to either workers or self-employed people in New Brunswick. Payments of this $900 one-time benefit will begin on April 2.

The provincial government will assist New Brunswickers who find themselves unemployed by providing emergency-income benefits in the following ways:

  • Income support for workers: 4.5$ million investement for workers who have recently become unemployed. The benefit will end on April 30.
  • Job protection for workers: legislative and regulatory amendments will be introduced to allow an unpaid leave of up to 15 weeks to New Brunswickers who have COVID-19 or are caring for someone with the virus.
  • Elimination of interest on WorkSafeNB assessment premiums: deferring the collection of these premiums for three months. The rate will be reduced to zero percent to align with the three month deferral.
  • Deferring interest and principal payments on existing business loans with the government of New Brunswick, on a case-by-case basis, for up to six months.
  • Loans of up to $200,000 for small business owners
  • The province will provide working capital of more than $200,000 to help medium-sized to large employers manage the effects of COVID-19

Information for businesses is available online and application details will be made available in the coming days.

More at: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.03.0157.html

March 26, 2020

The provincial government has partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to support all residents and visitors in New Brunswick affected by the requirement of self-isolation, by establishing a help line specific to them. People who have issues or concerns should call 1-800-863-6582.

More at: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.03.0155.html

March 25 2020

The provincial government will provide a one-time income benefit of $900 to either workers or self-employed people in New Brunswick who have lost their job due to the state of emergency. This benefit will be administered through the Red Cross. Further details on how to apply will follow in the coming days.

More at: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.03.0152.html

March 24, 2020

The requirement to self-isolate following international and inter-provincial travel remains in place. Likewise, staying home and practicing social distancing remains strongly encouraged. 

A toll-free information line and email address has been set up to help answer non-health related questions, including questions about compliance with the state of emergency. The line is operational seven days a week from 8:30am to 4:30pm. 

Tel: 1-844-462-8387

Email: helpaide@gnb.ca 
More at: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.03.0150.html 

March 23, 2020

For the duration of the state of emergency, patients with drug coverage under the New Brunswick’s public drug plans will only be responsible for the initial co-payment on a prescription fill or refill. For example, a patient with a 90-day prescription will only have a co-payment for the first 30-day fill. https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.03.0147.html

The government of New Brunswick is working to minimize the financial impacts that child care facility closures are having on parents. The Education and Early Childhood Development department has committed to covering the fees of anyone who has lost their income due to COVID-19. Additionally, essential service workers will not have to pay double fees for their child care services, in other words, those paying to reserve a space at their usual child care facility but whose child is attending one of the emergency child care facilities will not pay for the emergency child care facilities. 

People returning to New Brunswick from international travel are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

More at: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news.html

March 19, 2020

The government declared a state of emergency in New Brunswick under the provincial Emergency Measures Act. Part of the emergency declaration will suspend the authority of landlords to evict tenants for non-payment of rent through May 31st 2020.  

This declaration gives the province broad powers to act in the interest of public health including reducing many non-essential businesses to online or having them close, closure of schools, universities and colleges and the closure of public recreation and entertainment spaces.

More at: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.03.0139.html

 

 

 

July 24, 2020

The province launched it’s 2020 in-province tourism marketing campaign, Stay Home Year 2020, which encourages residents to stay home. Learn more online

As of July 1st, there are new summer schedules for some provincial ferry routes. Learn more online

The provincial government has extended the deadline for the Essential Worker Support Program. Employers can now submit applications until August 20, 2020. Learn more online.

June 11, 2020

The following tax return deadlines have been extended to August 20, 2020:

  • Gasoline Tax
  • Carbon Tax
  • Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax
  • Insurance Companies Tax
  • Mining and Mineral Rights Tax
  • Tax on Insurance Premiums
  • Tobacco Tax

May 5, 2020

Residents of the province can now call the provincial government’s 811 Healthline service to access basic information about food programs in their community, including referrals to food banks and meal programs. More at: https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2020/exec/0504n02/

April 29, 2020

The government is providing compensation for private sector employers for continuation of pay to employees who were required to self-isolate for 14-days due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, including individuals who are self-employed. More at: https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2020/exec/0429n03/

April 24, 2020

The setting of all open fires on forest land or within 300 meters of forest land for all regions of the province is now prohibited until September 30, 2020.

The government has amended the Credit Union Regulations to provide all of the province’s credit unions with the ability to access federal commercial loan programs to help Newfoundland and Labrador businesses deal with the financial impacts from the COVID-19 public health emergency

April 22, 2020

Effective as of April 21st, a secure web portal is now available to enable eligible residents to access their COVID-19 test results faster. Individuals tested at an assessment centre will be given a registration code for the MyHealthNB website and can check for results as soon as their tests have been processed, usually within 48 hours.

April 17, 2020

Updated information from the government regarding COVID-19 related measures in place can be found on here as news becomes available.

April 15, 2020 

Individuals are encouraged to continue good infection prevention and control practices. Daily preventative actions can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

April 13, 2020

As the CERB became open for applications last week, residents are reminded that individuals cannot receive both provincial Income Support and the CERB at the same time. Should Income Support clients receive the CERB, they will no longer qualify for Income Support, and benefits will be suspended immediately. An overpayment will be set up on Income Support files where there is an overlap in payments from the CERB. More at: https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2020/aesl/0409n05/

The government will begin supplying families impacted by the temporary suspension of in-person visitations that lack access to technology with additional resources to support video-based visits, where possible, with their children throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

For individuals with provincial student loans in default and who file income tax returns with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) from April 9, 2020 to September 30, 2020 which results in a refund, including GST credits, CRA will send refunds, including GST credits, directly to individuals instead of the Provincial Government. More at: https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2020/aesl/0409n09/

April 07, 2020

Government is asking all individuals and businesses that receive payments from the provincial government via cheque to transition to electronic payments as soon as possible.

Youth involved with the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development’s in care, kinship and youth services programs will continue to be supported during the current pandemic. More at: https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2020/cssd/0407n02/

April 03, 2020

  • Public exams for this school year are cancelled. More at: https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2020/exec/0402n02/
  • The government has launched an online COVID-19 Data Hub which includes
    • Interactive map of the distribution of COVID-19 cases across the province
    • Graphs indicating the spread of the virus
    • Data on the number of cases, hospitalizations, recoveries and tests completed

April 02, 2020

The province has a webpage dedicated to resources and information specific to COVID-19: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/resources-2/ 

March 31, 2020

Newfoundland and Labrador retailers selling milk, eggs and chicken are being asked to not limit the quantities available to customers. 

The validity of Medical Care Plan (MCP) cards is being extended to June 30, 2020 for those who have cards that would have expired as of March 1, 2020 and onward.

March 27, 2020

New toll-free telephone number for the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development has been implemented: 1-833-552-2368.

More at: https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2020/cssd/0326n01/

March 26, 2020

Effective as of March 26, 2020, the Department of Transportation and Works is implementing new restrictions for passengers travelling on provincial ferries.

The provincial government is working with community partners to assist in providing food to residents experiencing food insecurity due to COVID-19.

March 25, 2020

Premier Ball announced support for community-based organizations.

March 24, 2020

The requirement to self-isolate following international and inter-provincial travel remains in place.

The provincial government is asking that seniors, persons with disabilities that may affect their immunity, and organizations serving both seniors and persons with disabilities consider ways to support social distancing.

Effective as of March 23, long-term care homes are closed to all visitors. This directive will be reviewed on a regular basis.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment: https://www.811healthline.ca/covid-19-self-assessment/  

More at: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/

March 23 2020

Anyone arriving to the province from outside Newfoundland and Labrador on or after March 20, 2020 is required to self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival.

An Exemption Order and a Special Measures Order were released over the weekend.

March 20, 2020

Effective since March 18, 2020 the Government declared COVID-19 a public health emergency which resulted in the closing of many facilities (cinemas, arenas, performance spaces, gyms and fitness facilities, etc.). Restaurants are permitted to operate at 50% capacity amongst other restrictions. A person found in breach of these orders could face a fine or jail time. 

July 24, 2020 

The government will expand the Nova Scotia Child Benefit to include more families, while also raising the amount eligible families receive, starting July 20. Learn more online.

May 5, 2020

The state of emergency has been extended to May 17, 2020. More at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200501002

April 29, 2020

Schools and licenced child care will remain closed until at least Tuesday, May 19. 

A new operating loan program is being introduced to help municipalities with financial losses due to COVID-19. More at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200428004

April 24, 2020

The government is extending the deadline for some Registry of Motor Vehicle services, including:

  • Driver licences expiring in March, April, May or June will have a five-month extension from the original expiry date
  • Motor vehicle inspections expiring in March, April or May will now be valid until June 30.
  • Vehicle registrations, for all vehicle types, expiring Dec. 31, 2019, and later, are extended until Aug. 31.
  • All blue permanent accessible parking permits are valid until Aug. 31.
  • All temporary permits expiring in March or later are extended until Aug. 31.
  • More at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200424001

As of April 23, the $5.00 prescription co-pay for clients of the Income Assistance program and the Low Income Pharmacare for Children program is being waived. Due to the recommendation that pharmacists dispense prescriptions every 30 days for treatments that would usually be filled for a longer period of time, the government will also now pay extra dispensing fees for Pharmacare clients for refills on prescriptions that would usually be filled for longer periods. For example, government will cover the second and third refill dispensing fees for prescriptions typically dispensed for 90 days. More at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200422004

April 22, 2020

Updated information from the government regarding COVID-19 related measures in place can be found on here as news becomes available.

April 20, 2020

Organizations that deliver prepared meals, operate soup kitchens, help the homeless and provide other services will receive funding to help hire staff, buy food and make meal deliveries. More at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200417006

The government and the Nova Scotia Health Authority are working together to help Northwood implement an emergency plan to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak at its Halifax Campus. 

April 17, 2020

The government will be extending the state of emergency  previously declared to May 3, 2020.

April 15, 2020

The distribution of masks began over the Easter weekend as front-line workers in every public and private long-term care home, residential care facility and home-care agency across the province are now expected to wear masks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.  

More at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200413003

April 13, 2020

The Nova Scotia Securities Commission has launched a new webpage and online video to provide COVID-19 investing information to the public. The new webpage can be found at https://nssc.novascotia.ca/covid19  and compiles all news releases, notices and blanket orders issued to provide relief for individuals or applicants from a regulatory requirement about COVID-19.

Additional COVID-19 measures include:

  • Applications for the $40 million Worker Emergency Bridge Fund and Small Business Impact Grant will be open starting April 10. Call 1-800-863-6582 after checking eligibility online and visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/#support for more information.
  • payment for more than 480 small-business fees will be deferred until June 30 to keep cash in small business hands
  • 211 will launch Saturday, April 11, a new service to connect people needing COVID-19 assistance with the Canadian Red Cross. The Red Cross will act as a navigator to link people to the services they need. In addition, the Red Cross will offer wellness check-ins for Nova Scotians who are isolated and experiencing loneliness and anxiety
  • private campgrounds must close until May 1
  • the order under the Health Protection Act has been amended to require workers in the fishing and offshore industries to self-isolate when they enter the province

More at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200409005

April 07, 2020

The province is expanding testing to help identify spread of COVID-19 within the community.  Travel is being removed as a requirement for testing for COVID-19.

More at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200406004

April 03, 2020

The current state of emergency is extended until noon, April 19, 2020.

A new extended hours phone line has been set up for people wanting information on income assistance eligibility from the Department of Community Services. 

  • Call toll-free 1-833-722-1417 from Monday to Friday 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • During regular business hours, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. call the regular toll-free line at 1-877-424-1177.

New COVID-19 related measures announced to help citizens and businesses:

  • The government will provide a one-time, $1,000 payment, to help the self-employed and laid-off workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance, to bridge the gap between layoffs and closures and the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • $20 million to fund a new program -- the Small Business Impact Grant. Eligible small businesses and social enterprises will receive a grant of 15 per cent of their revenue from sales -- either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000, to be used for any purpose necessary.

More at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200402005

April 02, 2020

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus 

March 31, 2020

The province has created an online tool to help businesses and non-profits clarify if they may remain open and how to comply with new orders: https://covid19-employer-assessment.novascotia.ca/en

The province announced information for parents and students regarding at-home learning. Learn more at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200330004

The government announced measures to help businesses, seniors and vulnerable Nova Scotians such as:

  • Partnering with Telus to provide 100 phones and calling plans for vulnerable clients who have no other means of communication and may be alone 
  • Distributing up to 800 iPads across the province to long-term care homes so residents can connect with family and friends
  • Encouraging retail and commercial landlords to defer lease payments for the next three months for businesses that had to close directly due to the public health order

And more at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200327004

March 27, 2020

If you have travelled outside of Nova Scotia or have been in close contact with someone who has travelled and are experiencing a fever or cough, you should complete the online questionnaire before calling 811.

March 26, 2020

Measures previous announced include:

  • Increased testing of COVID-19 (now also testing close contacts of those affected)
  • Expanding virtual care for physicians, nurse practitioners and others so they can offer appointments to patients through telephone or video
  • Enhanced infection control measures at hospitals

More at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200324003

March 25, 2020

For up-to-date information on provincial government offices and facilities closures, view the official closures page

March 24, 2020

The recent declaration of state of emergency was part of the province’s response to individuals failing to follow the direction of public health officials. Nova Scotians should not leave the province and only leave home for essential items and services. Under this state of emergency, breaching of self-isolation and social distancing measures could result in fines by the police.

More info at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/#alerts

March 23, 2020

On March 22, 2020 the province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency which will be in effect for 14 days (valid until noon on April 5, 2020) and may be renewed. This calls for Nova Scotians to not leave the province and only leave home for essential items and services.

Public schools are closed for the weeks of March 23, 2020 and March 30, 2020, and licensed childcare providers are required to close until April 3, 2020.

March 20, 2020

The Government announced that effective immediately for the next three months, no tenant can be evicted due to their income being impacted by COVID-19. 

The province has made the following announcements to help vulnerable Nova Scotians:

  • Every individual and family member on income assistance will receive an additional $50 starting March 20. (People do not need to apply)
  • $1 million to help Feed Nova Scotia purchase food and hire more staff
  • Emergency funding of $230,000 for Senior Safety Programs and Community Links to help vulnerable older adults

As of March 19th, restaurants are restricted to take-out and delivery orders, personal services (hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments) must close, all fitness establishments must close, and all drinking establishments (winery and distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms) must close.

 

 

 

July 24, 2020

The 2020 Youth Opportunities Fund will provide financial support to 43 community organizations that will benefit youth aged 12 to 25, and their families, facing economic and social barriers. Learn more online

The province launched a campaign encouraging residents to “Shop Local, Shop Safe, Shop with Confidence”. Learn more online.

The province is investing into made-in-Ontario N95 masks. Learn more online.

June 11, 2020

The provincial declaration of emergency has been extended to June 30, 2020. More information online.

The government has extended all emergency orders currently in force until June 19, 2020. Learn more about the emergency orders in place online

The government is proposing a temporary ban on evictions for commercial tenants due to negative impacts from COVID-19. Learn more online. 

June 5, 2020

The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program supports consumers with electricity bills. Similarly, the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) supports small businesses with electricity bills.

Learn more at: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/06/ontario-supports-those-struggling-with-electricity-bills-during-covid-19.html

May 29, 2020

The government has extended a number of emergency orders until June 9, 2020. For a complete list of the emergency orders being extended, visit https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/ontario-extending-emergency-orders-during-covid-19-outbreak.html

May 5, 2020

The government has released safety guidelines for employers to ensure workers, customers and the general public are protected from COVID-19 as the province prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy.

The government is deferring a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electrivity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan. This initiative is intended to provide companies with temporary immediate relief on their monthly electricity bills in April, May and June 2020. More at: https://news.ontario.ca/mndmf/en/2020/05/ontario-providing-support-for-industrial-and-commercial-electricity-consumers-during-covid-19.html

Ontario has a province-wide network of 23 laboratory sites working in coordination to further increase capacity and test turn-around times for COVID-19 testing. Currently, labs are providing test results generally within 24 to 48 hours. Further guidance has been released to help the health sector ensure consistency across the province. More at: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/ontario-significantly-increases-daily-lab-testing.html

People can find information about the different virtual mental health and wellness options that meet their needs, including online therapy here. 

April 29, 2020

Public school closures are extended until at least May 31, 2020. Private schools, First Nation schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will remain closed until May 6, 2020, with certain exceptions for licenced care. More at: https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2020/04/school-closures-extended-to-keep-students-staff-and-families-safe.html

The government is providing frontline staff with a temporary pandemic payment. This increase will provide four dollars per hour worked on top of existing hourly wages, regardless of the qualified employee's hourly wage. The additional compensation is temporary and would begin flowing immediately and continue for 16 weeks. More at: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-supporting-frontline-heroes-of-covid-19-with-pandemic-pay.html

Provincial parks and conservation reserves will continue to remain fully closed to all recreational activities until May 31, 2020.

The COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website is being launched to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the global pandemic. More at: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-helping-businesses-overcome-the-unique-challenges-created-by-covid-19.html

April 24, 2020

New supports for small businesses and landlords affected by COVID-19 include the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA) which will provide loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortages because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by COVID-19. More at: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-provides-urgent-relief-for-small-businesses-and-landlords.html

The government has introduced more aggressive testing, screening and surveillance, deployed specialized tams from hospitals, public health and the home care sector, recruited additional frontline staff, and increased personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of the COVID-19 Action Plan for Protecting Long-Term Care Homes.

April 22, 2020

The government is doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment which provides a non-taxable benefit to low-income Ontario seniors. Eligible Ontarians will have their payments automatically doubled to receive up to $166 per month for individuals, and $332 per month for couples for the next six months. 

A new Ontario Community Support Program is being launched to expand existing Meals on Wheels services to reach low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions across Ontario. To identify a Meals on Wheels provider and request service, visit www.ontariocommunitysupport.ca

More at: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-providing-additional-relief-to-the-provinces-most-vulnerable.html

April 20, 2020

The government has expanded the emergency childcare services to include frontline workers in developmental services, victim services, violence against women services, anti-human trafficking services and child welfare services (children’s aid societies) and in children’s residential settings. Additional staff identified by the Ministry of the Solicitor General can now also access emergency childcare services, including First Nations constables, office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management fire investigators, select critical staff in community corrections (such as probation and parole officers), contractors in institutional corrections services and frontline staff at the Provincial Forensic Pathology unit.

The provincial and federal government are investing up to $1 million to help connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector.

Parents are encouraged to continue to apply for support for parents for financial assistance during child care and school closures.

April 17, 2020

The province is expanding hospital capacity in preparation for any COVID-19 outbreak scenario. Acute care and critical care beds have been added, and steps have been taken to ensure that hospitals have staff available to care for a sudden surge.

The government is enabling auto insurance companies to provide temporary insurance premium rebates to provide consumer relief.

April 15, 2020

Ontario continues to secure critical medical equipment and supplies. Over the last few days more than 13 million surgical and procedural masks, 200,000 N95 respirator masks, and 38 ventilators have been delivered to Ontario’s stockpile warehouses.

The government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency until May 12, 2020.

The government announced the COVID-19 Action Plan for Long-Term Care Homes which includes measures to help prevent further outbreaks and deaths from COVID-19 in long-term care homes. 

April 13, 2020

Ontario has been procuring critical medical equipment and supplies through its traditional suppliers and donations, as well as working in collaboration with the federal government, Ontario’s manufacturer and other provinces. Alberta is sending supplies to British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec to help address unprecedented demand in those provinces for personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators.

An emergency order has been issued which prevents any child care operator from charging parent fees where care is not being provided. Under this order, parents cannot lose their child care space due to non-payment.

Residents are reminded of the one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 children 21 years of age and younger with special needs. Learn more about this support for families online: https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-support-families?_ga=2.137382064.1409476807.1586807962-641762815.1571165983

The Ontario government has launched a new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee to start planning for Economic Recovery once the pandemic is over.

The government introduced the following new steps:

  • Making it easier to repurpose existing buildings and put up temporary structures, like tents, so communities can meet their local needs quickly. 
  • Temporarily enabling hospitals to increase their capacity by using the beds and services of retirement homes without certain labour relations implications during the declared provincial emergency.
  • Prohibiting recreational camping on Crown land as of April 9, 2020. 
  • Supporting construction workers and businesses with emergency action to help improve cash flow in the construction industry during the COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • To support small businesses, in collaboration with the federal government, the provincial government developed the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank. This new program will help businesses meet cash flow requirements through guaranteed loans.
  • Providing $52 million to better support individuals and families in financial crisis who are not able to access federal assistance to cover needs such as food costs, rent, medicine and other essential services during this time. Individuals can apply online for assistance. 

The following emergency orders have been extended until April 23, 2020:

April 07, 2020

The government has made an emergency order that will allow police, firefighters and paramedics to obtain COVID-19 positive status information about individuals that they come in contact with. These first responders will have access to an individual’s name, address, date of birth, and whether the individual has a positive COVID-19 test result for the duration of the pandemic.

More at: https://news.ontario.ca/mcscs/en/2020/04/ontario-takes-additional-measures-to-protect-first-responders-during-the-covid-19-outbreak.html

The government is deferring $15 million in property taxes for people and businesses in parts of Northern Ontario located outside of municipal boundaries. 

April 03, 2020

The province is increasing mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The province is providing emergency funding of up to $12 million to immediately expand online and virtual mental health supports for youth and adults. For some mental health resources and more information, visit: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-increasing-mental-health-support-during-covid-19.html

The province has also launched a new user-friendly online portal for the public to easily access their COVID-19 lab test results.

April 02, 2020

The government is launching a new $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment and ventilators. Proposals may be submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal.

More at: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-joins-forces-with-the-private-sector-to-fight-covid-19.html

March 31, 2020

The government is investing $10 million to help community organizations with the coordination of subsidized deliveries of meals, medicines and other necessities to seniors

The government is temporarily deferring payments for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loans until September 30, 2020 (providing a six-month interest-free moratorium) and making online learning supports, including year-end exams, available to postsecondary institutions

The government announced that schools and child care centres will remain closed as the second phase of Learn at Home is being launched.

More at: https://news.ontario.ca/newsroom/en

March 27, 2020

New investments to Ontario’s health care system to increase health care capacity include:

  • Investments in hospitals to help continue working on expanding capacity, add acute care and critical care beds, and to fund assessment centres.
  • Increased public health funding to support COVID-19 monitoring and testing, including investments in virtual care and Telehealth Ontario
  • Investments for surge capacity in long-term care facilities, 24/7 screening of staff and visitors, more staffing to support infection control and additional supplies and equipment
  • Investments to supply personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies to frontline staff

More at: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/ontario-provides-33-billion-more-to-increase-health-care-capacity.html

March 26, 2020

On March 25, 2020 the Finance Minister Rod Phillips released information on Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 which will include the following measures:

  • Providing a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs to help families pay for extra costs associated with school (private schools included) and daycare closures during COVID-19 
  • Proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAIS) payment for low-income seniors for six months
  • Supporting more affordable electricity bills
  • Cutting taxes through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption
  • Providing emergency child care options to support parents working on the front lines
  • Expanding access to the emergency assistance program administered by Ontario Works to provide financial support to people facing economic hardship and help people meet basic needs such as food and rent during this public health emergency

More at: https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2020/03/ontarios-action-plan-responding-to-covid-19.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=o

March 25, 2020

The government is providing electricity relief to families, small businesses and farms during COVID-19. For a 45-day period, the government is working to suspend time-of-use electricity rates.  

Stop the Spread Business Information Line: The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses that have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces. 

March 24, 2020

More at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-7

March 23, 2020

  • Premier Doug Ford has ordered closure of all non-essential workplaces in Ontario effective Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 PM
  • Ontario government to open child care centres for frontline workers including doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, police and correctional officers
  • Updated list of affected city services & facilities in Toronto 
  • Ontario health minister says the province is asking doctors and pharmacists not to re-fill prescriptions for more than 30 days to prevent drug shortages during the pandemic. The government says doctors and pharmacists will be allowed to use their own discretion if they believe a patient requires more than a 30 day supply

More at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-14

March 20, 2020

The Government of Ontario has a self-assessment for those who think they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.  In addition, the Ontario Government has taken the following measures to help Ontarians deal with COVID-19. The province has:

  • Committed to waiving the three-month waiting period for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. Additionally, the province will cover the cost of COVID-19 services for uninsured people who do not meet the criteria for OHIP coverage.
    •  Job-protected leave for employees who are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19 or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures or to care for other relatives. 
    • Clarity that employees cannot be required to show sick notes.

In addition, the Government of Ontario has introduced:

  • The first phase of Learn at Home, a new online portal that will provide resources for families so students can continue their education while schools are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
  • Extension of the validity period of driving products, services and health cards.

 

 

 

April 29, 2020

Government announcements and COVID-19 related information can be found online at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news

April 24, 2020

The government has added a new mental health and addictions information service via the COVID-19 Response Line. Any Islander can access this service and speak with trained mental health and addictions staff from 8am-4pm, Monday to Friday, by calling toll-free 1-833-533-9333. More at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/supporting-the-mental-health-of-islanders

New testing criteria and the addition of more groups to be regularly tested for COVID-19 is now being updated.  The province will be increasing COVID-19 testing and continuing strong screening measures at points of entry as the government looks to ease back restrictions. More at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/prince-edward-island-works-to-increase-covid-19-testing-in-the-province

April 22, 2020

The government will share details on a plan to ease public health measures in the days and weeks ahead. The plan is essentially a framework for how and when public health measures could be lifted while maintaining the safety of Islanders. More at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/province-planning-easing-public-health-measures

April 17, 2020

The province has extended the state of emergency previously declared to April 30, 2020.

April 15, 2020

The province is looking at supports for students and will be supporting the creation of 1,000 new job placements for island high school and post-secondary students through increases to current employment programs and partnerships with community and industry.

April 13, 2020

  • A Special Cabinet Committee on Family Violence Prevention has been established to ensure parents, children, and individuals at risk of family violence have the proper resources available during this difficult and uncertain time.
  • COVID-19 specific resources for individuals and families have been developed to address topics such as co-parenting,  how to support and answer questions from children and youth, and taking care of your mental health.
  • Recreational fishing season is being delayed until at least June 1st, 2020.
  • Provincial supports for the agricultural and trucking industries include:
    • a new $750,000 COVID-19 Strategic Fund for Agriculture under the Canada Agriculture Partnership to help commodities and small processors adapt to the pandemic. 
    • looking at ways to address some of the labour challenges facing the industry, including enhancing the Farm Team Student bursary which provides a financial incentive, on top of employee wages, to high school or post-secondary students who work in the agriculture industry. The province is adding a job matching service to the program so that job seekers can be paired quickly with farmers looking for workers this season. 
    • increased support for Farmers Talk, the program that provides farmers, farm workers and their families with advice and counselling from individuals who understand the agriculture industry.
    • Truckers with a valid Class 1 license or equivalent from other jurisdictions are eligible for a significantly reduced fee of $20 per night billed directly to the driver’s company for accommodation.

More at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news

April 07, 2020

Islanders are asked to act responsibly this weekend and remain diligent in their efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Plans for a virtual care platform to be used by physicians, nurse practitioners, and mental health and addictions will launch this week.

Additional measures in place to help Islanders and provide property tax relief include:

  • Deferring provincial property tax and fee payments until December 31, 2020;
  • Extending property assessment appeal deadlines for assessment year 2020 to December 31, 2020;
  • Providing interest relief for tax year 2020, including all past due amounts;
  • Suspending tax sale processes for the remainder of 2020; and
  • Delaying mailing of provincial tax bills for 2020 until June. 

More at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news

April 03, 2020

The province announced a new COVID-19 Special Situations Fund which will provide up to $1,000 to Islanders who have experienced urgent income loss as a result of COVID-19 and are not eligible for other federal and provincial funding support. Eligible Islanders can call 1-833-533-9333 to apply for support under the fund which will be available until June 16, 2020.

More at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/province-announces-covid-19-special-situations-fund

April 02, 2020

People are encouraged to continue to self-isolate and practice physical distancing.

The province has announced additional income relief for Islanders 18 years or older who have lost their primary source of income because of COVID-19 and have no other income. This COVID-19 Income Support Program will provide a one-time, taxable payment of $750. Lean more about this fund and eligibility requirements at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/province-announces-additional-income-relief-stricter-screening-measures-travelers

As of April 1st, 2020, additional screening and enforcement measures are being taken at the Confederation Bridge. Travellers arriving in to P.E.I will be stopped to determine if their travel to P.E.I is essential.

March 31, 2020

Cough and fever clinics open in Charlottetown (as of March 28) and Summerside (as of March 30).

The province announced rental assistance for Islanders and commercial businesses impacted by COVID-19. Landlords who defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for three months (May-July) could be eligible for financial assistance (up to a maximum of $50,000 per landlord and $15,000 per tenant) if the deferred rent can’t be recovered. More at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/province-announces-rental-support-measures

An online portal is being launched to help Island residents and businesses meet the challenges of the pandemic, including the need for medical supplies, virtual care services, or to share ideas on how the province can help businesses and industries weather the impacts of COVID-19.

The province announced some next steps for children and students with regards to their education moving forward. Learn more at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/province-outlines-next-steps-children-and-students

March 27, 2020

Non-essential government services and non-essential businesses will remain closed indefinitely as the situation continues to be re-evaluated on a regular basis. 

All schools across P.E.I will remain closed for in-person classes and daycares will remain closed until, at minimum, May 11.

More at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/prince-edward-island-extends-closures-schools-daycares-non-essential-services

March 26, 2020

Islanders are urged to continue to self-isolate and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

More at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/prince-edward-island-tightens-restrictions-on-self-isolating

March 25, 2020

The province has partnered with Sobeys Inc. to put in place the Employee Gift Card Program which is a temporary program that will offer a $100 Sobeys gift card to any employee, living and working on P.E.I., who has received a lay-off notice as a direct result of the impacts associated with COVID-19. The application forms will be open on March 25, 2020 and need to be completed by the employer, who will then distribute the cards to affected employees.

More at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/province-announces-additional-supports-for-individuals-and-families

March 24, 2020

The requirement to self-isolate following international and inter-provincial travel remains in place. Likewise, staying home and practicing social distancing remains strongly encouraged. 

The province will enforce stronger measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of Islanders as needed, including measures such as fines to anyone who is not complying with the direction to self-isolate.

More at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/new-provincial-measures-protect-islanders

March 23, 2020

All non-essential provincial government services have been halted. There are several public closures and some health PEI facilities are closed to visitors. 

Emergency child services will be available to essential workers who have no other alternatives during this pandemic.

More at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/covid-19

March 20, 2020

The Government announced new financial supports such as:

  • deferring all scheduled loan payments for clients of Finance PEI, Island Investment Development Inc., and the PEI Century Fund for the next 3 months;
  • providing $4.5 million to Community Business Development Corporations across the province to deliver financing to small business and entrepreneurs; and 
  • a temporary allowance of $200 per week for anyone who has experienced a significant drop in their working hours.

Emergency Child Care Services are exclusively available for children of essential service workers who have no further alternatives.

 

 

 

June 11, 2020

Updated COVID-19 Self-Care Guide: https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/self-care-guide-covid-19/

May 5, 2020

The province has a site dedicated for occupational health and safety tools for employers and workers: https://www.cnesst.gouv.qc.ca/salle-de-presse/covid-19-info-en/Pages/back-to-work.aspx

April 29, 2020

The government has issued safety measures for workers and children in elementary schools and daycare services during COVID-19 in preparation for schools re-opening.

April 24, 2020

The Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale is proposing a temporary web platform enabling businesses offering essential services or commercial activities to publish job offers that quickly reach workers looking for a job.

April 22, 2020

Learn more or review previously announced financial supports for individuals and businesses here: https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/financial-assistance-covid19/

April 20, 2020

The government has released instructions for vulnerable individuals and their relatives during COVID-19.

April 17, 2020

Updated information on COVID-19, including resources and details on supports for individuals and businesses can be found here: https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/

April 15, 2020

The closure of non-essential businesses is extended until May 4, 2020.

The province has an Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW) that will provide $100 for each week of qualifying work. Eligible workers will be able to apply online beginning on May 19 to receive a taxable benefit of $400 per month, for a total of $1,600 for the full 16-week period.

April 13, 2020

Alberta is sending supplies to British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec to help address unprecedented demand in those provinces for personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators.

the government is requesting the cancellation of indoor and outdoor festivals and cultural events planned in Québec until August 31, 2020.

Learn more of the previously announced following measures from their respective webpages:

April 07, 2020

The Institut nation de santé publique du Quebec (INSPQ) has published directives and interim recommendations for the protection of workers with chronic illnesses and immunocompromised persons, relevant to the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

The following publications include recommendations for patients as well as clinicians and employers:

April 03, 2020

For updated information on the provincial supports available to individuals, families, businesses and workers in Quebec during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/

April 02, 2020

Educational institutions (elementary and secondary schools, training centres, private schools) will be closed until May 1, inclusively. The Open School platform has been put online to provide educational resources. 

    • Emergency school daycare services are open for the children (aged 4 to 13) of health care, social services and essential services personnel.

A program to offer financial assistance to meet the needs of workers who, because they are in isolation to counter the propagation of the COVID-19 virus, cannot earn all of their work income and are not eligible for another financial assistance program is in place.

March 31, 2020

Find out about the temporary changes to store hours and days of admission to commercial establishments here: https://www.economie.gouv.qc.ca/ministere/english/covid-19-temporary-changes-to-the-hours-and-days-of-admission-to-commercial-establishments/

The COVID-19 Self-care Guide has been revised as of March 30, 2020: https://cdn-contenu.quebec.ca/cdn-contenu/sante/documents/Problemes_de_sante/19-210-30A_Guide-auto-soins_anglais.pdf?1584985885

March 27, 2020

Quebec residents are asked to contact the police department serving your area, as opposed to calling 911, to report gatherings, in order to avoid overloading the telephone lines of 911 emergency centres.

More at: https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/instructions-directives/#c48647

March 26, 2020

As of March 25, 2020 and until April 13, 2020, the government has ordered the minimization of all non-priority services and activities. A list of priority services and activities has been made public and will be updated periodically. 

More at: https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/

March 25, 2020

To help with the upcoming labour shortages, the agricultural community and certain government departments are considering recruiting unemployed workers in hotel and restaurant industries, as well as students. 

More at: https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/

March 24, 2020

March 23, 2020

  • All non-essential businesses are to be closed effective Tuesday at 11:59 PM until May 1st. Likewise, schools will be closed until May 1st and provincial exams will not happen this year.
  • Quebec government has banned all gatherings of more than two people and told residents not to travel within the province.
  • Hydro-Quebec will not charge late payment fees for those who cannot pay their bills. 
  • Changes have been made to Montreal street parking, extending signs that indicate there is no parking after April 1st  to May 1st 
  • Montreal has a new COVID-19 testing site opening March 23, 2020 at Place des Festivals, open to patients 7 days a week from 8AM-8PM.
    • The service is available if you meet one of the following criteria: 
      • You have a cough, fever or trouble breathing. 
      • You have come in contact with a person who has recently travelled and is experiencing one or more of those symptoms. 
      • You have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
      • You returned from a trip outside the country after March 1 and have experienced symptoms within the last 14 days.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/covid-19-coronavirus-montreal-march-23-1.5506434

March 20, 2020

Temporary Aid for Workers Program: Starting March 19, 2020 eligible workers who reside in Quebec will be able to apply to receive $573 per week, for a period of 14 days of isolation, with a possible extension to a maximum of 28 days if justified by your state of health.

 

June 11, 2020

The Temporary Wage Supplement Program is being expanded to include workers, regardless of income level, working at licensed public or private long-term care facilities, which are under public health orders restricting visitations. Workers at assisted living facilities which also are under public health orders, will now be eligible for the wage supplement if they earned a wage less than $24.00 per hour in the four-week period for which the worker has applied for the supplement. Private day cares and approved private service homes will also be eligible for the payments.

For each eligible worker, the temporary wage supplement is $400 for each four-week period, up to 16 weeks, for the period from March 15, 2020 to July 4, 2020. More information online.

May 5, 2020

A temporary wage supplement for lower income essential workers will provide workers helping Saskatchewan’s vulnerable citizens through the COVID-19 pandemic with a salary top up by a cost-shared $400 per month. The application process will be outlined in the coming days. More at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2020/april/30/temporary-wage-supplement

The government is providing $1 million in support of a province-wide campaign, Together We Stand, intended to help bridge the gap between consumers and businesses in the province by encouraging residents to support local businesses and their employees. More at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2020/may/01/support-for-local-businesses

April 29, 2020

Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer issued a strong recommendation against non-essential travel between communities within northern Saskatchewan.

April 24, 2020

The federal and provincial governments have agreed to increase the 2020 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for Saskatchewan producers. More at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2020/april/24/agristability-interim-payments

April 22, 2020

The government is urging residents, farmers and landowners to take extra precaution to prevent wildfire and grassfire during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 20, 2020

As of April 16, the government has enacted Regulations allowing the signing of a will to be witnessed remotely as long as one of two witnesses is a lawyer.

AgriStability, a low-cost risk management program offering financial assistance to producers who experience large margin declines due to any combination of production loss, adverse market conditions or increased costs,  has extended the enrollment deadline without penalty to July 3, 2020.

April 17, 2020

Updated information from the government regarding COVID-19 related measures in place can be found on here as news becomes available.

April 15, 2020

As of April 15, staff, physicians, learners, trainees, vendors and contractors will be screened daily as they enter any Saskatchewan Health Authority facility or program area to ensure they do not have influenza like illness. Additionally, masks are now a requirement for all staff and physicians who work in patient/client/resident care areas or travel through those areas. More at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2020/april/14/sha-update-on-health-system-readiness

New relief measures are put in place to support Saskatchewan’s oil industry: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2020/april/14/oil-industry-support

April 13, 2020

Excessive pricing of products or services during a period of crisis that takes advantage of consumers who are unable to protect their own interests due to the impact of the crisis is not permitted. Consumers can register an online complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

one-time grant for small and medium-sized enterprises directly affected by government public health orders related to COVID-19.  Grants will be paid based on 15 per cent of a business’ monthly sales revenue, to a maximum of $5,000. Further details and application will be available April 13. 

Students with limited financial resources and supports, whose studies and employment have been disrupted, both domestic and international, may receive emergency bursaries which are available from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020.  Eligibility requirements and application details will be available to students through their post-secondary educational institution.

April 07, 2020

Residents are reminded to be efficient when shopping by sending only one person from a household and minimizing shopping to once a week, for essentials only.

Residents are encouraged to sign up for the SaskAlert app to get accurate and timely information about COVID-19. The app is available for download on Android and Apple devices at: http://emergencyalert.saskatchewan.ca/.

More at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2020/april/06/saskalert-app

April 03, 2020

Tools available for the public to ask questions, access information and obtain support during the COVID-19 include:

  • HealthLine 811
  • The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency’s (SPSA): Any non-health related questions regarding COVID-19, including concerns regarding compliance with public health orders, can be directed to the toll free line at 1-855-559-5502
  • COVID-19 Health System Information: The www.saskatchewan.ca/COVID19 website is an online source for all COVID-19 information in Saskatchewan. 
  • Business Response Team: Businesses can contact the Business Response Team by calling 1-844-800-8688, emailing supportforbusiness@gov.sk.ca or by visiting www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19-businesses.

More at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2020/april/02/covid-19-information-tools

April 02, 2020

The government and health sector partners are working together to ensure that mental health services are available, particularly to vulnerable populations and that they comply with the requirements to limit close contact.

Other mental health resources available to Saskatchewan residents include:

  • Kids Help Phone (https://kidshelpphone.ca/ ) offers professional counselling, information and referrals by phone, text or online chat.  It's confidential, free and available 24/7.
  • Mobile Crisis (http://www.mobilecrisis.ca/mobile-crisis-helpline/ ) centres are located across Saskatchewan and operate 24/7.
  • Employee and Family Assistance Programs can assist with mental health supports and counselling for qualifying employees and their dependents.

More at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2020/april/01/mental-health-during-pandemic

March 31, 2020

The province announced its Social Services Pandemic Response which include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing certain organizations that are providing emergency shelter support with extra funds 
  • When emergency shelters are unable to meet the needs of an individual or family because of capacity pressures, Social Services will support those in need with funds for emergency hotel stays and will work to transition clients to permanent housing.
  • Social Services is acting on the request from the Saskatchewan Youth in Care and Custody Network to delay transitions to independence for young people. 
  • To help families receiving the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), any families who were receiving part-time benefits because their children were attending school will receive full-time benefits, retroactive to March 1, 2020.
  • The Saskatchewan Housing Corporation will begin accepting applications for the new Saskatchewan Housing Benefit (SHB) on April 1, 2020. 
  • Social Services offices remain open.  The first hour of the day is reserved for more vulnerable individuals, including those with a disability or health problem such as a compromised immune system.

More at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2020/march/31/social-services-pandemic-response

March 27, 2020

The government is temporarily suspending eviction hearings as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.

Provincial fine collection and late payment fees will no longer accept fine payments in person. Fine payments still need to be paid using online methods. 

March 26, 2020

The government is limiting the size of public and private gatherings to a maximum of ten people. Additionally, a list of critical public services and allowable business services has been created to inform the business community of which businesses can continue to operate in accordance with social distancing practices. All changes are effective as of March 26, 2020.

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) is launching a dedicated, toll-free phone line for people who have general (non health specific) questions about COVID-19.

March 25, 2020

Residents in Saskatchewan are strongly urged to abide by the restrictions, guidelines and orders enacted by the Government of Saskatchewan to help slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is expanding capacity to meet demand for future phases of COVID-19.

March 24, 2020

An information webpage specific to businesses was developed for access to information and timely updates on provincial and federal measures. 

Effective as of March 23, restaurants and similar facilities, recreational and entertainment facilities, personal service facilities and other non-essential services are closed or limited.

The requirement to self-isolate following international and inter-provincial travel remains in place. Likewise, staying home and practicing social distancing remains strongly encouraged.

The government has launched a Business Response Team to support businesses in the province dealing with the economic challenges resulting from COVID-19.

More at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus

March 23, 2020

  • The Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory (RRPL) in Regina now has the ability to do confirmatory testing for COVID-19
  •  The closure of restaurants, food courts, cafeterias, cafes, bistros and similar facilities, except for takeout with two metre distancing between customers during pick-up; drive through food services; delivery of food products; soup kitchens, not-for-profit community and religious kitchens with two metre distancing between tables.
  • The closure of all recreational and entertainment facilities including fitness centers, casinos, bingo halls, arenas, curling rinks, swimming pools, galleries, theatres, museums and similar facilities.
  • The closure of all personal service facilities such as hairdressers, barbers, acupuncturists, cosmetologists, relaxation masseuses, manicurists, pedicurists, etc., in which body piercing, bone grafting or scarification services and personal service facilities including massage therapists, except where urgently and medically necessary.
  • The closure of dental, optometrist, chiropractic, registered massage therapy and podiatry clinics except for non-elective procedures.
  • All daycare facilities are limited to maximum of eight children unless they can configure the facility so that a maximum of eight children are kept in room and be in accordance with the Saskatchewan child care guidelines for care.
  • All daycares that are co-located with a long term care or personal care home that meet the above restriction shall be provided with a private entrance so that there are no shared common areas with the home and no interaction between daycare children and residents of the facility.

More at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2020/march/21/covid-19-update-march-21

March 20, 2020

Beginning Monday, March 23, the Government of Saskatchewan is re-purposing child care facilities in schools to provide child care services to support staff in health care and other employees who are delivering services related to the COVID-19 response. 

More at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2020/march/20/covid-19-update-child-care-options 

Updated: July 24, 2020