COVID-19: Cross country update (July 3, 2020)

July 3, 2020


The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Canada and British Columbia Invest in Infrastructure

In order to support community needs and economic recovery in light of COVID-19, there will be new investments in community infrastructure projects throughout British Columbia. These investments will fund projects in Northern BC, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Interior.

Northern BC (24 Projects)

The Government of Canada will be contributing $49.9 million, the Government of British Columbia will be contributing $15.4 million, and individual applicants will be contributing more than $11.5 million.

Lower Mainland (21 Projects)

The Government of Canada is investing more than $44.5 million, the Government of British Columbia is contributing over $19.2 million and the applicants (municipalities, Indigenous communities and not-for-profits) will be contributing more than $22.3 million.

Interior BC (25 Projects)

The Government of Canada is investing over $22.6 million, the Government of British Columbia is investing over $15 million and the applicants (municipalities, Indigenous communities and not-for-profits) are contributing more than $4 million.

Vancouver Island (22 Projects)

The Government of Canada is investing over $33.2 million, the Government of British Columbia is investing over $8.7 million and the individual applicants are contributing more than $12.2 million.

Additional Temporary Service Reductions at Select Canadian Ports of Entry

In addition to the service reductions announced in April and May, the Canada Border Service Agency has announced that they will be temporarily:

  • reducing the hours of operation at 12 land points of entry;
  • reducing the hours of operation at 8 air points of entry;
  • deferring the seasonal opening of 1 marine point of entry; and
  • deferring the shift to season hours of operation at 1 land point of entry.

For more information on these border service reductions, read the press release.

New Key Guidance for Resumption of Criminal Jury Trials

In response to COVID-19 the Action Committee on Court Operations is releasing approved national-level guidance documents on all phases of the jury trial process. The goal is to support the immediate resumption of criminal jury trials.

For more information on what is included in these documents, read the press release from the Department of Justice.

Government of Canada Invests in Supports for Apprentices in Skilled Trades

The Government of Canada is investing $40 million over three years in skilled trade programs. This investment will place Canada in a better position for a strong economic recovery.

The $40 million dollar investment in the Union Training and Innovation Program will allow organizations to apply for funding through two streams:

  • Investments in Training Equipment, and
  • Innovation in Apprenticeship.

Proposals for funding will be open until August 28, 2020.


British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

Protection Measures for Inland Ferries

The Province has reminded people that as BC transitions to Phase 3, passengers on the inland ferry system must continue adhering to Transport Canada’s COVID-19 safety protocols. Current measures include:

  • staying in your vehicle if you are travelling by vehicle;
  • the closing of passenger amenities;
  • the prohibition on boarding if you have symptoms of COVID-19; and
  • encouraging passengers to wear masks.

Support Service Helps over 4,200 Businesses during Pandemic

More than 4,200 businesses have been helped through the B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service since its launch in April 2020. Businesses have been helped through the use of phone chats and email. The service also posts information on their website, which has had over 200,000 visits.

The service is operated by Small Business BC (SBBC) and helps businesses navigate the different COVID-19 supports offered by both the provincial and federal governments. SBBC also offers other services such as: webinars, customized business advice and an online non-medical personal protective equipment marketplace.



The Government of Saskatchewan announced the following measures:

Expansion of Visitation Guidelines during COVID-19

A Public Health Order of the Chief Medical Health Officer, dated March 26, 2020, will soon be amended so as to expand visitation guidelines to facilities including acute and long-term care, personal care and group homes.

The amendments will come into effect beginning on July 7, and include the following:

  • Two family members or support persons can be identified to support patients and residents;
  • Only one of these people can be present in the facility at a time;
  • Two people can be present at one time for the following patients/residents:
    • Critical care/intensive care patients;
    • End of life/palliative care patients or residents; and
    • Maternal Services Units

provided that physical distancing can be maintained.

  • Additional family members or support persons may be identified for end of life, palliative and intensive/critical care.

Northern Medical Health Officers Rescind Travel Advisory for Northern Alberta

The Office of the Northern Medical Health Officers for the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority recently rescinded a travel advisory regarding non-essential travel to Northern Alberta.

The initial travel advisory was issued on April 18, 2020 after a number of COVID-19 cases in northwest Saskatchewan were linked to travel to northern Alberta.

While the travel advisory has been rescinded, the Northern Medical Health Officers for the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority continue to advise residents to take precautions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.



The Government of Ontario announced the following measures:

Canadian Armed Forces Depart Ontario Long-Term Care Homes

As the final team of Operation LASER concludes its assignment, the Ontario government has expressed its gratitude to members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their efforts under the Operation, which provided temporary support for high-priority long-term care homes in the province during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ontario Supporting Jobs and Affordable Housing in Georgina

The Ontario government recently announced an investment of more than $4 million in support of a local construction training program.

The program will be run through SkillsOntario, an organization whose aim is to develop Ontario’s skilled trades and technologies workforce, and will train up to 100 job seekers for construction-related professions.

Its training facility will be located in the Town of Georgina and the start of the training is projected for January 2021.

Ontario Helps Natural Products Manufacturer Expand Operations in Sault Ste. Marie

With funding to be delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), the government of Ontario recently announced an investment of $185,425 to assist a natural products manufacturer expand its operations and create jobs amidst the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The manufacturer in question, OC Hair Bath & Body Co., plans to use the funding to purchase new equipment as well as to renovate and expand its facility which manufactures a range of natural health and beauty products, including hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, insect repellent and makeup.

Ontario Launches Online Training to Promote Safe Workplaces

In an effort to help job seekers obtain work-related qualifications, the government of Ontario announced an investment of $3 million for the purposes of providing free online health and safety training.

Under this training, 10 courses are being offered on topics including infection control, conducting health and safety incident investigations, ladder safety, slips, trips and falls prevention, and preventing workplace violence and harassment.

Job seekers looking to take advantage of the program are encouraged to contact an Employment Ontario service provider in their area to enroll.

Further training is being made available to both worker and employer members of Joint Health and Safety Committees who can now obtain video conference training from training providers on topics which include the following:

  • how to establish a Health and Safety Committee;
  • resolving health and safety issues;
  • workplace inspections; and
  • accident investigations.

Finally, Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer is also extending the time for completion of refresher training for more than 8,000 certified committee members whose certification would have expired between February 28 and August 31, 2020. These committee members now have until November 30, 2020 to renew their training.

Orders in Council

Two Orders in Council were recently made and filed pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, RSO 1990, c E.9.

ONTARIO REGULATION 344/20 amends Schedule 2 of Order 7.0.2(4) with respect to businesses and service of food and drink, setting out specific requirements for the serving of patrons at these businesses.

ONTARIO REGULATION 345/20 regards the exemption of certain by-laws from operation of certain sections of the Planning Act which authorize the temporary use of land for a restaurant or bar patio under section 39 of the Act.

The full text of these Orders in Council can be found at:


Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the following measures:

State of Emergency Renewed

The province renewed the state of emergency for a 14 day period beginning July 1, 2020.

Online Motor Registration Division

Motor Registration Division (MRD) clients can now pay fees and transfer a vehicle, reinstate a driver’s license, produce a duplicate registration document, or renew a company fleet of vehicles online.

The electronic payment options are available through MRD’s online eServices.


New Brunswick

The Government of New Brunswick announced the following measures:

State of Emergency Renewed

The province renewed the state of emergency for a 14 day period beginning June 25, 2020.

Atlantic Travel Bubble

The Atlantic Province travel bubble will go into effect on Friday, July 3, allowing residents of the Atlantic Provinces to travel within the four provinces without the requirement to self-isolate.

Atlantic Canadians will be able to travel to and from New Brunswick without the requirement to self-isolate but will be asked to provide proof of their province of residence. Visitors from other Canadian provinces and territories must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival and may then travel within the Maritime Provinces. All visitors must answer health screening questions from border officers before being admitted to New Brunswick. The questionnaire can be printed and the contact information completed in advance of travel.


Nova Scotia

The Government of Nova Scotia announced the following measures:

Small Business Reopening and Support Grant

The application deadline for the Small Business Reopening and Support Grant has been extended to Friday, July 17, to allow more time for businesses to apply.

The $25 million program provides grants of up to $5,000 to help eligible small businesses, non-profits, charities, and social enterprises to resume operations. It also includes a business continuity voucher of up to $1,500 that can be used for advice and support to help them become more resilient in the coming months.

The program is open to businesses that were ordered to close or greatly reduce their operations by the Public Health Order, or who were significantly impacted by social distancing and orders to stay home.

More information, including how to apply, can be found on the province’s website.


Starting July 3, 2020, campers from all four Atlantic Provinces can reserve a spot at any of Nova Scotia’s 20 provincial campgrounds.

The province will also open more than 300 additional campsites at provincial parks for bookings on July 6.


Prince Edward Island

The Government of Prince Edward Island announced the following measures:

2020-21 School Year

The province released its plan on July 2 to safely reopen schools for K-12 students.

The plan included the following guidelines:

  • Students will work in cohorts, or groups of the same students, as much as possible. Cohorts will distance themselves from other groups to limit exposure to other students.
  • Classrooms will be configured to support physical distancing. Schools will work to reduce class sizes and when necessary, alternate space such as multi-purpose rooms will be used as classrooms.
  • Lunch and recess breaks will be staggered, as well as drop-off and pick-up times.
  • Protocols will be in place to safely move students through the school and reduce congestion in hallways and common areas.
  • Students and staff will be required to stay home when they are unwell and there will be screening protocols for all people entering a school.
  • Students will be educated on the importance of physical distancing and hand washing.
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols will be followed in the school and on the school bus.
  • To reduce the number of students on buses, parents will be asked to transport their children to and from school whenever possible and buses will be added where necessary.

Staff will return to school on September 1 and students on September 8.



The Government of the Yukon announced the following measures:

Entry into Yukon

Upon arrival in Yukon, an individual must provide a signed declaration that contains:

  • their name;
  • address of their ordinary place of residence;
  • telephone number;
  • information in relation to any COVID-19 symptoms;
  • information in relation to their purpose for entry;
  • whether they are from British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, or Nunavut and therefore exempt from the self-isolation requirements; and
  • if they provide critical services and are therefore not required to self-isolate.

An individual who is not a resident of Yukon may transit through Yukon to Alaska, the Northwest Territories, or another part of Canada if they do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. In these cases, a person is not required to self-isolate but must not remain in Yukon for more than 24 hours.


No more than 10 people may congregate in the same place, except when they are congregating in the place they all reside.


Restaurants cannot operate for eat-in service at this time. All food and drink purchased at a restaurant or café must not be consumed at the restaurant or café. Bars must remain closed.

Dentists may only provide emergency services. Personal service establishments, including barber shops, beauty parlours, health spas, massage parlours, tattoo shop, and saunas and steam baths must remain closed.


Miller Thomson is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation to ensure that we provide our clients with appropriate support in this rapidly changing environment. For articles, information updates and firm developments, please visit our COVID-19 Resources page.


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