COVID-19:  Cross country update (May 26, 2020)

May 26, 2020


The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Youth Employment and Skills Program in Agriculture Sector

Today, an investment of up to $9.2 million was announced to enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) and fund up to 700 new positions for youth in the agriculture industry.

The YESP will provide agriculture employers up to 50% of the cost of hiring a Canadian youth up to $14,000. Indigenous applicants and those applicants hiring a youth facing barriers are eligible for funding of up to 80% of their costs.

Eligible applicants include producers, agri-businesses, industry associations, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous organizations and research facilities. Employers may apply for this funding retroactive to April 1, 2020, with projects to be completed by March 31, 2021. Application forms are available through the Youth Employment and Skills Program.

For more information, please contact, or call: 1-866-452-5558.

Call for Innovation

The Department of National Defence announced today the first of a series of calls for innovations aimed at addressing some of the key challenges Canada is facing.

With an initial commitment of $15 million, the first three challenges focus on:

  • Viable and effective processes and methods for safely and rapidly decontaminating enclosed work environments (e.g., buildings and modes of transportation) containing sensitive equipment;
  • Innovative material and designs to aid in decontamination of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), operational clothing and equipment for personnel responding to events involving biological hazards; and
  • Data gathering solutions to support the early detection and community-based monitoring of outbreaks of contagious diseases.

Promising solutions in the areas of PPE, sanitization, diagnostics and testing, therapeutics, and disease-tracking technology may receive funding to further their solutions of interest. This effort is a collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Health Canada and sees an additional investment of up to $10 million.

Innovators are encouraged to consult the program website for more information and how to apply to the program.


British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

Dormant Well Clean-Up Program

The program to restore dormant and inactive wells, and bring support to B.C. workers in oil and gas service companies has seen significant interest from applicants. The Province has received over 1,100 applications from more than 80 service companies and contractors. It is estimated that the program could support up to 1,200 jobs for British Columbians, many of them within the northeast region of the province.

The $100 million in funding allocated to the Dormant Sites Reclamation program will provide successful applicants with up to $100,000, or 50% of total costs, whichever is less, for dormant site clean up projects. The program is split into two phases of $50 million each. Applications for the second half will open on November 1, 2020.

These programs are open to oil and gas field service companies and contractors based in B.C., with registration, office and operations in B.C.  For information on the Dormant Sites Reclamation program, see the government website.



The Government of Alberta announced the following measures:

MLAs Return to the Legislature

Alberta MLAs will return to the legislature tomorrow, May 27, 2020.

Catholic Churches Reopen

Today, new guidelines were issued by the Roman Catholic Bishops of Alberta allowing Catholics to return to church in June. The guidelines follow consultations with Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Alberta government’s guidance for places of public worship as part of Stage 1 of the relaunch strategy.  Parishes that have made the necessary preparations can begin offering weekday masses on June 1 and Sunday masses on June 7. The number of participants at each mass will be limited to 50 or fewer to ensure physical distancing.

Indoor Firearm Gun Ranges

On May 25, 2020, an exemption was made to previously issued orders to allow recreational or entertainment businesses or entities to offer indoor firearm gun range services to the public, provided that the businesses continue to promote appropriate hygiene, social distancing, and other measures identified by public health authorities to protect Alberta from further transmission of COVID-19.

Banff to Close Main Street to Cars this Summer

Today the Town of Banff announced that it will close its main street, Banff Avenue, between the 100 and 200 blocks, to cars this summer from June 5 to September 11 to help pedestrians keep a two-metre distance from each other to lessen the risk of COVID-19.

PPE for Non-AHS Services

As of July 1, businesses and non-AHS organizations will be required to access PPE directly through suppliers, rather than from the Provincial Operations Centre or Alberta Health Services.  Groups that have already received or submitted a request for PPE from the Provincial Operations Centre or Alberta Health Services can continue accessing supplies, subject to availability and for a fee, from May 25 until June 30.

This change is being made because the PPE supply chain has improved, giving Alberta businesses more options to source their own PPE.  Alberta Biz Connect web page can help businesses find PPE.

The Alberta government will continue focusing on supplying PPE to organizations that are at the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19, including hospital workers, first responders, and those working in publicly funded or contracted homeless shelters, seniors care facilities, and disability agencies.



The Government of Saskatchewan announced the following measures:

Provincial Parks Stimulus Package

On May 26, 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that it will be investing $10.3 million into renewal projects across the provincial park system. This is part of the $7.5 billion two-year capital plan to stimulate the province’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 impact.



The Government of Manitoba announced the following measures:

Support for Low-Income Manitobans with Disabilities

Today, the Manitoba government announced that it is extending $4.6 million in direct and immediate financial support to low-income Manitobans with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic through the new Disability Economic Support Program. Manitobans currently receiving monthly benefits under the disability category of Employment and Income Assistance will be mailed a $200.00 cheque in early June for one-time support. This payment will not be considered taxable income and will not affect any other benefits received.



The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

Montreal – State of Emergency Renewal

On May 26, the Montreal agglomeration extended the state of emergency on its territory until May 29.


Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Montréal – Renouvellement de l’état d’urgence

Le 26 mai, l’agglomération de Montréal a renouvelé l’état d’urgence jusqu’au 29 mai sur l’ensemble de son territoire.


Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the following measures:

Schools to Open for Teachers

Schools will reopen for teachers on Monday, June 1. The reopening will allow teachers to begin concluding continuity of learning plans with students, as well as to prepare final report cards, and participate in planning and preparation for the next school year. This period will also be critical for teachers to access professional learning opportunities in preparation for September in such areas as technology and virtual learning, knowing that the education system must be prepared for every potential learning experience depending on the situation with COVID-19 at that time.

Schools will not reopen to students and the school year for students will conclude on Friday, June 5.



The Government of the Yukon announced the following measures:


Ministerial Order 2020/35 (the “Order”) enacted on May 22 stipulates that an individual who enters the Yukon must self-isolate for at least 14 days. Self-isolation requires the individual to remain inside their home and avoid being closer than two metres to any other person, except that an individual may go outside to exercise and an individual may attend a pharmacy when urgent medication is required.

The Order provides an exception to the requirement to self-isolate for individuals who provide a critical service (i.e. emergency services or services to provide people with critical goods and services like food, water, medicine, energy, technology, transportation, legal services, or transportation).  These individuals must only self-isolate to the extent that is feasible. If they develop COVID-19 symptoms, they must seek medical attention and self-isolate immediately.

Business Limitations

The Order also contains these limitations:

  • Bars cannot be open for business at this time;
  • Dentists cannot provide any services, except in the case of an emergency;
  • All personal service establishments (i.e. salons, barber shops, etc.) must remain closed; and
  • People may order food at restaurants for take-out or delivery only. Owners, managers, and employees of restaurants must ensure that no food is consumed at the restaurant.



The Government of Nunavut announced the following measures:

Department of Health Services Update

The Department of Health Services announced that the following can take place on June 1:

  • The size limit for outdoor gatherings will increase to 25 people;
  • Territorial parks will be allowed to reopen for outdoor activities only, if local circumstances permit, but all park buildings must remain closed;
  • Municipal playgrounds will be allowed to re-open, if local circumstances permit; and
  • Daycares will be permitted to open up for regular business. The Department of Education has developed guidelines for child-care facility reopening, including information on enhanced cleaning and hygiene, and physical distancing during drop-off and pick-up. The Department of Education will be connecting with all licensed child-care facilities in the coming days.

The government of Nunavut will reassess the situation every two weeks to determine whether more services can open up or if certain conditions need to be re-introduced.


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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