COVID-19: Cross country update (May 27, 2020)

May 27, 2020


The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Expansion

Income Tax Regulations have been amended to allow additional employers to become eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). These additional employers include registered journalism organizations, registered amateur athletic associations, private schools and colleges (including institutions that offer specialized services, such as driving schools, language schools or flight schools), and tax-exempt corporations that are owned by Indigenous governments that carry on business activities.

The amendments also allow additional partnership structures to qualify for the CEWS if those partnerships have Indigenous governments as members or other ineligible entities as members, and the interest of those ineligible members in the partnership does not exceed 50%.

Waiver of Customs Duties on Medical Supplies

The Certain Medical Goods Remission Order (COVID-19) waives otherwise applicable customs duties on imports of medical supplies, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Relief is available to all importers of specified goods including businesses, distributors, and individual Canadians.

Key categories of products covered by the Order include diagnostic test kits, face and eye protection, gloves, protective garments, disinfectants/sterilization products, medical devices, thermometers, wipes, and medical consumables, and other goods (e.g. soap).

The scope of relief is based on the indicative list of medical supplies and PPE identified jointly by the World Health Organization and the World Customs Organization as critical for combatting COVID-19, as well as on related classification guidance by the Canada Border Services Agency.


British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

Harbour Air Returns to Operations

Harbour Air has resumed operations while introducing a number of COVID-19 safety protocols.  For a complete list of the adjustments made, visit the Harbour Air website.

Provincial State of Emergency Extended

The current state of emergency is being extended through the end of the day on June 9, 2020.



The Government of Alberta announced the following measure:

E-Scooters and Transit

The Mayor of Calgary announced today that electric scooters will be returning to Calgary on May 29, 2020 and transit will still be operating throughout the summer, despite ridership dropping dramatically during the pandemic.



The Government of Saskatchewan announced the following measure:

Renewal of Declaration of a State of Emergency

Effective today, the Saskatchewan government ordered that the declaration of a state of emergency, originally made pursuant to Order in Council 102/2020 on March 18, 2020, is further renewed and continued throughout the province of Saskatchewan to address the COVID-19 public health emergency.



The Government of Manitoba announced the following measures:

Phase Two Plan to Begin June 1

Today the Manitoba government announced that it has finalized the Phase Two plan and will implement measures effective June 1, 2020. Additionally, on May 29, 2020, the maximum number of people allowed to gather in one place will increase, permitting up to 25 people in a room while 50 people can gather outside.

The plan for Phase Two was revised from the original draft document released on May 21, 2020 to include:

  • detailed guidance for post-secondary educational institutions and vocational colleges;
  • removing occupancy limits for therapeutic and health-care services;
  • detailed guidance for senior’s clubs;
  • additional details on requirements for the safe operation of splash pads;
  • updated guidance for community centres;
  • the reopening of arts and cultural activities, such as dance, art and theatre;
  • clarifications on the opening of bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, micro-brewers and distilleries to allow sites that do not serve food to open, as well as updated guidance from public health that all patrons must be seated at tables and stand-up service is not allowed; and
  • detailed public health guidelines for film productions.

The following measures were initially planned for Phase Two and will resume June 1:

  • increasing child-care centre occupancy to up to 24 children plus staffing;
  • increasing day camp group sizes to 24;
  • resuming sports, arts and cultural activities for children and adults;
  • lifting occupancy limits at outdoor recreation facilities and golf courses outdoors, as long as physical distancing can be maintained and allowing limited access to indoor spaces;
  • allowing direct travel to northern parks, campgrounds, cabins, lodges and resorts while ensuring physical distancing;
  • allowing public/private swimming pools, spas, fitness clubs, gyms, and community/service centres to reopen with some limitations;
  • allowing religious or other organizations to hold outdoor services or events without limitation on numbers if people stay in their vehicles;
  • reopening manicurists and pedicurists, tattoo parlours, estheticians, cosmetologists, electrologists and tanning parlours at 50% capacity;
  • allowing restaurants to reopen indoor spaces at 50% capacity and continue to offer patio services at that capacity level; and
  • allowing bars, beverage rooms, micro-brewers and similar businesses to operate patio service at 50% of site capacity and to reopen indoor spaces at 50% capacity.

No changes will be made to the requirements for reopening museums, galleries and libraries, and parks, campgrounds and vacation cabins.

Outdoor Care Home Visits

Personal care home residents in Manitoba will be allowed to have a maximum of two visitors at a time and the visits will take place outdoors, except for compassionate or end-of-life reasons. Visitors will be screened for symptoms, travel history and possible exposure when they arrive at a care facility. They will have to wash their hands and maintain physical distancing.

Personal care home operators are to inform families directly about where and when they can visit their relatives, as well as have visitation procedures in place by May 29 at the latest.



The Government of Ontario announced the following measure:

Extending Emergency Orders

The Ontario government announced today that it is extending all emergency orders in force under s. 7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until June 9, 2020. Current emergency orders include the closure of outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, public swimming pools and outdoor water facilities, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery. Additionally, there continues to be restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules remain in place for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters.

For a complete list of the orders which have been extended, see this press release.



The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

Partial Reopening of the Tourism Sector

On May 27, the Québec government announced the reopening of campgrounds, marinas, outfitters and cottages as of June 1.

CNESST Support for the Accommodation and Camping Sectors

On May 27, the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail  (CNESST) published a toolkit to specifically support the stakeholders in the accommodation and camping sectors in their management of occupational health and safety. More specifically, a guide to health standards, a poster and a daily checklist are now available on the CNESST website.

Tribunal administratif du travail services

On May 26, the Tribunal administratif du travail extended the cancellation of all hearings and conciliation sessions, with the exception of urgent cases, until June 12 inclusively.  For more information, visit the Tribunal administratif du travail website.


Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Réouverture partielle du secteur touristique

Le 27 mai, le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé la réouverture des campings, marinas, pourvoiries et chalets à compter du 1er juin.

Support de la CNESST aux secteurs de l’hébergement et du camping

Le 27 mai, la Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) a publié une trousse à outils pour appuyer spécifiquement les acteurs des secteurs de l’hébergement et du camping dans leur prise en charge de la santé et la sécurité du travail. Plus spécifiquement, il s’agit d’un guide virtuel de normes sanitaires, une affiche de même qu’une liste de vérifications quotidiennes qui sont disponibles dès maintenant sur le site Web de la CNESST.

Services du Tribunal administratif du travail

Le 26 mai, le Tribunal administratif du travail a prolongé l’annulation de toutes les audiences et les séances de conciliations à l’exception des cas urgents jusqu’au 12 juin inclusivement. Pour plus d’information : Tribunal administratif du travail.


Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the following measures:

Family Visitation

The Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development has begun reinstating in-person family visitation where it is in the best interest of children and youth in care. Working directly with individual families, the department’s social workers have begun developing plans specific to each family situation to prepare for reinstatement of in-person family visitation if it is physically safe to do so.


New Brunswick

The Government of New Brunswick announced the following measures:

Some Restrictions Re-Introduced

Zone 5 (Campbellton region) is transitioning back to Orange level under the province’s COVID-19 recovery plan immediately. Zone 5 extends from Whites Brook to the Village of Belledune, including Tide Head, Atholville, Campbellton, Dalhousie, Eel River Dundee, Eel River Bar First Nation, Balmoral, Charlo and Belledune.

The following rules apply to Zone 5 only:

  • Non-regulated health professionals and businesses, such as acupuncturists and naturopaths cannot operate at this time;
  • Personal services businesses such as barbers, hair stylists, spas, estheticians, manicurists, pedicurists, and tattoo artists cannot operate at this time; and
  • A two-household bubble is permitted where one household joins up with one other household, if both mutually agree.  Close contact with anyone else is prohibited.


Nova Scotia

The Government of Nova Scotia announced the following measures:

Most Businesses Permitted to Reopen June 5

Effective June 5, most businesses required to close under the public health order can reopen. Businesses must follow protocols in the plan that is tailored to their sector. This includes following public health protocols to ensure physical distancing, increased cleaning and other protective measures for staff and customers.

The following can open if they are ready and choose to do so:

  • restaurants for dine-in, as well as takeout and delivery;
  • bars, wineries, distilleries and taprooms;
  • personal services, such as hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments;
  • fitness facilities, such as gyms, yoga studios and climbing facilities; and
  • veterinarians.

Lounges are not permitted to reopen at this time.

Other health providers can also reopen on June 5, provided they follow protocols in their colleges’ and associations’ plans, as approved by public health. These include:

  • dentistry and other self-regulated health professions such as optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy; and
  • unregulated health professions, such as massage therapy, podiatry and naturopathy.

The government is still working on a plan to safely reopen the child care sector and hopes to reopen this section on June 15.

Small Business Reopening and Support Grant

Eligible businesses, non-profits, charities, and social enterprises will be able to access the new Small Business Reopening and Support Grant, a $25 million fund that will provide grants to help them open safely and business continuity vouchers for advice and support to become more resilient in the coming months. The government of Nova Scotia has provided more information on its website and applications will begin June 1.

Province Announces Support to Stimulate the Economy

On May 27, 2020, the province announced that it will invest $230 million to stimulate the economy and create jobs. It is expected that up to 2,000 local jobs will be created as Nova Scotians get back to work on more than 200 infrastructure projects across the province.

The projects include new investments that can be started right away along with previously approved projects that will be accelerated or will receive increased funding under the plan.  The projects include road paving, the replacement of bridges, renovations and upgrades for the Halifax provincial court, school repairs, and so on.

Tenders will be issued beginning immediately and will be rolled out over the next four weeks.



The Government of the Yukon announced the following measures:

Morel Mushroom Season

Yukoners will now be able to obtain permits for harvesting morel mushrooms commercially provided they remain compliant with the government’s requirements on social distancing. Travel to Yukon is not permitted for commercial harvesting of mushrooms and permits will not be issued to non-Yukon residents.


Northwest Territories

The Government of the Northwest Territories announced the following measures:

State of Emergency Extended

The territory-wide Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency have been extended in the Northwest Territories. Both extensions will take effect as of May 27, 2020 and expire on June 9, 2020.


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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