COVID-19: Cross country update (August 18-19, 2020)

August 20, 2020

British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

State of Emergency Extended to Continue B.C.’s COVID-19 Response.

On August 19th, the B.C. Government extended the state of emergency in the province through the end of day on September 1, 2020.

For more information, visit the Government of British Columbia’s website.



The Government of Alberta announced the following measures:

Commencement Information for the Commercial Tenancies Protection Act

On August 18, 2020, the Alberta Government released commencement information regarding Bill 23, the Commercial Tenancies Protection Act, S.A. 2020, c. C-19.5. A Royal Assent version is available.

Expanded Testing for Asymptomatic Albertans

On August 18, 2020, the Alberta Government announced that beginning September 1, 2020, testing for asymptomatic Albertans will be available across the province at all Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw pharmacy locations.



The Government of Manitoba announced the following measures:

Province Mandates Mask Use for Grades 4 to 12 when Physical Distancing not Possible

The province has mandated wearing masks for students in grades 4 to 12 as well as teachers, school staff and visitors. Parents may choose whether children younger than grade 4 wear a mask. All bus drivers and students grade 4 and up will also be required to wear masks on buses.  Exceptions for those not recommended to wear a mask will be detailed at a future time.

Online Provincial Pandemic Response System Launched to Inform, Guide Manitobans on Covid-19

The province launched a new online tool to provide residents with more localized information about the risk of COVID-19. It will allow measures to be taken by region or sector as needed, instead of provincewide. There are four colour-coded response levels:

  • (red) critical – community spread of COVID-19 is not contained and/or there are significant strains on the health-care system;
  • (orange) restricted – community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring, public health measures are being taken to manage the negative impact on human health and/or the health system;
  • (yellow) caution – community transmission of COVID-19 is at low levels; and
  • (green) limited risk – the spread of COVID-19 is broadly contained and a vaccine and/or effective treatment is available.

The entire province started at the yellow caution level today with the launch of the system since COVID-19 is still an ongoing threat to public health.

School Division Plans Released as part of Restoring Safe Schools in Manitoba

Following the Government’s release of the Restoring Safe Schools K-12 Guidelines for September 2020 on July 30, school divisions across the province are releasing plans of their own to students and parents. The reports can be viewed here.



The Government of Ontario announced the following measures:

Ontario and Municipalities Work towards a Strong Economic Recovery

The Government announced support for public health units responding to COVID-19 in the form of $47 million in one-time mitigation funding for the 2020 and 2021 calendar years.  These funds are to ensure municipalities are not impacted by the change to the 70/30 provincial-municipal cost-sharing for public health units that came into effect in January.

Ontario Invests in Physician Scheduling Technology

On August 19, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced that it is investing $149,200.00 from the Ontario Together Fund in MetricAid’s physician scheduling solution to assist in the fight against COVID-19. MetricAid helps physicians link their availability and expertise with needed hospitals and clinics while reducing the administrative burden. This technology will also help distribute shifts and hours to ensure the needs of doctors, patients and clinics are met.

Ontario Resumes Infant Hearing Checks

On August 18, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced that it will provide $3.8 million in funding to support hearing checks for infants who did not receive the commonly provided universal newborn hearing screen before being discharged from the hospital due to the healthcare restrictions that were put in place as a result of COVID-19.



The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

Extension of the Employer Contribution Credit to the Health Services Fund for Employees on Paid Leave

On August 17, the Quebec government announced a 12-week extension to November 21, 2020, of the employer contribution credit to the Health Services Fund for employees on paid leave of absence introduced as a result of the creation of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).


Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Prolongation du crédit de cotisation des employeurs au Fonds des services de santé pour les employés en congé payé

Le 17 août, le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé une prolongation de 12 semaines, soit jusqu’au 21 novembre 2020, du crédit de cotisation des employeurs au Fonds des services de santé pour les employés en congé payé instauré à la suite de la mise en place de la Subvention salariale d’urgence du Canada (SSUC).


Northwest Territories

The Government of the Northwest Territories announced the following measures:

Public Health Emergency Extended through September 1st

The Minister of Health and Social Services has extended the territory-wide Public Health Emergency under the Northwest Territories’ Public Health Act through September 1, 2020.

Travel within the NWT remains restricted on arrival with limited exceptions, and it is an offence to travel in the NWT without an exemption under the Public Health Orders.

Everyone entering the NWT is required to self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith, regardless of their length of the trip out of the NWT.


This publication is provided as an information service and may include items reported from other sources. We do not warrant its accuracy. This information is not meant as legal opinion or advice.

Miller Thomson LLP uses your contact information to send you information electronically on legal topics, seminars, and firm events that may be of interest to you. If you have any questions about our information practices or obligations under Canada's anti-spam laws, please contact us at

© 2022 Miller Thomson LLP. This publication may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety provided no alterations are made to the form or content. Any other form of reproduction or distribution requires the prior written consent of Miller Thomson LLP which may be requested by contacting