COVID-19: Cross country update (July 6, 2020)

July 6, 2020

Federal

The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

One Time Tax-Free Payment for Seniors

Seniors are facing increased health, economic and social challenges due to COVID-19. In response to these difficulties, the government is providing a one-time, tax-free payment this week to seniors eligible for the Old Age Security pension (OAS), the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), or Allowances, without needing to apply.

Seniors eligible for the OAS pension will receive a payment of $300, and those seniors also eligible for the GIS will receive an additional $200.  Allowance recipients will also receive $500.

 

British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

Emergency Supports Extended for Vulnerable People

In April, the Province introduced a three-month exemption of all federal employment insurance benefits for people already receiving income or disability insurance at that time. The purpose of this exemption was to ensure current eligible recipients whose employment may have been impacted by COVID-19 did not face any additional barriers and could fully benefit from federal emergency response programs.

The BC Government has announced an extension to this exemption for the duration of the federal emergency support programs, so that eligible people will continue to fully benefit without any reductions to their monthly income or disability assistance payments.

For those who are not eligible for the federal benefits, the Province’s temporary COVID-19 Crisis Supplement, which has been provided since April, will be extended for an additional two months. This temporary $300 crisis supplement will be automatically provided to low-income seniors receiving the B.C. Senior’s Supplement and income assistance and disability recipients residing in special care facilities.

For more information on supports for people on income or disability assistance, see the BC Government’s website.

 

Alberta

The Government of Alberta announced the following measures:

Additional Mask Distribution

On July 5, 2020, the Alberta Government announced that the distribution of free non-medical masks will return to A&W, McDonald’s Canada, and Tim Hortons’ locations across Alberta starting July 13, 2020.

Updated Operational and Outbreak Standards for Residential Addiction Treatment

The Chief Medical Officer of Health has issued updated operational and outbreak standards for residential addiction treatment service providers. The intent of the updated standards is to help prevent the spread of infection while allowing individuals to continue to receive treatment and overcome their addiction.  For more information, see CMOH order 27-2020.

 

Saskatchewan

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the following measures:

Suspension of Evictions for Non-Payment of Rent to be Lifted

Beginning August 4, 2020, the Office of Residential Tenancies (ORT) will resume hearing all applications, including eviction applications from landlords for non-payment of rent. Applications must be submitted by email or mail to the ORT, as no in-person services will be offered at this time.

VLT Commissions Temporarily Increasing

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority is temporarily increasing video lottery terminal (VLT) commissions paid to sites, such as bars and restaurants, across the province effective July 6 to help these businesses maintain their operations in light of COVID-19.

The provincial VLT network was shutdown on March 20 as a result of COVID-19 related public health orders.  The network resumes operation today.  The commissions paid to sites will be temporarily increased from 15% to 25% until January 3, 2021.

 

Ontario

The Government of Ontario announced the following measures:

Plan for Growth, Renewal and Economic Recovery

To help Ontario down the road to recovery from COVID-19, the Ontario Government has developed a plan to make it easier and faster to build provincial highways, major transit infrastructure projects and quality, affordable housing.

As part of the plan, the Ontario Government is proposing to establish an exemption from the Hearing of Necessity process, which would reduce red tape and construction delays for provincial highway and transit projects.

As part of this plan, the Ontario Government would also enter into new commercial agreements with partners to build transit-oriented communities.  It is expected that these measures would save taxpayers money by having the development industry make direct, significant contributions to the cost of building transit.

 

Quebec

The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

Montréal – State of Emergency Renewal

On July 6, the Montréal agglomeration extended the state of emergency on its territory until July 11.

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Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Montréal – Renouvellement de l’état d’urgence

Le 6 juillet, l’agglomération de Montréal a renouvelé l’état d’urgence jusqu’au 11 juillet sur l’ensemble de son territoire.

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the following measures:

$20 Million for Technology to Support Digital Learning

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced it will be investing $20 million for the purchase of laptops for all teachers, and Chromebooks for all junior high and high school students across the K-12 education system. The intention is for the investment to ensure equal access to education so that every student, regardless of their ability, location or socio-economic status, can continue their learning outside of the classroom, while providing teachers with the tools they need to effectively deliver remote instruction.

Plan for a Return to School for K-12 Students

A comprehensive plan for a return to school in September has been outlined that will enable school districts and parents to plan proactively while prioritizing the safety and well-being of students and school communities.

The focus of the Newfoundland and Labrador K-12 Education Re-entry Plan is to maximize in-person attendance in the K-12 education system while ensuring health and safety measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission for students, all teaching staff, support workers and families. The plan follows the recommendations and advice of various expert organizations, including public health officials both provincially and nationally, and offers direction on a wide range of operational areas including physical distancing measures, hygiene and cleaning protocols, transportation, food services, curriculum outcomes, assessment, and guidance for students with exceptionalities, among others.

 

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.

Disclaimer

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