COVID-19: Cross country update (July 7, 2020)

July 7, 2020

Federal

The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Service Canada Begins Gradual Reopening

90 Service Canada Centres will be opening across the country in accordance with public health  guidelines. The re-opening of these services will be in addition to online services already in place, such as the eServiceCanada portal, ensuring the needs of Canadians are met during the COVID-19 crisis.

Canadians are encouraged to use online services whenever possible, but those who require in-person services can check the Find a Service Canada Office webpage to see if their local office is open.  Additionally, Canadians can now apply for social insurance numbers through an online SIN portal.

Phase 2 of COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

The funds for the final component of Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations will be distributed in the following manner:

  • $45 million will assist free magazines and weekly newspapers through the Canada Periodical Fund;
  • $25 million will be distributed through partners to assist independent news and community radio broadcasters;
  • $20 million will go to Musicaction and FACTOR to help live music presenters;
  • $2.5 million will support producers of content in languages other than French or English;
  • $52.1 million will go to various arts and culture organizations not normally eligible to receive funding from Canadian Heritage programs and/or those that did not receive funding during Phase 1 of the program.

As of today, applicants can seek assistance from the Canada Periodical Fund.  Application details for the other Phase 2 funding opportunities will be available soon on the COVID-19 emergency funding section of the Canadian Heritage website.

 

British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

Service BC goes Digital with Video Identity Verification

BC Services Cards are important tools for accessing government services.  To address demand for setting up these cards, the Province has launched Send Video, a remote identity-verification option for British Columbians.  People can use Send Video through a BC Services Card app.  This online service eliminates the need to visit a Service BC centre to verify one’s identity.

 

Alberta

The Government of Alberta announced the following measures:

Proposed Legislation to Restore Balance in the Workplace

The Alberta Government announced proposed legislation designed to cut red tape and support economic recovery, restore balance in the workplace and get Albertans back to work.  Specifically, Bill 32, Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, will provide employees and employers with more transparent rules promoting fairness and productivity, including more clarity about rest periods and temporary layoff notices.  The Government also estimates that the legislation will save job creators $100 million per year by reducing red tape from daily operations.  For more information about Bill 32, see this press release.

Proposed Legislation to Attract Investment

The Alberta Government has introduced Bill 33, the Alberta Investment Attraction Act, which, if passed, will create the Invest Alberta Corporation, an arm’s-length agency that will promote Alberta as a prime investment location for businesses from across Canada and around the world.

As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Invest Alberta Corporation is meant to help instil investor confidence and generate investment in the province’s primary sectors, such as energy, agriculture and tourism, and in high-growth industries, such as technology, aviation, aerospace, and financial services.  If the legislation passes, the Alberta Government plans to provide $6 million annually for the next three years for the activities of the Invest Alberta Corporation.

 

Ontario

The Government of Ontario announced the following measures:

Legislation Introduced to Protect Public Health

Ontario announced proposed legislation today that, if passed, will allow the government to extend or amend some emergency orders a month at a time, with the law expiring a year after it is passed. The Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, would ensure that important measures remain in place to address the threat of COVID-19 once the provincial declaration of emergency ends on July 15, 2020, whereas, under the current legislation, the province can only issue emergency orders while the state of emergency is in place.  For more information regarding the proposed legislation, see this news release.

 

Quebec

The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

New Subpoena Form of the Tribunal administratif du travail

On July 7, the Tribunal administratif du travail amended its subpoena form to include new options for holding a hearing, such as in person, by videoconference, by conference call or by any other technological means authorized by the Tribunal. This form is available now, upon request, by following the procedure set out on the Tribunal’s website.

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Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Nouveau formulaire de citation à comparaître du Tribunal administratif du travail

Le 7 juillet, le Tribunal administratif du travail a modifié son formulaire de citation à comparaître afin d’inclure les nouvelles options pour la tenue d’une audience. Le formulaire inclut dorénavant une audience en personne, par visioconférence, par conférence téléphonique ou par tout autre moyen permis par le TAT.  Ce formulaire est disponible dès maintenant, sur demande, en suivant la procédure prévue sur le site Web du Tribunal.

 

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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