COVID-19:  Cross country update (June 19, 2020)

June 19, 2020

Federal

The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Investing in Green Jobs for Youth

Today, the Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan, announced $15.8 million for the creation of green jobs and training opportunities for Canadian youth in the energy, forestry, mining, earth sciences and clean technology sectors.  This initiative is expected to create 500 “green job” internships, ranging from six to 12 months in length.  To apply, visit the Green Jobs Program webpage.

New Hazard Allowance for Armed Forces Members

Approximately 4,500 Canadian Armed Forces members will receive hazard pay for time deployed in Ontario and Quebec long-term care facilities. The Exceptional Hazard Allowance is $78 per day, retroactive to the beginning of their deployment and extending until September 30, 2020.

 

British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

Supports for Renters Extended

The temporary rental supplement (TRS) will be extended until the end of August 2020.  The moratorium on rent increases and evictions for non-payment of rent will also be extended.  However, the ban on evictions for reasons other than unpaid rent will be lifted later this month.

The TRS program provides $500 per month for eligible households with dependents and $300 per month for eligible households with no dependents.  Those who have already been approved for the TRS do not need to reapply.  New applications will be accepted until August 31 and can be made by visiting BC Housing’s website.

COVID-19 Border Screening Transitioning to Federal Government

In early April, the British Columbia Government introduced COVID-19 border screening measures to ensure British Columbians returning home from international destinations had self-isolation plans.  These provincially led border check points will end on June 20, 2020, but Federal screening measures will continue.  The Federal measures require anyone arriving in Canada to self-isolate for 14 days pursuant to the Quarantine Act.

Provincial screening will continue for temporary foreign workers arriving in B.C. for seasonal farm work. These workers must self-isolate in government-funded accommodations near the airport for 14 days prior to being transported to farms throughout B.C.

 

Alberta

The Government of Alberta announced the following measures:

Infrastructure Grants

To support economic recovery, the Alberta Government has awarded $200 million in grants to municipalities across the province to upgrade local bridges, roads, community airports and other municipal initiatives and to make improvements to water supply and treatment facilities.  Specifically, $50 million will go to the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program, $137 million will go to the Alberta Municipal/Wastewater Partnership and $13 million will go to the First Nations Water Tie-in Program.  The funding is expected to support approximately 1,800 jobs.  For more information, visit the government’s website.

 

Saskatchewan

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the following measures:

Virtual Reality Helping Regina Job Seekers

The Government of Saskatchewan announced today that it will be investing $62,000 toward a new Virtual Reality project with the Regina Work Preparation Centre to support job seekers in Regina. Employers will also benefit from this platform as it is partnering with Regina Work Preparation Centre to create recruitment and marketing opportunities.

 

Ontario

The Government of Ontario announced the following measures:

School Safety Plan for 2020-21 School Year

Although the decision to return to normal school will continue to be monitored, the Ontario government has released its safety plan for the resumption of classes for the 2020-21 school year. The plan outlines scenarios for how students, teachers and staff can safely return to the classroom environment in the fall. It also provides parents with the option to either send their children to school or to engage in entirely online learning, depending on their comfort level.  The plan asks school boards to be prepared for three possible scenarios to be implemented in September:

  1. Normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols;
  2. Modified school day routine – 15 students in a typical classroom at one time; and
  3. At home learning.

To learn more about Ontario’s school safety plan and the steps required to be taken by the school boards, see this press release.

Support for Indigenous-Owned Businesses

Up to $10 million will be provided to Indigenous-owned small and medium sized businesses to help support them as the province begins to reopen. This initiative will provide loans of up to $50,000 to businesses that do not have access to existing federal and provincial COVID-19 funding for small businesses.

The loans will be available through Aboriginal Financial Institutions and may be used to cover general expenses, such as payroll, rent, utilities and taxes.  They may also be used to increase production capacity, develop new products, move to online marketing and to make improvements to accommodate social distancing requirements, such as installing plexiglass barriers.  Up to 50% of each loan will consist of a non-repayable grant, with no interest due on the loan portion until December 31, 2022.

 

Quebec

The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

Deconfinement of CHSLDs and Other Living, Housing and Rehabilitation Environments

On June 19, the Québec government presented its plan to deconfine residential and long-term care centres (CHSLDs), private seniors’ residences, intermediate resources and family-type resources, and residential facilities for users with a physical disability, an intellectual disability, or an autism spectrum disorder. The measures came into effect on June 18, throughout Québec.

For CHSLDs, unsupervised outings, stays outside the facility for more than 24 hours, visits and outdoor meetings, as well as participation in indoor and outdoor group activities are now permitted. As of June 26, it will be possible to use volunteers and external services.

Different measures are applicable depending on the environment and if there is an outbreak of COVID-19. Full details can be found on the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux website.

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Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Déconfinement des CHSLD et autres milieux de vie, d’hébergement et de réadaptation

Le 19 juin, le gouvernement du Québec a présenté son plan de déconfinement des centres d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée (CHSLD), des résidences privées pour aînés, des ressources intermédiaires et ressources de type familial ainsi que des milieux d’hébergement pour les usagers ayant une déficience physique, une déficience intellectuelle ou un trouble du spectre de l’autisme. Les mesures sont entrées en vigueur le 18 juin, partout au Québec.

En ce qui a trait aux CHSLD, sont désormais permis les sorties non supervisées, les séjours hors installation de plus de 24h, les visites et rencontres extérieures, ainsi que la participation à des activités de groupe intérieures et extérieures. À partir du 26 juin, il sera possible de recourir à des bénévoles et de faire appel à des services externes.

Différentes mesures sont applicables selon les milieux et s’il y a des éclosions de la COVID-19. Tous les détails se trouvent sur le site Web du ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the following measures:

State of Emergency Extended

The provincial government extended the public health emergency for a period of 14 days effective June 16.

 

Northwest Territories

The Government of the Northwest Territories announced the following measures:

Highway 7

In response to COVID-19, the Government of the Northwest Territories has announced scheduled exit times for Highway 7. Those wishing to schedule an exit via Highway 7 must email the GNWT in advance at jacqueline_demers@gov.nt.ca.  Travellers who exit via this highway can only re-enter through Highway 1 or 8 and must follow the orders of the NWT Chief Public Health Officer, such as obtaining appropriate approvals and having an approved self-isolation plan.

 

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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