COVID-19: Cross country update (June 23, 2020)

June 23, 2020


The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Temporary Layoff Period Extended for Federally Regulated Employers

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, announced changes to extend the time periods for temporary layoffs to allow federally regulated employers more time to recall laid-off employees.

The amendments, which are set out in the Canada Labour Standards Regulations, temporarily extend these time periods by up to six months:

  • For employees laid off prior to March 31, 2020, the time period is extended by six months or to December 30, 2020, whichever occurs first; and
  • For employees laid off between March 31, 2020, and September 30, 2020, the time period is extended until December 30, 2020, unless a later recall date was provided in a written notice at the time of the layoff.

For more information, visit the Federal Government’s website.

Support for Tourism Sectors in Quebec and Atlantic Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced $16 million in federal investments to support the tourism industry across Atlantic Canada.  Delivered by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, this funding will support 79 tourism initiatives led by communities, businesses and organizations across the region. For more information, see this press release.

The Federal Government has also announced $30 million of financial assistance for Quebec’s tourism sector.  $13.5 million in assistance will be used by Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec (Alliance) to provide financial support to Quebec’s tourism SMEs, enabling them to implement adaptation measures in line with new health standards and targeted promotional campaigns.

$16.5 million will be delivered through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions to help businesses and attractions to improve their facilities and develop their tourism experience.

Additional information on the projects and financial assistance can be found in Government’s Backgrounder.



The Government of Alberta announced the following measures:

Environmental and Energy Reporting Reinstated

Environmental and energy reporting, which were temporarily paused during the provincial public health emergency, will resume on July 15, 2020.

A three-month extension to submit regulatory reports for emissions reduction achievements and renewable fuel operator compliance has also been authorized. These reports are due June 30, 2020.

All documentation related to Water Act approvals and licences, reports for public land rentals under the Public Lands Act, and reports related to Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act authorizations that were collected since the ministerial order was put in place must now be submitted.

Ministerial orders put in place by the Ministry of Energy, under the Coal Conservation Act, the Oil and Gas Conservation Act and the Oil Sands Conservation Act, are also being rescinded on July 15, 2020.

Targeted Serology Testing

The Government of Alberta announced it will be investing $10 million into targeted serology testing to help track the spread of COVID-19 across Alberta. Serology testing is used to detect the presence of antibodies in a person’s blood to determine whether that person has been exposed to the COVID-19 virus in the past.

The investment will be used to fund the following:

  • two pediatric studies that will measure COVID-19 antibody prevalence among groups of Calgary and Edmonton children until 2022;
  • a third study will test samples from blood collected for other purposes across the province; and
  • a fourth study will test select Albertans over the age of 45 to help estimate the number of people exposed to COVID-19.

Alberta Precision Laboratories will also offer serology testing for specific clinical purposes and funded population-level serology research studies.



The Government of Saskatchewan announced the following measures:

Libraries, Museums, Galleries and Theatres

The second part of Phase 4 of Re-Open Saskatchewan will begin on Monday, June 29. At this time, libraries, museums, galleries, movie theatres and live theatres will be able to re-open.

Parks and Campgrounds

Commencing June 26, parks and campgrounds are open to 100% capacity for overnight stays and limited-term campsites.

Outdoor Sports and Activities

Revisions have been made to the Outdoor Sports and Activities Guidelines.  If physical distancing can be maintained, sports and activities can resume.  If distancing cannot be maintained, mini-leagues should be formed to allow teams to safely return to playing games.

Usage of Non-Medical Masks

Staff in restaurants and licensed establishments, gyms and fitness facilities, and personal care services that are unable to maintain two metres of distance from customers must wear a non-medical mask or a procedural/surgical mask.

Locker Rooms, Showers and Change Rooms

Locker rooms, shower facilities and change rooms are now allowed to open for a variety of businesses and activities.  Change rooms in clothing and retail stores can also now increase to 100% occupancy.



The Government of Manitoba announced the following measures:

Job Restart Program

The Manitoba government is introducing the Manitoba Job Restart program, which will provide direct payments to a maximum of $2,000 to help qualified Manitobans return to work. The program will provide one initial payment of $500 plus three additional bi-weekly payments for $500 each, for a total of $2,000 over a period of six weeks. Program participants must voluntarily stop collecting CERB or CESB support.

The program does not require any contributions from employers in order for workers to qualify.  Manitobans can learn more about the program details on the government’s website.



The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

Montréal – State of Emergency Renewal

On June 23, the Montréal agglomeration extended the state of emergency on its territory until June 28.


Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Montréal – Renouvellement de l’état d’urgence

Le 23 juin, l’agglomération de Montréal a renouvelé l’état d’urgence jusqu’au 28 juin sur l’ensemble de son territoire.


Prince Edward Island

The Government of Prince Edward Island announced the following measures:

Phase 4 of Renew PEI Together Plan

Prince Edward Island is preparing for Phase 4 of Renew PEI Together Plan. On June 26, PEI will further relax restrictions put in place due to COVID-19. Phase 4 highlights include:

  • organized gatherings of up to 50 people will be re-introduced, including for worship services, organized sports, day camps, and events like weddings and funerals;
  • gathering limits will remain at no more than 15 people indoor and 20 people outdoor while maintaining physical distancing with individuals who are not part of a person’s household;
  • anticipated scheduled indoor visits with up to two individuals at one time and additional access for clergy will be permitted at both private and public long-term care facilities;
  • additional businesses providing personal services, such as facials and piercings, can open;
  • accommodations will open for non-PEI residents, including campgrounds, hospitality homes, inns, and bed and breakfasts;
  • all non-urgent health care services will resume; and
  • licensed child care centres can accept an additional three children who are between 22 months and school entry age. Unlicensed child care centres and day camps will continue to operate under current requirements.


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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