COVID-19:  Cross country update (June 25, 2020)

June 25, 2020

Federal

The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Funding for Covid-19 Research

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health, announced an investment of more than $109 million over one year for COVID-19 research. This investment will support 139 research teams from across the country that will focus on accelerating the development, testing, and implementation of measures to mitigate the rapid spread of COVID-19 and its negative consequences on people, communities, and health systems.

Canada Student Service Grant

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the launch of the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG). The program will support post-secondary students and recent graduates as they volunteer to serve in their communities’ COVID-19 response. The CSSG will provide these volunteers with a one-time payment of between $1,000 and $5,000 based on the number of hours they serve, with $1,000 provided for each 100 hours completed, up to a maximum of $5,000 for 500 hours.  To find volunteer opportunities, students and recent graduates may visit the I Want to Help platform or the Canada Service Corps.

For more information on student supports, visit this news release.

 

British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

Temporary Layoff Period Extended

The B.C. Government has extended the temporary layoff period provided for in the Employment Standards Act to a maximum of 24 weeks expiring on August 30, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This timeline aligns with the extended Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Businesses who need a further extension may consider applying for a variance under Section 72 of the Employment Standards Act.  This provision allows an employer and a majority of their affected workers to apply for a variance to certain sections of the Act, including a time period specified in the definition of “temporary layoff.”

To apply for a variance, a letter must be delivered to the Director of Employment Standards with the following information:

  • the provision of the Act the Director is requested to vary;
  • the variance requested;
  • the duration of the variance;
  • the reason for requesting the variance;
  • the employer’s name, address and telephone number; and
  • the name and home phone number of each employee who signs the letter.

For more information on applying for a variance, visit the Government’s Website.

Safety Measures for Seasonal Domestic Fruit Pickers

British Columbia is investing in Okanagan communities to help with the annual arrival of seasonal fruit pickers and to better protect worker, employer and community health and safety with respect to COVID-19.

Funding will be provided to local governments to help set up designated campsite accommodations and ensure they meet health and safety requirements as outlined by the Provincial Health Officer.

All seasonal fruit pickers will also need to take a new online COVID-19 awareness course through AgSafe, which will cover the rights and responsibilities of both employers and workers when it comes to COVID-19.  It will include information on physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning, work pods, transportation, tools and equipment, safeguarding community and First Nations health and monitoring employee health.  To stay in a designated campsite in the Okanagan, workers must complete the course by passing the online quiz and showing proof of completion to employers.

 

Alberta

The Government of Alberta announced the following measures:

Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing at Community Pharmacies

Over the next few days, a group of 20 community pharmacies in Alberta will begin to offer testing to Albertans without symptoms and no known exposure to COVID-19.  This is in addition to the testing already offered by Alberta Health Services.  The number of pharmacies initially conducting COVID-19 testing is being limited for now, but additional pharmacies are planning to offer testing in the coming weeks.  All Albertans are encouraged to be tested, even if they do not have symptoms.

 

Saskatchewan

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the following measures:

State of Emergency Extended

Effective June 24, the declaration of a state of emergency is further renewed and continued throughout the province of Saskatchewan to address the COVID-19 public health emergency.

 

Manitoba

The Government of Manitoba announced the following measures:

Plans For In-Class Learning to Resume In September

The Manitoba Government has released a planning framework for the resumption of in-class learning. Currently, the plan is to have teachers and staff return to classrooms on September 2 with students returning on September 8.

School divisions are developing detailed re-opening plans taking into consideration the following three public health scenarios:

  • in-class learning with near-normal conditions;
  • in-class learning, taking additional public health measures into consideration; and
  • remote learning from home, with limited use of school facilities.

Although the plan is for all students to return to classroom learning in September, final confirmation will be provided by Manitoba Education by August 1.

 

Ontario

The Government of Ontario announced the following measures:

Windsor-Essex Moves to Stage 2 with Exceptions

Windsor-Essex will move into Stage 2 of reopening on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., with the exception of the Municipality of Leamington and the Town of Kingsville. These areas are being held back due to the higher transmission rates in the local agriculture and agri-food sector.

For more information on Stage 2, visit the Ontario Government’s website.

 

Québec

The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

Reopening of All Sectors

On June 25, the Québec government announced that, as of that date, activities would resume in sectors that were still confined, which include amusement parks, water parks, spas, tourist accommodation establishments, bars, casinos and gaming houses.

Festivals and major events, regular holiday camps with stays, and fights in a sporting context remain prohibited.

Guides and toolkits have been published by the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) and the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) to support stakeholders in various sectors with the implementation of health directives.

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Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Réouverture de l’ensemble des secteurs

Le 25 juin, le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé, à compter de ce jour, la reprise des activités des secteurs qui étaient toujours confinés, ce qui inclut notamment les parcs d’attractions, les parcs aquatiques, les spas, les établissements d’hébergement touristiques, les bars, les casinos et les maisons de jeux.

Les festivals et grands évènements, les camps de vacances réguliers avec séjour et les combats en contexte sportif demeurent interdits.

Des guides et des outils ont été publiés par la Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) et l’Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) afin de soutenir les acteurs des différents secteurs dans la mise en œuvre des consignes sanitaires.

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the following measures:

Cape St. Mary’s and Mistaken Point Ecological Reserves

Cape St. Mary’s and Mistaken Point Ecological Reserves (the “Reserves”) will reopen on June 25, 2020 with these restrictions:

  • Only six people will be permitted to visit the viewpoint at Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve;
  • All hiking trails will be open and fossils may be viewed on reduced-capacity guided hikes at Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve;
  • Indoor exhibits at the Reserves will be closed;
  • There will be reduced capacity inside buildings at the Reserves; and
  • When on the trails, visitors are asked to keep two metres apart and pass other patrons on the right.

Alert Level 2

Newfoundland and Labrador will enter Alert Level 2 on June 25, 2020, which allows for the following:

  • Gatherings for funerals, burials and weddings are expanded to 50 people, as long as physical distancing is maintained, but wakes remain prohibited;
  • Outdoor gatherings, such as backyard get-togethers or family barbecues, are also expanded to 50 people;
  • Places of worship are permitted to open and services can resume;
  • Outdoor activities (i.e. walking, hiking, bike riding, etc.) as long as people are not in self-isolation and physical distancing is maintained;
  • Gyms and fitness facilities are permitted to open, as are dance and yoga studios, but participation will be limited to 50 people or less with adequate physical distancing;
  • Arenas are permitted to open, but spectators must maintain physical distancing;
  • Indoor pools can operate with a limit of 50 people in the pool/deck area and they must be able to maintain physical distancing;
  • Playground equipment in public parks can be used;
  • More health services will reopen (information on these services will be made available to the public through the regional health authorities);
  • Bars and lounges are permitted to open at reduced occupancy, but karaoke and use of the dance floor are not allowed in these establishments at this time;
  • Indoor entertainment facilities can open at reduced occupancy, including movie theatres, bingo halls, and bowling alleys; and
  • Performance spaces can open at reduced occupancy, including spaces like the Arts and Culture Centres and the LSPU Hall.

Large mass gatherings over 50 people remain prohibited in Alert Level 2.

 

New Brunswick

The Government of New Brunswick announced the following measures:

Zone 5

On June 26, 2020, Zone 5 (Campbellton region) will move to alert level Yellow. Details on what is allowed and restricted in the Yellow level can be found in New Brunswick’s Recovery Plan.  All other regions in the province remain at the Yellow level.

 

Nova Scotia

The Government of Nova Scotia announced the following measures:

Bluenose II

Nova Scotia’s Bluenose II vessel will sail into ports and harbours this summer. However, visitors will not be permitted onboard and there will be no harbour cruises with passengers. The Bluenose II will depart Lunenburg in late July and visit 26 communities.

Museums

On July 1, 2020, some provincial museum sites will reopen including:

  • Museum of Natural History, Halifax;
  • Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax;
  • Museum of Industry, Stellarton;
  • Prescott House Museum, Port Williams, Kings Co.;
  • Balmoral Grist Mill, Tatamagouche;
  • Sutherland Steam Mill, Tatamagouche;
  • Lawrence House Museum, Maitland, Hants Co.;
  • Haliburton House Museum, Windsor;
  • Uniacke Estate Museum, Mount Uniacke;
  • Old Meeting House, Barrington, Shelburne Co.;
  • Barrington Woolen Mill, Barrington, Shelburne Co.;
  • Dory Shop Museum, Shelburne; and
  • Ross Thomson House, Shelburne.

In addition, the Museum of Natural History has extended the Egyptian Mummies and Eternal Life exhibit until November 8, 2020.

 

Yukon

The Government of the Yukon announced the following measures:

Residential Landlord and Tenant Order

The territorial government introduced Civil Emergency Measures Residential Landlord and Tenant (COVID-19) Order M.O. 2020/38, which becomes effective on June 25, 2020.

Under this Order, a tenant must immediately give notice to their landlord if they or a member of their household becomes subject to a health protection measure. A tenant must also provide their landlord with notice if they will be unable to pay rent because they, or a member of their household, becomes subject to a health protection measure. If a tenant is unable to pay rent for this reason, rent is deferred until the earlier of the day on which the tenant is able to pay rent, December 31, 2020, or when the Residential Landlord and Tenant (COVID-19) Regulation is repealed.

If a tenant is subject to a health protection measure, the landlord must not enter the tenant’s rental unit, unless the landlord has an order authorizing entry, the tenant appears to have abandoned the rental unit, or if there is an emergency.

A tenant may end their tenancy if they are unable to pay rent because they have experienced job loss or reduction in income attributable to COVID-19.

Any notices exchanged between landlord and tenants may now be served by email.

 

Nunavut

The Government of Nunavut announced the following measures:

Health Centres

All residents in the territory must call ahead and describe their symptoms before attending a health centre. Any person with respiratory symptoms must wear a mask while at the health centre.

Daily COVID-19 Updates

Starting June 29, 2020, the Government of Nunavut media updates will be broadcast once a week on Mondays at 11 a.m.  The updates will be aired on:

  • Bell ExpressVu channel 513;
  • Shaw satellite channel 181 or 489 on the classic lineup package;
  • local cable channel 5 (analog) or 602 (digital); and
  • local radio 92.5 FM in Iqaluit.

The updates are also live online at http://video.isilive.ca/nunavut/, on the CBC Nunavut Facebook page, the Government of Nunavut Facebook page and the Premier Joe Savikataaq Facebook page.

Extension of Health Emergency

The public health emergency has been extended to July 9, 2020.

 

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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