COVID-19:  Cross country update (June 26, 2020)

June 26, 2020

Federal

The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Official Travel Advice

The Government of Canada reminds all Canadians that a global travel advisory to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada remains in effect.  The Canadian Government also advises travellers to avoid all cruise ship travel until further notice.

Additionally Canadians are encouraged to talk to their travel insurance provider about their insurance policy if they must travel outside of Canada to ensure they are covered for medical treatment if they become infected with COVID-19.

For more information, see this news release.

 

Alberta

The Government of Alberta announced the following measures:

Extension to Temporary Layoff Period

Bill 24: COVID-19 Pandemic Response Statutes Amendment Act received Royal Assent and came into force today.  This legislation amends several acts across seven ministries to continue some measures and to introduce new measures supporting the reopening of Alberta’s economy.  For more information, see our June 18 Update.

A key change involves an extension to the temporary layoff period in the Employment Standards Code.  Currently, Section 63 provides that an employee who is laid off for “one or more periods exceeding, in total, 60 days within a 120-day period” is deemed to have been terminated (except in specified circumstances).

Bill 24 amends this provision for those employees who have been laid off for reasons related to COVID-19.  For those employees, an employee who is laid off for “more than 180 consecutive days” is deemed to have been terminated (except in specified circumstances).  This provision applies to:

  • an employee who, on the coming into force of this section (June 18, 2020), is on layoff; and
  • an employee who is laid off on or after the coming into force of this section (June 18, 2020).

 

Saskatchewan

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the following measures:

More Campsites Available

The Saskatchewan Government announced it is opening the rest of its campsites for the upcoming summer season. The sites will become available throughout the weekend and into next week. Shower facilities will also re-open this weekend; however, laundry facilities and share cookhouses in day-use areas remain closed.

Camp-Easy sites will also be available for reservation starting July 9, 2020 and will be open for the season on July 16, 2020.  Campers are being asked to continue booking online and to purchase an annual park entry permit online with their booking.

Museums Opening

Museums can open in Saskatchewan starting Monday, June 29, 2020. However, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum has announced that it will be taking longer to open its doors and will not be opening for June 29.

New Medical Supply Facility

The Government of Saskatchewan announced that Benchmark PPE, a Personal Protective Equipment manufacturing facility, is now open in Saskatoon and is making surgical/procedure masks. The masks will be available to Saskatchewan businesses, individuals, and for export out of the province.

 

Manitoba

The Government of Manitoba announced the following measures:

Applications for Manitoba Job Restart Program Now Available

Eligible Manitobans looking to return to work can now apply for up to $2,000 from the Manitoba Job Restart Program, in the form of one initial payment of $500 plus three additional bi-weekly payments of $500 each.  To qualify for this voluntary program, applicants must:

  • actively return to work in Manitoba to a job with at least 30 hours per week in order to be eligible for the first $500 payment;
  • complete a simple declaration for each of the following two weeks certifying that they are still working at least 30 hours per week in order to receive the next three $500 payments;
  • no longer receive CERB, CESB or similar COVID-19 related support from the federal government;
  • follow Manitoba’s COVID-19 health guidelines in the workplace; and
  • continue residing permanently in Manitoba and be legally entitled to work in Canada.

Applications will be accepted until July 31, 2020.

Ban on Commercial Evictions

The Manitoba Government will be introducing a temporary ban on commercial evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic if the landlords and tenants are eligible for the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program (CECRA) but have not applied. This ban is meant to encourage participation in CECRA, as not all eligible landlords have applied for funding, leaving tenants without an option to stay in their current leased commercial space.  So far, Manitoba has only paid out $1.5 million of the $64 million available.  CECRA runs until August 31, 2020.

Public Health Orders

The following health orders have been issued:

  • Restrictions on travel to northern Manitoba and remote communities have been removed;
  • The 14-day self-isolation requirement for people coming to Manitoba to work on film productions has been removed;
  • A clarification that the only sports teams exempt from self-isolation requirements are professional sports teams from Manitoba and a removal of the requirement for Manitoba sports teams to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to Manitoba; and
  • Individuals, who are self-isolating under provincial or federal health orders, are permitted to visit family members or friends with life-threatening diseases if the facility permits and if they are not displaying any symptoms of the virus.

 

Ontario

The Government of Ontario announced the following measures:

Stable Electricity Pricing for Industrial and Commercial Companies

The Ontario Government will be providing stable electricity pricing for two years, allowing large industrial and commercial companies to return to full levels of operation without worrying about a spike in electricity costs.  Specifically, effective immediately, companies participating in the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) are not required to reduce their electricity usage during peak hours, as their proportion of Global Adjustment charges will be frozen.

 

Québec

The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

Montréal – State of Emergency Renewal

On June 26, the Montréal agglomeration extended the state of emergency on its territory until July 1.

_________

Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Montréal – Renouvellement de l’état d’urgence

Le 26 juin, l’agglomération de Montréal a renouvelé l’état d’urgence jusqu’au 1er juillet sur l’ensemble de son territoire.

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the following measures:

Visitor Information Centres

On June 27, 2020, visitor information centres will open across the province.

Easing Travel Restrictions at Labrador-Quebec Border

The southern Labrador-Quebec border and the border at Labrador West-Quebec will open to interprovincial travel amongst local communities. Residents are not required to self-isolate if they are asymptomatic and have not travelled outside Newfoundland and Labrador or Quebec in the previous 14 days.

The residents of Labrador City and Wabush, as well as the residents of Fermont, Quebec, will be permitted to travel between these three communities effective immediately. The border checkpoint will remain in place to monitor movement and allow access for residents from these communities only.

The Lower North Shore border is also now open and the checkpoint at this location has been lifted.

 

Nova Scotia

The Government of Nova Scotia announced the following measures:

Gathering Limits

Gathering limits will increase on July 3, 2020. If a recognized business or organization is planning an event outdoors, 250 people can attend with physical distancing rules in place. For an indoor event, the limit is 50% capacity to a maximum of 200, with physical distancing.

The extended gathering limits apply to social events, faith gatherings, weddings, funerals and other cultural events, and arts and culture events like theatre performances, dance recitals, festivals, and concerts.

Gatherings not run by a recognized business or organization (i.e. a family event in a backyard) remains subject to a 50 person limit with physical distancing. Physical distancing does not apply for those in a close social group of 10.

In addition, the following restrictions are being eased, effectively immediately:

  • Restaurants and licensed liquor establishments can operate at 100% capacity and serve patrons until midnight with appropriate distancing between tables (patrons must leave by 1:00 a.m.);
  • Private campgrounds can operate at 100% capacity;
  • People living in homes funded by disability support programs can resume going out into their communities, although it may take time for homes to make arrangements; and
  • Public pools can reopen with physical distancing for lane swimming and aquafit classes, and one or more groups of 10 for other activities based on pool size, but they must follow the Nova Scotia Lifesaving Society plan for change rooms and washrooms.

 

Prince Edward Island

The Government of Prince Edward Island announced the following measures:

Tourism PEI

Tourism PEI has entered into a global partner agreement with the Canadian Tourism Commission doing business as Destination Canada, for the period of June 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. The purpose of this partnership is to promote tourism within the province following the impact of COVID-19.

 

Yukon

The Government of the Yukon announced the following measures:

Road Tests

On July 2, 2020, the Government of Yukon’s Motor Vehicle Branch will resume offering regular road tests three days a week, from Tuesday to Thursday.  To access testing for Class 1 to 5 licences, drivers are required to:

  • thoroughly clean the interior of their vehicle prior to the test;
  • disinfect all surfaces that might be touched by the driver examiner;
  • maintain physical distancing of two metres whenever possible; and
  • wear a mask throughout testing.

Priority will be given to those whose tests were postponed due to the pandemic.  New driving tests can be booked by contacting the Motor Vehicles Branch at 667-8743 or email road.tests@gov.yk.ca.

 

Northwest Territories

The Government of the Northwest Territories announced the following measures:

Mineral and Petroleum Industry

The Government of the Northwest Territories is amending the Public Health Order directed at the mineral and petroleum resource industry remote camp workers. The Order is being amended to ensure that workers are afforded the same relaxed measures implemented for Phase Two of the Emerging Wisely Plan. For more information, see this news release.

 

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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