COVID-19: Cross country update (June 3, 2020)

June 3, 2020

Federal

The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Face Coverings in Transportation Sector

The Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, announced today that he is expanding the requirements for the use of face coverings by workers and others involved in the transportation system, to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

The measures will be implemented through a combination of mandatory orders and guidance:

  • Aviation
    • Expand the existing face covering / non-medical mask requirements beyond passengers to include some flight crew and airport workers.
    • These measures come into effect at noon EDT on June 4, 2020.
  • Marine
    • Issue guidance recommending that all workers in the marine transportation sector have in their possession a face covering, and recommend that face coverings be worn using a risk-based approach specific to the unique circumstances of the workplace, when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and/or when local authorities require it.
  • Rail
    • Issue guidance requiring rail operators to notify passengers that they will be asked to wear a face covering when physical distancing of two metres from others cannot be maintained, or as requested by rail operators.
    • Provide or make accessible a face covering to all workers in the rail industry.
    • Ensure a face covering be worn by workers on a risk-based approach specific to the unique circumstances of the workplace, when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and/or when local authorities require it.
  • Road
    • Establish a set of practices for the use of personal protective equipment, including face coverings in road transportation (i.e., trucking, motor coach, transit), in collaboration with provinces, territories and industry.

 

British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

Interim Housing in Victoria

The Province has purchased Paul’s Motor Inn, located at 1900 Douglas St., to provide more accommodation for people experiencing homelessness in Victoria (both to support vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis and as a permanent housing solution).

Over the long term, BC Housing plans to redevelop the site into a range of affordable housing, the details of which will be determined through engagement with the community. In the meantime, the building will provide approximately 75 temporary homes with wraparound supports for vulnerable people experiencing homelessness in Greater Victoria.

Fibre Internet Arrives in Keremeos

People and businesses in Keremeos will soon receive high-speed internet from the funding of Connecting British Columbia program. Construction is underway. Telus expects the work to be completed by the end of September 2020, making high-speed internet (an increasingly important communication tool due to COVID-19) available to more than 900 homes and businesses in Keremeos and surrounding areas.

 

Alberta

The Government of Alberta announced the following measures:

Ministerial Order No. 606/2020

Ministerial Order No. 6060/2020 came into effect on June 1, 2020. The order allows provincial officers, designated under the Public Health Act, to undertake non-invasive health assessments and collect completed isolation questionnaires from passengers on arrival at the Coutts Provincial Checkpoint after passing through the Coutts, Alberta/United States land border port of entry.

It also allows Alberta Health to share information collected via the isolation questionnaire with other government departments for education and enforcement purposes in compliance with the requirement to isolate or quarantine.

Condominium Reserve Funds

Condominium corporations are now able to access their reserve funds to cover operating shortfalls resulting from non-payment of condominium fees if specific requirements are met.

Mobile Home Landlords and Tenants

Mobile home site tenants and landlords are now able to access the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service for urgent matters related to site possession and termination of tenancy. All other disputes will be heard in the fall as scheduled.

 

Saskatchewan

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the following measures:

Updated Visitation, Family Presence, and Masking Guidelines

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is expanding its criteria for compassionate reasons related to visitation restrictions.

The new inclusions to compassionate care can be used immediately with full implementation planned for the coming week.

  1. For residents in long-term care, quality of life considerations will now be used in addition to care needs to determine if the needs cannot be met without the support of a designated family member or support person.  In these situations, two family members/support people can be designated with one family/support person present at a time.
  2. All critical care and intensive care patients are now included in the compassionate care definition (which was previously limited to those at high risk for loss of life) and family presence for palliative care has been expanded to facilitate two family members/support people being present at the same time.
  3. Guidelines have also been revised to ensure that it is clear that there can be one family member or support person for inpatient, outpatient, emergency/urgent care patients who have specific challenges resulting in compromised comprehension, decision making or mobility due to disability or onset of a medical condition.  This can include mobility, hearing, speech including communication barriers, intellectual or mental health disability, and visual or memory impairment.
  4. New guidelines have also been created to safely support outdoor visits with the visits not limited to one person at a time.

For more information on visitation guidelines, visit saskatchewan.ca/COVID19.

 

Manitoba

The Government of Manitoba announced the following measures:

Increased Investment to $5.7 Million for Canada-Manitoba Job Grants in 2020-2021

The province is making an increased investment of $5.7 million in the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant program this year to better assist businesses with staff training costs as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program allows employers to apply for up to $10,000 for each of their employees, to a maximum grant of $100,000. Eligible costs include:

  • Tuition fees;
  • Textbooks, software, and other required materials;
  • Exam fees; and
  • Travel costs for the training of individuals in northern and remote communities.

Applications are now available for Canada-Manitoba Job Grants for 2020-21. The application deadline is July 3.

More information be found on the government’s website.

Manitoba Government Expanding Visitor Access at Hospitals

Manitoba hospitals and health centers will be restoring visitor access for patients as part of Manitoba’s Phase Two reopening. Measures to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 within Manitoba’s hospitals remain in place. Visitors must comply with infection prevention and control measures.

Most patients will be eligible to identify a single designated support person who may visit daily. Facilities will begin implementation as early as June 5, 2020 with all sites expected to welcome designated support people as visitors by the week of June 8, 2020.

 

Ontario

The Government of Ontario announced the following measures:

Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency until June 30, 2020

Ontario has extended the provincial Declaration of Emergency to June 30, 2020. The extension, under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, was approved by the Ontario legislature on June 2, 2020.

The Declaration of Emergency may be further extended with the approval of the legislature, as set out in the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the following measures:

Residential Construction Rebate Program

On June 3, 2020, the Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, announced a new Residential Construction Rebate Program that will allow homeowners to save money on construction and renovations, while also helping to stimulate the economy and employment in the province’s construction industry.

Homeowners can qualify for the Residential Construction Rebate in one of two ways:

  • Renovation Projects
    • A 25% rebate is available for renovation projects for principal residences, up to a maximum rebate of $10,000 (based on a $40,000 project).
  • New Home Construction
    • A rebate of $10,000 is available for new home construction on homes valued up to $350,000 before HST.

The rebate will apply to work on a primary residence contracted within a 60-day period from the start of COVID-19 Alert Level 3, and the project must be substantially complete by March 31, 2021. To qualify, homeowners must use an eligible contractor, which includes those who have general liability insurance and are registered (i.e., HST registered, valid Business Number or Workers’ Compensation registered).

The Department of Finance, via the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, will begin accepting applications for the Residential Construction Rebate Program beginning on June 8, 2020. Applications will be available on the Department of Finance website and through the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Newfoundland and Labrador in the coming days.

 

Nova Scotia

The Government of Nova Scotia announced the following measures:

Child Care

Nova Scotia’s licensed child care centres and family daycare homes will reopen June 15.

Child care centres will open beginning at 50% capacity and can move up to 100% if they are able to meet public health’s COVID-19 guidelines for child care settings. Family daycare homes will open at full capacity. All facilities must follow COVID-19 guidelines outlined by public health, which can be found on the Government of Nova Scotia website.

 

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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