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

25 mai 2020

( Disponible en anglais seulement )


The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Financial Planning Advice for Small Businesses

The Government of Canada will support the launch of a four-week hotline service called the Business Resilience Service. This service will help entrepreneurs and small business owners in need of financial planning advice, particularly those who may not have access to an accountant. The service will also be open to not-for-profit organizations and charities.

As of May 25, 2020, small business owners with pressing financial needs can call 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Applications Open

As of May 25, applications are now being accepted for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses.  CECRA will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

Over the course of the program, property owners will reduce rent by at least 75% for the months of April and May (retroactive), and June, for their small business tenants. CECRA will cover 50% of the rent, with the tenant paying up to 25% and the property owner forgiving at least 25%.

This program is for small business tenants that are paying less than $50,000 per month in gross rent, with annual consolidated revenues of less than $2 million, and that have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.

Applications are staggered depending on the province where the property owner is located and the number of tenants.  Beginning today, those in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec with up to 10 tenants may apply.  On May 26, those with up to 10 tenants in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Northwest Territories can apply.

Landlords with more than 10 eligible tenants in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Territories can apply on May 27 and those in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec can apply on May 28.

Commencing May 29, applications are open to all eligible property owners.  To submit an application, see the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) website.

10-Days Paid Sick Leave

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Federal Government will continue discussions with the provinces to ensure workers have access to 10 paid sick days per year.


British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

Campgrounds & Recreation Sites

Most provincial campgrounds and recreation sites open June 1, 2020. As of May 25, 2020, reservations for overnight camping can be made only by B.C. residents and two months in advance.

To allow for physical distancing, fewer sites will be available in some campgrounds, there may be some changes to services and communal facilities, and some campgrounds may have later openings.  Hot springs, backcountry communal cabins and campgrounds that require visitors to use shared cooking facilities will remain temporarily closed, as will group campsites.

For status updates on BC Parks closures, please see:

Support for Tourism Marketing Organizations

A $10 million grant from the Province will support 59 community destination marketing organizations (DMOs) impacted by travel restrictions.  This funding will help municipal and regional district tax supported community DMOs retain crucial staff positions and offset fixed expenses from May to October 2020.

Mass Gatherings

On May 22, a revised Provincial Health Officer Order was issued pertaining to mass gatherings.  This order continues the prohibition against gatherings of more than 50 people for indoor or outdoor events, other than for a drive-in event.

For drive-in events, the Order requires:

  • Patrons must not be permitted to be present except in a vehicle;
  • No more than 50 vehicles are to be present;
  • Patrons must be told to stay in their vehicles except to use washroom facilities;
  • Washroom facilities must have running water, soap and a sanitary means for drying hands; and
  • The sale of food and drinks is prohibited.

Food and Liquor Establishments

On May 22, an updated Order pertaining to food and liquor establishments was issued by the Provincial Health Officer.  This Order requires such establishments to limit patrons to 50% of the usual capacity.  It also contains detailed instructions for the use of physical distancing.



The Government of Alberta announced the following measures:

New Rent Survey

The government of Alberta has created a survey for tenants and landlords in Alberta to fill out to help measure any challenges they may be experiencing while working together to develop a payment schedule, paying their rent, or meeting other financial obligations during COVID-19. The results of this survey will help provide the government with insight to assist in determining whether additional measures are needed to support businesses struggling to pay rent during this time.

To fill out the survey, visit the government’s website.



The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

Malls Reopening

On May 25, the Québec government announced the reopening of malls outside of Greater Montreal as of June 1.

Deployment of 1,000 Prevention Agents

On May 25, the Québec government, in collaboration with the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), announced the immediate deployment of more than 1,000 prevention agents across the province to inform and educate employers and workers on the workplace health measures to be implemented to limit and control the spread of COVID-19.

The agents will conduct follow-ups or visits to workplaces and will be able, for example, to answer questions about the CNESST toolkits related to COVID-19.

More than 20 sectors are targeted, including retail, personal care, finance, manufacturing, construction and agriculture. Other sectors will be added as they reopen following government authorization.

Montreal – State of Emergency Renewal

On May 22, the Montreal agglomeration extended the state of emergency on its territory until May 26.


Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Réouverture des centres commerciaux

Le 25 mai, le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé la réouverture des centres commerciaux à l’extérieur de la région métropolitaine de Montréal à compter du 1er juin.

Déploiement de plus de 1000 agents de prévention en milieux de travail

Le 25 mai, le gouvernement du Québec, en collaboration avec la Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), a annoncé le déploiement immédiat de plus de 1000 agents de prévention à travers la province dans le but d’informer et de sensibiliser les employeurs et les travailleurs aux normes sanitaires à mettre en place en milieu de travail pour réduire et contrôler la propagation de la COVID-19.

Les agents feront notamment des suivis ou des visites sur les lieux de travail et pourront, par exemple, répondre aux questions sur les trousses de la CNESST relatives à la COVID-19.

Plus d’une vingtaine de secteurs sont visés, dont les commerces de détail, les soins personnels, les finances, le secteur manufacturier, la construction et l’agriculture. D’autres secteurs s’ajouteront en fonction des réouvertures autorisées par le gouvernement.

Montréal – Renouvellement de l’état d’urgence

Le 22 mai, l’agglomération de Montréal a renouvelé l’état d’urgence jusqu’au 26 mai sur l’ensemble de son territoire.


Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the following measures:

New Support Program for Tourism and Hospitality Industry

On May 25, 2020, Premier Ball and Minister Davis announced a $25 million support program for the tourism and hospitality industry to assist eligible operators impacted by the pandemic. Under the Tourism and Hospitality Support Program, eligible small and medium-sized tourism operators will be able to apply for a one-time, non-repayable working capital contribution of either $5,000 or $10,000, dependent on gross sales.

Additional program details, including eligibility criteria, will be posted on the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation website. Eligible operators will be able to apply starting June 8.


Prince Edward Island

The Government of Prince Edward Island announced the following measures:

Council for Recovery and Growth

On May 25, 2020, Premier King announced that a council has been established to plan for the recovery and growth of PEI over the next one, two, five, and ten years. The Council for Recovery and Growth (the “Council”), consists of twenty-eight Islanders from various backgrounds and organizations. It will engage Islanders and organizations in creating a plan to harness growth and build opportunity.

In addition, action teams will be created within government to facilitate how services are delivered and support is provided to Islanders. The focus of these teams will include modernizing health care services, enhancing how students learn, and improving frontline government services to better serve the needs of Islanders. The action teams will partner with the Council in carrying out their services.



The Government of the Yukon announced the following measures:

Funding to Hire Students for Critical and Essential Services

The Government of Yukon is providing $750,000 to help Yukon employers create new summer employment for graduating and postsecondary students working in critical and essential services.

The program is part of the Staffing Up labour market funding program and the Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program and will provide employers with $20 per hour for each student to a maximum of 40 hours per week and 16 weeks of employment.

This funding is available to any Yukon private and not-for-profit employer, municipalities, and Yukon First Nations governments and organizations.

Yukon employers running critical and essential services and seeking to hire graduating and postsecondary students for summer employment can apply directly to the Postsecondary and Labour Market Unit at the Department of Education by email at or by phone at 867-667-5906 or toll-free 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5906.

Personal Service Establishments to Reopen May 27

Effective May 27, 2020, personal service establishments may reopen provided they have developed a COVID-19 operational plan and it has been approved by the government. Personal services establishments include hair salons, barber shops, tattoo parlours, nail salons, and non-registered massage therapists.

Guidelines for reopening personal service establishments were updated on May 22, and can be found on the Yukon government 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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