COVID-19: Cross country update (June 2, 2020)

2 juin 2020

( Disponible en anglais seulement )

Federal

The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Application for Funding Projects by the Enabling Accessibility Fund

Today, Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, announced the launch of a call for proposals under the newly modernized Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) – small projects component.

The call for proposals for the EAF – small projects component provides funding to organizations for small-scale construction, renovation or retrofit projects that enable persons with disabilities to live and work in more inclusive and accessible communities.

This year, instead of the originally allotted 12 months to complete a project, organizations that apply for funding will now have up to 24 months to complete their projects. Additionally, projects approved for funding will now be 100% funded to a maximum of $100,000.

The Government of Canada is also introducing funding priority for organizations that offer, or plan to offer, employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

The EAF Program will offer WebEx information sessions to support organizations through the application process.

Organizations have until July 13, 2020, to apply by visiting Canada.ca/accessibility-fund.

Interest Relief for First Nations

Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced today that First Nations with existing loans under the First Nations Finance Authority will receive interest payment relief as a result of a $17.1 million support from the Government of Canada.

 

British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

Poverty Reduction Action Plans

Community-based supports for vulnerable and low-income people throughout B.C. are being boosted through a series of local government poverty reduction initiatives.

There are 29 projects receiving a total of $1.4 million, which is part of a $5 million provincial grant to the Union of B.C. Municipalities. The funded projects include plans to develop local poverty reduction strategies, resources and related initiatives, including projects to improve food security, develop affordable housing and increase access to public transportation.

Students Return to School in BC

The Government of British Columbia reopened in-class instruction to all students on Monday, June 1. As part of Stage 3 of B.C.’s return to schools, all families have been given the option to have their children back in classrooms for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

Kindergarten to Grade 5 students are limited to 50% of the school’s capacity, with a half-time or alternating schedule. Grade 6 to 12 classes are limited to 20% of the school’s capacity and approximately one day a week. Children of essential service workers and students who need more support will continue to be offered full-time classroom instruction. Families who choose not to send their children to school are still being supported by teachers remotely.

 

Alberta

The Government of Alberta announced the following measures:

Expanded Testing

Testing for COVID-19 in Alberta is now available to any person who is not symptomatic and who wants to be tested. Expanded testing for COVID-19 will provide data to help trace the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta. This additional data will help public health officials identify steps to limit the spread and determine how well public health measures are working. This data will also inform decisions to move to the next stage in Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.

Non-Medical Masks

Starting in early June, non-medical masks will be available at all drive-thru locations of A&W, McDonald’s Canada and Tim Hortons in Alberta. Albertans are eligible to receive up to four free non-medical masks per person while supplies last. No purchase is necessary to obtain the masks. Alternative arrangements are being made for communities which do not have easy access to a drive-thru location.

 

Saskatchewan

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the following measures:

Northwest Restrictions Lifted

The Government of Saskatchewan announced that, effective June 8, 2020, the public health order restricting travel for northwest Saskatchewan will be lifted.

Also effective June 8, 2020, Phases 1 and 2 of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan will be implemented in the Northern Village of La Loche. All other communities within the northwest are already in Phases 1 and 2.

For the entire northwest, effective June 8, 2020, outdoor gatherings may increase to 20 people. However, indoor gatherings are to remain limited to 10 people. A two-meter separation must be maintained for both indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Phase 3 of the Re-Open Saskatchewan will be delayed until further notice across all of the northwest region.

 

Manitoba

The Government of Manitoba announced the following measures:

Stakeholder Consultation Determines $120-Million Risk Recognition Program

Following the consensus of a stakeholder consultation group, the Government of Manitoba announced it will be distributing $120 million to recognize the risks taken by front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Back in May, the province announced the $120-million Manitoba Risk Recognition Program. The program will provide a one-time, income-tested payment to eligible low-income front-line workers, with consideration given to the added risk due to COVID-19 and interaction with the public.

Eligible public and private-sector positions include employment in the areas of health care, social services, justice, transportation, and essential retail, food, and beverage services.

To be eligible, the following qualifications must be met:

  • The payment is available to workers employed on either a part-time or full-time basis from March 20, 2020 until May 29, 2020, who worked a minimum of 200 cumulative hours (or would have worked that amount had they not been required to self-isolate under public health orders);
  • An employee’s total pre-tax employment income during the eligibility period must be less than $6,250 ($2,500 per month for 2.5 months); and
  • They cannot be enrolled in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program.

The full list of eligible positions and organizations is available on the government’s website.

Asymptomatic Testing for Truck Drivers

The province of Manitoba has worked with the Manitoba Trucking Association to develop information for truck drivers about asymptomatic testing. The information can be found on the government’s website.

 

Ontario

The Government of Ontario announced the following measures:

Declaration of Emergency Extended

The Ontario Government voted today to extend the provincial Declaration of Emergency to June 30.

New Management Appointed at Kitchener Long-Term Care Home

Forest Heights long-term care home has been struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19. As a result, on June 2, 2020, the Ministry of Long-Term Care issued a Mandatory Management Order appointing St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener, to temporarily manage Forest Heights long-term care home for 90 days. The Ministry of Long-Term Care will be implementing a rigorous management structure to help contain the spread of the disease and assist with returning the facility to normal operations.

Ontario Helps Manufacturers Ramp up Production of Personal Protective Equipment

Today, June 2, 2020, the Ontario government announced that it will continue to invest in local manufacturers to keep frontline workers and communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. More businesses will be receiving financial support through the Ontario Together Fund to re-tool their processes and increase their capacity to make personal protective equipment.

The three new companies receiving support are Southmedic, Sterling Industries, and SRB Technologies.

 

Quebec

The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

Financial Assistance for the Day Camp Sector

On June 2, the Québec Government announced financial assistance of $11M for certified day camps to help them hire staff and implement health measures. The terms and conditions of this assistance will be defined at a later date.

Support of the CNESST for Public and Private Housing and Care Facilities for the Elderly

On June 2, the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail  (CNESST) published a toolkit to specifically support public and private housing and care facilities for the elderly in their management of occupational health and safety. More specifically, a guide to health standards, a poster and a daily checklist are now available on the CNESST website.

Plan to Resume Tribunal administratif du travail Operations

The president of the Tribunal administratif du travail communicated a message on the Tribunal’s website concerning the resumption of its operations as of June 15.

This resumption will take place gradually, the holding of hearings at the Tribunal will be reduced and therefore the delays for in-person hearings will be extended. For this reason, the president encourages the use of technological means by the parties for hearings and conciliation sessions.

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Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Aide financière pour le secteur des camps de jours

Le 2 juin, le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé une aide financière de 11M$ pour les camps de jours certifiés afin de les aider notamment dans l’embauche de personnel et la mise en place des mesures sanitaires. Les modalités de cette aide seront définies ultérieurement.

Support de la CNESST pour les installations publiques et privées d’hébergement et de soins pour les personnes âgées

Le 2 juin, la Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) a publié une trousse à outils pour appuyer spécifiquement les installations publiques et privées d’hébergement et de soins pour les personnes âgées dans leur prise en charge de la santé et la sécurité du travail. Plus spécifiquement, il s’agit d’un guide virtuel de normes sanitaires, une affiche de même qu’une liste de vérifications quotidiennes qui sont disponibles dès maintenant sur le site Web de la CNESST.

Plan de reprise des activités du Tribunal administratif du travail

La présidente du Tribunal administratif du travail a communiqué un message sur le site Web du Tribunal concernant la reprise de ses activités à compter du 15 juin.

Cette reprise se fera graduellement. La tenue d’audiences au Tribunal sera réduite et donc les délais pour les audiences en personne seront allongés. De ce fait, la présidente encourage l’utilisation de moyens technologiques par les parties pour les audiences et les séances de conciliation.

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the following measures:

State of Emergency

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador extended the state of emergency for a period of 14 days effective June 1.

 

Northwest Territories

The Government of the Northwest Territories announced the following measures:

Insurance Licenses

The Northwest Territories (NWT) amended their Insurance Regulations. Now, if a license to carry on business as an insurer expires during a state of emergency or expires 30 days from the expiry of a period of emergency, the license is extended for a period of 90 days from the date on which that license would otherwise expire.

Liquor Licenses

The Government of NWT amended its Liquor Regulations to allow businesses to sell liquor to customers for consumption off the licensed premises. This applies to Class A (liquor-primary) and Class B (food-primary) licenses.

Class B license-holders must not sell liquor for consumption off the premises unless the customer is also purchasing food.

Any Class A or Class B license-holders cannot sell liquor for off-premises consumption in any quantity, per day, to a customer that exceeds 1.5 litres of wine, 1.14 litres of spirits, or 8.52 litres of beer. In addition, liquor cannot be sold for off-premises consumption on Sunday.

Pharmacy Prescriptions

The NWT amended their Pharmacy Regulations so that prescribing practitioners can now submit electronic prescriptions to a pharmacy. The electronic prescription must state the prescribing practitioner’s unique identifier and be marked with the date the prescription was transmitted to the pharmacist. The electronic prescription must be submitted through a secure, encrypted environment.

 

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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