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Updates from the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada

Government of Ontario Updates

May 20, 2021: Roadmap to Reopen - Roadmap to Reopen is a cautious three-step plan that will guide a safe and gradual reopening of the province and the lifting of public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health system indicators.

May 13, 2021: Ontario Extending Stay-at-Home Order Until June 2 - With the new, more contagious variants continuing to pose significant risks, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended the Stay-at-Home Order (O. Reg. 265/21) until at least June 2, 2021. All public health and workplace safety measures under the provincewide emergency brake will also remain in effect. During this time, the government will prepare to administer the Pfizer vaccine to youth between the ages of 12 and 17, beginning the week May 31, 2021, as the province also finalizes plans to gradually and safely re-open the province.

March 16, 2021: Ontario Supports Tourism, Culture, Sport and Recreation Organizations: New grant program will help those who are struggling during COVID-19 - The Ontario government is investing $105 million through the new Community Building Fund to support non-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations. The funding will be used to help these non-profits recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the needs of their communities. The operating stream of the Community Building Fund will open for applications on March 31, 2021, while the fund's capital stream will open later in 2021.

February 8, 2021: Ontario Extending Stay-at-Home Order across Most of the Province to Save Lives - In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the government is moving to a regional approach and maintaining the shutdown in the majority of the public health regions in Ontario, including the Stay-at-Home order and all existing public health and workplace safety measures. When it is safe to do so, the province will gradually transition each region from the shutdown measures to a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open (the "Framework").

January 18, 2021: Francophone Non-Profit Organizations can begin Applying for the COVID-19 Relief Fund on January 25, 2021 - The Ontario government announced today that starting January 25, francophone non-profit organizations can begin applying for financial assistance from the $1 million COVID-19 Relief Fund. The fund, which is being administered by the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario, will provide operational funding to eligible organizations to support them during the pandemic.

December 21, 2020: COVID-19: provincewide shutdown - Learn about the time-limited restrictions and public health and workplace safety measures during the provincewide shutdown. The provincewide shutdown is in effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

November 27, 2020: Governments Taking Action to Meet Demands of Ontario's Meat Sector and Support Farmers - The governments of Canada and Ontario are committing up to $11.5 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) for two important new programs, one of which will assist meat processors on projects to rapidly increase processing capacity, and one that will help farmers adjust to current market challenges.

November 19, 2020: Ontario Supporting Small Businesses with Financial Advice and Training - The Ontario government is investing over $2.2 million through the Ontario Together Fund to provide small businesses with free, tailored financial advice and online training to help them make informed financial decisions and navigate the unprecedented economic circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

November 9, 2020: Ontario Supporting Agricultural and Horticultural Societies During COVID-19 - The Ontario government is investing $5 million to help offset revenue losses for eligible agricultural and horticultural societies impacted by the necessary cancellation of fall fairs and exhibits during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. This funding was announced as part of 2020 Ontario Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.

Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs - On November 16, businesses in modified Stage 2 regions or, going forward, in areas categorized as control or lockdown, can apply for rebates to help with fixed costs, such as property tax and energy bills. Find out if your business is eligible.

November 3, 2020: Ontario Releases COVID-19 Response Framework to Help Keep the Province Safe and Open - In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, the Ontario government has developed the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. It ensures that public health measures are targeted, incremental and responsive to help limit the spread of COVID-19, while keeping schools and businesses open, maintaining health system capacity and protecting vulnerable people, including those in long-term care.

October 20, 2020: Ontario Extends COVID-19 Orders to Protect the Public - The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is extending most orders currently in force under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA). This extension will be in effect until November 21, 2020 to ensure the government continues to have the necessary tools to contain the spread of COVID-19.

October 9, 2020 - Ontario Implementing Additional Public Health Measures in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region: In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Measures Table, and local medical officers of health and other health experts, the Ontario government is introducing additional targeted public health measures in the Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto public health unit regions. These modified Stage 2 restrictions will be for a minimum of 28 days and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

October 7, 2020 - Ontario Supports Small Main Street Businesses with $60 Million in Funding through PPE Grant: The Ontario government is continuing to help businesses rebuild, reinvest and create good jobs across the province. Today, Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, announced Ontario's Main Street Recovery Plan and intends to introduce the Main Street Recovery Act, 2020, proposed legislation that would support small businesses and modernize rules to allow them to innovate and meet the challenges of today. If passed, the act will remove hurdles faced by small businesses and allow them to pursue new opportunities — while maintaining or enhancing protections for public health, safety and the environment.

October 2, 2020 - Ontario Implementing Additional Public Health and Testing Measures to Keep People Safe: In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local medical officers of health and public health experts, the Ontario government is tightening public health measures. At the same time, in response to the second wave of COVID-19 and in preparation for the cold winter months, the government is taking action to reduce testing turnaround times while prioritizing those who are at the greatest risk.

July 13, 2020 - Nearly All Businesses and Public Spaces to Reopen in Stage 3Public gatherings will Increase in size as the Province continues its path to Economic Recovery: The Ontario government announced nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 of the province's reopening framework with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place. As Ontario continues down the path to economic recovery, decisions on which regions will enter Stage 3 and when will be made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts and based on trends of key public health indicators.

July 10, 2020 - Proudly Supporting Ontario's Manufacturing Sector - Province Supports Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Launch of “Ontario Made” Program: As the province safely and gradually reopens, Ontario is starting down the road to growth, renewal and economic recovery. That's why the Ontario government is proud to support the launch of the Ontario Made program from Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). This new program will promote the many world-class goods that are made across the province by helping consumers easily identify, access and purchase local products.

June 24, 2020 - Ontario Investing to Help Franco-Ontarian Communities Grow and Support Recovery: As the province begins its economic recovery, the government is launching the 2020-21 edition of the Francophone Community Grants Program to support Ontario's francophone businesses and community organizations, as well as those that serve French-speaking Ontarians.

June 12, 2020 - Ontario Protecting Agri-Food Workers during COVID-19: The Government of Ontario is taking additional steps to better protect workers in the agri-food sector during the COVID-19 outbreak. The province is significantly expanding the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program and committing up to $15 million to enhance health and safety measures on farms and in food processing facilities.

June 8, 2020: Ontario Permits More Businesses and Services to Reopen in the Coming Days - Today, the Ontario government announced that it is getting more people back to work and more recreational activities open by moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening the province.

June 8, 2020: Ontario Proposing Temporary Ban on Commercial Evictions - The Ontario government announced today that it intends to take action to protect commercial tenants from being locked out or having their assets seized by their landlords due to the negative impacts of COVID-19.

May 14, 2020: Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen - Today, the Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government's reopening framework. The workplaces opening as part this stage are well-positioned to put workplace safety measures in place and get more people back to work, while not overburdening public transit and other services.

Workplace PPE Supplier Directory - Review a list of companies that sell personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to keep your employees and customers safe from COVID-19.

May 11, 2020: Ontario Retail Stores Open for Curbside Pickup and Delivery - Starting today, more people will be returning to work across the province as the Ontario government allows retail stores with a street entrance to offer curbside pickup and delivery. Over the weekend, garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores began offering in-store purchasing. All retailers should follow available safety guidelines in order to protect staff, consumers and the general public during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ontario Further Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction During COVID-19 - As early as Friday, May 8 at 12:01 a.m., garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies. Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases as soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 9. On Monday, May 11 at 12:01 a.m., retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry of Health's Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements.

Certain Businesses Allowed to Reopen Under Strict Safety Guidelines - The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects.

Health and Safety Association Guidance Documents for Workplaces During the COVID-19 Outbreak - In partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, the HSAs have released a series of more than 60 technical sector guidance documents to further support employers and employees in remaining safe in the workplace during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Reopening Ontario after COVID-19 - Ontario is planning for the next phase of responding to the coronavirus (COVID‑19) outbreak – reopening our province. As a first step, we have developed a framework to guide our approach. This framework outlines the method and principles we will use to reopen businesses, services and public spaces to responsibly lead Ontario’s economy back to a strong position. The Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee is a key part of applying this framework. The committee will consult with people and businesses to assess the economic impacts of COVID‑19, learn about their unique needs, and help guide Ontario to our “new normal.

List of essential workplaces

Following advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, on April 3, 2020, Ontario updated the list of essential businesses that can remain open. The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between people and stopping the spread of COVID-19.

By 11:59 p.m. Saturday, April 4, 2020, businesses that are not identified on this list must close their physical locations.

Governments Invest $2.5 Million to Grow Agri-Food e-Business During COVID-19: The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $2.5 million to help the agri-food sector expand online, providing more opportunities for producers to grow their business and offer more food choices for families who are shopping from home during the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding is being provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership).

Ontario Together: Help fight Coronavirus 

We welcome help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support our response to COVID-19.

Learn how the Ministry of Health is helping to keep Ontarians safe during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak. Find out how to protect yourself and how to recognize symptoms.

Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to Covid-19. Given the global uncertainty during an unprecedented public health crisis, economic outlooks are changing at a rapid pace. In order to provide a financial update that is as current as possible, the government of Ontario is releasing a one-year economic and fiscal update that is based on the best information available.

Premier Ford Appoints Team to Develop Plan for Post-Pandemic Growth and Prosperity - The Ontario government has launched a new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee which will focus on getting businesses up and running and people back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. While the government's primary focus is on combating the virus, supporting frontline health care workers and providing immediate relief to people and businesses, this new committee will be developing a plan to stimulate economic growth and job-creation in the weeks and months ahead.

Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace - Find sector-specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ontario.

Government of Canada COVID-19 Updates and Response

January 26, 2021: Minister Ng announces launch of Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program - Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced the launch of the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program, or HASCAP. As first outlined in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, HASCAP will provide financial support to businesses that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Through HASCAP, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with participating Canadian financial institutions to offer government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of up to $1 million. Hard-hit businesses, like a chain of hotels or restaurants with multiple locations under one related entity, could be eligible for up to $6.25 million. HASCAP will help businesses with their day-to-day operating costs during the COVID-19 crisis and enable them to invest in their longer-term prosperity.

December 18, 2020: Government announces wage subsidy rate increase to 75 per cent - Since March, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has protected more than 4 million jobs, helping businesses and workers through the challenges of the pandemic. Today, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, announced that the government has concluded the necessary regulatory changes to raise the maximum wage subsidy rate to 75 per cent for the period beginning Sunday, December 20, 2020, until March 13, 2021. This support will be there for workers and businesses through the tough months ahead as we face the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

November 5, 2020: Lockdown Support for Businesses Facing Significant Public Health Restrictions - The new Lockdown Support would be available retroactive to September 27, 2020, until June 2021, during periods when businesses are facing eligible public health restrictions. The government is providing the proposed details for the first 12 weeks of the program, until December 19, 2020. The proposed program would align with many aspects of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to provide a simple, easy-to-understand program directly to renters and property owners.

November 6, 2020: Minister Bains announces extension of Innovation Assistance Program - Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, announced the Government of Canada is providing over $155 million to extend the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program's (NRC IRAP) Innovation Assistance Program (IRAP IAP).

November 3, 2020: Minister Ng announces new measures to help Canadian small businesses access global markets amid COVID-19 - The Government of Canada launched the CanExport SMEs program—delivered through the Trade Commissioner Service—in 2016. As an investment totalling $190 million, this program has helped thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs break into new international markets with funding of up to $75,000 to cover travel costs and other expenses.

November 2, 2020: Government introduces legislation for new, targeted support to help businesses through pandemic - The government is taking targeted action to support Canadians and Canadian businesses, non-profits and charities that continue to face uncertainty and economic challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, introduced Bill C-9, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy), which would implement new, targeted support to help hard-hit businesses. These measures are designed to help businesses get through the second wave of the virus so they can protect jobs, continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery

October 20, 2020: Minister Ng announces support for small businesses through the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund - Small business are at the heart of our communities. They create good jobs, grow our economies and bring life to our main streets. But they have also been among the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to fight this virus, small businesses face further losses, increased costs to reopening and an uncertain economic future. The Government of Canada is committed to doing whatever it takes to support small businesses and their communities. Their success is critical as we recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.

October 9, 2020: Government announces new, targeted support to help businesses through pandemic - The Government of Canada took immediate action to help Canadian businesses affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, from helping keep employees on the job to increasing cash flow and providing support to help pay rent.

June 16, 2020: Prime Minister announces extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit - The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the government is extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by eight weeks, to ensure Canadians have the help they need as they transition back to work. This extension will make the benefit available to eligible workers for up to a total of 24 weeks.

May 20, 2020: Government announces support program for large employers is open for applications - Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains, today announced the opening of the application process for the government’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF). The program will support Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing. LEEFF will help successful applicants keep their operations going.

May 13, 2020: COVID-19: FedDev Ontario launches Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to support local economies - the new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is being delivered by regional development agencies (RDAs) to help more businesses and organizations in sectors across the economy such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and local economies. RDAs are best positioned to provide this additional support as they work closely with communities across the country every day and understand the diverse local realities.

May 13, 2020: $962 million additional support fund now available to businesses and communities affected by the pandemic - Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, which is why the Government of Canada has implemented a series of concrete and tangible measures to help them retain their employees, pay rent and access capital to cover costs. Building on these measures, the new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) devotes nearly $962 million to help more businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and to local economies.

May 11, 2020: Prime Minister announces additional support for businesses to help save Canadian jobs - The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced new measures to support businesses so they can keep their workers on the payroll and weather this pandemic.

Supporting Canada’s farmers, food businesses, and food supply - The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced important measures within agriculture programs and an investment of more than $252 million to support farmers, food businesses, and food processors who provide essential services to Canadians every day by ensuring a safe and reliable food supply. He also announced that the government intends to propose an additional $200 million in borrowing capacity for the sector.

First Ministers’ statement on shared public health approach to support restarting the economy - Governments in Canada have taken wide-ranging steps within their own constitutional jurisdictions to slow and contain the spread of COVID-19, including through strong and continued federal/provincial/territorial (FPT) collaboration. As the first wave of the virus’ activity passes, all governments want to safely restore economic activity, while protecting the health of Canadians. Until there is a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19, strong measures must be in place for this new normal phase of living with COVID-19 to contain future waves or outbreaks and protect Canadians and economies across the country.

Prime Minister announces partnerships with provinces and territories to deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses - The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

Prime Minister announces additional support for small businesses

  • Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million, and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs. Since the launch of the CEBA on April 9, 2020, more than 195,000 loans have been approved by financial institutions, extending more than $7.5 billion in credit to small businesses.
  • Announcing its intent to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. We are working with the provinces and territories to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic and we will have more details to share soon.

Changes to Canada Summer Jobs program to help businesses and young Canadians affected by COVID-19 - Canada’s small businesses increasingly depend on the employment of young Canadians. The changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program will help small businesses hire and keep the workers they need so they can continue to deliver essential services.

The temporary changes to the program for this year include:

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  • An increase to the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee
  • An extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
  • Allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services
  • Allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis

These changes will help youth stay connected to the labour market, save money for their future, and find quality jobs in safe, inclusive, and healthy work environments.

Expanding access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and proposing a new wage boost for essential workers - To help more Canadians benefit from the CERB, the government is announcing changes to the eligibility rules to:

  • Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
  • Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.
  • These changes will be retroactive to March 15, 2020. More details will be posted on the portal shortly.

Additional Support for Canadian Businesses from the Economic Impact of COVID-19: The Government of Canada is making additional investments to support Canadian businesses from the economic impacts of COVID-19. These new investments provide support to financial institutions and allow them to quickly provide credit and liquidity options for a range of businesses. These measures are a part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which provides direct support and tax deferrals to Canadian workers and businesses to help them in these difficult times.

Support for Food Banks and Local Food Organizations - The Government of Canada will provide funding to national, regional, and local organizations across Canada that are able to reach people and communities experiencing food insecurity. These organizations – including but not limited to Food Banks Canada, Salvation Army, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada, and Breakfast Club of Canada – will work with partners to meet the urgent food needs of Canadians, including Indigenous peoples and Northern populations.

Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations - The new COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations will provide $500 million to help address the financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors so they can continue to support artists and athletes. The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage with the support of its partners.

Support for students and new grads affected by COVID-19 - The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced comprehensive support of nearly $9 billion for post-secondary students and recent graduates. This plan will help provide the financial support they need this summer, help them continue their studies in the fall, and help many get the experience they need to start their careers.

Government of Canada COVID-19 General Page 

Government of Canada Support for Canadians 

Government of Canada Support for Businesses 

Federal Government Updates

Canada Revenue Agency

Helping Canadians with the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has developed this page to provide updates on the fiscal measures taken by the Agency to help Canadians manage their tax and benefit affairs as this situation evolves. This page will be updated as new information is available.

Calling all Suppliers

Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

In support of the Government of Canada’s whole-of-government response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we are asking suppliers about their ability to provide products and services.