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Updates from the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada

Government of Ontario Updates

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 combatting 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

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 Accunt (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:

  •  
  • 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.