Welcome to the Canadian COVID-19 Government Announcements Summary, a newsletter from our Government Affairs and Public Policy practice group. This newsletter provides weekly updates of federal and provincial announcements relevant to various industry sectors.
Prime Minister’s (PM) Office
- April 6: PM announces production of more medical supplies and equipment in Canada. The government is building a secure, domestic supply of needed items to protect frontline health workers.
- April 3: PM announces support for food banks and local food organizations, and an investment of $100 million to improve access to food for Canadians. ESDC followed up with a news release.
Canada Revenue Agency
- April 9: GST/HST credit payment: The one-time supplementary GST/HST credit payment will be issued starting on April 9, 2020.
- April 6: Canadians can begin applying to the Canada Emergency Benefit Program starting April 6, 2020.
- April 3: The CRA updated information on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the GST/HST credit payment amounts.
Department of Finance Canada
- April 8: Government provides further flexibility for employers to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
- April 1: Department of Finance releases a backgrounder with full details on the new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. It is an expansion of the announcement below.
- April 1: The Government of Canada announces details of the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program. Applications will open on April 6, 2020 at Canada.ca/coronavirus.
- April 1: ESDC announces the launch of Canada Emergency Response Benefit on April 6, 2020.
Health Canada provides a daily update regarding COVID-19.
- April 6: Use of Non-Medical Masks (or Facial Coverings) by the public. The Council of Chief Medical Officers released a statement on the use of non-medical masks (or facial coverings) by the public.
- April 6: The Consumer Product Safety Program of Health Canada provides guidance concerning mandatory incident reporting requirements under s. 14 of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act during COVID-19.
- April 3: Health Canada will expedite approvals of product reviews, as well as relevant establishment licenses related to these types of products (masks, gowns and gloves).
- April 1: Call to action for Canadian manufacturers needed to help combat COVID-19. See also notice from Public Services and Procurement Canada.
Public Safety Canada
- April 2: Government provides guidance on services and functions deemed essential to Canada’s infrastructure. The guidance document provides a list of services and functions. The guidance will support employers in identifying and managing their workforce during COVID-19.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
- April 6 (update from original post on March 21): CBSA announces it is prepared to help Canadians who have been outside of Canada to return home.
- March 31: The CBSA issues a Customs Notice regarding tariff classification for imports of medical supplies. Importers must add the term ‘URGENT – COVID-19’ for goods description in release information submitted to the CBSA for all medical devices being imported to Canada.
- April 7: Government is taking immediate action to address the need to provide greater clarity and improved coordination between local and provincial response efforts by amending the Emergency Management Act.
- April 7: Chief medical officer of health orders a province-wide ban on visitors to long-term care centres, licensed group homes and other facilities.
- April 2: Province announces that nine non-profits will receive $3 million to provide additional food assistance for vulnerable K-12 students and families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- April 1: The Alberta Environment and Parks announced an Interim Air Monitoring Directive amendment to alleviate potential pressures on industrial operations and airsheds during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- April 7: New spaces secured for vulnerable people to self-isolate.
- April 2: Government announces a series of temporary supports and supplements to ensure BC’s most vulnerable – including people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors – do not encounter additional barriers during the pandemic.
- April 2: Government announces that it is taking steps to protect those providing essential services by ensuring they cannot be held liable for damages caused by exposure to COVID-19 while continuing to operate, so long as they are complying with orders from the provincial health officer and other authorities.
- April 2: Province announces a new Economic Recovery Task Force that will bring together leaders from business, labour, First Nations and not-for-profits to help ensure the Province’s economic response to COVID-19 is effective and responsive to the needs of British Columbians.
- April 7: Student loan repayments suspended to lessen cost burden during pandemic.
- April 7: Government announced the list of items that the province is seeking to procure under its Manitoba Protection Plan.
- April 6: Government announces that its recent proposal for the federal government to borrow on behalf of provincial governments and to loan that money to provinces as part of a collective financial response to COVID-19 has received the support of all premiers.
- April 7: Small, medium and large employers in New Brunswick whose businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 can now apply to the provincial government for loans for working capital. A total of $50 million has been allocated for two distinct loan programs for working capital.
- April 6: A pandemic task force has been established by the provincial government to help combat COVID-19.
Newfoundland and Labrador
- April 7: Government announces that visitor centres at the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve and World Heritage Site, Cape St Mary’s Ecological Reserve, and Salmonier Nature Park will remain closed until further notice.
- April 7: Government announces that a number of tax return filing deadlines are being altered, and remission of interest and penalties is available to help support businesses dealing with circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- April 6: Government announces that an amendment has been made to the Shops’ Closing Regulations to allow select stores to open for business on Good Friday (April 10), providing customers more time to shop in advance of Easter Sunday.
- April 3: The Government is asking all individuals and businesses that receive payments from the provincial government via cheque to transition to electronic payments as soon as possible.
- April 3: Province announces the launch of an online resource to provide accurate and timely information and data about the coronavirus pandemic.
- April 6: Government extended territory-wide state of emergency under the Emergency Management Act.
- April 1: Government announces further details of increased supports to complement the income assistance changes.
- March 31: Government announces second economic relief package, valued at $8.259 million dollars.
- April 6: Province announces new measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- April 5: Province announces that it is expanding testing to identify community spread.
- April 2: Province extends current state of emergency until April 19.
- April 2: Province announces new measures to help citizens and businesses affected by COVID-19.
- April 7: The Ontario government is investing more than $37 million to support outbreak planning, prevention and mitigation efforts to ensure the health and well-being of Indigenous people and communities.
- April 6: The Government announces that it is offering direct financial support to parents while Ontario schools and childcare centres remain closed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
- April 3: Ontario announces that it is reducing the list of essential businesses and ordering more workplaces to close. The government is ordering all businesses not covered by the updated Emergency Order to close effective as of Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days.
- April 3: Ontario government released extensive COVID-19 modelling, revealing several scenarios that project the potential number of cases and deaths.
- April 1: Ontario announces a new $50 million Ontario Together Fund that will support the development of essential equipment and supplies.
- March 31: Ontario extends school and childcare closures. Public schools will remain closed until May 1 for teachers and May 4 for students. Childcare centres will remain closed until April 13.
Prince Edward Island
- April 3: Province announces economic and fiscal update, and announced tax relief for Island property owners.
- April 2: Province announces that eviction orders will not be enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- April 1: Order respecting self-isolation, mass gatherings, essential services, preventative measures, and entry into the province.
- April 7: In accordance with the directives issued by the Québec government, the City of Montréal announces the cancellation of festivals, sporting events and public gatherings on its territory, until July 2, 2020.
- April 3: Province announces that it is looking for products that can meet the demand for supplies of personal protective equipment.
- April 1: Ministry of Health Québec – Ministerial Order 2020-013 – Order respecting new travel restrictions, judicial matters and essential services.
- April 1: The City of Montréal is offering emergency financial support and is taking measures to help businesses deal with the challenges they face in this unprecedented situation.
- April 6: The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) is encouraging residents to sign up for the SaskAlert App as a way to get accurate and timely information about COVID-19.
- April 3: Production, processing and supply chains of the energy, and oil and gas sectors are designated as essential and allowed to remain open during the pandemic.
- April 6: Government of Yukon provides more details about enforcement at Yukon borders.