Updated as of March 27, 2020
On Wednesday March 18, 2020 the BC government declared a state of emergency to support their COVID-19 response.
On March 23, 2020, BC announced that they will be bringing in a limited Legislative session to pass two bills: (1) employment standards legislation to ensure workers have job-protected leave, and (2) a supplementary spending bill.
BC is allocating $2.8 billion towards COVID-19 assistance including a new Emergency Benefit for Workers in the form of a tax-free $1,000 payment for those whose work has been impacted by COVID-19. Businesses with a payroll of over $500,000 will now be able to defer their employer health tax payments until September 30, 2020.
BC tax filing and payment deadlines for PST, municipal/regional district taxes, tobacco taxes, motor fuel taxes are all delayed until September 30, 2020.
BC has also delayed heir carbon tax hike, which was supposed to take effect on April 1, 2020.
As of March 27, 2020, BC has announced the following:
• The City of Vancouver is planning around providing safe supply to addicts.
• TransLink will start limiting seating on Metro Vancouver buses next week.
• Violating public health orders in B.C. is now punishable by fines upwards of $25,000.
• Reselling essential supplies like medical gear is now banned in B.C. Fines can reach $10,000.
• Municipal states of emergency have been suspended, except in Vancouver.
• A specialized unit is now in place to ensure vital supplies keep flowing into B.C. during the crisis.
• B.C. now has 725 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 14 deaths.
• Nine long-term care homes in the province have COVID-19 cases.
• 66 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, including 26 in intensive care.
• 186 patients have recovered.
BC Government Response for Employees
The BC Government has created this resource for employees to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the BC legislature provides for time off work to deal with unexpected illness or life situations.
– Leaves under BC employment standards are unpaid job protected leaves, however, if you have not used all of your vacation, you can ask your employer to use your vacation to cover time off.
– Vacation: after 12 months of employment you get 2 weeks of vacation, after 5 years of employment you get 3 weeks of vacation.
– EI Sickness Benefits: you may apply for EI sickness benefits if you are taking an unpaid leave, the federal government has waived the 1 week waiting period and removed the requirement for a medical note.
– Temporary Layoffs: your employer cannot temporarily lay their employers off unless you agree to the layoff, or the layoff is part of a contract or agreement in place before the layoff. If you are temporarily laid off, you should apply for EI benefits to assist.
BC Government Response for Employers
The BC Government has created this resource to assist employers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
– Vacation – employers in BC may cancel employee vacations due to a shortage of employees, and require employees to take vacation if there isn’t enough work for staff.
– Sending Home – Employers can, and should, send an employee home if they report to work and they are unfit to work or are ill. Employers are only required to pay their employee for the time worked with a minimum daily pay of at least 2 hours.
– Layoffs: Layoffs can only be done if the employee agrees or if there is a contractual agreement in place before the layoff. The layoff can be for a maximum of 13 weeks.
– Mass Termination/Layoff: if circumstances require you to terminate 50 or more employees at a single location within a 2 month period, you must give written notice to each employee affected, the Ministry of Labour and any trade union that represents the employees.
BC has created this COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool, to help determine if you need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.
Non-medical information about COVID-19 is available 7:30am-8pm, 7 days a week at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319).
The website for BC Centre for Disease Control is here.
– Alberta’s full measures can be found here
– Emergency Financial Assistance: The Alberta Government, through the Emergency Needs Allowance, offers Albertans who are facing an unexpected emergency financial assistance to cover costs of food, clothing, child care, transportation, and other emergency costs. Information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply are here: https://www.alberta.ca/emergency-financial-assistance.aspx.
– Job-Protected Leave: Alberta passed the Employment Standards (COVID-19 Leave) Regulation to provide 14 days of unpaid, job-protected leave for full and part-time employees, who self-isolate due to the coronavirus or who are caring for someone with the coronavirus. To be eligible, employees will not be required to provide their employer with a medical note and do not need to have worked for an employer for 90 days. Employees who do not have access to paid sick leave through their employer are eligible to apply for federal employment insurance sickness benefits now. This job-protected, unpaid leave does not apply to self-employed individuals or contractors.
– Emergency Isolation Support (EIS) Program: This temporary program is for those who do not have access to paid sick leave through their employer and who do not qualify for EI. Business owners and those who are self-employed who need to enter self-isolation before April 1 can apply for the Emergency Isolation Support Program to receive a one-time payment of $1,146.00 to bridge the gap until the federal emergency payments begin in April 2020. Online application is now available. For more information about eligibility criteria and details about how to apply, visit: https://www.alberta.ca/emergency-isolation-support.aspx
– Workers’ Compensation Board Coverage for Workers: In cases where a worker contracts COVID-19 as a direct result of their employment, they are entitled to compensation from WCB. More information is available here: https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/wcb-covid-19-worker-fact-sheet.pdf
– Student Loans Repayment Deferral: For Albertans who are repaying their student loans, the government will implement a six-month, interest free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments, beginning March 30, 2020. Students need to apply for the student loan repayment pause.
– Utility Payment Deferral: The government will also defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days for residential, farm and small commercial customers.
– Education Property Tax Freeze: Effective immediately, the government will cancel its decision in Budget 2020 and will freeze education property taxes at last year’s level.
– Corporate Income Tax Changes: The Alberta government will also defer corporate income tax balances and instalment payments from March 19 to August 31, 2020 to increase employers’ access to cash so they can pay employees, address debts and continue operations.
– Utility Payment Deferral: The government will also defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days for residential, farm and small commercial customers.
– Workers’ Compensation Board Premium Deferral: WCB premiums can also be deferred for one year, and the government will now cover 50% of WCB premiums for small and medium sized businesses in the province.
– Education Property Tax Freeze: Effective immediately, the government will cancel its decision in Budget 2020 and will freeze education property taxes at last year’s level.
– Education Property Tax Deferral for Business: Effective immediately, the government will also defer education property tax for businesses for six months.
– Support for the Energy Industry: The Alberta government will fund the Alberta Energy Regulator industry levy for 6 months and extend oil and gas tenures.
– Funding for Community and Social Services: On March 17, 2020, the Alberta government announced additional emergency funding to charities, non-profits and civil society organizations through the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) program to support their COVID-19 response. Additional information is available here: https://www.alberta.ca/family-and-community-support-services-fcss-program.aspx
– Tax Relief for Tourism Industry: On March 27, 2020, Government of Alberta announced that hotels and other lodging providers can delay the tourism levy until August 31, 2020 for amounts that become due to government on or after today. Hotels and other lodging providers are still expected to file returns, as required by law, and must continue to collect the tourism levy from guests staying at their properties during this period. Payments deferred until Aug 31 will not be subject to penalties or interest.
– Job-protected, Unpaid Public Health Emergency Leave: On March 17, 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan introduced amendments to The Saskatchewan Employment Act that will come into force retroactive to March 6, 2020, to ensure that employees have access to job protected leave during the public health emergency.
– The amendments will:
(1) Remove the requirement of 13 weeks of consecutive employment with the employer prior to accessing sick leave;
(2) Remove the requirement for a doctor’s note or certificate; and
(3) Introduce a new unpaid public health emergency leave that can be accessed when either the World Health Organization has determined that there is a public health emergency and the province’s chief medical officer issues an order, or the province’s chief medical officer has independently issued an order for measures to be taken provincially to reduce the spread of the disease.
– Child Care Services to Support Front-Line Staff: On March 20, 2020, the Saskatchewan government announced efforts to repurpose child care facilities in schools to provide child care services to support staff in health care and others who are delivering services related to the pandemic response starting Monday, March 23, 2020.
– Self-Isolation Support Program: The Saskatchewan Government announced that it will introduce the Self-Isolation Support Program, which will provide $450 per week (for a maximum of two weeks) for those ineligible for federal supports. This program will mostly benefit the self-employed residents who meet the province’s eligibility criteria.
– Provincial Utilities: All Crown utilities will implement bill-deferral programs allowing a zero interest bill deferral for up to six-months for Saskatchewan customers whose ability to make bill payments may be impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.
– Student Loan Repayment Moratorium: Effective immediately, a six-month student loan repayment moratorium has been put in place, mirroring a similar federal provision.
– Labour Market Services: Saskatchewan Labour Market Services continues to offer career, employment and training information and services for the province’s residents.
– Evictions Temporarily Suspended: On March 26, 2020, the Saskatchewan Government announced a temporary suspension of eviction hearings as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. Starting today, the Office of Residential Tenancies (ORT) will not be accepting applications for eviction related to missed or late rent or for other non-urgent claims. Previous eviction orders for non-urgent matters will not be enforced, and previously scheduled hearings for non-urgent matters have been cancelled as of today. Tenants who are unable to pay their rent during the state of emergency will be expected to pay their rent in full once the state of emergency is over.
– Changes to Provincial Fine Collection and Late Payment Fees: Effective March 19, 2020, enforcement measures on fines have been temporarily suspended for the next 6 months, including the following:
• Late payment fees
• Files sent to SGI related to driver’s licenses suspensions
• Files sent to the CRA for set off
• Files sent to Collection agencies
– This does not mean that fines do not need to be paid.
– Webinars on Employment Standards provisions for Businesses: The government will be hosting webinars on Monday, March 30, Wednesday, April 1, Friday, April 3, 2020 on the new Employment Standards Public Emergency Provisions for businesses. Additional information is available here: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-for-businesses-and-workers/support-for-businesses. For those unable to watch live, there is a previously recorded webinar available
– Business Response Team: The Government of Saskatchewan introduced a single window information webpage for businesses to access information and receive timely updates on provincial support initiatives. This information resource will be supported by the Business Response Team, led by the Ministry of Trade and Export Development, to assist businesses to identify program supports relevant to their particular needs.
– Provincial Sales Tax Remittance Deferral and Audit Suspension: Effective immediately, Saskatchewan businesses that are unable to remit their PST due to cash flow concerns will have relief from penalty and interest charges for the next three months.
– Crown Utility Interest Deferral Programs – The Saskatchewan government announced crown utility interest deferral program waving interest on late bill payments for up to six months. This crown utility interest deferral program is available to all crown utility customers effective immediately.
– Support for essential front-line workers: On March 20, 2020, the Manitoba government announced an investment of $27.6 million to help provide child care to essential front-line workers who need it as they support province’s COVID-19 response.
– Postponement of Eviction Hearings and Freeze of Rent Increases: On March 24, 2020, the province of Manitoba announced the government will postpone eviction hearings and freeze rent increases. Non-urgent eviction hearings are postponed effective immediately until May 31, 2020.
– Postponement of increases to the Manitoba Pharmacare deductible: To assist province’s residents, the increases to the Manitoba Pharmacare deductible that were scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2020 will be deferred. The deductible will remain at 2019-20 levels throughout 2020-21 to assist Manitobans with supply limits imposed on pharmacies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
– There are no specific employment related responses to COVID-19 in Manitoba at this time, however the government is encouraging employers not to require sick notes and to follow proper hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At this time, the public health orders do not apply to workplaces, however, they are encouraged to continue to follow social distancing practices.
– Temporary Exception to Employment Standards Layoff Rules: On March 27, 2020, the Manitoba Government announced adding a temporary exception to employment standards regulation to give employers more time to recall employees laid off as a result of COVID-19. Under the new temporary exception, any period of layoff occurring after March 1, 2020 will not be counter toward the period after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination.
– Tax Payment Deadline Deferral: On March 22, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced it will extend tax filing deadlines for businesses impacted by COVID-19. The province will extend the April and May filing deadlines for small and medium-sized businesses with monthly remittances of no more than $10,000. This measure is estimated to help more than 20,000 businesses in Manitoba. Businesses will have up to 2 additional months to remit retail sales taxes and the Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Levy, commonly called the payroll tax. The government will work with businesses regarding flexible repayment options for amounts above the $10,000 cap. https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=47161&posted=2020-03-22
The Ontario Provincial Government passed Bill 186, the Employment Standards Amendment Act, which amended the Employment Standards Act to provide for a special job-protected leave of absence as a result of the pandemic. An employee is entitled to a leave of absence without pay, starting on the prescribed date, if the employee will not be performing the duties of his or her position because of various reasons related to a designated infectious disease, including that the employee is:
• under medical investigation, supervision or treatment;
• in quarantine or isolation;
• is providing care or support to another individual; and
• is affected by travel restrictions.
This legislation is retroactive to January 25, 2020, and the requirement that employees provide a doctor’s note has been waived.
On March 25, 2020, the provincial government announced a $17 billion fiscal plan to help Ontarians, broken down as follows: $3.7 Billion for support for people and jobs, $3.3 billion for support for healthcare and $10 billion to improve cashflow through tax and other deferrals.
On March 26, the provincial government announced that all employers covered by WSIB can defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. You do not need to apply for deferment of your premium payments or take any further action to receive relief.
• Deadline to file tax return for 2019 extended to June 1, 2020 (individuals) and July 31, 2020 (businesses)
• Deadline to pay an income tax balance for 2019 extended to August 31, 2020
• The province announced new containment measures on March 22, 2020, including banning both indoor and outdoor gatherings
• As of March 23, 2020, Quebec bans public gatherings or more than 2 people, with limited exceptions,
• As of March 24, 2020, all in-person business and commercial activity in the province will be shut down until April 13. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, SAQ and SQDC and other essential services will remain open.
• As of March 27, 2020, Quebec has 2,021 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths.
o The premier promised that no one who is working now and earning minimum wage will take home less than $2,000 monthly.
o Public transit service in Montreal and Quebec City will be reduced starting Monday.
o Montreal has declared a statement of emergency in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 among the city’s homeless population.
The Temporary Aid for Workers Program
• This program offers financial assistance to meet the needs of workers who, because they are in isolation to counter the propagation of the COVID-19 virus, cannot earn all of their work income and are not eligible for another financial assistance program.
• Applicants may apply beginning March 19, 2020.
• Eligibility requirements:
o Must reside in Quebec and be in isolation for one of the following reasons:
you have contracted the virus or present symptoms
you have been contact with an infected person; or
you have returned from abroad.
o Workers who are in isolation or likely to be under the above criteria are eligible if:
You are not receiving compensation from your employer;
you do not have private insurance; or
you are not covered by another government program, such as employment insurance from the federal government
o Must be an adult worker aged 18 or over.
o The order to self-isolate must have been given by the Government of Canada, Government of Quebec, or another responsible authority.
• Link: https://www.quebec.ca/en/family-and-support-for-individuals/financial-assistance/temporary-aid-for-workers-program/
The Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses
• This financial assistance is available to businesses operating in Québec, including cooperatives and other social economy enterprises with commercial activities. Eligible businesses are those that find themselves in a precarious situation and temporary difficulty as a result of COVID-19. They must show that their financial structure offers realistic prospects for profitability.
• Eligibility requirements:
o Businesses must show that their cash flow issues are temporary and that the liquidity shortage stems from
A problem involving the supply of raw materials or products (goods or services)
An inability, or a substantially decreased ability, to deliver goods, products or services
o All industries are eligible, except for the following:
Weapons manufacturing or distribution
Games of chance and gambling, combat sports, racing and other similar activities
Production and sale of tobacco and drugs along with services related to their use, except for projects involving pharmaceutical-grade products approved by Health Canada and having a DIN, or their ingredients, as well as R&D projects licensed by Health Canada
Any activity whose main purpose is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (religion, politics, human rights advocacy, etc.)
Any other activity that may offend public morals.
• Details of Financial Assistance
o A loan guarantee is the preferred form of financing. Financing can also take the form of a loan from Investissement Québec.
o Investissement Québec aims to work in close cooperation with financial institutions and federal authorities in order to share risks
o The minimum funding amount is $50,000.
o Refinancing is prohibited.
o This measure is designed to shore up the business’s working capital.
• Link: https://www.investquebec.com/quebec/en/financial-products/all-our-solutions/Concerted-temporary-action-program-for-businesses.html
An employer can lay off an employee without notice where:
• the layoff is for a period not exceeding six days, or
• there is lack of work due to any unforeseen reason: Please contact the Employment Standards Branch for clarification of “unforeseen reason”
COVID-19 falls within the exemption of the requirement of notice above under unforeseen reasons. As such, employers are not required to provide notice to their employees or pay in lieu thereof, nor are they required to provide notice to the Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour for group terminations or layoffs within a 4 week period (more than 10 employees if they represent at least 25% of the employer’s employees)
Other emergency measures:
• All licences, registrations, certificates and permits issued by the Province of New Brunswick valid as of March 16, 2020, shall remain valid until May 31, 2020 unless suspended by a court or by other authority under an Act of the Province.
• The right of landlords under section 19 of the Residential Tenancies Act to require tenants to vacate for non-payment of rent, and the authority of residential tenancies officers under section 22 of that act to evict tenants for the same reason, are suspended, until May 31, 2020.
To provide emergency-income benefits to the estimated 25,000 to 35,000 New Brunswickers who have found themselves suddenly unemployed, the provincial government will assist in the following ways:
• Income support for workers
Announced earlier this week, this will be a $4.5 million investment for workers who have recently become unemployed. The benefit will help to bridge the gap between when a person lost their job or closed their business after March 15, to when the national benefit takes effect. The objective will be to provide access to the benefit before the end of March. The benefit will end on April 30.
• Job protection for workers
Legislative and regulatory amendments will be introduced to provide job protection for workers who must take a leave of absence due to COVID-19. It will allow an unpaid leave of up to 15 weeks to New Brunswickers who have COVID-19 or are caring for someone with the virus.
To support the province’s economy, keep workers employed, and help businesses continue to operate, a total of $50 million in assistance is being made available, including:
• Elimination of interest on WorkSafeNB assessment premiums
WorkSafeNB is deferring the collection of assessment premiums for three months. The current interest rate is prime plus three per cent. The rate will be reduced to zero per cent to align with the three-month deferral.
• Deferring interest and principal payments on existing Government of New Brunswick loans
On a case-by-case basis, the provincial government will defer loan and interest repayments for existing business loans with government departments for up to six months. Businesses can request deferrals by contacting the department that issued the loan.
• Up to $25 million in working capital for New Brunswick small business owners
Small business owners will be eligible for loans up to $200,000. They will not be required to pay principal on their loan for up to 12 months.
• Up to $25 million in working capital for medium-sized to large employers
The province will provide working capital of more than $200,000 to help medium-sized to large employers manage the effects of COVID-19 on their operations. Businesses can apply directly to Opportunities NB for this support.
• small businesses which do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days
• suspending payments on Nova Scotia student loans for six months, from March 30 to Sept. 30 and students do not have to apply
• government will invest $161 million to address cash flow and access to credit for small and medium-sized businesses in Nova Scotia.
Government will defer payments until June 30 for:
• all government loans, including those under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.
• small business fees, including business renewal fees and workers compensation premiums (a list of fees will be posted online early next week)
Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, administered through credit unions, include:
• deferring principal and interest payments until June 30
• enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000
• those who might not qualify for a loan, government will guarantee the first $100,000
Other measures announced on March 27, 2020:
• government is encouraging retail and commercial landlords to defer lease payments for the next three months for businesses that had to close directly due to the public health order. Landlords who participate by granting such businesses a three month deferral and register by April 3 will be able to claim losses of up to $5,000 per month, if the renting business does not continue operating. Landlords are not permitted to change locks or seize property of businesses who cannot pay rent, if the business closed directly because of COVID-19 public health orders
• Department of Health and Wellness will distribute up to 800 iPads across the province to long-term care homes so residents can connect with family and friends; the tablets will begin arriving at facilities in April.
• restaurants will be allowed to include alcohol purchases with takeout and delivery orders as long as the alcohol cost is not more than three times the value of food ordered, effective March 30.
• an amendment to Dr. Strang’s health protection order allows veterinarians to provide virtual care, prescription refills and in-patient urgent or emergencies services.
• The province’s Minster of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Matthew MacKay announced the province was providing an Emergency Relief Worker Assistance Program. The program provides $250 per week.
• To access this program employers must fill out an application to help identify their workers who have experienced a significant reduction in their work hours. Once the employer’s application is approved, the temporary financial support will be provided directly to affected workers through their employer and their regular payroll process.
• On Monday, March 23, 2020, PEI’s Premier announced a strict fine structure for those required to self-isolate but who fail to do so.
o Law enforcement can issue fines starting at $1,000 for the first offence, $2,000 for the second offence and $10,000 for the third and subsequent offences.
o This applies to anyone who is not self-isolating when they are required to. Anyone who has returned from international travel since March 8 is required to self-isolate for 14 days, as are people who have returned from another province since March 21. People awaiting testing or results, or anyone in close contact with a positive case also has a duty to self-isolate.
o Exceptions are truck drivers, airline crews and other essential workers.
o Police may first issue a warning to people who do not understand what self-isolating means.
As of March 27, 2020, there are 11 positive cases of COVID-19 in Prince Edward Island.
Upon the recommendation of Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I. schools and daycares will remain closed until at least May 11.
• Other updates include:
o IRAC suspended rental hearings until April 6 in response to the pandemic.
o The province has announced $2 million to further support early learning centres, staff and parents.
o The province announced $500,000 in relief, including money for United Way, food banks, the Salvation Army and other non-government organizations that help Islanders.
o Innovation PEI will provide self-employed Islanders $500 a week, and provide loans of up to $100,000 to small business affected by the pandemic.
o Workers who continue to work but have had their hours cut due to COVID-19 will be eligible for a temporary $200 allowance per week.
o The province’s largest landlord, the P.E.I. Housing Corporation, will suspend evictions for six weeks, as of March 17.
o Maritime Electric is suspending disconnection for non-payment for two weeks starting March 17
For All Businesses:
This resource, was published by the provincial government to assist businesses through this COVID-19 time.
The province’s Minster of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Matthew MacKay announced the province was providing an Emergency Relief Worker Assistance Program. The program provides a maximum of $250 per week.
More information will be available on the government’s website on Monday.
To access this program employers must fill out an application to help identify their workers who have experienced a significant reduction in their work hours. Once the employer’s application is approved, the temporary financial support will be provided directly to affected workers through their employer and their regular payroll process.
For Small Businesses:
The Province has established Emergency Working Capital Financing to assist PEI’s small businesses during this unprecedented economic disruption. Eligible applicants can apply to receive a working capital loan of up to $100,000 with a fixed interest rate of 4% per annum to be used to assist with fixed operating costs including payroll, rent, utilities, etc. with principal and interest payments deferred for a minimum of 12 months.
– Be an existing small businesses (startups not eligible) located and operating in PEI and have been generating revenue on PEI;
– Be registered to conduct business within PEI;
– Have a satisfactory credit rating and must not have any defaulted outstanding debt obligations on file in the Province’s Central Default Registry.
More details and instructions on how to apply can be found here.
The Province set up the Emergency Income Relief Fund as a temporary relieve program, that could provide up to $500 per week to support the self-employed who have been impacted by COVID-19. Such assistance is available for the period of March 16, 20202 to March 29, 2020, which will be reviewed as required.
– Have declared business income on their most recent tax return;
– Business income must be their primary source of income;
– Be able to demonstrate direct financial losses resulting from the COVID-19 isolation measures at the time of application;
– Not be eligible for EI benefits or receiving any other income support (ie. Business Interruption Insurance).
To apply please visit: www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/service/emergency-income-relief-self-employed
On March 24, 2020, PEI partnered with Sobeys Inc. to provide gift cards to Islanders who have been laid off as a direct result of COVID-19. This temporary program offers $100 Sobeys gift card to any employee living and working on PEI, who receives a lay-off notice as a direct result of the impacts associated with COVID-19.
The employer fills out the application and is responsible for distributing the cards to the affected employees.
To be eligible, the employer must:
• have issued lay-off notice(s) to 1 or more employee(s) as a result of COVID-19, between the dates of March 13-31, 2020; and
• have affected employees with a salary of $25/hour or less.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR:
On Mach 26, 2020, the NFLD government brought in the following measures that:
• Provide employees with protections from losing their job if they must take time away from work as a result of COVID-19.
• Ensure tenants of rental properties cannot be evicted if they have lost income resulting from COVID-19 and not able to pay rent.
• Extend interim supply to September 30, 2020, in the event that the House of Assembly is disrupted into June 2020. This ensures that existing government services such as health care can continue.
• Introduce $200 million in contingency funding to address the impacts of COVID-19 and reduced oil prices.
• Provide long-term borrowing authority of $2 billion. This will allow for ongoing government operations, as well as the ability to respond to current revenue volatility.
• Authorize the temporary variation of deadlines and time periods which an activity needs to be done such as annual reports and audit reviews.
• Include changes to the Hydro Corporation Act, 2007 to authorize additional borrowing capacity to protect against a potential reduction in revenues as a result of COVID-19.
Amendments to the Labour Standards Act:
The amendments provide for a leave of absence without pay and job protection where an employee is unable to work for the following reasons:
• The employee has returned from travel and must self-isolate;
• The employee is under medical investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19;
• The employee is in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19;
• The employee is acting in accordance with public health direction;
• The employer directs the employee not to work due to COVID-19;
• The employee needs to provide care to a person for a reason related to COVID-19 such as a school or day-care closure; or
• The employee is directly affected by travel restrictions and cannot reasonably be expected to travel back to the province.
The amendments also make it clear that the employee will not be required to provide a medical note if they take the leave.
An Essential Worker Child Care Service Application Process has been launched for essential workers in need of child care. Essential workers are encouraged to fill out the form as soon as possible. For this purpose, essential workers include all health care workers, paramedics, firefighters, police and correction workers, early childhood educators providing essential worker child care services, and other public servants required to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NWT declared a territory-wide Public Health Emergency on March 18, 2020.
The NWT closed their boarders and ceased all inbound travel by land air and port with exceptions on March 21, 2020.
The NWT has prepared this Resource, providing a list of programs and service availability during the COVID-19 response. In addition, the NWT will provide a COVID-19 daily briefing which can be found here.
The Chief Public Health Officer issued a public health advisory asking all travelers who have arrived in Canada from any international destination, via airport or land port of entry to self-isolate for 14 days.
The territory announced a $13.2 million economic package which includes waiving all supply chain costs. The NWT Business Development and Investment Corporation will offer low-interest loans to assist with offsetting the economic impact of COVID-19.In addition, all payroll taxes and other collections are currently on pause.
As of March 27, 2020, the North West Territories have declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19. There is currently one confirmed case of COVID-19.
Additionally, the following measures have been put in place:
• Correction facilities during COVID-19 health emergency
The GNWT has prepared further details on how inmates and staff are being protected in the NWT Corrections facilities during the COVID-19 health emergency. The information is available here.
• Post-secondary students returning to NWT
New information is available for post-secondary students looking to book travel back to the NWT. It is still a requirement that anyone returning to the NWT must submit a self-isolation plan to the Chief Public Health Officer and self-isolate for 14 days. Details are available here.
• Early learning and child care programs
The Chief Public Health Officer of the Northwest Territories is not recommending the closure of early learning and child care programs throughout the territory at this time. However, parents and operators are reminded to keep children home, and in self-isolation, if anyone in the household is showing ANY signs or symptoms of ANY illness or if accessing child care is not essential for parents to complete their duties. More details are available here.
• Free timber cutting permits
All free timber cutting permits have been automatically extended and now expire on July 31, 2020. If you do not currently hold a timber cutting permit, and would like a permit for this year, please call your local or regional ENR office.
• Northwest Territories boundary closure exceptions for Smith’s Landing and Fort Fitzgerald
A number of restrictions and exemptions for crossing the Fort Fitz Border have been clarified for residents of Smith’s Landing, Fort Fitzgerald, and Fort Smith. More details are available here.
• GNWT employee health care plan updates
The Government of Canada has implemented temporary changes to the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP). These measures are designed to help PSHCP members and eligible dependants access health care benefits while at the same time minimizing social interaction with health care professionals. Details are available here.
GNWT Workers Leave With Pay:
The following applies to GNWT employees only:
Special Leave: Where the Public Health Agency of Canada or the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer of the NWT advises self-isolation due to travel or possible exposure to COVID-19 and the employee is not ill, the employee will be able to access Special leave with pay. To access special leave please use the code “Self Isolation” in Peoplesoft.
Sick leave. Employees experiencing symptoms of cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, experiencing those symptoms and are awaiting test results, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 will have access to sick leave with pay. To access sick leave please use the code “Covid 19” in Peoplesoft.
The Nunavut government is providing daily updates, which can be found here.
On March 20, 2020 the Minister of Health declared a public emergency for Nunavut.
As of March 23, 2020, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.
On March 23, 2020, the territory closed its boarders permitting only residents and critical workers to enter the territory.
Starting Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m.: Only Nunavut residents and critical workers will be allowed into the territory. Residents will have to provide proof of residency to be allowed to fly into Nunavut
• Prior to boarding a plane into the territory, residents will undergo a mandatory 14-day isolation period in either Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton or Yellowknife. At the end of the 14 days, asymptomatic residents will be cleared and provided a letter signed by the Chief Public Health Officer allowing them to return to their home community
• This also includes medical travel patients. Critical workers will have to provide written permission from the Nunavut CPHO to be allowed to fly into the territory. Contact CPHOTravelRequests@gov.nu.ca. Critical employees and Isolation Protocol.
As of March 27, 2020, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19.
On March 16, 2020, Premier Silver announced an economic stimulus package to support local workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19. This money is being made available to help offset the negative impacts of the evolving global situation.
The stimulus package will:
• Support Yukon workers through a COVID-19 related 14-day isolation with paid sick leave;
• Reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 by establishing a grant program to address certain expenses related to cancelled events;
• Stimulate business and the tourism industry by waiving, reimbursing or delaying government fee collection, such as airport landing fees;
• Relieve financial pressures by deferring Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety premium payments and reimburse those paid up-front, waive penalties and interest (with approval by the Board);
• Support the tourism industry with enhanced local advertising efforts;
• Support the cultural industry by honouring transfer payment agreements considering COVID-19 related impacts; and
• Continue to monitor the economic impacts of COVID-19 by establishing a Business Advisory Council to gather information and share with government.
On March 18, 2020, Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer, declared a public health emergency under section 4.3 of the Public Health and Safety Act.
This declaration comes with new public health measures aimed at protecting Yukoners and limiting the spread of COVID-19:
• Classes are suspended at all Yukon public schools until April 15, or until further notice.
• All public indoor recreational facilities are required to close until further notice. This includes the Canada Games Centre, ice rinks, and recreation centres.
• All three Yukon hospitals are closed to visitors, with limited exceptions.
• Libraries are closed until further notice.
Dr. Hanley advised all individuals who have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days to self-isolate.
Other restrictions including the following:
• Mass gatherings of more than 50 people are banned, including at houses of worship.
• Parents or caregivers who are able to keep their children home from spring break daycamps, or daycare, are requested to do so. Fewer children in camps or daycares will help to limit any spread.
• People who can work from home are requested to do so. Employers are asked to look for ways to support employees to work from home where possible.
As of March 22, 2020, the Government of Yukon advised that:
• people do not travel to or from Yukon;
• Yukoners outside of the territory return home, now; and
• people do not travel to Yukon’s rural communities.
Anyone arriving by air or road has to self-isolate for 14 days, including travel from:
• within Canada;
• the US (Alaska); and
• Must immediately reduce their seating capacity to 50%.
• Must space people 2 metres (6 feet) apart.
• Prepare to offer take-out and delivery service only as of opening on March 26.
As of closing time on March 22, all bars are closed until further notice.
Personal service businesses
Must close by end of day, Wednesday, March 25.
• hair salons;
• barber shops;
• tattoo parlors;
• nail salons; and
• massage therapists.
Limited to 10 people
Gatherings of 10 people and under
Space of 2 metres (6 feet) between people.
As of March 26, 2020, Yukon hospitals are also suspending all non-urgent or routine services from March 26. This includes bloodwork and lab tests, x-rays, CT scans and other imaging services, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, and specialist appointments.
The Government of Yukon is extending the Health Care Insurance Plan to cover Yukon residents who are not able to return to the territory because of the pandemic. The usual requirement to be resident in Yukon for at least 180 days to qualify for health care insurance will be waived.
As of March 27, 2020, Yukon has announced the following further measures:
Paid Sick Leave Program and changes to Yukon Nominee Program
• Paid Sick Leave Program helps Yukon workers or the self-employed without sick leave to stay at home if they’re :
o sick; or
o have to self-isolate for 14 days.
• Temporary changes to the Yukon Nominee Program mean that nominees who experience lay offs or reduced work hours will not be issued the standard 90-day notice to find new employment.
• New regulations protect residential tenants affected by COVID-19
o prevent evictions over the next 90 days for residential tenants who are self-isolating or unable to pay their rent on time due to COVID-19;
o allow tenants to pay their rent late if they’re unable to pay it when it’s due; and
o prevent landlords from evicting a tenant or a member of their household who is subject to a health protection measure.
• Aviation fees waived
o The Government of Yukon is waiving all airport landing, aircraft parking fees and loading fees in Yukon. This change will save approximately $210,000 for businesses and the tourism industry.
There are currently three confirmed COVID-19 cases.
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