COVID-19 INFORMATION

Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19:
Last updated: May 25, 2020

Recent Updates

Small Business
The federal government has created a hotline to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners. This service will be operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

  • Small business owners with pressing financial needs can call 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)

Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2020/05/minister-ng-announces-hotline-to-provide-small-businesses-in-need-with-financial-planning-advice-amid-covid-19.html

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
To manage volume, the federal government has asked property owners to register on the following days:

  • Monday Property owners who are located in Atlantic Canada, BC, Alberta and Quebec, with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program
  • Tuesday Property owners who are located in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Territories, with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program
  • Wednesday All other property owners in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Territories
  • Thursday All other property owners in Atlantic Canada, BC, Alberta and Quebec
  • Friday All property owners

Taxes
Late-filing penalties or interest will not be applied if your 2019 individual (T1) income tax returns are filed and payments are made prior to September 1, 2020.
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/covid-19-filing-payment-dates.html

Employment
The federal Government plans to move forward with negotiations between provincial and territorial governments to ensure that every Canada has access to ten paid days of sick leave a year.

Airdrie
The City of Airdrie has opened playgrounds
For more information, please visit: https://www.airdrie.ca/index.cfm?serviceID=1599

Calgary
Effective May 25th, Calgary is permitted to move to the next phase in opening
Details: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=714146680D958-FCA7-A140-040492F5FDCC40CF

Assistance
A new website has been created to help direct Canadians to relevant programs they are eligible for
Link: https://covid-benefits.alpha.canada.ca/en/start

Employment

To apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit(CERB), please reference the link below on program details and how to apply:
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html?utm_campaign=not-applicable&utm_medium=vanity-url&utm_source=canada-ca_coronavirus-cerb
*New changes to CERB to enable applications to those who:

  • Make up to $1,000/month
  • Have had EI run out since Jan 1st
  • Would have had seasonal work this summer that is now affected by COVID

The Federal Government announced a deal with all provinces and territories for wage top-up of essential workers. They are finalizing details, and will have further information shortly

  • The provinces and territories will deliver the top-up and decide who will be qualify for this wage top-up
  • The federal government will provide 75 percent of the top-up for a total investment of $4 Billion

Small Business

Eligibility for the Canada Emergency Business Account program will be expanded to include

  • Businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses
  • Businesses that rely on contractors
  • Family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll

*The program will also remove the requirement for a business account in order to qualify (so that those who operate out of a personal account rather than a business account can be eligible)

The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy program will be extended past June to August 29

  • Qualification rules for businesses may change, including the 30 percent revenue decline requirement

Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/05/government-extends-the-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy.html

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program will provide government assistant of up to 50 percent. Landlords will pay 25 percent and tenants will cover the remaining other 25 percent

  • The portal for this program will open on May 25 on the CHMC website

Link: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business

The federal government has announced $1 Billion for the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to helps businesses, organizations and communities deal with the significant impact of COVID-19. Details include:

  • Program will provide needed support to small, seasonal, rural, and other SMEs who have not been able to access existing government measures
  • Funding allocation details:
    • $675 million to support regional economies, businesses, organizations and communities in regions all across Canada
    • $287 million to support the Community Futures Development Corporations, which will specifically target small businesses and rural communities across the country

Program Details: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icgc.nsf/eng/h_07682.html

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Applications open on Monday April 27, 2020
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html

Budgets will be increased for Regional Economic Development Agencies for Community Futures organizations across Canada to help small businesses who don’t qualify for the other supports which have been announced

The federal government has committed $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses.

  • The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Metis businesses. These measures will help 6,000 Indigenous-owned businesses get through these difficult times

The federal government announced a Commercial Rent Subsidy of 75% for Small Businesses
Coverage breakdown:

  • Government will cover 50% (75% of this by federal government, 25% by the provincial government)
  • Property owners to covers 25%
  • Small business still responsible for the remaining 25%
  • Applicable for rents of $50k or less per month
  • Applies for April, May, and June

Link: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business

The federal government announced the following support for small businesses:

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy(also applicable to non-profits and large businesses)
  • Government will also guarantee bank loans for small businesses of up to $40,000
  • An additional $12.5 billion through Export Development Canada & the Business Development Bank to help small & medium-sized businesses with operational cash flow requirements
  • GST and HST payments, duties and taxes owed on imports, will be deferred until June

Link: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/27/prime-minister-announces-support-small-businesses-facing-impacts
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/additional-support-for-canadian-businesses-from-the-economic-impact-of-covid-19.html

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

Effective immediately, BDC will provide new relief measures for entrepreneurs:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans

Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry specific support, to be announced in the coming days.
Link: https://www.bdc.ca/en/about/mediaroom/news_releases/pages/bdc-announces-additional-measures-provide-relief-canadian-entrepreneurs.aspx

Economy

The federal government has outlined some of the necessary criteria for the economy to re-open:

  • Scaling up COVID-19 testing – the federal government will be working together with the provinces and territories on this
  • Accelerating contact tracing – the federal government will have trained persons to help the provinces and territories to make tracing calls – this has already begun in Ontario
  • All data collection being shared by provinces and territories

The LEEFF program will be open to large for-profit businesses, with the exception of those in the financial sector and certain not-for-profit businesses, such as airports, with annual revenues generally in the order of $300 million or higher.

  • To qualify for LEEFF support, eligible businesses must be seeking financing of $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada, and not be involved in active insolvency proceedings
  • The program will be delivered by a subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV)

Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/05/government-announces-support-program-for-large-employers-is-open-for-applications.html

Students

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit program is now accepting applications
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/news/2020/05/canada-summer-jobs-start-rolling-out-to-keep-young-people-working-during-covid-19.html

The federal government announced a $9 billion aid package for post-secondary students, including:

  • The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (for students in post-secondary, starting post-secondary in Sept, or graduating this year:
    • $1,250/month from May-Aug
    • $1,750/month if have a disability or are caring for someone else
  • 76,000 jobs to be created for students in sectors needing help or contributing to the response
  • $291 million for scholarships and grants
  • Canada Student Service Grant of $1,000-$5,000/month for students volunteering on the fight against COVID
  • Doubling student grants for the 2020-21 school year, including $75 million for First Nations/Inuit/Metis students specifically

Link: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/22/support-students-and-new-grads-affected-covid-19

Seniors

The federal government has committed $2.5 billion to assist seniors. Details include:

  • Support will come in the form of a one-time tax-free payment of $300 to those who qualify for Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
    • Those who also qualify for Old Age Security (OAS) will get an additional $200
  • Payments are expected to be distributed within a few weeks

The New Horizons for Seniors program will receive an additional $20 Million for community programs
link:https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/12/prime-minister-announces-additional-support-canadian-seniors

Health

Quarantine Act
Effective midnight April 14,2020 – those arriving in Canada from outside our borders will be required to have a credible plan for self-quarantine. If this is not possible, they will be placed into a quarantine center.

For immediate assistance regarding COVID-19 and any questions you may have please contact:
Phone-: 1-833-784-4397
Email: phac.info.aspc@canada.ca

Health Canada has set up a new App, called the Canada COVID-19 App, this can be downloaded for free to stay up to date
App link: https://ca.thrive.health/

Travel

The Canada/US border closure has been extended 30 days and will remain closed to non-essential travel at least until June 21, 2020

Canadians travelling outside of Canada in need of emergency consular assistance can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613 996 8885 or email sos@international.gc.ca

Travel Update: Under the federal Quarantine Act – All travellers returning to Canada are required to enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine
Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html?topic=tilelink

The federal government has banned domestic air travel and inter-city train trips for people with COVID-19 symptoms
Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/03/government-of-canada-announces-new-domestic-transportation-measures.html

Air travel into Canada
Effective March 18, 2020

  • Canada will deny entry to those who aren’t Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or U.S. citizens. Exceptions made for diplomats, air crews, and immediate family members of Canadian citizens.
  • Anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms will not be able to board a flight into Canada.
  • Non-domestic flights will be restricted to four international airports located in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal.

Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/03/new-measures-for-covid-19-response.html

National Parks

Effective June 01, some national parks will reopen, as well as some trails and green spaces where physical distancing is possible

  • *Camping will be closed until at least June 21

Details: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/securite-safety/covid-19-info

Alberta

The Alberta government is providing new support for hotels and other lodging providers by allowing them to keep tourism levy amounts collected from March 1st to December 31st, 2020

  • This new measure is expected to provide access of up to $27 million in additional cash flow for the hospitality sector
  • Amounts collected prior to March 1, 2020 that are being deferred under the previously announced deferral program can continue to be deferred until August 31, 2020

Travel Alberta is also working on measures to support local tourism organizations across the province, this is expected to be announced at a later date
Details: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=71383C9FCE3C3-F66E-2CE7-4412FA2E6B61547F

The Alberta government has implemented new measures for travellers at Calgary and Edmonton international airports from outside Canada.

  • Effective immediately, international travellers will need to pass a provincial checkpoint, undergo a thermal screen to check for fever, and provide a provincial isolation plan

Link: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=71397FFF740D6-0176-5B5F-9E0149A38F3E4D52

The Alberta government has released a plan to relaunch the province

For information about current restrictions and closures in Alberta due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please visit:
https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

Local Resource

Airdrie https://www.airdrie.ca/index.cfm?serviceID=1598

Banff https://banff.ca/1132/Coronavirus-info-for-Banff.html

Canmore https://canmore.ca/covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-canmore

Cochrane https://www.cochrane.ca/2001/Situation-updates

Crossfield https://www.crossfieldalberta.com/en/index.asp

Rocky View County https://www.rockyview.ab.ca/continuity-plan