COVID-19 INFORMATION

Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19:
Last updated: June 29, 2020

Recent Updates

Small Business
Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance will be extended by an additional month

Alberta Recovery Plan
The Alberta government has released a new economic recovery plan, this includes a $10-billion investment in infrastructure and a plan for 50,000 jobs this year. The plan will focus on:

  • Immediate relief for people and businesses
  • Infrastructure development
  • Strategic projects
  • Creating Jobs
  • Putting Albertans first
  • Innovation
  • Diversifying the economy
  • Promoting Alberta
  • Supporting arts and culture
  • Municipal infrastructure

For additional information, please visit: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=727120D7B418C-DF0C-FB14-235849A8D5356268

Students
Canada Student Service Grant update: Post-secondary students and future graduates can receive between $1000 and $5000 in grants based on the number of hours volunteered at non-for-profits this summer

The federal government will invest $40 million for 5,000 MITACS internship placements, including internship opportunities in law, business, and medicine
Details: https://www.mitacs.ca/en/newsroom/news-release/federal-government-invests-40m-mitacs-create-5000-new-internships

Through the Canada Summer Jobs Program, the federal government will create 10,000 placements for students between 15 to 30, and 20,000 placements through the Student Work Placement Program
Details to follow

Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Mexico will resume sending farm workers to Canada, after Canada agreed to put stronger safety rules in place

Economy
The federal government will provide a fiscal and economic snapshot on July 8, 2020
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/06/minister-of-finance-to-present-an-economic-and-fiscal-snapshot.html

Employment
The federal government will extend the CERB past 16 weeks for an additional 8 weeks for those unable to find work or if it is not possible to work

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

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

Canadians with disabilities will receive a one-time non-taxable payment of up to $600. As well, the government will increase funding for the national workplace accessibility stream
Link: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/06/05/prime-minister-announces-supports-canadians-disabilities-address

Small Business

The new CEBA application process for sole proprietors/those who use contractors will open this Friday. To qualify under the expanded eligibility rules, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 will need:

  • A business operating account at a participating financial institution;
  • A Canada Revenue Agency business number;
  • A 2018 or 2019 tax return; and
  • Eligible non-deferrable expenses of between $40,000 and $1.5 million.

Applicants can go to the EDC website for needed documents to apply, further details provided later this week.
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/06/more-small-businesses-can-soon-access-the-canada-emergency-business-account.html

Businesses that are renters in Parks Canada places may now be eligible for relief from the Government of Canada under similar eligibility conditions to those of the CECRA program

  • The new measures will waive up to 75 percent of eligible commercial rents for the months of April, May and June 2020 or equivalent amounts of annual rents
  • This relief is additional to measures announced March 27 allowing commercial operators to defer payments normally due on or after April 2, 2020 to as late as September 1, 2020

Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/parks-canada/news/2020/06/the-government-of-canada-will-provide-rent-relief-for-eligible-business-tenants-in-all-national-parks-national-historic-sites-and-national-marine-c.html

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)

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

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

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

Through the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP), the federal government will fund up to 700 youth/student jobs in the agriculture industry
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/agriculture-agri-food/news/2020/05/government-of-canada-enhances-youth-employment-and-skills-program-to-help-create-new-positions-for-youth-in-the-agriculture-sector.html

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

Seniors will receive OAS and GIS top ups previously announced in March during the week of July 6th

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 Old Age Security(OAS)
    • Those who also qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement(GIS) will get an additional $200
  • Payments are expected to occur the week of July 6th

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

Through Canadian Digital Service, the federal government will be launching a mobile app that will notify users if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19

  • The app is completely voluntary, privacy will be respected, and no personal information will be shared
  • The service will be available in the coming weeks and available nation wide

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 federal government is moving forward with mandating temperature screening for air passengers and staff. This will be done in a phased process where:

  • By June 30, 2020, all passengers travelling to Canada prior to departure from international or transborder points of departure will be screened
  • By the end of July, those leaving Canada from the four major airports that are currently identified as the only Canadian airports for international travel (Montréal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver) will be screened
  • By September 2020, those departing from the next 11 busiest airports in Canada (St. John’s, Halifax, Québec City, Ottawa, Toronto – Billy Bishop, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Kelowna, Victoria) will be screened
  • All employees and personnel that enter or work in the restricted area of the airport will be subject to temperature screening
  • All passengers who have an elevated temperature and do not have a medical certificate to explain a medical or physical condition that would result in an elevated temperature, will not be permitted to continue their travel and will be asked to re-book after 14 days

Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/06/temperature-screening-to-be-required-for-travellers-at-canadian-airports.html

Under a limited exemption to current border restrictions; the federal government will soon allow foreign nationals of immediate family members of permanent residents and citizens entry into Canada

  • Entry must be for the purpose of being with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days
  • Anyone entering the country under this exemption is still required to quarantine for 14 days
  • All foreign nationals who have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 continue to remain prohibited from entering Canada

Please refer to this link for exemption details: https://www.canada.ca/en/border-services-agency/news/2020/06/changes-to-travel-restrictions-for-immediate-family-members-of-canadian-citizens-and-permanent-residents.html

Transport Canada and the transportation industry have implemented a layered system of measures for the Canadian transportation sector. The new measures will be implemented through a combination of mandatory orders and guidance:

  • Aviation
    • Expand the existing face covering / non-medical mask requirements beyond passengers to include some flight crew and airport workers
    • These measures come into effect at noon EDT on June 4, 2020
  • Marine
    • Issue guidance recommending that all workers in the marine transportation sector have in their possession a face covering, and recommend that face coverings be worn using a risk-based approach specific to the unique circumstances of the workplace, when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and/or when local authorities require it
  • Rail
    • Issue guidance requiring rail operators to notify passengers that they will be asked to wear a face covering when physical distancing of two metres from others cannot be maintained, or as requested by rail operators
    • Provide or make accessible a face covering to all workers in the rail industry
    • Ensure a face covering be worn by workers on a risk-based approach specific to the unique circumstances of the workplace, when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and/or when local authorities require it
  • Road
    • Establish a set of practices for the use of personal protective equipment, including face coverings in road transportation (i.e., trucking, motor coach, transit), in collaboration with provinces, territories and industry

Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/06/minister-garneau-announces-new-measures-for-the-use-of-face-coverings-in-the-canadian-transportation-sector.html

The federal government has announced updated measures for cruise ships and passenger vessels in Canadian waters
Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/05/minister-garneau-announces-updated-measures-for-cruise-ships-and-passenger-vessels-in-canadian-waters-up-to-october-31-2020.html

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 22, 2020 – Parks Canada will start the gradual opening of some campgrounds across Canada
Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/parks-canada/news/2020/06/camping-will-resume-gradually-at-a-number-of-national-parks-and-national-historic-sites-across-canada-starting-on-june-22-2020.html

Starting on June 1, 2020, Parks Canada will begin a gradual opening of some outdoor locations in national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas

  • Access will be permitted to some trails, day use areas, and green spaces at some locations
  • Suspensions of visitor services and closures of facilities announced in March remain in place
  • All camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21, 2020, while Parks Canada assesses whether and how these services might resume. Group activities and public events will be prohibited until further notice
    • All existing reservations set to take place prior to June 21, 2020, will be automatically cancelled and refunded in full
  • Highways and roadways which pass through Parks Canada places will remain open
    • Vehicle access to many of the secondary roads and trailhead parking lots remain suspended

Details https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/covid-19-info

Tourism

The federal government has committed $3.45 million to bolster recovery efforts for Western Canada’s tourism areas. Funding allocations:

  • $1.45 million – Travel Alberta
  • $1 million – Tourism Association of Vancouver Island
  • $0.5 million – Indigenous Tourism Association of British Columbia (Indigenous Tourism BC)
  • $0.5 million – Wanuskewin Heritage Park Authority

Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/western-economic-diversification/news/2020/05/investments-to-bolster-support-for-the-tourism-sector-in-western-canada.html

Alberta

Alberta Relaunch – Stage 2
Effective Friday June 12, 2020 the province of Alberta will move to stage 2 of the relaunch. What can open with restrictions:

  • K-12 schools, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following guidance
  • Libraries
  • More surgeries
  • Wellness services such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology
  • Personal services (esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatment, artificial tanning)
  • Indoor recreation, fitness, and sports, including gyms and arenas
  • Movie theatres and theatres
  • Community halls
  • Team sports
  • Pools for leisure swimming
  • VLTs in restaurants and bars
  • Casinos and bingo halls (but not table games)
  • Instrumental concerts

For specific details on restrictions and what is permitted, please visit: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=7256707F4ACA1-947B-6D61-82D5FA695DB863FB

As part of Alberta’s relaunch strategy, 20 million non-medical masks will be made available to the public at no cost.
For additional details, please visit: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=71469CBC1BF0F-EF94-B660-C2BFCCB26FA6034C

The Alberta government has released a new tool for entrepreneurs and landlords to provide feedback on the challenges they may be experiencing
Details: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=71435018621E2-BEAB-062E-4D3C53151C8FC737
Survey: https://www.alberta.ca/commercial-tenancy-support-feedback.aspx

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

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

Local

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

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

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