COVID-19 Archive

COVID-19 Archive
COVID-19 Archive

 

VACCINATIONS

Prime Minister confirms Canadians to have full vaccination by Fall

May 11, 2021 - Prime Minister Trudeau reaffirmed today that Canadians that want the vaccine will have their first jab by July and their second dose by September/early October.  Read more here.

 

Transport Industry in Ontario can now get vaccinated

May 10, 2021 - starting Tuesday, May 11 at 8 a.m., people in Group 2 who cannot work from home, which includes grocery store, restaurant and transportation workers will also be eligible to get a vaccine shot.   The Ontario government lists transportation workers as “Transportation, warehousing and distribution workers (including public transit workers, truck drivers supporting essential services, marine and rail cargo and maintenance, highway maintenance).”  Read more here.

 

When employers can require COVID-19 vaccinations

December 16, 2020 - As COVID-19 vaccines become available, many employers will have a strong case for requiring employee vaccinations, so long as their vaccination policies have certain exceptions, are job-related and are consistent with business necessity, legal experts say. Read more

 

Trucker priority for COVID-19 vaccine unclear

December 16, 2020 - As federal officials near approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine, there are questions about where truck drivers will be on the priority list. Read more  CAM is sending a letter to each provincial health unit explaining what household movers do and requesting that employees of moving companies, specifically drivers and crews who go into homes, can be considered in the second group of vaccinations as they are essential workers and at risk.   

 

QUARANTINES & LOCK-DOWNS

Alberta could be “fully open” by June 28th

May 26, 2021 - Premier Kenney has announced Alberta’s reopening plan and indicates that big events like the K Days and Calgary Stampede will be back and in full swing.  Reopening plans are based on vaccination levels.  Details here

 

Quebec to lift curfew

May 25, 2021 - Premier Legault announced today that as of Friday, Quebec’s long-standing curfew will be lifted as Quebec continues to recover at a good pace.

 

Manitoba stay at home province-wide alert

May 21, 2021 - Manitoba public health officials remind all Manitobans to stay home, the for essentials only. They remind people not to gather with people outside of your household and to follow public health orders and get tested if sick. The alert comes as Manitoba reports at second highest daily Covid case numbers. One of the provinces where they are on the rise.

 

ON to extend the stay at home order until at least June 2nd

May 13, 2021 - The government of Ontario has extended the stay-at-home order until at least June 2nd.  Read more here. 

 

Moving to Nova Scotia?  Not this May ... but maybe.

Update May 10, 2021 - the Nova Scotia government announced today that anyone who had a possession date of a home or rental property for May that had previously made arrangements prior to the border closure announcement on May 7th can apply for compassionate exception.  The information will be available on the NS government website by end of day May 10th.  This action should alleviate temporary storage and potential homeless situations.   However, the government urges homeowners moving to the province to delay home possession.

May 7, 2021 - Nova Scotia has put new border measures in place that will take effect at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 10, and will be in place until at least the end of the month. The border will close to people intending to move to Nova Scotia and will close to people coming from PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador (it was closed previously to non-essential travel from other provinces). Among those who will be allowed to enter will be people who are exempt from self-isolation, following the exempt traveler protocol (for example, long-haul truck drivers, airline crew, first responders, people needing essential health services). Read more

 

Alberta brings in 3 week controls until after Victoria Day - Not a lock down

May 4, 2021 - Premier Jason Kenney announced this evening that tighter restrictions are going into place throughout Alberta in an effort to reduce the surging cases of COVID-19 in that province.  There are many restrictions, but a key one is that masks must be worn indoors at workplaces unless employees are distanced.  Kenney is urging people to stay home.   More info on the restrictions can be found here.

 

Canadian Government encourages people to not vacation away

Jan 22, 2021 - Today the government implored Canadians to stay home and not travel out of the country for March break or winter vacations in order to stem the spread of the virus and particularly the new variants that are showing up in Canada. The Prime Minister stated that Canada may impose new measures without warning, which would "significantly impede" Canadians to be able to come home after a trip.  He continued by saying that these measures will only be in place for a few more months.

Here's the official news release.

Here's the Ontario Government's summary of information about the measures proposed to come into effect in Ontario or in areas of Ontario between Tuesday, January 12, 2021 and Thursday, January 14, 2021. (For movers, go to slide 22)

 

Manitoba enacts 14-day quarantine entering the province

Jan 29, 2021 - Starting today, anyone travelling to Manitoba for nonessential reasons will have to self isolate for two weeks, as a new public health order comes into affect. If you are moving to Manitoba, you are considered to be travelling for essential purposes and therefore *should* be exempt. But please be reminded that the decision lies completely in the MB authorities’ hands and you *may* be required to self-isolate, thus affecting the delivery schedule of your goods. Movers, make sure you have this discussion with your Manitoba-bound customers and have a ‘Plan B” in place and what the financial ramifications of that might be. Reiterate the importance of having their moving documentation with them as they cross the border. Read more here.

 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford issues "Stay At Home Order" effective January 14th, 12:01 am until at least February 11th

Jan. 12, 2021 - MOVERS ARE STILL ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES AND WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE AS THEY HAVE BEEN DOING SINCE MARCH!

More details to follow as become available as the rules for this stay-at-home order are still being written and not expected until late January 13th.  Here are the highlights from the announcement today:

  • any employee that can work from home is to work from home
  • non-essential businesses must be closed by 8 pm nightly, with the exception of grocery and convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies and restaurants providing take out/delivery.
  • limit of 5 for outdoor gatherings
  • masks are mandatory in all indoor public places and outdoors when they can't keep 2 meters apart
  • rapid testing will be ramped up and available for warehouse and supply chain businesses should your workers need it

 

Québec Curfew beings Saturday, January 9, 2021

Province of Québec announced a full provincial curfew starting on Saturday, January 9, 2021.  People must stay at home between 8 pm to 5 am or risk a fine between $1,000 - $6,000.  There are exemptions for those who are working.  Those transporting goods and those managing supply chains can continue to operate, so movers will still be able to operate.  You will need to show a letter from your employer indicating that you need to be working.

For more information on what you can and can't be doing, click here.  The curfew will be enforced until February 8, 2021.

Province of Québec website curfew link.

 

Ontario Lockdown to begin December 26, 2020 12:01 a.m.

December 21, 2020 - Premier Doug Ford announced today that all of Ontario will go into lockdown as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, December 26, 2020, for a period of 28 days in the south and east, and 14 days in the north.  Essential businesses will remain in operation.  Moving companies are still open for business.

Premier Ford also announced the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help business owners to get through - more info available on that when we get it.

Other highlights:  only essential services allowed to be in full operation.  Curbside operations will be allowed for some retailers and coffee shops/restaurants.  Elementary schools will remain closed until January 11th and High Schools will  be remote until January 25th.

 

British movers still working

December 22, 2020 - On Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement that any human handled freight services were being shut down. France has closed its borders to all "manned" road freight from the UK with only unaccompanied freight permitted to travel, initially for a period of 48 hours (although that may well get extended over the holiday period).  CAM clarified the situation with the British Association of Removers and the International Association of Movers reports today that BAR has received government confirmation that moving companies can continue their activities despite tighter restrictions in London and South East England.    CAM will, of course, keep our eye on developments with this new viral mutation and report back here should the situation change.

 

Cross-border truck drivers don't need to wait 14 days for doctors visits

October 20, 2020 - trucknews.com is reporting that essential workers like truck drivers are not required to quarantine for 14 days after returning to Canada, even though the rule applies to other people entering the country.  You can read more here.

 

FINANCIAL AID

BC introduces COVID paid sick leave

May 11, 2021 - British Columbia Employees that have COVID-19 symptoms, who need to self-isolate, or need to be off waiting for a test result, will be able to receive up to three days off, thanks to new legislation tabled Tuesday in BC.  This will fill the gaps in the federal program. In the news conference, Premier Horgan states that he “is confident that the three days that we have in the bill will bridge the workers to get access to other programs that we have in Canada.”  Employers will be required to pay workers their full wages and the province will reimburse employers who don't currently have a sick-leave program up to $200 per day ($600 total) to cover those costs.  WorkSafeBC will administer that reimbursement on behalf of the province and the program will be in place until the end of the calendar year.  You can read more about that here.

 

Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protect Benefit Announced

April 28, 2021 - Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton has just announced the COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit.  With the federal government indicating that they were willing to receive double payments for their sick days program, Ontario is the first province to step up.   With this new additional provincial funding, Workers *could* now receive a total of $1000 for up to four weeks. 

A persistent gap in the federal program is that workers must miss a half a week in order to qualify for the program. To fix this, Ontario is introducing the ‘Covid-19 Putting Workers First Act’.  Through this bill, there will be paid sick days specific to COVID-19. If passed, all workers will soon have access to three paid sick days.  “This is a game changer and this will save lives,“ McNaughton said.

Introduction of these measures means that if a worker is told to self isolate, they will be able to do so without losing a paycheque and if a worker needs to take time off to get vaccinated they will be paid to do so.  There are no sick notes required or forms for the worker to fill out.  This is a flexible three days being provided that workers can take off with any issues related to COVID-19 whether they are in isolation, or you have to stay home with a son or a daughter.  

As part of the income protection benefit, employers will be reimbursed for what they pay out up to $200 a day for three days. The program will run retroactively from April 19th and will go until September 25, 2021 which will align with the federal sickness recovery benefit.

More information will be available on the Ontario.ca/Covidworkerbenefit or call 1-888-999-2248

 

Employees getting paid leave to go get vaccines in several provinces 

April 22, 2021 - Workers in Alberta will be allowed three hours of paid leave to get vaccinated against COVID-19 thanks to changes to employment standards that took effect April 21st.  Alberta joins Saskatchewan with similar paid vaccine protected leave and BC’s government is currrently reviewing a change to their employment policy.  Read more about Alberta’s news here.

 

Federal Budget Initiatives Announced

April 19, 2021 -  Finance Minister/ Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced in the federal budget the following:

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be extended for 3 months to September 25, 2021, with gradual rate decreases beginning July 4th.   The same date extension will apply to the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and lockdown supports. 
  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) has been extended 12 more weeks to a maximum of 50 weeks.  After July 17, 2021, the CRB drops from $500 per week to $300 per week.  
  • Introduction of the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program that will run from June 6th to November 20th to help employers rehire workers.  Though if they use this program employers can't use CEWS.

 

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

April 6, 2021 - Prime Minister Trudeau reminded Canadians today that "no one should be going to work sick right now."  The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. 

If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.

If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 4 weeks between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021. 

To find out more about the CRSB, click here

 

 

Canada to extend COVID-19 emergency wage and rent subsidies

Mar 3, 2021 - During a press conference on Wednesday, March 3rd, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and lockdown support measures, set to expire on March 14, will now be extended to June 5.  Read more

 

Financial Assistance update announced by Prime Minister

Feb 9, 2021 - there are a few updates to financial assistance announced today by the Prime Minister including interest-free relief on certain tax debt for one year, and new repayment qualifications on CERB.  We're getting the details sorted out and will be back with updated information as soon as possible.

 

Need summer labour?  Canada Summer Jobs Program now open - employer deadline is January 29, 2021

There is a massive labour shortage in our country. Have you ever considered hiring a student? The government has expanded the Canada Summer Jobs program to get more folks working during COVID and you can get 75% of their wage reimbursed. Have a look …

Canada Summer Jobs is an initiative of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which aims to provide flexible and holistic services to help all young Canadians develop the skills and gain paid work experience to successfully transition into the labour market.

The Canada Summer Jobs program objectives align with the redesigned Youth Employment and Skills Strategy and are as follows:

  • provide quality work experiences for youth
  • respond to national and local priorities to improve access to the labour market for youth who face unique barriers
  • provide opportunities for youth to develop and improve their skills

The program provides wage subsidies to employers from not-for-profit organizations, the public sector, and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees, to create quality summer work experiences for young people aged 15 to 30 years. Funded employers are not restricted to hiring students — all youth aged 15 to 30 years may be eligible participants.

Deadline to apply to be an employer is January 29, 2021. Full information is available here.

 

Employment Insurance (EI) program

Update - The Government will be transitioning CERB to a simplified Employment Insurance (EI) program, effective September 27, 2020, to provide income support to those who remain unable to work and are eligible, and introducing a new suite of temporary and taxable recovery benefits to further support workers. While the Government prepares for this transition, and to ensure support continues for Canadians whose employment has been impacted by the pandemic, the CERB will be extended by an additional four weeks, providing a new maximum of up to 28 weeks of benefits. For more details click here.

As of September 27, you may be eligible for EI if you:

  • were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks
  • received the CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
  • stopped working through no fault of your own
  • have not quit your job voluntarily
  • are ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits)
  • are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)

If you are eligible for EI benefits, you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits.

 

Ontario Small Business Support Grant (Dec. 22, 2020)

For those of you in Ontario who may qualify, here is more information on the Ontario Small Business Support Grant announcement yesterday by Premier Doug Ford. 

Eligible small businesses include those that:

  • Are required to close or significantly restrict services due to the Provincewide Shutdown being imposed across the province effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26
  • Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

 For more information: Click here.

 

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance. Please note that applications will open on October 12.

 

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The CRSB provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:

  • are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
  • are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
  • have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

 

CEBA has been extended to December 31, 2020

September 24, 2020 - The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. This program has been implemented by banks and credit unions in collaboration with Export Development Canada.

Business owners can apply for support from CEBA through their banks and credit unions. Learn more about CEBA

This support is available until December 31, 2020.

 

CEBA requirements and deadlines have changed (Dec. 4, 2020)

  • As of December 4, 2020, CEBA loans for eligible businesses will increase from $40,000 to $60,000.
  • Applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for the $20,000 expansion, which provides eligible businesses with an additional $20,000 in financing.
  • All applicants have until March 31, 2021, to apply for $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.

If you have already applied for CEBA and have questions, please contact the CEBA Call Centre at 1-888-324-4201. An agent will return your call within 3 business days between Monday and Friday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm EST. For more info click here.

 

Important Federal Funding Updates (Nov. 20, 2020)

On Nov 20th, Bill C-9, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) received Royal Assent, implementing new, targeted support to help hard-hit businesses. These measures will help businesses get through the second wave of the virus so they can protect jobs, continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery.

The measures adopted as part of Bill C-9 are:

  • The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which will provide direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage interest support to tenants and property owners until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The new rent subsidy will support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop by providing support up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Claims can be made retroactively to September 27, 2020.
  • The new Lockdown Support, which will provide an additional 25 per cent through the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy for qualifying organizations that are subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly restrict their activities under a public health order issued under the laws of Canada, a province or territory (including orders made by a municipality or regional health authority under one of those laws). Combined, this will mean that hard-hit businesses subject to a lockdown could receive rent support of up to 90 per cent.
  • The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021, which will continue to protect jobs by helping employers keep employees on the payroll and re-hire workers. The wage subsidy will remain at the current rate of up to 65 per cent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020.

 

IN THE MEDIA

Here are some short articles from media interviews early in the moving season of 2020. While most movers are using PPE (gloves, masks, etc), you should check with your moving company to see how they are protecting you and themselves while in your home.

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