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Daily COVID-19 Update: April 17, 2020

Supports for Business

Federal Government Announces Targeted Industry Supports

New federal support to businesses and organizations dealing with the economic impacts of COVID-19 were announced today. The Government of Canada will provide over $1.7 billion for targeted measures, including:

  • $675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures, through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies.
  • $287 million to support rural businesses and communities, including by providing them with much-needed access to capital through the Community Futures Network.
  • $500 million to establish a COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations to help address the financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors so they can continue to support artists and athletes. This measure is consistent with the government’s other existing COVID-19 support measures for wages and fixed costs for organizations.
  • $250 million to assist innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access existing COVID-19 business support, through the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program.
  • $20.1 million in support for Futurpreneur Canada to continue to support young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges due to COVID-19. The funding will allow Futurpreneur Canada to provide payment relief for its clients for up to 12 months.
Energy Stimulus Package

Recognizing how the energy sector has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, low commodity prices and lower demand, the federal government announced that it will:

  • provide up to $1.72 billion, including funding to the governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia, and the Alberta Orphan Well Association, to clean up orphan and/or inactive oil and gas wells – creating thousands of jobs and having lasting environmental benefits.
  • provide up to $750 million to create a new proposed Emissions Reduction Fund to reduce emissions in Canada’s oil and gas sector, with a focus on methane. This fund will provide primarily repayable contributions to conventional and offshore oil and gas firms to support their investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Of this amount, $75 million will be allocated to the offshore sector.
  • expand eligibility for the new Business Credit Availability Program announced on March 13, 2020, to help Canadian businesses get the financing they need during this period of uncertainty. The support will be available to medium-sized businesses with larger financing needs, beginning with companies in Canada’s energy sector, to help them maintain operations and keep their employees on the job.

In response to the announcement by the federal government Premier Jason Kenney thanked the government and committed to working with the federal government in order to ensure the viability of the energy sector. Read the premier’s full statement here.

Canada Life Cuts Premiums

Canada Life announced it is cutting group health insurance premiums for its employer-sponsored group benefits plans to support Canadians and small and medium-sized businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak.

Supports for Individuals


Suncor, through its Petro-Canada program, is contributing $3 million to help meet the needs of Canadians and their communities. Over the coming weeks, associates and teams at Petro-Canada locations across the country will offer fuel discounts, meals, showers or a small token of appreciation to their customers as their way of saying thank you to all Canadians who are doing their part during this time of COVID-19. Read more.

Community Supports and Resources

Expanded Testing

Alberta Health continues to closely monitor outbreak situations, and is working with employers and Alberta Health Services to expand testing to asymptomatic residents and staff in continuing care facilities and outbreak sites in the coming days. All workers from all companies at outbreak sites will be offered this opportunity.

Additionally, Alberta’s testing capacity is rapidly expanding and anyone with symptoms anywhere in the province can now be tested. Those with symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, or shortness of breath, should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment. After completing the form, there is no need to call 811. Alberta’s testing capacity is currently approximately 7,000 samples per day, and the laboratory network is working to increase this capacity.

Camping Reservations Suspended

Alberta Parks has suspended online campsite reservations and is refunding customers who have booked up to May 19. The decision is in line with other jurisdictions, such as Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Parks Canada, which have also suspended or delayed camping reservations.

Temporary suspension of applications for emergency social services funding

Effective April 21, the Government of Alberta will be temporarily suspending applications for emergency social services funding to charities, not-for-profits and civil society organizations to support their COVID-19 response. Government has received more than 600 applications for the $30-million fund. Current applications are being reviewed, and approvals for urgent requests will occur before reopening application intake.


Participate In The Canadian Survey On Business Conditions

The final deadline for participation in this survey is Friday, April 24. Just a few minutes of your time will help shape the policies of Canada’s COVID-19 recovery efforts. It is critical for businesses of all shapes and sizes in all regions of the country to participate. Please set aside a few minutes for this very important task and take the survey today.

New Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Did you know that the CBRN website has a FAQ section that is updated daily, tracking the latest news, information and supports that are available to help you, your business and your workforce.

Alberta Liquor Store Association

Find common COVID-19 safety measures that can be implemented in store.

Building Industry and Land Development

Tips for operating worksites during COVID-19.

Cement and Concrete Industry

Concrete Alberta’s best practices for delivering concrete during COVID-19 and Concrete Canada’s best practice health and safety guidelines for employees in the cement and concrete industry.

Resuming Social Activity on Destination Canada's Consumer Channels

After pausing our consumer social channels to reconsider our messaging in light of COVID-19, we resumed activity on Instagram in English, French and German on April 15th. We took a thoughtful approach meant to evoke our Canadian pride and inspire international travellers to dream of Canada. This kicks off a suite of new content themes that encourage our community to explore Canada from their homes, while highlighting the good news stories we’re seeing from across the country. Look out for virtual tours, DMO and PMO spotlights, curated “Canada Cares” content as well as the beautiful and calming landscape images we’re known for. If you don’t already, follow along @ExploreCanada.

Featured Webinars

Explore CBRN Videos

The Canadian Business Resilience Network now has video content available, including insights into the effect the pandemic has had on businesses, information for adapting your business to the situation, technical briefings with the Government of Canada on programs and services and more.

Shopify Webinar

We hosted a webinar yesterday with Shopify to help Canadian businesses move their operations online as well as explore the resources and ecommerce tools that are available through Shopify. If you missed it, you can still access the recording!

Travel Alberta: Understanding the Benefits E-commerce Can Bring to Your Business and How to Get Started

The COVID-19 crisis has businesses looking at different ways to serve their customers while adhering to current restrictions to help stop the spread. On April 23, Kelly Doody, Founder & CEO of Social School will discuss the benefits e-commerce can bring to your business. She will explore the types of businesses and offerings that work online and some strategies to get your business up and running. 

Thursday, April 23, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Register here.

Conference Board of Canada: Ask an Economist 

The Conference Board of Canada addresses pressing questions about the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the topics that are top of mind. Watch now.

Connected with Continuing Studies Virtual Learning Series

Even though the Medicine Hat College has had to cancel or postpone some classes, they have rounded up a few of their amazing instructors to offer some short, free online learning sessions. Here’s a few that were shared with us today:


Share your stories and resources with us and on the YXH Business Support Group. and connect with us for any questions you have.


"We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated" - Maya Angelou


For more resources visit our COVID-19 page

On Demand Webinars

Alberta Bits & Pieces Webinar. Watch Now.

Conflict Escalation & What to Do About It. Watch Now.

Destination Canada: The Visitor Economy: Watch Now.

How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business. Watch Now.

The Importance of Human Resources & Being Strategic When Your Business is Being Temporarily Impacted. Watch Now.

Rent Relief in a World of the Coronavirus: Watch Now.

Working From Home During COVID-19. Watch Now.

Webinar Series

AMHSA, CSSE, Howatt HR, AUMA Mental Health Webinar Series. Click here.

BusinessLink: View upcoming events.

Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Watch Now.

CPHR Alberta: HR Pandemic Essentials. Click here.

Conference Board of Canada Webinar Series: Mental Health and COVID-19. Click here.

Constant Contact Webinar Series: View the line up of sessions and register.

Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) Wednesday weekly: Business & Economic Recovery During the COVID-19 Crisis

Travel Alberta Webinar Series. Watch Now.

Upcoming Webinars

April 21: A guide to successful email marketing for small business. Register here.

April 21: CPHR: Leadership in Times of Crisis. Register here.

April 21: FarmSafe Workshop - Recruitment, Orientation and Training. Register now.

April 22: BBB Savvy Consumers: How to Identify and Avoid Covid-19 Scams and Frauds. Register here.

April 22: Communication and Conflict Management for Business Families. Register here.

April 23: Crisis Comunications. Register here.

April 23: FarmSafe Workshop - Emergency Response . Register now.

May 7: Write Like a Rockstar. Register here.

Check out more events on our Pandemic Training Calendar

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