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Daily COVID-19 Update: April 22, 2020

Supports for Business

Statement on joint WTO efforts for Agriculture and Agri-food

Today, Canada and 23 WTO members signed onto a joint statement to reinforce international cooperation on trade in agricultural and agri-food products. To help ensure well-functioning global agriculture and agri-food supply chains in response to this crisis they committed to a number of measures including ensuring that supply chains remain open and connected so that international markets can continue to function in supporting the movement of agricultural products and agriculture inputs, which plays an instrumental role in avoiding food shortages and ensuring global food security and not to impose agriculture export restrictions, refraining from implementing unjustified trade barriers on agriculture and agri-food products and key agricultural production inputs.

Canada Post Hold Mail Service

Since the beginning of this pandemic, Canada Post has continued to provide service to Canadians across the country. For essential businesses open as usual, mail delivery service continues. Businesses that continue to receive mail but would like Canada Post to start holding their mail can sign up for the service here. The fee will be refunded and any Hold Mail services purchased online since late March will also be refunded. Canada Post is also offering free Mail Forwarding services. Businesses can sign up for it here.

Supports for Individuals

Government Announces Support For Students And Recent Graduates

Today, the Government of Canada announced a series of programs directed toward students and recent graduates, including the newly proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit (which still requires legislative approval). This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. This benefit would be available from May to August 2020. Additional measures include:

  • a new Canada Student Service Grant to help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.
  • double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. 
  • broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21, in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.
  • enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.
  • increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education by providing an additional $75.2 million in 2020-21.
  • extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. In addition, the government intends to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada.
  • remove the restriction that allows international students to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.

As part of this initiative, the Government of Canada will introduce legislation to be considered by Parliament. Read more.

Community Supports and Resources

New Tool To Connect Albertans With Volunteer Opportunities

The new Alberta Cares Connector tool embraces the Alberta spirit of supporting the vulnerable by offering our assistance, skills and time to those who need it most. This new tool will build on the success of every day Albertans who answered the call to action by providing an easy one-stop-shop for those looking for service opportunities. The Alberta Cares Connector will ensure those organizations and programs that depend on the generosity and assistance of volunteers are able to continue to provide support to those in need. Volunteers and volunteer organizations must follow all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to protect themselves and those they help. More information on safety and physical distancing guidelines can be found at View the Alberta Cares Connector Program here. View the safe volunteering guidelines here

Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition Program

The Provincial Government is launching the Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Awards to honour everyday heroes as the province responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. The honourees will be nominated by fellow Albertans and selected for profiling on the program’s website and through social media. There are no requirements for hours of service, and any individual or group who helps out in their community is eligible for an award. The nomination submission requests a brief story about the nominee’s contribution. Nominations will be accepted online on an ongoing basis. Nominate a volunteer here.


Business of Business Series

In this edition of The Business of Business, the Hon. Perrin Beatty, Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, has a conversation with Jeff Macoun, President and Chief Operating Officer, Canada Life. They discuss how COVID-19 has affected means of communication, the mental health resources available as well as the impact the pandemic has had on investments. Watch now.

New Resources

Explore An Improved

The Canadian Business Resilience Network’s website continues to improve and is updated daily to make the most important and recent information easy to find. The site includes information on financial support, tips and advice, news and insights, frequently asked questions and more.


Share your stories and resources with us and on the YXH Business Support Group. and connect with us for any questions you have. Don’t forget to recognize your heroes by using the hashtag #YXHheroes.


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  – Margaret Mead


For more resources visit our COVID-19 page

On Demand Webinars

Alberta Bits & Pieces Webinar. Watch Now.

Canadian Business Resilience Network Video Content

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.

Leading During a Crisis and Switching to Remote Work. Watch Now. 

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

Shopify E-Commerce Tools. Watch Now.

Social Media in Crisis. 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

Free Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)® IDS™ sessions. Register here.

Travel Alberta Webinar Series. Watch Now.


Upcoming Webinars

April 23: Medicine Hat Mayor Ted Clugston Answers Your Questions. Register here.

April 23: Crisis Comunications. Register here.

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

April 23: Travel Alberta: Understanding the Benefits of E-commerce. Register here. 

April 23: Start Up Canada: How to Activate your Wise Woman Inner Power. Register here.

April 23: COVID-19: Retail Solutions - Create a Virtual Downtown By Taking Downtown to an Online Marketplace Platform. Register here. 

April 24: Contractual obligations and force majeure. Register here.

April 24: Managing Cash Flow in Crisis. Register here.

April 24: Learn about online shipping and eCommerce with Freightcom. Register here. 

April 27: COVID-19 Webinar Series - Business Development in Trying Times. Register here.  

April 29: Colleges and Institutes Canada Webinars for SMEs: Expand Your Innovation Capacity. Register here.

April 29: COVID-19 Webinar Series - Managing Your Mental Health. Register here. 

April 29: WTF: What To Feel When Stressors Collide. Register here. 

May 6: COVID-19 Webinar Series - Beyond Reacting: How to Re-Invent and Disrupt in the New Reality. Register here.

May 7: Write Like a Rockstar. Register here.

Check out more events on our Pandemic Training Calendar


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