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Daily COVID-19 Update: May 29, 2020

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Supports for Business

Invitation for a townhall with Minister Fir

Next week, Economic Development Minister Tanya Fir will be hosting a series of telephone townhalls with Dr. Hinshaw to consult with impacted industries on stage 2 of relaunch. Through these calls, Minister Fir will be gaining feedback for the drafting of guidance documents for their reopening, as well as identifying any issues with their ability to reopen in order to help them feel confident with moving forward.

Topic: Libraries with Minister Madu

Date: June 1st 

Time: 5:00-6:00 pm              

Registration Link:  

Topic: Personal services - esthetics, tanning, spas

Date: June 3rd 

Time: 9:30-10:30 am 

Registration Link: 

Topic Movie theatres and theatres with Minister Aheer

Date: June 3rd 

Time: 11:30am-12:30 pm 


Topic: Gyms, studios, arenas and sportsfields with Minister Aheer

Date: June 4th 

Time: 5:30-6:30 pm  


Government announces coming into force of regulations providing relief to federally regulated pension plan sponsors

Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the coming into force, on May 27, of the government’s Solvency Special Payment Relief Regulations, 2020, which establish the moratorium.

This relief will help ensure that employers have the financial resources they need to maintain their operations and their pension plans, and to protect the retirement security of their workers and retirees.

Under the regulations, from today until December 30, 2020, federally regulated defined benefit pension plan sponsors are not required to make solvency special payments. The regulations also provide accommodations for solvency special payments made since April 1, 2020. Read more

One number for two levels of government - Common Business Number

A partnership with the Canada Revenue Agency means a streamlined application process that makes it easier for newly created corporations, non-profit organizations, partnerships and sole proprietorships to access services at different levels of government.

Corporations and non-profit organizations use their federal business number to access and register for federal programs, including tax account and payroll deduction programs, along with participating provincial programs, such as Alberta Corporate Registry. Before the Common Business Number program was launched, businesses looking to incorporate in Alberta had to apply separately for their federal business number directly from the CRA, using the same information required in a provincial application.

In addition to streamlining the incorporation application process, the federal business number enables Alberta businesses and non-profits to identify themselves by using one identifier, instead of different registration numbers.

Quick facts

The Common Business Number program in Alberta:

  • Streamlines the incorporation process for corporations and non-profit organizations.
  • Simplifies and speeds up interactions with government by providing corporations and non-profits with one easy method of identification.
  • Allows for information sharing between different levels of government.
Last Chance For Small Businesses To Apply For Facebook’s Grant Program!

Small businesses are the pillars of our communities and right now, they need everyone’s support. Earlier this week, Facebook Canada launched a program with nearly $3.5 million in support for small- and medium-sized businesses in Ottawa-Gatineau, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. The deadline to apply for Facebook's grants is Tuesday, June 2. Learn more.

New Tender Opportunities Available

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has posted a requirement for Cloth Face Coverings. More information is available here

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has posted a requirement for informatics professional services to rapidly develop and implement digital solutions and supporting technologies in response to the emergency situation created by COVID-19. More information is available here

Both opportunities close on June 8, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ET.  

Supports for Individuals

20 Million Masks to be Distributed to Albertans

A&W, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd. and Tim Hortons are partnering with the Alberta government to distribute non-medical masks at no cost through their drive-thru locations across the province, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Distribution will start in early June. 

Quick facts

  • Masks are provided in packages of four.
  • Masks will be available at almost 600 restaurant partner locations across Alberta.
  • Masks will be available only at drive-thrus, and only while supplies last. No purchase is necessary.
  • About 95% of Albertans are located within 10 kilometres of these drive-thrus.
  • Mask use is not mandatory; they are an option for situations where maintaining a physical distance of two metres is not possible.
  • The mask distribution program is intended to supplement an individual’s efforts to acquire non-medical masks. Albertans who wish to use non-medical masks are encouraged to purchase their own supply from local retailers in addition to using those provided by government.
  • Instructions for proper care and use of non-medical masks is available on

Community Supports and Resources

Outdoor sports guidance available

While many sports activities remain prohibited during stage one of relaunch, some are being allowed with appropriate safety measures. Information has been posted online to offer guidance on which sports are permitted, along with ways to limit risks. Local restrictions may also be in place in addition to provincial public health orders.

Additional Funding for Indigenous peoples and communities

The government announced new funding to provide critical support to Indigenous families and communities during this crisis, based on needs that have been identified. The funding includes:

  • $285.1 million to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities. The investment will fund community-led responses to the pandemic, and provide targeted increases in primary health care resources for First Nations communities. In case of outbreaks, this funding can be drawn upon to provide surge capacity and additional support for community-based services in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. 
  • $270 million to supplement the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program to address increased demand on the program, which will help individuals and families meet their essential living expenses. It will also help hire additional staff to better serve First Nations communities and connect individuals to other government programs.
  • $44.8 million over five years to build 12 new shelters, which will help protect and support Indigenous women and girls experiencing and fleeing violence. They are also announcing $1 million a year ongoing, starting this year, to support engagement with Métis leaders and service providers on shelter provision and community-led violence prevention projects for Métis women, girls, and LGBTQ and two-spirit people. 

Find other support for Indigenous communities here.

Updated Regulations for Cruise Ships during COVID-19

Today, the government announced updated measures pertaining to cruise ships and passenger vessels in Canadian waters.

  • Cruise ships with overnight accommodations allowed to carry more than 100 persons are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020.
  • As of July 1, 2020, all other passenger vessels must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority requirements for timelines and processes to resume operations.

Passenger vessels with the capacity to carry more than 12 persons continue to be prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast) until October 31, 2020.

Beginning July 1, 2020, passenger vessels will be allowed to operate in inland rivers and lakes in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.


Industry Leaders Call On Federal Government To Streamline Rules And Encourage Canadian Travel; Launch Canadian Tourism Roundtable

Leaders of the Canadian tourism and travel sectors today announced the formation of the Canadian Tourism Roundtable, a coalition of industry representatives committed to restoring the Canadian tourism and travel sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Roundtable is calling on all levels of government to work together to streamline and clarify rules around travel in order to ensure safe, accessible and timely travel for Canadians this summer. Read the release

Commentary: Our Pandemic Recovery Will Need A Taxation System Modernized To Help Households And Business By Shifting The Tax Burden And Mobilizing Capital

How we pay for today’s health crisis will reveal much about who we are as a country and where we are going. With 84% of federal revenue derived from different forms of taxation, this question is inextricably linked to Canada’s tax system. Canadian households and businesses will be paying for the COVID-19 pandemic for decades to come. How they pay is a question worth considering now. In this regard, there is no better time to rethink Canada’s tax system. Read more.

Appearance Before The House Standing Committee On Human Resources

On May 28, Leah Nord, our Senior Director of Workforce Strategies and Inclusive Growth, appeared as a witness before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) to discuss the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also addressed the process surrounding reopening, recovery and a return to the ‘new normal.’ Read and watch

New Resources

COVID-19 Online Tools & Help

To help people living in Canada determine which government benefits programs best meet their needs, the Government of Canada launched a new online tool, “Find financial help during COVID-19” on By answering a few simple questions, individuals will be presented with a personalized list of financial benefits that could be available to them, based on their specific circumstances. As part of Government of Canada’s suite of online tools, they have also launched a COVID-19 Virtual Assistant to help Canadians find the information and resources they need, whether it is related to health and safety, income support or other COVID-19 information. 

Counterfeit respirators

Counterfeit respirators are products that are falsely marketed and sold as being approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or approved to some other acceptable standard, and may not be capable of providing appropriate respiratory protection to workers. NIOSH has identified a number of red flags including:

  • No NIOSH markings
  • NIOSH spelled incorrectly
  • Presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons

Additional information regarding counterfeit NIOSH approval can be found here.

KN95 respirators not meeting performance standards have also been identified. The Centre for Disease Control is testing many of these and the results are available here. If an employer suspects that a mask is fraudulent or uncertified, stop using it and report the information to Health Canada.

Go here for information on many of the current issues related to the safe use of disposable respirators.

Bracing for Automation: What Are Canada’s Most Vulnerable Jobs?

Some occupations are more susceptible to automation than others; therefore, certain workers, employers, and industries will face greater difficulty adapting than others. Where should leaders and decision-makers focus their efforts? Read the latest research from the Conference Board of Canada to learn more.

Featured Webinars
Canadian Western Bank webinar on Strategies for How Businesses Can Persevere And Recover From COVID-19

On Tuesday  the Canadian Western Bank hosted a webinar on Strategies for How Businesses Can Persevere And Recover From COVID-19. For those not able to attend it can be viewed now. Find more CBRN webinars.

Webinar | Planning For Recovery: How To Restart Your Business In The Wake Of COVID-19

Join us June 2 at 12:00 p.m. ET for a live webinar with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). BDC’s Chief Economist Pierre Cléroux will give an economic update and speak about the main business trends that will reshape the way we do business and BDC’s Advisory Services Executive Vice President Peter Lawler will discuss what business owners should be doing now as they ramp up operations, along with providing an overview of the financial support programs and resources available. Register here

June 3: Destination Canada Webinar

An overview of Destination Canada’s latest market research and how it can help inform your organization’s next steps. Click the link to join the webinar on June 3 at 1:00 pm MST:

Build Your Online Presence, With Facebook

Join us on Wednesday, June 3 at 11:00 p.m. MST to learn how to build your business's online presence with a Facebook Business Page and find out about the free Facebook tools to jumpstart your business online. We'll cover everything from building your Facebook business page to communicating with your customers and managing and measuring your page. Register now.

Webinar | Getting Creative With Your Mobile Phone, With Facebook

Join us on June 9 at 11:00 p.m. MST to learn how to plan and create content using your mobile phone. We'll share tools, tips and creative apps that can help you create high quality content for your customers and followers. Register now

BDC and CCC webinar: How to adapt your business to thrive in the new normal

BDC Advisory Services experts will discuss the best practices to adapt your business to the current business environment. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce will share insights into its survey on Canadian business conditions as a result of the pandemic. The webinar will take place on June 15 at 10 a.m. MT. Register online.

How to Build an Effective Advertising Strategy

You're ready to advertise but need a strategy and a plan. We'll walk through how to define your advertising goals and objectives, reach your target audience at the right time and place, and learn to measure a successful advertising campaign. Tune in on June 24 at 11:00 am to hear answers to the questions you submitted during registration. Register online.


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

Recognize your heroes by using the hashtag #YXHheroes.

Honour your everyday heroes through the Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Awards program. Nominations can be submitted online.


"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." - Mahatma Ghandi


For more resources visit our COVID-19 page

On Demand Webinars

Alberta Bits & Pieces Webinar. Watch Now.

Canadian Business Resilience Network Video Content

13 Ways COVID-19 and Your Business Part 1: Watch Now.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Explained: Watch Now.

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

Crowdfunding through COVID-19. Watch Now.

Destination Canada: The Visitor Economy: Watch Now.

BDC Economic Pulse (April 20): Watch Now.

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

How to Navigate Government Programs with KPMG. Watch Now.

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

Keeping Your Company and Employees Secure When Working Remotely. Watch Now.

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

Maintaining Sales in the face of COVID-19. Watch Now.

Relaunching Your Business. Watch now.

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

Shopify E-Commerce Tools. Watch Now.

Social Media in Crisis. Watch Now.

Understanding, Accessing and Optimizing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Watch Now.

What To Feel When Stressors Collide, With Canada Life. Watch Now.

Working From Home During COVID-19. Watch Now.

Webinar Series

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

APEX Alberta Webinars: Watch the recorded series

BDC Webinar Series. Click here. 

BusinessLink: View upcoming events. Learn how to find bid opportunities. Register now.

Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Watch Now.

CPA Small Business Webinar Series. Click here. 

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.

D2L Webinar Series: Digital Transformation for Associations. Watch Now.

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

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

International Economic Development Council Webinar series. Watch now.

Retail Council of Canada

StartUp Canada Women Entrepreneur Webinar Series: Click here.

Travel Alberta Webinar Series. Watch Now.

Upcoming Webinars

June 2: Planning For Recovery: How To Restart Your Business In The Wake Of COVID-19. Register here.

June 3: APEX Alberta: Personality Dimensions – Sales and Customer Service. Register here.

June 3: Build Your Online Presence, With Facebook. Register here.

June 3: BBB Financial Options for Small Businesses. Register here.

June 3: Destination Canada – COVID-19 Research Webinar. Join here at 1:00.

June 3: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Maintaining Sales During COVID-19. Register now.

June 4: Essential Business Service Cyber Security Webinar with Field Effect.  Register here.

June 4: Travel Alberta - How to Use Your Story to Connect Deeply with Your Partners. Register here.

June 4: Cash Flow Management in Times of Uncertainty Webinar. Register here.

June 10: Post-COVID Employee Benefits. Register here.

June 10: Bow Valley College - Intermediate Facebook marketing. Register now.

June 17: APEX Alberta: Everything DiSC Productive Conflict. Register here.

Don’t forget Joe Social Media – Free Social Media training from May 1 – June 30 (times vary). Register here. Use promocode: Resilience

Check out more events on our Pandemic Training Calendar


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