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Daily Update: June 22, 2020

Supports for Business

Travel Alberta announces $17 million investment to help restart Alberta's tourism industry

Three new federal and provincial funding programs for Alberta destination management organizations and tourism businesses are addressing key areas of need, as identified in a recent Travel Alberta industry COVID-19 impact survey:

$4 million – Alberta Destination Management Organization (DMO) COVID-19 Operational Relief Program

Through a partnership between Travel Alberta and Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), this joint funding program will provide temporary operational funding to nine of Alberta's primary DMOs serving the cities and Rockies: Tourism Calgary; Edmonton Tourism; Banff & Lake Louise Tourism; Tourism Jasper; Tourism Canmore Kananaskis; Tourism Medicine Hat; Tourism Red Deer; Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association; and Explore Wood Buffalo (Fort McMurray). WD is contributing $1.45 million with a further $2.55 million from Travel Alberta's budget to help ensure the future sustainability of these DMOs and their ability to support community tourism businesses as they reopen.

$4 million – Destination Canada Domestic Funding Program

Destination Canada is providing a one-time contribution to Alberta's four largest city/community DMOs, that are major contributors to provincial revenues and employment. The funding to Tourism Calgary, Edmonton Tourism, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism and Tourism Jasper, who traditionally work with Destination Canada, will support regional promotional initiatives this summer and winter.

$5 million – Travel Alberta Cooperative Investment Program

This grant program, 100 percent funded by Travel Alberta, supports private sector tourism businesses, municipalities and non-profits through two funding streams related to product/experience development and partnership marketing investment to drive responsible travel and cash flow to businesses. Applications for the summer intake are now being accepted through to June 30, 2020.

MITACs funding for Canadian small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)

As a result of the recent Government of Canada announcement of $9 billion to support post-secondary students during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mitacs will steward $40 million to those enrolled in colleges and universities across Canada. The government funds will provide 5,000 new internship opportunities for college and university students, including those supporting Canada’s SMEs.

In addition, until July 1, SMEs contribute only 25% for the first four months of an innovation project done in collaboration with a post-secondary institution (some restrictions may apply). Proposals can be submitted any time up to July 1. Find more information.

Industry Stakeholder Calls with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

AAFC is holding weekly stakeholder calls to share information on supply chain impacts of COVID-19 and provide updates to grower groups and the broader value chain. If your organization is interested in participating or to provide comments/questions on the situation, AAFC asks that you please email the Roundtable account at After updates from the federal government, there is a question and answer session.

Google helping and celebrating Canadian small businesses

Google is  kicking off International Small Business Week, a global initiative taking place from now until Saturday June 27. To get the week started, they’re highlighting free tools and resources to help small businesses get set up with online stores, connect with their customers virtually, and get support from Canadians looking to rally behind their favourite local businesses. More information.

Supports for Individuals

Mask Distribution to Albertans

The first phase of Alberta’s distribution of free non-medical masks has ended. An additional six million masks have been or will be shared directly with municipalities, seniors organizations, Indigenous partners, places of worship and others to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Albertans who have not received a mask can continue to call 211 to request a package. Another 20 million masks will be distributed in July, via drive-thrus and other partners. Details will be announced in the next couple of weeks.

Expanding Access to Opioid Treatment

Alberta is expanding the telehealth option to treat opioid use disorder and temporarily covering the costs of opioid treatment medications. An additional $4 million over four years will help expand access to the Virtual Opioid Dependency Program (VODP). The Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) Gap Coverage program will cover the costs of medications to treat opioid use disorder for Albertans who are waiting to receive coverage through a supplementary health benefit plan. The program will cover costs for up to 120 days, during which an Albertan can apply for and receive supplementary health benefits. Find more information.

Community Supports and Resources

Input wanted on infrastructure planning

Albertans are invited to provide input to help develop the Alberta Infrastructure Act, as well as government’s 20-Year Strategic Capital Plan. Take the survey (15 min).

The Big Spend

Leading Influence, a national not-for-profit organization, is launching an idea called "The Big Spend." The Big Spend is about challenging every Canadian wage earner to spend on purpose in a locally owned business in one day. It's a collaborative effort of community groups, chambers of commerce, business associations, etc. that are partnering together and leveraging their networks to support a crucial sector of our national economy. This is a non-partisan, non-political initiative intended to benefit communities across Canada.

A new way for Albertans to report rat sightings

Albertans can now report rat sightings in the province using a dedicated email address. is the new email address that people can use if they see a rat – dead or alive – in the province. Albertans can also call 310-RATS (7287) to report any sightings.

Grazing Goats to Help Control Weeds in Police Point Park

Approximately 150 goats will help Parks staff control an invasive weed species as part of a two-week pilot project in Police Point Park. The Parks and Recreation Department is testing the alternative weed control method, known as target browsing, in some areas of Police Point Park to control leafy spurge, a noxious weed common in southern Alberta.

Parks staff have attempted to rid of the weed using a variety of techniques in the past, including spraying pesticides, however, are unable to access segments of the park, due to the natural terrain and coulees, and the inability to apply pesticides in close proximity to water.

Signs will be placed in the area where the goats are grazing, asking the goats not be disturbed. All trails throughout the park will remain open for public use. Parks and Recreation would like to remind park visitors that Police Point Park remains an on-leash area.

The City of Medicine Hat thanks residents for their support and understanding for the duration of this pilot project.


The Business Of Business: The Advance Of Digitization During COVID-19

How has the pandemic positively pushed ahead the digitization of our society? Find out in this segment of The Business of Business with our President and CEO, Hon. Perrin Beatty and Juggy Sihota, Vice-President of Consumer Health at TELUS. Watch now.

New Resources

An Entrepreneur’s Perspective With Susanna Cluff-Clyburne And Lianne Ing

In our continuing conversations with small business owners to get their perspective on how businesses are managing through the pandemic, Susanna Cluff-Clyburne, our Senior Director of Parliamentary Affairs, talks with Lianne Ing. Lianne is the Vice President of Bubble Technology Industries Inc., sits on our board of directors and is a member of our SME Committee. Bubble Technology is a 50-person business based in Chalk River, Ontario. Read and watch now. 

Featured Webinars

Global Economic Outlook

If you’d like to gain valuable economic insights that will help you make the right decisions for your business in the time of COVID-19, Export Development Canada’s (EDC’s) free webinar will explore the key economic indicators affecting Canadian companies like yours today. This webinar is airing live on Friday, June 26, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. Register to attend or to receive a link to the on-demand version. Register Now.

Brave New World - Navigating The Crisis And Its Aftermath

Join Jimmy Jean, a Macro Strategist with Desjardins Capital Markets on July 7 at 12:30 pm to discuss:  

  • The COVID-19-induced economic crisis: where we stand and our view of the economic outlook 
  • Reopening our economy with a delicate new dual mandate: saving lives and livelihoods 
  • Until the vaccine: Adapting to a completely reconfigured economic landscape 
  • Policy solutions for the previous cycle will not work: the next expansion will require innovative thinking in Canada 
  • “Don’t let a good crisis go to waste”: the potential for a better society in the wake of COVID-19 

Register now.

How To Support Employees’ Mental Health And Well-Being During COVID-19 And Beyond

In a recent survey by Sun Life, over half (56%) of Canadians surveyed said COVID-19 is negatively affecting their mental health. Join Carmen Bellows, Registered Psychologist and Director, Mental Health Solutions at Sun Life Financial on July  20th at noon to learn how to develop and maintain a positive mental health environment in your organization. Register today.

For more resources visit our COVID-19 page

Upcoming Webinars

June 23: Building a resilient workforce to thrive in the next normal. Register here.

June 23: Return to Work Virtual Workshop. Register here.

June 26: Global Economic Outlook. Register now.

June 24: How to Build an Effective Advertising Strategy. Register now.

June 24: Recovery to Resiliency: How tourism operators can learn, grow and thrive post-pandemic. Register here.

June 25: Travel Alberta Q&A with Alberta Health. Register here.

June 26: Grant Writing 101 webinar for business. Registration TBA.

June 29: Cyber-security Best Practices Workshop. Register now.

July 7: Brave New World - Navigating The Crisis And Its Aftermath. Register now.

July 15: Profit from technology: Digital tools to drive efficiency and revenue.  Register here.

July 20: How To Support Employees’ Mental Health And Well-Being During COVID-19 And Beyond. Register Now.

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

On Demand Webinars

Alberta Bits & Pieces Webinar. Watch Now.

Alberta Phase 2 Relaunch Town Hall Recordings. Listen Now.

Canadian Business Resilience Network Video Content

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

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program explained. 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.

Cybersecurity And The Ever-Evolving Work Environment, With Field Effect. Watch Now.

Destination Canada: The Visitor Economy: Watch Now.

BDC Economic Pulse (April 20): Watch Now.

Facebook: Build Your Online Presence. Watch now

Facebook: Getting Creative with your Mobile Phone, With Facebook. 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.

How to Safely Reopen after COVID-19. 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.

Mental Health for HR Professionals. 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.

Strategies for How Businesses Can Persevere And Recover From COVID-19. Watch Now.

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

Understanding Travel Insurance In The World Of COVID-19. 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.

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

Employment Law Alliance On-Demand Series. Click here.

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

International Economic Development Council Webinar series. Watch now.

Retail Council of Canada. Register here.

School of Public Policy. Register here.

StartUp Canada Women Entrepreneur Webinar Series: Click here.

Travel Alberta Webinar Series. Watch Now.

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