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Daily Update: June 23, 2020

Supports for Business

Federal Government Extends Time Periods Given To Employers To Recall Employees Laid Off Due To COVID-19 

The government announced today an extension on a temporary layoff. Prior to these changes, employers could temporarily layoff their employees for up to three months if no notice with a recall date was provided or for a period of up to six months if they provided a notice with an expected recall date before the layoff became a termination. The amendments, which are set out in the Canada Labour Standards Regulations, temporarily extend these time periods by up to six months:  

  • For employees laid off prior to March 31, 2020, the time period is extended by six months or to December 30, 2020, whichever occurs first. 
  • For employees laid off between March 31, 2020 and September 30, 2020, the time period is extended until December 30, 2020 unless a later recall date was provided in a written notice at the time of the layoff. 

These changes, which came into effect on June 22, 2020, do not apply to employees who are covered by a collective agreement that contains recall rights. 

Environmental reporting reinstated

Environmental reporting temporarily paused by government during the provincial public health emergency will resume on July 15, four weeks earlier than planned. Alberta Environment and Parks also authorized a three-month extension to industry to submit regulatory reports for emissions reduction achievements and renewable fuel operator compliance. These reports are due June 30. All documentation related to Water Act approvals and licences, reports for public land rentals, and reports related to Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act authorizations that were collected since the ministerial order was put in place must now be submitted. Drinking water facilities were not affected by the order and were still required to submit reports during the pandemic.

Ministerial orders put in place by the Ministry of Energy are also being rescinded on July 15, earlier than anticipated.

Canada Grain Act amendments implemented for 2020-21 crop year as CUSMA comes into effect

The Canadian Grain Commission is implementing amendments to the Canada Grain Act and Canada Grain Regulations as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) comes into effect.

As a result of the agreement, the following changes take effect on July 1, 2020:

  • Grain grown in the United States will be able to receive an official Canadian grade if it’s a variety that is registered in Canada
  • The requirement of a country of origin statement on inspection certificates for grain grown in the United States will be removed
  • It will be mandatory for people, including licensed grain companies, who sell grain to a Canadian Grain Commission licensee to complete a declaration of eligibility

Supports for Individuals

Retirement Planning for Entrepreneurs

If you’re an entrepreneur feeling uncertain about retirement, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey, 42 per cent of small business owners say they’re unsure about their future and their plans for retirement. Here are three critical retirement savings decisions for entrepreneurs. Read more

Alberta to invest in targeted serology testing

Alberta is investing $10 million into targeted serology testing that will help track the spread of COVID-19 across the province. Serology testing is used to detect the presence of antibodies in a person’s blood, indicating that a person has been exposed to the COVID-19 virus in the past. This is different from the robust polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing already available to all Albertans, which is the most effective way to test if anyone currently has the virus.

Alberta Health is investing in four voluntary public health studies, which will serologically test specific groups of Albertans for the virus. Alberta Health Services (AHS) will also make serology testing available for specific clinical purposes where testing can inform treatment decisions.

Community Supports and Resources

Strengthening Democracy in Alberta

Bill 26, the Constitutional Referendum Amendment Act, would allow the government to seek Albertans’ guidance on initiatives beyond constitutional matters. Referendums could be held on a number of government-led initiatives or matters of public interest before they are implemented, including the recommendations of the Fair Deal Panel. Referendums could be held alongside a provincial or municipal election, or be held separately or by mail-in ballot.

Government also introduced Bill 27, the Alberta Senate Election Amendment Act. If passed, this bill would make minor wording and housekeeping changes, as well as give the Minister of Municipal Affairs the same directive-making powers they have in municipal elections when a Senate election is held in conjunction with a municipal election. Read the press release

Celebrate Canada Day virtually with online National Film Board films and activities. With Canadians looking to celebrate Canada Day in a way that’s fun and safe for themselves, their family and their community, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is ready for July 1 with a great selection of online films and interactive activities for people of all ages.

NFB in the Canada Day Celebration Kit

Three NFB interactive works are being featured as part of the Government of Canada’s online Canada Day Celebration Kit, with entertaining and creative activities for the whole family:


Commentary: Reliable And Affordable Childcare Key To An Inclusive Recovery

As we move into reopening and on to recovery phases across the country, health and safety concerns remain at the forefront. As employees continue their return to work, either remotely or onsite (or a variety of hybrid models therein) a key to successful work reintegration and economic recovery for parents is the availability of reliable and affordable childcare. Read more

New Resources

Lumino Health: Helping Canadians Find Virtual Care

Most Canadians say COVID-19 has hurt their mental or physical health. During the pandemic, many clinics closed to in-person visits. That has made virtual care essential. However, 56% of Canadians say they don’t know where to find virtual care. Lumino Health, an innovation from Sun Life, will change that. Sun Life has committed to building digital resources and forging partnerships for increased access to care. Learn more in our latest blog post from Sun Life. Read more

The Canadian Centre For Occupational Health And Safety Creates A Pandemic Information Sharing Portal

This website, facilitated by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, is provided to enable businesses to share their pandemic-related good practices and resources that other workplaces may find helpful in developing their own business continuity plans. Access the portal

Have A Question? Consult The CBRN FAQ Page To Find Answers 

A reminder that the Frequently Asked Question page on CBRN is there to guide you towards concrete answers on a wide variety of questions related to navigating the pandemic. Open the FAQ

Helping and celebrating Canadian small businesses

Today, we’re kicking off International Small Business Week, a global initiative taking place from now until Saturday June 27. For small businesses looking to grow their digital skills and get the most out of the web, Google has created a Google for Small Business hub of free resources and training, a step-by-step online starter kit, and we’re also offering free virtual workshops and 1:1 coaching sessions through Grow with Google OnAir

Featured Webinars

Join your BBB for a conversation on diversity and inclusion.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @11 a.m. - 1 p.m Register here
  • How can businesses better serve Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC)?
  • How is your business adapting to the conversation?
  • What are the challenges faced by BIPOC business owners?
  • What can BBB do to support businesses and consumers in creating diversity and inclusion initiatives?
Business Sector Support Webinar
As businesses prepare to reopen or revamp their operations amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are numerous issues and challenges to consider. Join Harisson Ruess, Public Affairs Advisor for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for a walk through a robust re-opening toolkit for Canadian business owners and managers on June 24 @11:00 am Register here
June 25: OECD Webinar On Investment Screening In The Times Of COVID-19 And Beyond

In response to COVID-19, governments are increasingly scrutinizing the risks associated with foreign investment with measures enacted in many countries. This OECD webinar on June 25 will provide an overview for companies of recent developments and what they can expect from investment screening coming out of the pandemic. Register now

Webinar: Sustainable Finance In A Post-Pandemic World With The University Of Calgary

Prior to COVID-19, green investment was accelerating, but how will the trend change now? On July 7 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. ET, three expert panellists will debate and discuss the current state and future possibilities of sustainable finance.  Panellists include Barbara Zvan (Member of Canada's Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance and former Chief Risk and Strategy Officer of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan), Arlene Strom (Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, Suncor Energy Inc.), Yrjo Koskinen (Associate Dean Research and Professor of Finance, Haskayne School of Business). The event moderator is Jackie Forrest (Senior Director of Research ARC Energy Research Institute). Register now

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

Upcoming Webinars

June 25: Investment Screening In The Times Of COVID-19 And Beyond 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 26: Global Economic Outlook. Register now.

June 26: Global Economic Outlook Register Now

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

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

July 7: Sustainable Finance in Post-Pandemic World. 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.

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.

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

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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