Weekly Update: July 13-16, 2020
Supports for Business
Federal Government To Provide $19 Billion To Provinces And Territories
The federal, provincial and territorial governments have reached an agreement in which the federal government will provide over $19 billion in funding to help the country’s economic recovery. The funding will target seven key areas:
- Testing, contact tracing and data management
- Health care, including mental health and addictions
- Aiding vulnerable populations, including in nursing homes
- Personal protective equipment
- Early learning and child care
- Municipal budgets, including public transit
- Paid sick leave
Government Of Canada To Fund Women Entrepreneurs In Western Canada
The federal government announced $8.3 million in spending through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to support the Women’s Enterprise Initiative (WEI) organizations across Western Canada. The Women’s Enterprise Centre in British Columbia, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan and the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba will each receive $2 million in additional loan funds for women entrepreneurs. In addition, $300,000 in operating funding will be divided equally among the four WEIs to meet the increased demand for advisory services and business supports. More information.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Emergency Services Depot has posted a requirement for the supply and delivery of sharp containers for COVID-19 as well as a need for the supply and delivery of various vaccines consumables. Both opportunities close on July 29 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Find more information of Sharp Containers and Vaccine Consumables.
CGLCC LGBT+ Youth Entrepreneur Program: OUT For Business
Do you know a young, driven LGBT+ entrepreneur who needs help to get their business moving forward? Or do you know a successful LGBT+ entrepreneur who would like to guide and support young LGBT+ entrepreneurs?
In the OUT For Business Mentorship Program, Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce pairs an accomplished mentor with a driven mentee. More information.
New City E-Permit System
To make the process of applying for permits, inspections and business licenses more convenient and efficient, Planning & Development Services is now using an e-Permit system. The customer portal is open to all applicants. The City encourages all Contractors to register an account on the Portal. Questions or concerns should be directed to Mr. Imran Ahmed, Manager of Development Services – P&DS at email@example.com or 403 502.8546 More information
Reminder On Safe Food For Canadians Regulations Requirements For The Manufactured Food Sector From The CFIA
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) activities and priorities regarding industry compliance during the pandemic remain the same as announced in April. Any change to the CFIA's prioritization of compliance and enforcement activities with regard to the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) will be announced with adequate lead time once the situation allows. Read more.
Workers' compensation review
Deadline: August 10, 2020
Topics: Benefits for workers, supports for return to work after an injury or illness, sustainability of the workers’ compensation system, and enhancements of workers’ compensation processes and governance requirements.
Feedback: Please provide written feedback using the written submission guide (please see steps for downloading the guide at alberta.ca/workers-compensation-review.aspx) and return by email to WCBReview@gov.ab.ca.
Deadline: August 12, 2020
Feedback: Please provide online written submissions at https://extranet.gov.ab.ca/opinio6//s?s=OHS. The government has prepared a discussion guide to support submission development.
Please share the discussion guide and web address with your members and partners.
Indigenous participation in Site Rehabilitation Program
An indigenous liaison will be appointed to help facilitate Indigenous participation in the Site Rehabilitation Program and an ongoing working group will be established with Indigenous communities and companies. The working group will strengthen relationships between Indigenous-owned or operated oil field service contractors and Indigenous communities with oil and gas sites on their lands and surrounding areas. Find more information.
Venture for Canada’s Internship Program
Venture for Canada’s Internship Program will now offer all employers a 75% wage subsidy. That’s up to $7,500 for each student hire this Fall.
The Employer Application takes fewer than 15 minutes and is processed within three days. Employers can hire college and university students (from our pool or their own network) for as little as $5/hour. Students receive the work experience that’s critical to their early careers, and growing companies and entrepreneurs receive invaluable project support.
Our program is open to start-ups and SMEs that:
- Have 500 or fewer employees
- Are located in Atlantic Canada, Alberta, the Prairies or BC
- Can offer an internship that develops an intern’s entrepreneurial skills
APEX Alberta, Medicine Hat and District Chamber of Commerce, Invest Medicine Hat and Google Canada collaborate to help local businesses
To help support our local small businesses, the City of Medicine Hat is joining the ShopHERE powered by Google program, with a goal of getting 250 businesses online this year.
APEX Alberta, Medicine Hat and District Chamber of Commerce and Invest Medicine Hat are thrilled to work with Digital Main Street and Google Canada to make this program available for local businesses. More excitingly, Medicine Hat is the first municipality outside of Ontario to launch this initiative. Interested business can now apply online at ApexAlberta.ca/Shophere Read our press release.
RFP to review provincial pandemic response
A request for proposals (RFP) is now open for a thorough review of all aspects of the pandemic response, including:
- health system response
- economic response
- governance and decision-making
- engagement with other governments and stakeholders
Consultants have until Aug.10 to submit their proposals and all proposals will undergo a thorough review process. The province aims to choose the successful candidate by Aug.19 so that the pandemic response review can begin immediately and be completed this fall. See more information.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) To Be Extended Until December
This morning the Government of Canada announced its intention to extend the CEWS program until December. Details on the extension are expected to be released later this week. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce commented that news of the extension was positive, but a successful CEWS update must also expand revenue eligibility and provide absolute clarity and consistency about the criteria for eligibility. Too many businesses are still uncertain about their ability to qualify for the program.
Government Proposes To Help Junior Mining Companies By Extending The Timelines For Flow-Through Share Capital Spending
The federal government is proposing to support junior mining exploration and other flow-through share issuers by extending the timelines for spending the capital they raise via flow-through shares by 12 months. A timeline for enabling legislation has not been provided. Read
Commercial Property Available for Development
1064 First Street SW (Lot 26; Block 1; Plan 7058JK)
LIST PRICE: $407,000
1064 First Street SW (Property) is located on a prominent corridor connecting the downtown and the TransCanada Highway (TCH) with an average daily traffic volume of over 5,100 vehicles. The Property is a unique infill site due to its close proximity to the hospital, downtown, the TCH and South Saskatchewan River. The neighbourhood (West Harlow) is substantially developed and this is one of the few properties that remains to be developed. The Mixed Use land use allows for a variety of commercial, residential and community service type uses.
Supports for Individuals
Support for International Students
A number of temporary policy changes have been adopted to support and reassure international students and learning institutions.
As the fall season is fast approaching, additional measures have been announced to support international students beginning a new program online this fall with a Canadian learning institution, if their institution is offering the program online, so that they can pursue their education while ensuring everyone’s safety.
These changes will give students more certainty about their ability to enter Canada once travel and health restrictions are eased in Canada and their own home countries. They mean that students will be eligible to work in Canada after graduation, even if they need to begin their studies online from overseas this fall.
The new measures include
- providing priority study-permit processing for students who have submitted a complete application online, to ensure that permits are processed as quickly as possible
- allowing students to count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50% of their program is completed in Canada
- providing reassurances to international students who cannot submit all of the documentation needed to complete processing of their applications, and who choose to pursue programs through distance learning, by implementing a temporary 2-stage approval process
The temporary process will allow applicants to count the time spent studying online abroad towards their post-graduation work permit once they receive an approval-in-principle, as long as they are able to satisfy all requirements and receive the full approval of their study permit application at a later date. As services begin to reopen, applicants will be required to submit remaining documents and receive an approved study permit before being allowed to travel to Canada.
This process is available to students starting a program in the fall semester who submit a study permit application before September 15, 2020. This measure will reassure students that they can enrol and begin their studies this fall online, even when they are not able to submit all required documentation due to pandemic-related closures.
It is important for prospective students to note that commencing their studies online from abroad following approval-in-principle of a study permit application is not a guarantee that they will receive a full approval of their study permit application, or be authorized to pursue their studies in Canada. It is still possible that an applicant could receive a negative final decision on their study permit based on factors such as inadmissibility for criminality or security reasons, and the inability to predict how the COVID-19 situation and any associated travel restrictions will evolve.
Improved Funding for Apprentices
Eligible apprentices under the Apprentice Training Award will now receive $1,500 during their classroom instruction period, up from $1,000 offered when the program began in 2016. Financial support is designed to assist apprentices who are unemployed continue in their apprenticeship program. The funds are intended to help apprentices manage costs like tuition, books, material fees, tools, transportation and living expenses during their classroom instruction period.
Eligible apprentices will be notified about how to apply for the Apprentice Training Award once they begin their classroom instruction. Eligible apprentices will begin receiving the increased award in September 2020. Information is available at tradesecrets.ab.ca.
20 million free masks available provincewide
Albertans have another chance to pick up free non-medical face masks at the counter or drive-thru of their local A&W, McDonald’s Canada or Tim Hortons restaurant. Masks are now available at more than 700 partner restaurant locations, including those without drive-thru service, adding more than 100 new locations and expanding the availability of masks to Albertans. No purchase is necessary to pick up masks in restaurants, either at the counter or through drive-thrus.
A&W, McDonald’s Canada, and Tim Hortons partner restaurants are handing out eight masks per person for this distribution. Albertans are encouraged to pick up masks for family and friends to reduce traffic at partner restaurant locations. Masks will be available at restaurants while supplies last. Find more information regarding masks.
Community Supports and Resources
Transit Updating Capacity Limits, Encouraging Riders to Wear Masks
Beginning Monday, July 20, Medicine Hat Transit (MHT) will further ease restrictions for riders. Following the updated guidelines released by the Government of Alberta, MHT will remove the ‘Essential Travel Only’ guidelines, as well as update capacity limits. 40’ buses will allow up to 25 total passengers, while 30’ buses will allow up to 15 passengers.
MHT will also offer passengers non-surgical masks after boarding. 90,000 masks have been provided by Alberta Health and will be available on all buses on a first come, first serve basis.
Additional cleaning measures will remain in place, including sanitizing all touch points on buses, as well as the shelters at the downtown Transit terminal, which are cleaned twice per day. Watch: Disinfecting the MH Transit Fleet (YouTube)
Riders are also encouraged to plan trips during off-peak hours where possible to help maintain updated capacity limits. Regular Transit will continue to operate on an alternate schedule. Regular Monday to Friday Transit service will operate on a Saturday schedule. On Saturday and Sunday, the regular Sunday schedule will be in effect.
Discounted bus passes for August are now available. More information can be found on the City’s website.
Powering Medicine Hat College
The provincial government will give Medicine Hat College $850,000 to replace its electrical substation. The renewal project will also create about five new jobs in the Medicine Hat region. Medicine Hat College’s electrical substation is nearing the end of its service life and this investment will help avoid any unplanned power outages and disruptions to daily campus life while also ensuring staff and students have a dependable power supply. Find more information.
Joint Canada-U.K.-U.S. Statement On Russian Security Threat Targeting COVID-19 Vaccine Development
The governments of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States published information about Russian cyber threat activity directed at Canadian, United Kingdom and United States organizations, including vaccine research entities, involved in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. According to the Canadian Communications Security Establishment (CSE), these malicious cyber activities were very likely undertaken to steal information and intellectual property relating to the development and testing of COVID-19 vaccines and serve to hinder response efforts at a time when healthcare experts and medical researchers need every available resource to help fight the pandemic. Read the CSE statement and Joint Statement.
Updated ambulance regulations
Alberta has updated ambulance regulations for emergency medical services for Albertans. The new regulations allow stretcher vans and other vehicles to safely respond to non-urgent patient needs.
The regulation updates also allow nurse practitioners to work as medical directors and provide real-time medical advice to paramedics during emergency medical events.
The new emergency vehicles have the same identification, licensing, registration and safety requirements as traditional ambulances, including regular inspections and maintenance.
Building five recovery communities
Government is building five recovery communities for the holistic treatment of mental health and addiction. This will add 400 treatment beds to the province – a 30 per cent increase in capacity.
Recovery communities (RCs) focus on the whole person and overall lifestyle changes, not simply abstinence from drug use.
Recovery is seen as a gradual, ongoing process of cognitive change through clinical and peer interventions. Program participants advance through the stages of treatment at their own pace, setting personal objectives and assuming greater responsibilities in the community along the way.
RCs encourage participants to examine their personal behaviour to help them become more pro-social and positively engaged citizens – considered to be based on honesty, taking responsibility, hard work, and willingness to learn. The goal is for a participant to leave the program not only drug-free but also employed or in school or training.
Recovery communities will be part of an integrated system that encompasses clients of the health-care system, justice system, and community social services system. More information.
Financial literacy for students
Through a $175,000 grant, Enriched Academy will pilot an online financial education program for Grades 10-12 students. The pilot will happen during the 2020-21 school year, and include teachers and up to 4,000 students. In addition, a $200,000 grant will enable Junior Achievement’s Southern Alberta and Northern Alberta chapters to collaborate on providing 4,500 more students with hands-on, experiential financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship education. More information.
Business Coalition Urges Governments To Work Together On Pandemic’s Challenges
A coalition of some of the largest national business associations in the world released an open letter to government leaders seeking collaboration in removing obstacles to innovation, maintaining strong intellectual property protections and encouraging global collaboration to aid the deployment of critical medical equipment – including COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines. The signatories on the letter include the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, BDI (Germany), CBI (U.K.), FKI (Korea), MEDEF (France) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Read the letter.
5 Minutes For Business: Recovering Our Workforce Through Inclusivity
In a span of a few months, Canada went from one of the tightest job markets in recent history to record unemployment and reduced hours with an unprecedented rapidity. As we reopen across the country and move into recovery, we know that available jobs and the skills required will shift. So, what is the role of business in an inclusive recovery? Read our 5 Minutes for Business: Recovering our Workforce through Inclusivity to find out.
The Business Of Business: Canada’s Airline Industry Navigates The Challenges Of COVID-19
In this week’s edition of the Business of Business, Perrin Beatty, President & CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, is joined by Air Canada President & CEO, Calin Rovinescu, to give his thoughts and insight into the impact COVID-19 has had on Air Canada and Canada’s airline industry, as well as his recommendations for recovery and the path forward. Watch now.
The Hon. Perrin Beatty Appears On BNN Bloomberg To Discuss CEWS Extension
The Government of Canada announced intentions to extend the CEWS program until December. Our President and CEO, the Hon. Perrin Beatty, explains what this means for Canadian businesses in his recent interview with BNN Bloomberg. Watch now.
Commentary: Are We #TeamCanada – Or Not?
Today we find ourselves at a crossroads. Will we continue down the same old path, where provincial protectionism is permitted to stymie opportunity and growth or, once and for all, come together and have truly free trade within the Canadian federation? It’s a simple question but the answer has big implications for our economic recovery from COVID-19. Harrison Ruess, our Public Affairs Advisor, talks about breaking down trade barriers within Canada. Read more.
TELUS Talks With Hon. Perrin Beatty
COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the global economy. Everyone is feeling the effects - from families, to small businesses to big companies. The Hon. Perrin Beatty, Canadian Chamber President and CEO, discusses what recovery looks like and where our nation’s economy is headed in the latest TELUS Talks podcast with Tamara Taggart. Watch here.
Second Survey With Statistics Canada Shows Businesses Adapting To Distinct New “Paradoxical” Phase Of COVID-19
The second wave of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC), a joint effort between the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Statistics Canada, was released today, providing new insights into the longer-term impact of COVID-19 on Canadian businesses. The second survey data shows businesses are adapting to a distinctly new, paradoxical phase of the pandemic, where businesses reopen because they can no longer afford to remain closed, but struggle to break even while paying for pre-COVID level costs with significantly reduced revenues. Read more.
The Bank Of Canada’s July 2020 Monetary Policy Report
The Bank of Canada expects a sharp rebound in economic activity in the reopening phase of the recovery, followed by a more prolonged recuperation phase, which will be uneven across regions and sectors. As a result, Canada’s economic output will likely take some time to return to its pre-COVID-19 level. Many workers and businesses can expect to face an extended period of difficulty. Read the full report.
Alberta Tax and Revenue Administration has added new payment options
Given the current exceptional circumstances surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19, the Alberta Tax and Revenue Administration (TRA) encourages taxpayers to use electronic means (for example: Netfile, TRACS, secure email, electronic payment, etc.) to submit payments, registrations, applications, returns, claims, objections, waivers and appeals. In order to reduce the necessity for taxpayers and tax preparers to meet in person, TRA will recognize electronic signatures. This administrative measure applies to all prescribed forms administered by TRA, including the Alberta Consent Form (AT4930) (PDF, 270 KB). To add a digital signature, the form must first be downloaded or opened as a PDF. For more information, see TRA online services.
Free Digital Marketing Education by Facebook
Facebook is bringing free, digital marketing education to businesses all over the country. So join them for digital training classes, insightful interviews with business experts, and presentations from renowned entrepreneurs—all to help businesses succeed in the digital economy. Login to see all of the Summer of Support Content. Read more.
Infographics: Deeper Insight And Analysis From The Canadian Survey On Business Conditions
As part of our efforts to better understand what Canadian businesses are experiencing during COVID-19, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce have partnered with Deloitte Canada to develop deeper insight and analysis into the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC). See the infographics.
Miro: Free online collaborative whiteboard
The online collaborative whiteboard platform to bring teams together, anytime, anywhere. More information.
Webinar Recording: Technology Trends And Business Continuity, With Cisco
We were joined by Lisa Richardson, Vice President of Solution Sales, and Wayne Cuervo, Director of Innovation at Cisco Canada for a webinar moderated by Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, our Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology and Innovation, to discuss reevaluating digital transformation strategies so that Canadian businesses can meet customer needs and thrive long-term. Watch now.
Respiratory viruses and the workplace – webinar.
This recorded webinar gives employers, supervisors and workers information about minimizing risk from respiratory viruses in the workplace. Watch now.
Profit from technology: Digital tools to drive efficiency and revenue
This webinar is available now and offers solid takeaways on how to use digital tools and technology to make your operations more efficient, agile and profitable. Watch now.
Medicine Hat Systems Transformation Innovation Forum
Innovative solutions are needed to drive progress in ending homelessness, poverty, and social challenges in Medicine Hat. The Systems Transformation Innovation Forum is a community discussion taking place on Friday, July 17th from 9am - 12:30 pm to identify opportunities for using technology and innovation to not just change, but transform the social sector. Register now.
How To Support Employees’ Mental Health And Well-Being During COVID-19 And Beyond, Hosted By Sun Life
In a recent survey by Sun Life, over half (56%) of Canadians surveyed said COVID-19 is negatively impacting their mental health. Join this discussion on Monday, July 20th at noon to learn how to develop and maintain a positive mental health environment in your organization with speaker Carmen Bellows, Registered Psychologist, Director Mental Health Solutions at Sun Life Financial. Register now.
Working Remotely Through A Crisis And Flex Work Long Term, Hosted By Canadian Western Bank
Join us for a webinar with Canadian Western Bank’s Chief Information Security Officer and Senior Vice President of Client Solutions on July 22nd at 11 am to discuss the future of working remotely through a crisis and the long-term outlook for flex work. Get tips for setting up effective work areas for employees, how to support employees’ mental health and what major cyber security threats exist for SMEs now and post-pandemic. Register now.
Alberta Business Family Institute: Charting Your Course:
Use promo code UA2020 for FREE ONLINE SessionConduct a comprehensive, rapid fire evaluation to identify critical focus areas for moving you, your family, and your business forward in a healthy and sustainable way. Efficiently scan your internal & external environments to identify hidden opportunities for both growth & overcoming challenges Register for July 24@ 8:00AM MST.
July 29 at 2:00 pm ET: Navigating your business to recovery
In partnership with Desjardins
Have questions about navigating through the government support programs? Want to learn more about e-commerce and cyber-security? Or maybe you have questions about labour laws during the pandemic? Join this packed webinar to hear from experts on all these topics to help you navigate to recovery.
- Navigating government support programs
- Focus on leveraging online in the ‘’new normal’’ for growth but understanding how to manage risk (cyber-security/privacy)
- An employers’ guide to reopening the workplace from the legal standpoint
August 10 at 2:00 pm ET: The key to employee well-being during and after the pandemic
In partnership with Desjardins. COVID-19 has seriously shaken things up for Canadians, both in their professional and personal lives. With our new normal, which—for many of us—means teleworking and homeschooling, we’re seeing an uptick in health problems that organizations and insurers need to address and adapt to.
In this webinar, we’ll be looking at how overall health culture, which includes physical, mental and financial health, is especially important during a crisis. And how going forward, this culture will be an integral part of group plans. Register here
July 17: Medicine Hat Systems Transformation Innovation Forum Register here
July 20: How To Support Employees’ Mental Health And Well-Being During COVID-19 And Beyond. Register Now.
July 21: Understanding the Impacts of Bill 32 on your Workforce Register online
July 22: Working Remotely Through a Crisis and Flex Work Long Term. Register here.
July 24: Alberta Business Family Institute: Charting Your Course. Register online with promo code UA2020.
July 29: Navigating your Business to Recovery. Register here.
August 10: The Key to Employee Well-Being During and After the Pandemic. Register here.