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Weekly Update: September 18 – 24, 2020

Supports for Business

Governor General Delivers Speech from the Throne

On September 23, 2020, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, delivered the Speech from the Throne to open the second session of the 43rd Parliament and outline the government’s agenda. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce responded with their statement: Throne Speech a Start, But Much More is Needed to Get Canadians Back to Work. and President & CEO also gave this interview. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney reacted with this statement.

Canada Revenue Agency is resuming additional activities

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is gradually resuming additional activities, and it may legitimately be us calling Canadians to discuss their tax and benefit situations. However, you should be aware of scammers pretending to be CRA employees. To protect yourself from scams, it’s important to know when and how the CRA might contact you. Read additional tips on how to recognize when the CRA is trying to contact you.

Alberta’s government is supporting artificial intelligence and machine learning

With $9 million in funding, the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) will continue its world-class research and accelerated commercialization of new technologies. Amii will also help Alberta companies use artificial intelligence and machine learning to find and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy and agriculture sectors. Read more.

Provincial Government forms Mineral Advisory Council 

Alberta’s government has struck an expert panel to help the province diversify its economy and become a world leader in mineral resource production. The five-member Mineral Advisory Council will help government unlock Alberta’s vast, untapped geological potential for various minerals that are in increasing global demand. These minerals include lithium, vanadium, uranium, rare earth elements, diamonds, and potash – many of which are used to manufacture batteries, cell phones, energy storage cells, and other modern products. More information.

Funding Opportunity For Indigenous Innovators

Indigenous Services Canada is seeking a web-based navigation tool that helps users to navigate Indigenous federal programs, initiatives and strategies and that can match incoming requests from Indigenous businesses, organizations and government officials to a federal program or service.  More information.

Supports for Individuals

Government of Canada introduces legislation to support Canadians through Recovery Benefits and extend access to funds for emergency measures

Workers not eligible for EI will be able to access income support through new Recovery Benefits. The federal government introduced Bill C-2, to create three new temporary Recovery Benefits to support Canadians who are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19.

Specifically, the legislation includes:

  • A Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks, to workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI and who still require income support. This Benefit would support Canadians who have not returned to work due to COVID-19 or whose income has dropped by at least 50%. These workers must be available and looking for work, and must accept work where it is reasonable to do so;
  • A Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) of $500 per week for up to two weeks, for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19. This Benefit supports our commitment to ensure all Canadian workers have access to paid sick leave; and,
  • A Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household, for eligible Canadians unable to work because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19 or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine.

More detailed eligibility criteria can be found online.

Canadians will be able to apply for the CRB, CRSB, and CRCB through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for one year up until September 25, 2021.

As announced on August 20, temporary measures to help Canadians access EI benefits more easily are effective September 27, 2020, for one year. These changes will also establish a minimum weekly benefit payment of $500 for all EI recipients, at the same level as the CRB.

Canada's Volunteer Awards

The Call for Nominations for Canada's Volunteer Awards is open until September 30, 2020. By nominating, you are helping to raise awareness of the vital role that volunteers play in strengthening communities across Canada. We all play a role in recognizing volunteers. Nominate a socially responsible business and/or social enterprise for an award in the following categories:

  • Business Leader - recognizes businesses and social enterprises that demonstrate social responsibility to benefit their communities.
  • Social Innovator - recognizes non-for-profit organizations and social enterprises that use innovative approaches to address social challenges in their communities.

In addition to receiving an award at a ceremony from the Government of Canada, recipients can choose a not-for-profit organization to receive a grant of $10,000 (national award) or $5,000 (regional awards). For more information, learn more about the nomination process or call 1-877-825-0434 or email

Extended Deadline for Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards

In response to popular demand, Albertans now have until Oct. 6 to nominate stellar volunteers for the Stars of Alberta awards, which includes the new Breaking Barriers category. The Stars of Alberta awards highlight and pay tribute to volunteers who give their time, energy and skills to make a difference in the lives of Albertans. Find more information.

Expanding opportunities for women in STEM

Alberta’s government is introducing the Women in STEM Award Program to help young women reach their career goals in science, technology, engineering and math. These 50 awards, each worth $2,500, will be made available to women pursuing studies in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) while working to advance equity in their field. More information.

Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) programs

This TIER funding includes $80 million for Alberta’s new Industrial Energy Efficiency and Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (IEE CCUS) Grant Program. his program offers funding for industrial energy efficiency and carbon capture, utilization and storage projects. More information.

Community Supports and Resources

More support to help relaunch child care sector

Licensed child care programs will receive $87 million in new funding as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan and the federal Safe Restart agreement. Licensed day care, out-of-school care, family day homes, group family child care, innovative child care and preschool programs will benefit from grant payments. More information.

408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron Training and Movement of Military Equipment

408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (408 THS) will be conducting training at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield and the surrounding area from Friday, Sept. 18 to Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.

Members of the public can expect to see CH-146 Griffon helicopters operating from and in vicinity of CFB Suffield. Low-flying aircraft will be limited to an area north of the Base, extending as far north as the Red Deer River. Flying will occur daily between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Government of Canada signs new agreements to secure additional vaccine candidate and treatment for COVID-19

The Government of Canada has signed agreements with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to secure up to 72 million doses of their COVID-19 adjuvanted recombinant protein-based vaccine candidate. Based on recommendations from the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, the Government of Canada is signing agreements with a number of leading pharmaceutical companies to establish a guaranteed supply base of potential vaccine candidates. Agreements have previously been signed with Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, and negotiations continue for access to other leading vaccine candidates. More information.

Alberta Legislature Recalled Early

Government House Leader Jason Nixon has indicated he will advise the Speaker to call Alberta MLAs back to the legislature on Tuesday, October 20.



As Small Businesses Struggle And Economy Wobbles, Government Plans 30% Increase In Fuel Costs 

Small businesses everywhere are desperately struggling to remain open, and wherever possible, keep their employees on the payroll. As they teeter on the edge between staying open and failure, the federal government is introducing a new regulation that will push far too many to close their doors. To address the proposed Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), this week the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the national network launched the Fresh Fuel Standard campaign, which proposes a collaborative approach between government and business to design a standard that will both create jobs and safeguard our natural world. Read the news release and visit the campaign website.

Business Needs Women; Women Need 10 Things From Throne Speech

Canada’s economic recovery from COVID-19 will only happen if women can fully participate in the workforce. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce Council for Women’s Advocacy issued a news release with 10 action items it wants to see addressed in the government’s Speech from the Throne to support women and facilitate their full participation in the workforce as employers and employees. Read more.

The Business Of Business With Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

The Business of Business is back this week with an all new episode as Hon. Perrin Beatty, our President and CEO, speaks with Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s President and CEO, Emilio Imbriglio, about navigating the COVID-19 world, its effects on small businesses and what he would like to hear come out of this week’s Throne Speech. Watch now.

Perrin Beatty: Throne Speech Must Include A Lifeline For Restaurants

This weekend in Postmedia’s Sun newspapers our President and CEO, Hon. Perrin Beatty, wrote about the crisis that is continuing to grip our restaurants and what we’ll be watching for in the Throne Speech. Restaurateurs are proud to stand together during this time, and we hope all Canadians will stand with them. Keeping the industry afloat is crucial for Canadians everywhere. Read the Op-Ed.

Michelle Eaton: Feds Need To Hit A Reset On Alcohol Escalator Tax 

We all cringe during those scenes in a movie when someone down on their luck gets kicked further down. It makes us feel helpless and frustrated on their behalf. In addition, while we have all watched in horror as the country’s hospitality industry has been, and continues to be, devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, regulatory forces are unfortunately aligning to deal them another blow. Michelle Eaton, Vice President, Communications, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, had commentary on this situation in the Toronto Sun. Read now.

New Resources

Business Link Resilient Recovery Program

The Resilient Recovery Program will help Alberta entrepreneurs get their businesses back on their feet, and help position them to mitigate the effects of any future business interruptions. Business owners will receive 4 hours of one-on-one coaching from experts in disaster recovery and will develop tools and strategies that they can apply to their operations immediately and to any emergencies that arise in the future. Find out more.

Business Link Peerpreneur Sessions

Peerpreneur Sessions give entrepreneurs the chance to participate in live, peer-to-peer virtual group discussions facilitated by a Business Link Strategist. These sessions are for existing business owners who are currently operating a small business or startup in Alberta. There will be a total of four 2-hour weekly video sessions (for a total of 8 hours), plus the opportunity for additional time for discussions online. Outside of scheduled sessions, participating business owners may require additional time to complete self-directed goals and objectives. To find out more visit

Canada Starts 

Canada Starts is a newly-established $200,000 grant fund to help Canadian entrepreneurs start their business. Individual grants of up to $5,000 each will be awarded to eligible new businesses across Canada. The fund is a joint project from Ownr by RBC Ventures, Staples, Shopify, and Moneris. More information.

Startup Canada Podcasts

Startup Canada Podcasts speaks with the movers and shakers of Canada’s entrepreneurship community to give a glimpse into the future of business, and share insights on everything from social innovation to the future of work, investing, and why we need to think bigger to take our businesses global. Tune in weekly for new episodes every Tuesday for lessons, trends, and opportunities in entrepreneurship from Vancouver to Fredericton; and Israel to Peru.

Featured Webinars

September 25

Solopreneurship for Women | Register here.

September 28

Navigating COVID’s Shock to Canada’s Tourism Workforce | Register here.

September 30

Transform Your Industry at the Salesforce Industries Summit | Register here.

October 5

CPP Investments Public Meeting | Register here.

October 6

7 Work from Home Tips Startups Should Know | Register here.


Digital tools to drive efficiency and revenue | Watch Now

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