Weekly Update: September 25 – October 1, 2020
Supports for Business
Canada's Premiers Reiterate Priorities
Canada’s Premiers held their annual meeting by teleconference to discuss their consensus priorities and the federal Throne Speech, along with their responses to COVID-19 and actions to support economic recovery in every province and territory.
September extension for CECRA is now available
This is the final extension of the program. The September extension is based on the existing program parameters for the April, May and June period. No new documents are needed to opt-in.
New applicants can apply for up to 5 months of rent assistance (from April through August) all at once. Once the initial application is pre‑approved, a property owner can opt-in for September.
Property owners can only opt-in once and no new tenants can be added.
If a property owner has not yet submitted their application or is still creating it, the deadline to submit new applications is September 30th, 2020.
If a property owner has been approved for rental assistance and is applying for the extensions only, the deadline to submit the request is October 30th, 2020.
Agriculture leads Alberta’s economic recovery
Record crops and strengthened cattle prices are leading Alberta’s economic recovery after a difficult start to 2020 due to COVID-19 and low energy prices. Crop yields are estimated to hit a new record high in Alberta with farmers harvesting more than seven per cent above what is normal. Livestock market sales are estimated to also reach a new record high of $6.9 billion. The food processing sector in the province is also expected to hit a new record with products totalling $14.8 billion. More information.
New Programs aim to lower methane emissions
Methane Technology Implementation Program (MTIP)
Alberta’s government is using the TIER fund to provide a $25-million grant to Carbon Connect International to deliver MTIP. The program offers a 50 per cent rebate for purchasing emissions reduction equipment, to a maximum of $1 million per eligible upstream oil and gas operator.
Methane Emission Management Program (MEMP)
MEMP will help industry identify emissions reduction opportunities to better leverage provincial and federal programs and enable innovation.
Find more information on the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction System (TIER) and watch these programs announced.
C.D. Howe Report Highlights Importance of Job Mobility
According to the report titled Alberta’s Opportunity: The Ins, Outs and Benefits of Greater Job Mobility, improving labour mobility could add about $2.8 billion per year to Alberta’s GDP. The report identifies steps that could help make it easier for Canadians to move to Alberta for work, such as streamlining the recognition of the credentials and training. More information.
Statement on Keystone XL Indigenous Participation
Premier Jason Kenney provided a statement regarding a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between TC Energy and an Indigenous energy treaty alliance to pursue an equity stake in Keystone XL. Read the statement.
Government Investment into Agriculture
Alberta’s government is working to build value-added agriculture capacity and bolster economic activity with an investment attraction target of $1.4 billion. More information.
The Canada Infrastructure Bank's (CIB) Growth Plan
The federal government announced $10 billion in new major infrastructure initiatives. The Canada Infrastructure Bank’s (CIB) Growth Plan will invest in five major initiatives:
- $2.5 billion for clean power to support renewable generation and storage and to transmit clean electricity between provinces, territories, and regions, including to northern and Indigenous communities.
- $2 billion to connect approximately 750,000 homes and small businesses to broadband in underserved communities.
- $2 billion to invest in large-scale building retrofits.
- $1.5 billion for agriculture irrigation projects.
- $1.5 billion to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission buses and charging infrastructure.
To accelerate the delivery of projects in which the CIB intends to invest, it will also allocate $500 million for project development and early construction works. More information.
New Director of Land Development and Real Estate at Invest Medicine Hat
Invest Medicine Hat (IMH) is pleased to announce Chris Perret as the new Director of Land Development and Real Estate.
With a background in real estate valuation and appraisal services, Perret has worked with business operations in a number of industries throughout North America, within an independent consulting firm and within MNP. With expertise in business value estimates, establishing purchase prices, financing, share restructuring, feasibility studies and valuation on intangible assets such as patents, trademarks and contracts, Perret brings a broad base of skills to IMH. More information.
Downtown Development Incentive Program fully subscribed for 2020
The Downtown Development Incentive Plan (DDIP) for 2020 is now subscribed.
In 2011, the City of Medicine Hat launched the DDIP which is designed to contribute to the revitalization of the downtown core by encouraging building improvements and new residential and commercial development. More information.
Supports for Individuals
Recognizing lifetime achievement in health
Alberta’s government is seeking nominations to celebrate people who have dedicated their lives to improving the health-care system and patient outcomes in the province. The new Dr. Peter B. R. Allen Lifetime Achievement in Health Award will recognize the outstanding contributions and extraordinary efforts nominees have made over their career. More information.
Community Supports and Resources
Medicine Hat Transit Launches MHTNow App
MHTnow is the name of Medicine Hat Transit’s on-demand bus service, a pilot project funded by the Federal Government. MHTnow will begin operating on Monday, September 28th. MHTnow uses a smartphone app or web page to book your trip, and uses artificial intelligence to coordinate trips for multiple riders on the same bus. Pick up and drop off locations are predetermined, but do not follow a fixed-route. This is more convenient for riders and allows more destination options. See the City's website for more information.
Alberta COVID-19 Research Projects Receive Funding
Seven Alberta-based researchers are receiving funding for innovative technology projects that will help fight COVID-19. The seven projects – which will research topics like antibody detection and the real-life experiences of patients and caregivers – will split $2.1 million in funding from Alberta Innovates. A panel of provincial partners, including experts from Alberta Innovates, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services, chose these projects based on their potential to improve Albertans’ safety against COVID-19. Five of the chosen projects will be at the University of Alberta and two will be at the University of Calgary. More information.
Infrastructure Project Funding for Medicine Hat College
Funding has been allocated by both the federal and provincial government for infrastructure projects at four post secondary locations in Southern Alberta, including Medicine Hat College, through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).
Medicine Hat College will use its funding to build a new 1,333 square metre extension, and repurpose 861 square metres of existing space. The labs and classrooms will be expanded for simulations and teaching, and the central space will be renovated to an Indigenous gathering place for teaching and sharing. A new lift will also be installed to make the lower level more accessible, and a structure for future solar panels will be added to the roof of the building. More information.
Fuel Reduction Burns at Canadian Forces Base Suffield
Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield Fire Services will be conducting fuel reduction burns, intermittently as weather conditions permit, in the northern region of the base from Oct. 3 to 17, 2020.
The prescribed fires are a part of the base's fire mitigation plan, and are intended to reduce the grass overgrowth in certain area that could become a grass fire fuel source. More information.
Rent is Due Thursday. What's the Plan?
When the September extension of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program was announced, it was made clear the program was being wound down. Businesses needing rent support would need a new and improved program to help keep them afloat. The reality, however, is that businesses operate in real time and must be able to plan in order to be successful. Now, rent is due Thursday. That means businesses urgently need to know the plan. Read the statement. Read more on CBC and watch on BNN.
ICC Calls for Government Globally to Support ACT-A Program
The International Chamber of Commerce issued a call for governments around the world to support the ACT-A program. The ACT-A will help to ensure a rollout of a future COVID-19 vaccine globally. This will be critical for a trade-dependent economy, such as Canada, as well as supporting our travel industry. Read the letter.
CPP Investments Public Meeting | Register here.
Salesforce Industries Summit | More information.
7 Work from Home Tips Startups Should Know | Register here.
Foodservice Facts: The Next Normal? | Register now.
Global Infrastructure Forum | Register here.
Cybersecurity: Risks, Issues And Trends Affecting Canadian Business | Register here.
Business Planning in this Period of Uncertainty | Register now.
Business During a Pandemic: A Discussion on Sales Development and the Small Business Trends Report | Register now.
Retail Holiday Shopping Forum | Register through the Retail Council of Canada
Managing Remote Employees | Register here.
Small Business Week Webinar Series: BBB Connects | Register here.
Executive Summit Series with Right Hon. Paul Martin | Register here.
Guidance for Safe Holiday Entertaining
There is a new guidance document from the provincial government that sets out precautions to take when entertaining for the holidays. Find it here.
Business Scale-up and Productivity Program
If you’re a western Canadian company looking to grow, the Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) Program could be for you. BSP supports high-growth businesses that are scaling up and producing innovative goods, services or technologies. It offers interest-free repayable funding to incorporated western Canadian companies. WD will be accepting expressions of interest on the following dates:
• September 15 – October 14, 2020
• January 15 – February 16, 2021
Venture for Canada (VFC) Internship Program
Could you benefit from a 75% wage subsidy to hire a smart student intern this Winter? If your organization is looking to hire students this winter, the VFC’s Winter Internship Program Employer Applications for funding will be accepted in Sept., 2020. The Fall Program filled up by Aug 25, 2020, but the link throughs to the application explain how to apply for the Winter Program. The Venture for Canada’s Internship Program supports work from home or in-person internships with solopreneurs, start-ups, SMEs, and non-profits; you can identify your own student or review our 600+ pre-qualified candidates; internships can be full or part time. Find out more.
Smart, Sustainable, Resilient Infrastructure Association(SSRIA) Funding - Submission deadline - October 2, 2020
Led by SSRIA and currently funded by Alberta Innovates, the Green Building Technology Network (GBTN) will provide funding towards projects submitted by its members that support the following objectives:
- Achieve a path to energy consumption reduction, 40% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction by 2030 and a regional zero carbon built environment by 2050.
- Integrate new clean technologies and/or design approaches that support energy conservation and/or enhanced building performance in actual buildings (new or retrofit).
- Model, monitor, measure and analyze data from actual building performance.
- Upgrade professional development and/or skills in the AEC sector relating to these clean technologies and/or design innovations.
BDC: A new way of doing business
Corporate Wayfinding Podcast with Dr. J.P. Gedeon
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist and Vice President, Policy, Dr. Trevin Stratton, was the first guest on a new podcast called Corporate Wayfinding with Dr. J.P. Gedeon. On the podcast, Trevin shares his insights on business and transformation in/after COVID-19. What does economic recovery look like? How has COVID affected the need for digitization? How do we revitalize business in a time of shifting consumer behaviour? Is the business world globalizing or contracting post-COVID-19? Listen now.
Mental Health Commission Of Canada: Tip Sheet For Those Caring For Older Adults During The COVID-19 Pandemic
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has prepared a tip sheet for those caring for older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also access the tip sheet, and additional COVID-19 related resources, on MHCC’s COVID-19 Resource Hub.
Facebook Business Suite
Facebook Canada has launched the Facebook Business Suite, a new interface to help businesses more easily manage their pages or profiles across its apps using its free and paid tools, all in one place. With Facebook Business Suite, you can:
- Save time: Post to Facebook and Instagram at the same time and manage posts in one place to stay connected to both communities.
- Stay up-to-date: Get all of your Facebook and Instagram messages, notifications and alerts in one place so you can easily stay up to date and respond to customer inquiries.
- Get business results: See what’s working with Facebook and Instagram insights and learn what’s resonating with your customers.
New WCB updates for employers
WCB-Alberta will be implementing cost relief measures to reduce the financial impact of COVID-19 affected claims, and has also identified a primary reference, called AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Disease and Injury Causation, for use by WCB Physicians and Medical Consultants to evaluate causation for workplace claims.