Weekly Update: February 12 – 18, 2021
Supports for Business
Additional COVID-19 Support for Alberta Small Business
Businesses that can demonstrate a revenue reduction of 60 per cent or more will be eligible to receive 15 percent of their monthly revenue, up to a maximum of $10,000 under the Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit. This benefit is intended to provide additional support in cases where federal programs fall short. Businesses are required to report the total amount of provincial and federal support received, to ensure no more than 80 per cent of revenue is covered. Payments under the Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit will be available in April 2021 following the conclusion of the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program. Organizations eligible for the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant can apply for funding through this program until March 31.
ABAD 2021 Submission Deadline Extended
The deadline for submissions for the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction has been extended. Businesses now have until February 21, 2021, to get in their submissions. Nominate a deserving business or submit your story here.
Survey on Biosecurity Canadian Plant Health Council
Risk management, including the use of plant health biosecurity practices, protects your farm and your profits in theory, but what kinds of measures do producers use in reality? Do you have plant health biosecurity practices in place? If so, what kinds of things do you do? If you do not, why not? The Canadian Plant Health Council wants to hear from you! Participate in the survey
Export support fund for Canadian organic Products
The Canadian Organic Trade Association (COTA) has a fund to promote exports of Canada’s organic products globally. This fund provides a subsidy to all organic exporters to help cover the cost of shipping samples to overseas interested buyers of their products. For interested applicants, please contact Caroline Bernard, Members Relations and Executive Assistant, at email@example.com or by phone at 613-482-1717 ext. 205.
Global Affairs Canada: CanExport
Small and medium sized companies may access up to $75,000 in funding to assist with international market development activities. A new application system was launched recently and applicants are encouraged to apply for projects beginning after April 1, 2021. More information.
Supports for Individuals
Alberta seniors now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines
Alberta’s government will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines to all seniors aged 75 and over provincewide. Starting Feb. 19, Alberta Health Services will offer the vaccine directly to all residents in retirement centres, lodges, supportive living and other congregate living facilities with residents who are aged 75 or older. Starting Feb. 24, any Albertan living in the community who was born in 1946 or earlier will be eligible to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. Appointment availability will be based on vaccine supply. More information.
9,000 health-care workers can now get COVID-19 vaccine
Alberta can again start offering first doses to eligible health-care workers in Phase 1A and will also soon be in a position to announce more information on future phases of the prioritization list. In the coming days, Alberta Health Services will be reaching out to eligible health-care workers to rebook their vaccination appointments. Everyone who is eligible should be able to book a time to receive their dose in the coming weeks, pending vaccine supply. More information.
Government of Canada invests in training to help Canadians become certified in the skilled trades
The Government is making targeted investments, so that key groups facing barriers—like women, newcomers, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, and Black and racialized Canadians—can better find work in the skilled trades through projects led by unions and their partner organizations. The federal government announced $63.5 million, over five years, for 68 projects as part of the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) 2020 call for proposals. More information.
Improving access to health-care training
A new initiative will help Albertans with language barriers gain the skills they need to build careers and support our health-care system. The two-year pilot program integrates English language learning with health-care aide training, enabling Albertans with English language barriers to access the specialized and comprehensive education they need to be successful front-line health-care workers. More information.
Empowering youth to shape education’s future
Junior and senior high school students can have their voices heard by applying to join the Education Minister’s Youth Council.
About 40 students from across Alberta will be selected for the 2021-22 Minister’s Youth Council, giving them a unique opportunity to provide direct input to the minister reflecting their diverse interests, backgrounds and perspectives on education issues. Students can apply on the Alberta Education student engagement page by March 24. More information.
Community Supports and Resources
Government of Canada expands restrictions to international travel by land and air
For travellers arriving in Canada by land, as of February 15, 2021, all travellers, with some exceptions, will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the United States within 72 hours of pre-arrival, or a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival. In addition, as of February 22, 2021, travellers entering Canada at the land border will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival as well as toward the end of their 14-day quarantine. More information.
City Defers to Provincial Mask Mandate in Lieu of Extending Local Bylaw
City Council will allow Bylaw #4637 (Mandatory Face Coverings bylaw) to expire on March 4 and instead defer to the provincial mask mandate announced by Alberta Health on December 8, 2020. Medicine Hat passed the Mandatory Face Coverings bylaw on December 2, and only days later a provincial mandate was announced. The face-covering bylaw came into force with a 90-day repeal date, with an option for Council to extend. With a provincial mask mandate in effect, the repeal date of March 4, 2021, will stand. During the pandemic, the city supports and relies on health experts wherever possible. Allowing the provincial mask mandate to prevail aligns with this approach. For more information on the provincial mask mandate
Government of Canada introduces new firearms legislation
The Government has introduced new firearms legislation. This new legislation will:
- create “red flag” and “yellow flag” laws. These laws would allow people, such as concerned friends or relatives, to apply to the courts for the immediate removal of an individual’s firearms, or to ask a Chief Firearms Officer to suspend and review an individual’s licence to own firearms;
- increase criminal penalties, and by enhancing the capacity of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency to combat the illegal importation of firearms
- support municipalities that ban handguns through bylaws restricting storage and transportation in their jurisdictions
- provide funding to municipalities and Indigenous communities to support youth programs
- create new offences for altering the cartridge magazine component of a firearm, depicting violence in firearms advertising, introduce tighter restrictions on imports of ammunition, and ensure the prohibition of imports, exports, sales, and transfers of all replica firearms
- complete the prohibition of assault-style firearms that will include a buyback program in the coming months
Government of Canada launches its 2030 Agenda National Strategy
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an ambitious call to action. Its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people are able to live in peace and prosperity. This shared responsibility calls for closer cooperation between governments, civil society, and the private sector. The federal government launched Moving Forward Together – Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy, an important milestone in continuing to implement the 2030 Agenda and make progress on the SDGs in Canada and abroad. More information.
Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers discuss rebuilding biomanufacturing in Canada
The federal government had a discussion with their counterparts and updated them on the Federal government’s investments to increase domestic capacity to manufacture vaccines and therapeutics. The government also outlined an intention to launch consultations on how Canada, including all levels of government, science and research leaders, and the private sector, can promote long-term sustainable growth in Canada’s biomanufacturing sector to ensure Canada’s current and future pandemic preparedness.
Canada's Agriculture Day celebrates nation's trusted food system
This year the day, February 23, 2021, will bring together leaders from major food and agriculture companies in a fireside chat that will push the boundaries on the opportunities available for agriculture and food and Canada's potential as a global food supplier. Learn more.
Business Leaders Form COVID-19 Recovery Leadership Council
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that they have brought together 19 Canadian CEOs and senior executives from leading companies to form the COVID-19 Recovery Leadership Council. The members of the Council will contribute their entrepreneurial skills and experience in delivering projects at scale to help accelerate the deployment of COVID-19 mitigation tools on the ground by connecting companies creating vaccines and delivering testing, tracing and other support programs for the businesses requiring these services. Read the statement.
Businesses "in the dark" about restrictions, reopening
A recent Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) survey shows while many business operators have been affected by COVID-19 restrictions, most have not received information on why these restrictions are necessary or what they can do to reopen. Read the full press release.
Premier Kenney and Minister Savage letters
New agriculture census faster and easier to complete
It is important for farmers to have access to critical information required to make informed decisions about their operations to help feed Canadians and to continue to be competitive and strong trading partners. Farm operators will receive a letter in May 2021 with instructions on how to complete the census questionnaire online quickly and easily. More information.
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True North Free Trade Forum | Find out more or email to get your invitation to the online event platform. The online platform will allow you to complete your online company and personal profile, access content, see who else is attending, request 1:1 business meetings with anchor companies and register for the Forum's two-day program.
Retail E-commerce: The COVID-19 Experience | Register
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March 10: Getting Into Retail 3: Connecting with the retail food buyers and business development advisors | Register
Women Entrepreneurs in STEM: Breaking Down Barriers to Starting a Business | Register here.