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Weekly Update: April 30 – May 6, 2021

Supports for Business

Expanded public health measures for Business

Mandatory public health measures will apply to all communities with more than 50 cases per 100,000 people and with 30 or more active cases.

  • Indoor fitness – Effective May 5
    • All indoor fitness must close, including for one-on-one training.
  • Retail – Effective May 5
    • Retail services must limit customer capacity to 10 per cent of fire code occupancy (not including staff) or a minimum of five customers.
    • The 10 per cent capacity limit at shopping malls will exclude common area square footage.
    • Curbside pick up, delivery and online services are encouraged
  • Hotels/motels – Effective May 5
    • Hotels and motels can remain open but pools and recreation facilities must close.
  • Working from home – Effective May 5
    • Working from home remains mandatory unless the employer requires the employee's physical presence to operate effectively.
    • Where at work for operational effectiveness, employees must mask for all indoor settings, except in work stations or where two-metre physical distancing or adequate physical barriers are in place.
  • Work place transmission – Effective May 5
    • Any workplace, except work camps and essential and critical services, with transmission of three or more cases will be required by health officials to close for 10 days.
    • Any workplace that does not comply will be subject to enforcement.
  • Restaurants, bars, pubs, lounges and cafes – Effective at 11:59 pm on May 9
    • In-person dining on patios is prohibited. Only take out or delivery services are allowed.
  • Personal and wellness services  – Effective at 11:59 pm on May 9
    • Hair salons, barbers, nail salons, estheticians, tattoos and piercing, must close.
    • Previously, these were allowed by appointment only.
  • Health, social and professional services – Effective at 11:59 pm on May 9
    • Regulated health services, such as physicians, dentists and chiropractors, can remain open by appointment only.
    • Non-regulated health services, such as massage therapists and kinesiologists, can remain open by appointment only.
    • Professional services, such as lawyers and photographers, can remain open by appointment only.
    • Social services, such as shelters and not-for-profit community kitchens, can remain open.

View the full list of restrictions online, along with additional guidance documents and Provincial Government supports, along with the additional supports and resources through the Chamber website.

RBC Women in Cleantech Accelerator

Innovation hub MaRS and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) have launched a new accelerator aimed to connect and support women-led clean technology ventures. The RBC Women in Cleantech Accelerator will recruit a mix of 10 exceptional women entrepreneurs and coach them through an intensive 12-month program, connecting them to top government laboratories, investors and corporate partners. For detailed information on the program and to apply: Deadline to apply: June 11, 2021

Changes to the Forest Act

Legislative and regulatory changes that support a more competitive forest sector are now in effect. Read the key updates

Changes to the Competitor Collaboration Guidelines

the Competition Bureau published the final version of its revised Competitor Collaboration Guidelines. These updates are intended to provide clarity to the business and legal communities on how to identify and avoid the types of collaboration that can harm competition. Learn more

Funding Available for Canada’s Indigenous Forest Sector 

The next call for proposals for the Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI), to support Indigenous participation in forestry-related opportunities, businesses, careers and governance is now open.  Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, July 7, 2021. All eligible organizations are encouraged to apply.

Federal Government Introduces Bill 30 (Budget 2021 Implementation Act)

Key measures seek to:

  • Provide predictable funding to establish a Canada-wide early learning and child care system.
  • Bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through the third wave of the virus and towards recovery, including:
    • The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021; and
    • The extension of important income support for Canadians such as the Canada Recovery Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
  • Increase Old Age Security (OAS) for seniors age 75 and older to provide them with better financial security.
  • Enhance the Canada Workers Benefit, which will mean more money for low-income Canadians, support about 1 million more Canadians, and lift nearly 100,000 people out of poverty.
  • Enhance Employment Insurance sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks.
  • Establish a $15 federal minimum wage.
  • Extend the waiver of interest on federal student and apprentice loans to March 2023.
  • Establish the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which will help businesses with the costs of hiring new workers.
  • Enhance the Canada Small Business Financing Program through amendments to the Canada Small Business Financing Act, including broader eligibility and increased loan limits to facilitate greater access to financing for small businesses.
  • Provide an emergency top up of $5 billion for province and territories – specifically $4 billion through the Canada Health Transfer to help provinces and territories address immediate health care system pressures and $1 billion to support vaccine rollout campaigns across the country.
  • Provide $2.2 billion to address short-term infrastructure priorities in municipalities and First Nations communities. The funds would flow through the federal Gas Tax Fund, proposed to be renamed as the Canada Community-Building Fund.

Learn more or review the Federal Budget 2021 here.

Funding for Internships with the Construction Industry

The Medicine Hat Construction Association and Alberta Construction Association have partnered with the Government of Alberta to cost-share support of internships of Alberta post secondary students with the construction industry. This program provides 50% cost shared support for internships of 3-16 weeks to a maximum of $5,000.

As outlined in the Employer Fact Sheet, the first step is to complete the Employer Application. Once completed, you will receive a confirmation of the next step.

Pitch Your Way to $10K Closing May 14

Applications are open for startups focused on the following categories: Innovation of Work, AgTech Meets BioTech, The AI Datasphere, Co-Designing Healthier Living, Building Adaptive Communities, Net-Zero Emissions Energy. Apply for free before May 14.

Supports for Individuals

All Albertans 12+ eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

Everyone 30+ and many Albertans 12+ with health conditions can book now for COVID-19 vaccines. Everyone 12+ can start booking May 10. Book your vaccine.

Community Supports and Resources

New COVID-19 restrictions to stop the spike

New restrictions include measures for outdoor social gatherings, schools, retail, restaurants, places of worship, personal and wellness services, outdoor sports and fitness, funerals, and post-secondary institutions. Some restrictions came into force May 5. New restrictions for Schools are effective as of May 7. Restaurants, bars, pubs, lounges, cafes, patios, personal and wellness services, health and professional services, along with sports, performance and recreation take effect May 9 at 11:59 pm. The restrictions will remain in place for at least three weeks. Read the announcement online.

Enhancing mental health supports in Medicine Hat

Co-led by Alberta Health Services and the Medicine Hat Police Service, the $100,000 grant from Alberta’s government will fund additional mental health therapist resources to work in partnership with the Medicine Hat Police Service and community partners, such as the RCMP, Canadian Mental Health Association, McMan Youth Services and other community agencies. With this funding, the Medicine Hat Police Service will now have two trained mental health professionals to help them respond to mental health crisis calls and, where possible, create a pathway to community services. The project will begin this month. Read more.

Applaud Albertans for stepping up for seniors

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Minister’s Seniors Service Awards featuring new and returning categories.

Tax Rate Bylaw Passed by City Council

City Council approved the property tax for the year 2021 at City Council on Monday, May 3. Read the bylaw and view the Council discussion from May 3.

Spring sitting of Alberta Legislature suspended temporarily

The Government House Leader has advised the Speaker that at this time the spring sitting should be paused for two weeks until May 17, 2021.


Governments Need A Travel Restart Strategy Now

As Canada’s vaccination deployment continues, it is critical to execute a roadmap
that will set out markers for a restart to domestic and international travel. Key elements that need to be included in any strategy, are clear metrics for targeted travel restrictions, coherent rules across all modes of transportation and replacing broad quarantine measures with regulations based on a combination of testing, vaccination and other actions to protect public health. Read more.

Ongoing, Targeted COVID Support Programs Needed for Hardest Hit Sectors

Speaking on behalf of Canada’s hardest hit sectors, including tourism, travel, food services and accommodation, the Canadian Chamber underscored the need for targeted support while these industries work to recover from COVID-19 shutdowns and explained why supports may need to continue longer than currently planned. View the appearance at the Senate National Finance Committee.

Have Your Say

Are you the owner of a Home Business? The City of Medicine Hat would like to hear your voice!

We ask that you participate in this 10-question survey to help support Home Businesses. The purpose of this survey is to collect broad-based data only. The survey is anonymous and does not request personal information or business information that will be used to identify your home business.

Access the survey here before May 31st:

As working from home may become more common than ever, the City is preparing to adjust its approach to regulating home-based businesses. We want to help gather some general information about current home-based businesses in the City from the business owners themselves. We want the rules to better reflect what is already operating as well as make any necessary adjustments considering these tough times for local businesses.

Your feedback will help the City prepare new rules for Council consideration and allow them to collaboratively guide adjustments to rules to better serve the owners of home-based businesses and the community as a whole.

If you would like more information, please email

Call for innovative concepts to prevent and eliminate homelessness 

Concepts for innovative projects to prevent homelessness that fit this criteria can be submitted by completing a concept application form and submitting it via email to by June 11, 2021.

Still time to have your say on OHS Code changes

This is the first year of a three-year review plan for the OHS Code. This year, the review covers changes required by the recently-passed Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act. Take the survey

New Resources

Managing Mental Health as a Canadian Business Owner During COVID-19

By now, every business owner knows that managing the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is a marathon – not a sprint. For over a year now, Canadian businesses have navigated through social distancing restrictions, changing customer behaviours and unprecedented economic circumstances. And while both business owners and employees have shown incredible resilience, these challenges may be taking a toll on their mental health. Check out these four steps business owners can take to manage through this uncertain time.

Travel Alberta has launched our updated Learning Portal

This resource is for tourism partners to access best practices and information about marketing, business solutions, research, training, and more.

In the brand-new Marketing and Promotions section, you will find materials including:

  • Introduction to Content Marketing
  • Facebook for Tourism Businesses
  • Instagram for Tourism Businesses
  • Introduction to Website Content
  • The Importance of Online Reviews and Reputation Management
New/Updated OHS Resources
Economic Review and Alberta Economy - Indicators at a Glance

Weekly Economic Review
Alberta Economy - Indicators at a Glance
Alberta Activity Index release for February 2021
Third wave weighs on employment recovery
Tourism Industry Dashboard
Conference Board of Canada: Canada’s GDP growth continued in February as third wave loomed

Featured Webinars

Save the Date: May 12 5:00-6:00 pm Chamber Member Town Hall with Dr. Hinshaw and ADM for Alberta Health, Public Health and Compliance Division

May 12

Are you Export Ready? Learn about Export Logistics, Customs & Regulation | Register

Executive Summit: Re-globalization in a Business-led Recovery | Register

The SME Digital Transformation: How Top Entrepreneurs are Leveraging Technology in 2021 | Register

Employment Standards overview, with a focus on changes related to COVID-19 | Register

May 15

Value Proposition: what makes your business idea unique and how to market the value to your customer | Register

May 18, 19 or 20

How to Emerge from the Pandemic with a Digital Growth Plan | Register

May 20

The Art of Effective Digital Workplaces: Communication Style Workshop | Register

Join Canada’s 5G Revolution, with PwC Canada | Register

May 25

Family Firm Risk and Opportunity Mapping | Register

May 26

Destination Canada/TIAC Alberta Tourism Town Halls | Register

Webinar Series

Succession Planning Webinar Series - May 11-June 22 | Register

Women Entrepreneurs in STEM: Breaking Down Barriers to Starting a Business | Register here.

Alberta Innovates: Inventures Unbound | Free Pass

View an overview of events and market intelligence related to the technology sector globally here

Federal relief funding with Vexxit: CEWS, CERS and CEBA | Watch now

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