Your Weekly Tune Up: June 19-25, 2021
Alberta 2030: Expanding Apprenticeship Education
Alberta’s government is inviting post-secondary institutions and industry groups to collaborate and submit proposals for new certificate and diploma programs that provide a majority of education through paid on-the-job mentorship. Approved program proposals will qualify for grant funding to support program design and implementation. View this announcement online
Government of Canada's first phase to easing border measures for travellers entering Canada
The Government of Canada announced the details of the first phase of its approach to easing border measures for travellers entering Canada. These cautious adjustments are now possible because of the successes of the vaccine roll out in Canada and Canadians following public health measures.
Regulatory Roadmaps – the path to a better regulatory system for businesses and all Canadians
The Government of Canada shared the Roadmaps resulting from the second round of Regulatory Reviews on clean technology, digitalization and technology neutral regulations, and international standards. Backgrounder
Fill Up On Funding
More Albertans to receive $1,200 Critical Worker Benefit
During the first round of the Critical Worker Benefit Alberta’s government provided $1,200 payments to over 277,800 workers in the healthcare, social services, education and private sectors who deliver critical services to Albertans or support food and medical supply chains. Workers in new job categories will now be eligible for the same $1,200 payment. This includes workers in social services and the private sector who provided critical services to Albertans, were essential to the supply and movement of goods, and faced greater potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their work environments. Eligible private sector workers making $25 per hour or less will also qualify for the benefit. These workers include truck drivers, farmworkers, security guards, cleaners, funeral workers, employees at quick service and dine-in restaurants and taxi drivers who can demonstrate they worked at least 300 hours during the eligibility period. The complete list of eligible workers for this phase of the program are available in the Application Guidelines for the private sector at alberta.ca/criticalworkerbenefit. Employers have until July 23 to apply. Employers will be responsible for distributing the $1,200 Critical Worker Benefit to their eligible employees. Read the release and find out more. View the infographic and access the application portal
Travel Alberta Capital Investment Program
Travel Alberta is introducing the Capital Investment Program to support the recovery of Alberta’s visitor economy, build destination capacity and provide stimulus for future growth.
The program will accelerate the launch or completion of new shovel-ready tourism development initiatives and enable the diversification of visitor experiences through the acquisition of new product assets that will stimulate visitation, generate new revenue, and support economic revitalization.
There are two funding streams:
• Tourism Infrastructure – Projects up to $500,000. Matching financial investments are required.
• Tourism Assets – Projects up to $100,000. There is no requirement to provide matching funds.
The application intake period is June 28 – July 31, 2021. Visit the Industry Hub for program details, including eligibility and how to apply.
Alberta is adopting new capital cost allowance changes
Eligible incorporated Alberta businesses are now able to fully write off the cost of qualifying capital assets in the year of acquisition, which will help encourage investment. Adopting the temporary expensing measure will allow firms to immediately expense up to $1.5 million in new capital investment. While this is a significant benefit to many job creators in Alberta, the current federal proposal does not include businesses that are publicly traded or unincorporated. Read more.
$500 million Canada Community Revitalization Fund to drive post-COVID-19 recovery
The Government of Canada announced that eligible applicants may now submit an application to support two major streams of activity:
- adapt community spaces and assets so that they may be used safely in accordance with local public-health guidelines,
- build or improve community spaces to encourage Canadians to re-engage in and explore their communities and regions.
Applicants that have projects ready to proceed are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by July 23, 2021. For more information on the application process, eligibility criteria and eligible expenses, or to apply for the CCRF, reach out to your regional development agency.
Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program
The Government of Canada launched the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program (SREPs) for smart renewable energy and grid modernization projects. SREPs will provide direct finance support to eligible renewable energy and grid modernization projects during the construction phase. Projects must use market ready technologies and apply workplace equity, diversity and inclusion components. Find out more.
Clean Fuels Fund
The Government of Canada established the Clean Fuels Fund, to de-risk the capital investment required to build new or expand existing fuel production facilities (including facility conversion). Beginning June 21, 2021, interested parties can submit their proposals for projects that support the increase of clean fuels production capacity. All projects must be completed and facilities commissioned by March 31, 2026.
Call for project proposals open until September 29, 2021. For more information, visit the NRCAN website.
Additional source of funding for clean-tech
E8, an angel investor community committed to cleantech, invites a new round of applications for Decarbon8-US Fund. The Decarbon8 fund and process leverage philanthropic and personal capital to support early-stage companies whose technologies and business models address climate change. Managed by E8 advisors, the fund makes equity and debt investments (not grants) in companies offering market-ready decarbonization solutions for transportation, the leading source of greenhouse gases in the United States. Apply to the Decarbon8-US Fund by July 9th by visiting E8’s website. Application will prompt creation of a deal page in ProSeeder, E8’s secure deal management platform.
Energy Savings for Business Program
Energy Savings for Business Program is a funding opportunity to support small- and medium-scale industrial and commercial businesses. It is awarding up to $55 million for cost-saving and emissions-reducing projects. The program will help Alberta businesses reduce emissions, decrease operating costs, grow their operations, and become more competitive, while creating skilled jobs and boosting economic recovery.
o Up to $250,000 is available per project
o Up to $500,000 per parent company is available to cover the cost of products and services. For more details please visit: https://eralberta.ca/energy-savings-for-business/
Alberta’s Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant
The third intake has been extended to June 30. HERE
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
CEWS deadline for period 11 is July 15, 2021. HERE
New JOBS NOW Grant
Alberta Businesses can now apply to access up to $25,000 over 52 weeks to hire and/or train new employees. Applications are available now through December 31, 2021 HERE
Canada Emergency Business Account Loans
Applicants have until June 30, 2021, to apply for $60,000 CEBA loan or $20,000 expansion HERE
AFSC June Deadlines
June is a busy month with a number of important deadline for AFSC services including Annual Crop Insurance, Hail Insurance, Perennial Crop Insurance and AgriStability. Find all the deadlines
The Power of Community
Government Announces Shop Local Investment Benefiting Canada’s Small Businesses
The Government of Canada announced the launch of Shop Local, a Canada-wide investment of $33 million to encourage Canadians to shop locally. The funding will be provided through provincial and territorial chambers of commerce to support awareness-building campaigns that promote consumer confidence and local businesses.
"As Alberta prepares to head into Stage 3 reopening, this investment is ideally timed to help gear up our local economies." says Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) President and CEO Ken Kobly. Read the ACC press release.
Small Business Superheroes
It's been an incredibly hard year. Things may be looking up, but we know that doesn't erase the challenges that entrepreneurs have faced—we know we can't undo that. Like Superheroes, entrepreneurs dream big and take risks. Which is why StartUp Canada is delighted launch the Small Business Super Heroes initiative in partnership with BarterPay® to recognize small businesses. So, how do you participate? Fill in the form to nominate a local business that you feel needs recognition and a wonderful gift. 3 winners per province and territory will receive a free BarterPay account and $1,500 worth of Barter credits, with winners announced on July 5!
City to Purchase Monarch Theatre from CCDA
The City Centre Development Agency (CCDA) has accepted an unsolicited offer from the City of Medicine Hat to purchase the Monarch Theatre. With the disestablishment of the CCDA effective June 30, 2021, the City of Medicine Hat made the unsolicited offer to purchase the valued historic asset – and key component of the City of Medicine Hat’s Waterfront District vision – to ensure the preservation and appropriate future operation of the site. Read More
Enriching Your Business
Human Rights, Vaccines, and Medical Testing
The Government of Alberta has said that vaccination for COVID-19 will not be mandatory. Despite this, some employers, service providers, or landlords might wonder whether they can require their employees, service recipients, or tenants to receive the vaccination. Examples of service providers include retail stores, restaurants, schools, and universities.
While a general requirement related to health and safety and COVID-19, such as getting a vaccination, is not prohibited by the Alberta Human Rights Act (the Act), employers, service providers, and landlords will need to consider whether they have human rights obligations to some individuals.
Employers, service providers, or landlords may have the duty to accommodate a person with a disability or another relevant protected ground, such as religious beliefs, that supports that the person cannot be vaccinated. Learn more from the Alberta Human Rights Commission
Digital Regulatory Assurance System is now Live
Alberta Environment and Parks is pleased to share that the Digital Regulatory Assurance System (DRAS) is now live for Water Act approval applications, amendment applications and Code of Practice notices
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Releases Travel Toolkit
PHAC has released a travel toolkit that covers what the new rules mean for travellers (unvaccinated, partially vaccinated and fully vaccinated), what the fines are and more. There are also additional downloadable one-pagers on a per-topic basis.
Resources to help with personal and workplace mental health strategies:
- Mental Health Commission of Canada
- BDC Wellness
- Government of Canada’s Wellness Together
Vaccine Resource Hub
Additional resources to assist businesses find the information they need.
Webinar recording: A Guide to Vaccine Policies in the Workplace
As many industries plan for a return to in-person work, “vaccinations and the workplace” is a pressing topic facing leadership teams across the country. In this webinar, explore this topic with panelists including Labour and Employment Lawyer and Partner at TDS Law, Scott Hoeppner, Partner, Executive Search & Strategic Development at Legacy Bowes, Lisa Cefali and moderator Lauren McNabb, Host of CJOB 680 Morning Show, ‘The Start’. Watch the recording
Canadian household spending lifts off in early June as many regions across the country loosen restrictions. After cooling off in April and May, retail sales are tracking ~5% higher to-date in early June (controlling for normal seasonal fluctuations) – and that’s before non-essential retailers re-opened in Ontario. Clothing sales have also climbed higher as shoppers embrace reopening. Read more.
Advocacy in Action
Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Report released
A report on Alberta’s helicopter emergency medical services looks at existing services, gaps in coverage, best practices and procedures, and funding models. The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce adopted a position on access to Helicopter-Based Air Ambulance Service for All Albertans early this year, calling for the Government of Alberta to immediately publish and make the HEMS report public.
Border Still Out of Step with Science, Still Easier to Fly to Paris than to Drive to Buffalo
The Government of Canada’s Expert Panel laid out a comprehensive and science-based plan for how to safely reopen borders that included the elimination of quarantine hotels and moving travel measures to be administered on the basis of a traveller’s vaccination instead of nationality. A federal government multi-step plan to reopen the border on the basis of the Expert Panel report is long overdue. It is time for common sense, guided by science, to dictate a well considered reopening plan. Read the Canadian Chamber's statement on re-opening.
Have Your Say
Alberta Perspectives survey reminder: Economic recovery and provincial priorities
We have a week to go in our economic recovery and provincial priorities survey. Please complete the survey here: https://www.albertaperspectives.ca/c/r/ABpriorities2021
Labour Needs in Alberta
We've partnered with the Alberta government and Business Council of Alberta (BCA) to get timely, forward-looking information on labour needs in Alberta to better understand:
- Is Alberta’s labour market well positioned to respond during the recovery?
- Do employers have access to the appropriate skils and talent to grow?
- What challenges do employers face when hiring workers?
The survey will only take 2-3 minutes to complete. Your participation will provide critical intelligence to both industry and government to inform decision making.
Help shape StatCan's new mobile app
Complete the online questionnaire on Statistics Canada's publishing initiatives.
Help Determine Priorities for the Next Agricultural Policy Framework
Alberta Agriculture is looking for feedback to determine Alberta's priorities for the Next Policy Framework that will replace the joint federal-provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). Find out more, Have your say
Webinars & Events
Building Equitable Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in Rural Alberta | Register
AHS Community Conversations for Alberta Employers - creating physical and psychologically safe workspaces | Register
AHS Community Conversations for Alberta Employers - creating physical and psychologically safe workspaces | Register
Demystifying Tech for Your Business | Register
Getting to Net-Zero: Opportunities for SME Business Sector Leadership | Register
Diversity and Inclusion is Good for Business | Register
August 10, 11
AgSmart at Olds College | Register
How Solar Can Participate in Alberta's Carbon Market | Register
Find out More:
Check out additional webinar series and on-demand content here