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Your Weekly Tune Up: June 26 - July 2, 2021

Virtually All COVID Restrictions Lifted as of July 1

As of July 1, Albertans are now free to gather indoors and outdoors, places of worship and businesses can operate at full capacity, the provincial mask mandate is repealed, and people can safely get back to doing all of the activities they enjoy. Limited measures will remain in effect to protect continuing care and acute care settings, and to offer additional safeguards until all Albertans have had the opportunity to receive their second dose of vaccine. Read more

Federal Budget Receives Royal Assent

Last night, Bill C-30, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures received Royal Assent.

Key measures to support Canadians that will be enacted starting today:

  • The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021
  • The extension of important income support for Canadians through the Canada Recovery Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
  • The new Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which will be available retroactive to June 6, 2021 to help businesses hire workers and increase workers’ hours or wages.
  • The enhanced Canada Workers Benefit which will support about 1 million more low-income working Canadians and help lift nearly 100,000 people out of poverty.
  • The enhanced Employment Insurance sickness benefits which will increase from 15 to 26 weeks.
  • A new $15 federal minimum wage.

Government Expands the Canada's Workers Benefit

With the passage of changes contained in the budget, a million more low-income workers are now eligible for a tax refund of up to almost:

  • $1,400 for workers who are single and without children (a group that does not receive many benefits); and
  • $2,400 for workers with families.

A total of 3.2 million Canadians will now be eligible for this support. Learn more

Federal Minimum Wage of $15/hour to Come into Effect on December 29, 2021

The Government is announcing that this important change will come into effect on December 29, 2021. The changes will affect workers in the federally regulated private sector.

More Online Registry Services Now Available

Alberta’s government brought four registry services online on June 27. In addition to specialty plates and commercial and farm vehicle renewals, Albertans can now conveniently order in-transit permits and duplicate vehicle registration certificates online. Read more

New Independent Regulator for Patent and Trademark Agents

As part of the Government of Canada’s first-ever Intellectual Property Strategy, the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents has been established to regulate the patent and trademark agent profession to ensure Canadians benefit from access to high-quality IP advice and services. Read more

Government of Canada to require 100% of car and passenger truck sales be zero-emission by 2035 in Canada

The federal government announced that the Government of Canada is setting a mandatory target for all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sales to be zero-emission by 2035, accelerating Canada’s previous goal of 100 percent sales by 2040. It will work also with partners to develop interim 2025 and 2030 targets, and additional mandatory measures that may be needed beyond Canada’s light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions regulations. This initiative is tied to the Canadian net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act which recently became law. Read more

Some foreign-based digital economy businesses will begin charging GST/HST on July 1, 2021

Many mobile apps, online video streaming services and other digital platform-based products that Canadians enjoy are sold by businesses beyond our borders. These businesses have not previously been required to charge Canada’s sales tax, also known as GST/HST, when making sales in Canada. Canadian companies that supply similar products and services are already required to collect this tax. To level the playing field, the Government of Canada has introduced new measures to ensure Canada’s sales tax applies in a fair and effective manner to the growing digital economy. As a result, starting on July 1, 2021, Canadians may begin to see GST/HST charges when they make purchases from affected businesses. Learn more

Enriching Your Business

The Power of Community

City facilities reopening as province lifts COVID-19 restrictions

As the province enters Stage 3 of the Open for Summer Plan, the City of Medicine Hat will reopen public buildings and facilities to residents and visitors. While the COVID-19 virus is still present and is likely to be for the foreseeable future, the risk is significantly lower than last year. Read the announcement for full opening details

WestJet Resumes Service in Medicine Hat

Residents and visitors now have one more convenient method of travel as WestJet resumes service to and from the Medicine Hat Regional Airport. WestJet Airlines offers scheduled non-stop flights between Calgary and Medicine Hat with five departures weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For more information and to make reservations, please call 1.888.937.8538 or visit

Fire Ban Now in Effect for the City of Medicine Hat

No open burning, including wood burning fire pits, or charcoal BBQ use, is allowed until further notice. Any outstanding burning permits are cancelled. Outdoor natural gas and propane cooking appliances as well as natural gas/propane fire tables/fireplaces are still allowed. Read more

Stay Safe in the Heat

With temperatures expected to reach well above 30 degrees in the coming days, AHS is advising Albertans to watch for the signs of heatstroke/heat exhaustion, who is most at risk, and how to avoid it and treat it. The risk of heat-related illness can be reduced by staying hydrated, avoiding direct sun at the hottest times of day, seeking shade when possible and wearing cool lightweight clothing. And do not leave people or pets in a vehicle. Other tips include frequent sunscreen use, and wearing a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Fill Up On Funding

Two Canadian Agricultural Partnership Programs Accepting Applications

Two more programs are open and accepting applications: Market Assurance and Efficient Grain Handling.

New programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership will support economic recovery and growth and reduce red tape. Read the article

New Value-add Program for on-Farm Investments

This new program focuses on helping farmers and ranchers add value to their products and get them to market. On-farm investments will create jobs, increase sales of agriculture products, expand market opportunities and help drive Alberta's economic recovery. Find out more about the On-Farm Value-added program

Applications Now Open for the Capital Investment Program

This new program is designed to assist Alberta businesses and municipalities with launching or completing new shovel-ready tourism infrastructure initiatives and enable the diversification or expansion of the guest experience through new product assets. Applications for the Capital Investment Program are open until July 30, 2021.

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.

Applications open for the Canada Recovery Hiring Program July 7, 2021

With the recently announced Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP), hard-hit businesses will be able to hire the workers they need to recover and grow as local economies reopen. The CRHP supports payroll as businesses grow, whether as a result of hiring staff, increasing shifts, or increasing overall pay. Eligible employers will be able to apply for the CRHP as of July 7, 2021, when the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will open applications through  My Business Account and Represent a Client. The CRA will begin to issue CRHP payments to eligible employers during the week of July 12, 2021.

Aboriginal Business Investment Fund Grants are Now Open

Aboriginal Business Investment Fund (ABIF) grants are now open for 2021-22 submissions. These grants will provide up to $500,000 to eligible Indigenous-owned businesses for projects that provide social and economic benefits to their communities. Read more

Advocacy in Action

Cyber. Right. Now. | Campaign Launched Today

As hackers increasingly target pipelines, power grids, email accounts and businesses, Canada is losing its tech leadership position. Time is of the essence. Recent data from the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions shows that one in five Canadian organizations experienced cybersecurity incidents in 2020. This includes 6.6% that experienced more cybersecurity incidents in 2020 compared to 2019. Further, one in four organizations reported that adopting technologies was “somewhat” or “extremely” challenging. Read more

Policy Win | Bill C-208

Bill C-208 has passed its third reading in the Senate! We are supportive of the bill after speaking with hundreds of businesses and tax experts as part of our Think Growth project. One of the most frequently referenced suggestions was the removal of section 84.1 tax disincentives that arise around the sale of small businesses to family members. While Bill C-208 doesn't remove the section, it introduces amendments that solve some of the most frequently cited problems that deter the sale of businesses to family members.

Next Level Events

July 7

Long Road to Recovery: COVID's Impacts on the Events Sector | Register

July 8

Understanding the Retail Landscape and Opportunities in China with Alibaba Group’s Cross-Border B2C Platform | Register

Tourism Alberta: Bootstrap Business Plan | Register

July 13

2021: A Year of Economic Recovery, with RBC | Register

July 15

Diversity and Inclusion is Good for Business | Register

July 29

Email Best Practices for non-profits | Register

August 10, 11

AgSmart at Olds College | Register

August 12

How Solar Can Participate in Alberta's Carbon Market | Register


Succession Planning Webinar Series (May 11-June 22) | Register or watch again

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