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Government Announcements

COVID-19: Your Resource Centre
COVID-19: Your Resource Centre

Blakes is carefully monitoring government decision-making related to COVID-19 across Canada and the United States. We will update this page twice daily with the announcements, news and legislation that impact our clients and communities.

April 3, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • The Prime Minister said the government has signed a deal with Amazon Canada to use its distribution network to send medical supplies to meet provincial needs (CBC).

  • Canada continues to work with 3M and its U.S. partners, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said, adding that the government is working with a range of suppliers around the world.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an investment of C$100-million to improve access to food for Canadians facing social, economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (News Release).

  • The recent orders (related to minimizing the risk of exposure/prohibition of entry) under the Quarantine Act have all been published in Part 1 of the April 4 Canada Gazette.

    • The following orders have been added to the Orders in Council Database:

      • Order providing goods and services to any private entity in Canada or elsewhere PC 2020-207

      • Order providing support for working capital and liquidity for micro enterprises in order to cover non-deferrable costs during the current economic crisis related to COVID-19 PC 2020-206.

U.S. – Federal

  • 3M faces pressure from Trump order to stop exporting N95 masks to Canada (CBC).

  • Among other things, the order mandates that 3M stop making N95 masks that are destined for customers in Canada and Latin America, and instead keep them in the U.S.

  • 3M Response to Defense Production Order.

  • Trump administration discussed shutting oil production in the Gulf of Mexico (Seeking Alpha).

  • White House expected to roll out mask guidance to combat COVID-19 spread (CBC).

Alberta

  • No new updates.

British Columbia

  • Order in Council 159/2020  Direction to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Respecting COVID-19 Relief was published  made under the Utilities Commission Act (see the news release from Wednesday’s digest).

  • The government is providing an additional C$1.5-million to supplement the Indigenous Emergency Assistance Fund, which assists Indigenous students who are experiencing an unexpected financial emergency (News Release).

Ontario

  • Ontario extends business closures to stop the spread of COVID-19 (News Release).

  • The updated essential businesses list can be found here.

    • The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between people and stopping the spread of COVID-19. By 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, 2020, businesses that are not identified on the list must close their physical locations.

  • This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves.

  • Ontario provides full transparency by releasing COVID-19 modelling (News Release).

  • O. Reg. 118/20 Order under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act – Work Deployment Measures in Retirement Homes.

    • Ontario protecting seniors in retirement homes during COVID-19 outbreak (News Release).

  • 3,255 confirmed cases, an increase of 462 since yesterday and 14 deaths.

Quebec

  • 6,101 confirmed cases, an increase of 583 since yesterday and 25 deaths.

Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal 

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke with premiers yesterday evening to discuss the evolving COVID-19 situation (News Release).

    • The leaders discussed preparations and actions undertaken by the federal government and provincial and territorial partners to protect the health and safety of all Canadians and to support workers and businesses.

  • Ontario's move puts pressure on feds to reveal national COVID-19 projections (National Post).

    • Federal officials are hoping the national projections will be available within the next five days.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government is working with credit-card providers to offer some sort of relief to customers (CBC).

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to speak at 11:15 a.m. (EDT).

U.S. – Federal

  • Disaster Declarations of Economic Injury for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Small Business Administration).

  • The Trump administration is close to recommending that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Progress of emergency legislation:

    • S.A. 2020 c. 5, (Bill 10) – Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act, 2020, received royal assent yesterday evening. In force April 2, 2020.

    • S.A. 2020 c. 6 (Bill 11) Tenancies Statutes (Emergency Provisions) Amendment Act, 2020, received royal assent yesterday evening. In force April 2, 2020 (sections 1 and 3 have effect on March 27, 2020). 

    • S.A. 2020 c. 4 (Bill 12) Liabilities Management Statutes Amendment Act, 2020, received royal assent yesterday evening. In force on proclamation – not yet in force.

  • 968 confirmed cases, an increase of 97 since yesterday, including two deaths. 589 cases in the Calgary zone, 247 cases in the Edmonton zone, 59 cases in the Central zone, 55 cases in the North zone and 14 cases in the South zone.

British Columbia

  • B.C. firefighters ordered to attend immediately life-threatening calls only (The Globe and Mail).

  • 1,121 confirmed cases, an increase of 55 since yesterday, six deaths. 525 in the Vancouver Coastal health region, 386 in the Fraser Health region, 72 in the Island Health region, 121 in the Interior Health region and 17 in the Northern Health region.

Ontario 

  • Ontario increasing public health units' capacity to stop COVID-19 (News Release).

  • Provincial health experts are expected to provide a briefing Friday on modelling projections for the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario (CBC).

  • Infected health-care workers are the source of coronavirus outbreaks at four Ontario hospitals (The Globe and Mail).

  • Premier Doug Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health; Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health; and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, to make an announcement at 1:30 p.m. (EDT).

Quebec 

  • The government is announcing C$150-million to help small and medium-sized businesses in Quebec (News Release).

    • This program is set up to support SMEs that are experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 and who need liquidity of less than C$50,000 for their working capital.

    • Businesses in all industries, including cooperatives, not-for-profit organizations and social economy businesses engaged in business activities.

    • The Government of Quebec is also announcing an extension of the Local Investment Funds (FLI) for two years, until December 31, 2022.

  • Order No. 2020-014 – related to the conditions of health emergency compliance in the municipal sector (contracts, sale of an immovable at a public auction).

    • Also listed are various amendments to previous orders, including an amendment to the “priority commercial enterprises” to add “smoke shops that are not specialized points of sale of tobacco” and the closure of businesses on Sundays.

April 2, 2020

Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Government of Canada provides guidance on services and functions deemed essential to Canada’s critical infrastructure during COVID-19 (News Release).

    • The guidance document provides a list of services and functions across Canada’s 10 critical infrastructure sectors: energy and utilities, information and communication technologies, finance, health, food, water, transportation, safety, government and manufacturing.

  • Trudeau to hold call with premiers as worries mount over shortage of COVID-19 medical supplies (CBC).

  • Military set to deploy to Indigenous and northern communities to fight outbreak of COVID-19 (The Globe and Mail).

U.S. – Federal 

  • Order Under the Defense Production Act Regarding the Purchase of Ventilators:

    • The secretary shall use any and all authority available under the act to facilitate the supply of materials to the appropriate subsidiary or affiliate of the following entities for the production of ventilators:  General Electric Company; Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc.; Medtronic Public Limited Company; ResMed Inc.; Royal Philips N.V.; and Vyaire Medical, Inc.

  • New York state's coronavirus death toll doubled in 72 hours to more than 1,900 (CTV).

    • President Donald Trump acknowledged that the federal stockpile of personal protective equipment used by doctors and nurses is nearly depleted.

Alberta 

  • Nine non-profits will receive C$3-million to provide additional food assistance for vulnerable K-12 students and families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • Government is directing Alberta Health Services to temporarily suspend parking fees for health-care workers and the general public during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • Progress of emergency legislation:

    • Bill 10: Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act, 2020, still awaiting third reading.

    • Bill 11: Tenancies Statutes (Emergency Provisions) Amendment Act, 2020, still awaiting royal assent.

    • Bill 12: Liabilities Management Statutes Amendment Act, 2020, received third reading this afternoon. Now awaiting royal assent.

British Columbia

  • Premier’s task force to support B.C. economy during and after COVID-19: Backgrounder (updated April 2, 2020).

    • A new Economic Recovery Task Force will bring together leaders from business, labour, First Nations and not-for-profits to help ensure the province’s economic response to COVID-19 is effective and responsive.

  • The following orders were published this afternoon:

    • Ministerial Order No. M092 – The amendments to support the shortage of pharmacists/pharmacy technicians of the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia made under the Health Professions Act come into force on April 1, 2020.
    • Ministerial Order No. M093 – Provincial Compliance Officer (COVID-19) Order.

    • Ministerial Order No. M094 – Protection Against Liability (COVID-19) Order. Those providing essential services cannot be held liable for damages caused by exposure to COVID-19 while continuing to operate (News Release).

  • Province boosts emergency funding supports for students (News Release).

    • Students attending B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions who are experiencing emergency financial pressures will benefit from a one-time investment of C$3.5-million in emergency financial assistance.

  • New emergency supports for province’s most vulnerable (News Release).

    • For people in B.C. currently receiving income assistance or disability assistance, the province will temporarily exempt federal employment insurance benefits, including the new C$2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

    • For everyone on income assistance or disability assistance who is not eligible for the emergency federal support programs, including the CERB, the province will provide an automatic C$300-monthly COVID-19 crisis supplement for the next three months.

Ontario 

  • The following orders were published this afternoon:

    • O.Reg. 115/20 – Temporary Exemptions Relating to Declared Emergency (made under the Environmental Bill of Rights).

    • O.Reg. 116/20 Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act – Work Deployment Measures for Boards of Health.

  • Ontario supports trucking sector for keeping goods moving (Statement).

  • Attorney General announces C$4-million to support victims and protect front-line justice staff (News Release).

  • Ontario increasing mental-health support during COVID-19 (News Release).

  • 2,793 confirmed cases, an increase of 401 since yesterday, including 16 deaths.

Quebec 

  • The Quebec government is seeking the collaboration of businesses to get through the health crisis linked to COVID-19.

    • To support the health network, the government is looking for products that can meet the demand for supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) (see list here).

  • Prioritization of screenings has been revised and refocused on those most at risk of being hospitalized or developing complications following infection and those who occupy strategic functions in the fight against infection in Quebec (News Release).

  • Premier François Legault asked the police officers of the Sûreté du Québec and the municipal police forces, in particular of Montréal, to be less tolerant and even crack down on people who defy the rules by continuing to assemble and against non-essential businesses that remain open (News Release).

    • The President of the Conseil du trésor and Minister responsible for Government Administration, Christian Dubé, and the Minister of Health and Social Services, Danielle McCann, announced a salary bonus and protective measures staff up to C$287-million for health-care workers who are in direct contact with patients with COVID-19.

  • 5,518 confirmed cases, an increase of 907 since yesterday, including three deaths.

Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canada’s food supply at risk as pandemic tightens borders to farm workers – the pandemic is making it difficult for farmers to bring in temporary workers to plant crops on time (The Globe and Mail).

  • Canada is spending millions on faster testing tech for COVID-19 (The  Globe and Mail).

    • Alberta and Ontario signed deals with Spartan Bioscience Inc., a small Ottawa-based company that produces a hand-held DNA analyzer that can provide COVID-19 test results in about 30 minutes.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to speak at 11:15 a.m. (EDT).

U.S. – Federal 

  • U.S. to build hundreds of temporary hospitals as country’s coronavirus death toll surpasses China’s (The Globe and Mail).

  • The Labor Department reported that about 6.6 million people filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the figure for the past two weeks to nearly 10 million. (Wall Street Journal).

  • The U.S. is weighing grounding domestic flights to virus hot spots (Wall Street Journal).

Alberta 

  • The government is expanding eligibility for select licensed childcare centres to provide childcare for all essential service workers (News Release).

  • To ensure the continuous operation of Alberta’s food supply chain, the provincial government is partnering with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to increase food inspector capacity (News Release).

  • 871 confirmed cases, an increase of 117 since yesterday, including two deaths. 527 cases in the Calgary zone, 219 cases in the Edmonton zone, 57 cases in the Central zone, 51 cases in the North zone and 12 cases in the South zone.

  • O.C. 107/2020 Electronic Documents Regulation is made (under the Provincial Court Act).

  • Progress of emergency legislation:

    • Bill 10: Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act, 2020 was referred to the Committee of the Whole yesterday evening; the committee reported the bill with one amendment.

    • Bill 11: Tenancies Statutes (Emergency Provisions) Amendment Act, 2020 still at third reading, awaiting royal assent.

    • Bill 12: Liabilities Management Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 was referred to the Committee of the Whole yesterday evening – no amendments were introduced.

British Columbia

  • The provincial health officer (PHO) has issued new guidelines to support compliance with orders on business closures and gatherings under the Public Health Act (News Release).

    • All PHO orders and guidance documents can be found here

  • 1,066 confirmed cases, an increase of 53 since yesterday, including one death. Vancouver Coastal Health: 497, Fraser Health: 367, Island Health: 72, Interior Health: 114 and Northern Health: 16.

Ontario 

  • Premier Doug Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, to make an announcement at 1 p.m. (EDT).

Quebec 

  • Order in Council 388-2020 (renewal of the public health emergency), Ministerial Orders 2020-10 to 2020-13 and Order 2020-4267 (notification of a document by a technological means) were published in the April 1 Gazette officielle du Québec, Part 2 yesterday evening.

    • O.C. 397-2020 Regulation respecting certain financial assistance measures for borrowers under the Act respecting financial assistance for education expenses owing to the COVID-19 pandemic has also been published. This regulation came into force on April 1, 2020.

April 1, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (Backgrounder and News Release).

    • Eligible employers would include individuals, taxable corporations and partnerships consisting of eligible employers as well as non‑profit organizations and registered charities.

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to launch on April 6 (News Release and Backgrounder).

  • Trudeau looking to recall Parliament once again to consider expanded COVID-19 aid (The Globe and Mail).

    • A senior government official said a time has not yet been set to reconvene Parliament, but it's likely to happen early next week. While there are conflicting views on whether legislation is needed, the numbers are so large that the government thought it was right to put it before Parliament, the official said.

  • Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the expanded wage subsidy will cost the federal government C$71-billion but will reduce the demand and fiscal cost of a similar program for unemployed workers.

  • Canadian officials say isolation measures to stay for a long time – no specific timeline on how long strict measures could last, saying they would be in place for a number of weeks — and perhaps months.

  • Canadian government shopping for high-demand N95 masks on the international market (CBC).

U.S. – Federal

  • Florida and Pennsylvania joined states ordering lockdowns (Wall Street Journal).

  • The Federal Reserve said it was temporarily taking steps to ease an obscure capital requirement for large banks to address strained conditions in the Treasury market (Wall Street Journal).

Alberta

  • Progress of emergency legislation:

    • Bill 10: Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act, 2020, received second reading this afternoon.

    • Bill 11: Tenancies Statutes (Emergency Provisions) Amendment Act, 2020, still at third reading, awaiting royal assent.

    • Bill 12: Liabilities Management Statutes Amendment Act, 2020, received second reading this afternoon.

British Columbia

  • The province has partnered with the Digital Technology Supercluster and the Business Council of British Columbia to create the COVID-19 Supply Hub, a made-in-B.C. online platform to coordinate, source and expedite medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for provincial health authorities to support front-line health workers fighting COVID-19 (News Release).

  • Province supporting people with relief on power bills during COVID-19 (News Release).

    • BC Hydro will offer new, targeted bill relief to provide immediate help to those most in need.

    • Major industries, like pulp and paper mills and mines, will have the opportunity to defer 50 per cent of their bill payments for three months.

    • Small businesses that have been forced to close due to COVID-19 will have their power bills forgiven for three months, from April to June 2020.

    • In addition to this new targeted bill relief, BC Hydro rates will be reduced by one per cent on April 1, 2020.

  • Starting in April 2020, the province, through viaSport, will provide provincial, disability and multi-sport organizations with the ability to access C$5-million, which represents 50 per cent of their annual 2020-21 provincial funding allocation, to provide these organizations with access to cashflow sooner (Statement).

Ontario

  • Ontario joins forces with the private sector to fight COVID-19 (News Release).

    • New C$50-million Ontario Together Fund will support the development of essential equipment and supplies.

  • O. Reg. 114/20: Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act – Enforcement Orders (related to the news release from this morning – public required to identify themselves if charged with breaching an emergency order.)

  • 2,392 confirmed cases, an increase of 426 since yesterday, including two deaths.

Quebec

  • Order No. 2020-013 has now been published in English.

    • Edit to this morning’s digest: the order also amends the list of priority activities to add “horticulture” and “bike repairs workshops” to the list of priority services and activities.

  • Guidance for Industry: What to do when someone tests positive for COVID-19 in a food establishment.

  • Quebec bans non-essential travel within Laurentians, Lanaudière and Outaouais regions and to La Tuque (La Presse, in French only, and CBC).

  • 4,611 confirmed cases, an increase of 449 since yesterday, including two deaths.

Last updated 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • The Bank of Canada is expected to buy C$200-billion of debt as it embraces quantitative easing (The Globe and Mail).

  • The following regulations have been added to the April 1 Canada Gazette, Part II (Regulatory Impact Statements are included).

    • S.O.R./2020-44 Regulations Amending the Employment Insurance Regulations.

    • S.O.R./2020-53 Regulations Amending the Schedule to the Quarantine Act (COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease).

  • More restrictions coming on travel between Ottawa and Gatineau (CBC).

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to speak at 11:15 a.m. (EDT).

U.S. – Federal 

  • President Trump, appearing at a briefing with two of his top medical advisors, repeatedly urged Americans to follow federal social-distancing guidelines, which have now been extended through the end of April (Wall Street Journal).

    • Nearly half of the 50 states have now reported more than 1,000 confirmed cases.

  • Delegating Additional Authority Under the Defense Production Act With Respect to Health and Medical Resources to Respond to the Spread of COVID-19 was added to the Federal Register today (85 FR 18403).

Alberta 

  • Full text of the emergency legislation was added yesterday evening:

    • Bill 10: Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act, 2020, still at first reading – if passed, this bill will provide law enforcement agencies full authority to enforce public health orders during a pandemic.

    • Bill 11: Tenancies Statutes (Emergency Provisions) Amendment Act, 2020, passed third reading, awaiting royal assent – if passed, this bill will ensure no one will be retroactively charged for residential rent increases or late fees while the state of public health emergency is in effect.

    • Bill 12: Liabilities Management Statutes Amendment Act, 2020, still at first reading – if passed, this bill will enable government to clarify and enable expanded, delegated authority for the Orphan Well Association to maintain and manage orphan sites.

  • 754 confirmed cases, an increase of 64 since yesterday. 453 cases in the Calgary zone, 187 cases in the Edmonton zone, 51 cases in the Central zone, 50 cases in the North zone and 12 cases in the South zone.

British Columbia 

  • The B.C. government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency to support the provincewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, through the end of the day on April 14, 2020 (News Release and Order in Council).

  • 1,013 confirmed cases, an increase of 43 since yesterday. Vancouver Coastal Health: 476, Fraser Health: 348, Island Health: 67, Interior Health: 107 and Northern Health: 15.

Ontario 

  • People who are being charged with an offence under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) will be required to identify themselves if asked by a provincial offences officer, which includes police officers, First Nations constables, special constables and municipal bylaw enforcement officers (News Release).

  • Premier Doug Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health; Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade; and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, to make an announcement at 1 p.m. (EDT).

Quebec 

  • Draft Regulation with regard to the format of pleadings filed in technological media with the court office of the Court of Appeal was published in the Gazette officielle du Québec.

  • Order No. 2020-013 related to the modification of various previously released orders (related to judicial procedural changes and limitations of entry).

  • The Government of Quebec is implementing the Assistance Program for the maintenance of essential regional air services during health emergencies. With a maximum budget of C$40-million, the purpose of this program is to provide transportation of essential goods (News Release).

March 31, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced new partnerships with Canadian industries to fight COVID-19 (News Release and Backgrounder).

    • C$2-billion is being invested to support diagnostic testing and to purchase ventilators and protective personal equipment, including for bulk purchases with provinces and territories.

    • New procurement agreements have been signed with Canadian companies Thornhill Medical, Medicom and Spartan Bioscience to purchase and boost capacity to manufacture equipment and supplies.

    • Letters of intent have been signed with five companies – Precision Biomonitoring, Fluid Energy Group Ltd., Irving Oil, Calko Group and Stanfield’s.

    • In addition, C$50-million has been made available in funding for members of the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster to develop and scale-up new, in-demand technologies, equipment and medical products.

  • TC Energy proceeding with long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline with assistance from Alberta (The Globe and Mail and Statement by Minister Seamus O'Regan).

  • Canadian transit agencies seek more than C$1-billion in emergency funds (The Globe and Mail).

U.S. – Federal

  • President Trump called for a possible fourth relief package to include significant investment in infrastructure (Wall Street Journal).

    • Mrs. Pelosi has also said she envisions a phase-four bill would pay for some growing workplace needs: medical leave, more protections for those at risk of infection, government funds to pay for coronavirus tests and help for pension funds at risk because of the economic jolt.

  • U.S. cases topped 181,000, with more than 3,600 deaths (Wall Street Journal).

Alberta 

  • Legislation tabled deals with a number of issues, including modernizing the Public Health Act and protecting mobile home residents. Government will also be tabling legislation that updates the process for managing well liabilities in the province that will create conditions to help the province’s oil and gas industries rebound once the pandemic is over (News Release):      

    • Bill 10: Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act, 2020 was tabled this afternoon and currently sits at first reading (full text may be added later today here.)

    • Bill 11: Tenancies Statutes (Emergency Provisions) Amendment Act, 2020 was tabled this afternoon and currently sits at first reading (full text may be added later today here.)

    • Bill 12: Liabilities Management Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 was tabled this afternoon and currently sits at first reading (full text may be added later today here.)

British Columbia

Ontario 

  • Ontario extends school and childcare closures to May 4, 2020 (News Release).

  • Ontario enabling students to complete the academic year, offering loan payment deferrals and financial support for institutions (News Release).

  • 1,966 confirmed cases, an increase of 260 since yesterday, including three deaths (linked to the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon).

Quebec 

  • The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) announces today a series of measures aimed at minimizing the impact of COVID-19 on the Quebec financial system (News Release).

    • The measures are in addition to or are intended to specify the measures announced by the AMF on March 19, 2020. Today's announcement concerns the following sectors of financial activity:

      • Financial services cooperatives, trust companies and savings companies

      • Deposit-taking institutions authorized under the Deposit Institutions and Protection of Deposits Act

      • Quebec-chartered insurers

  • 4,162 confirmed cases, an increase of 732 since yesterday, including six deaths.

Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • The government announces support for air transportation sector during COVID-19 pandemic (News Release and Backgrounder).

  • The government provides relief to the broadcasting sector (News Release).

  • The emergency coronavirus legislation the Canadian government passed last week bolsters Ottawa’s ability to step in and purchase troubled assets from financial institutions or other companies if necessary (The Globe and Mail).

  • Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers – Frequently Asked Questions (CRA).

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to speak at 11:15 a.m. (EDT).

U.S. – Federal 

  • States call on retired medical staff and new graduates (Wall Street Journal).

  • Roughly three of four people in the U.S. are or soon will be under instructions to stay indoors, as states and localities try to curb the spread of the coronavirus before hospitals are overwhelmed (New York Times).

Alberta 

  • The Legislature will reconvene today to debate legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting Albertans and the province’s economic future.

  • The Canadian Energy Centre (CEC) is reducing its current operating budget by 90 per cent to reflect needs during the COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • 690 confirmed cases, an increase of 29 since yesterday, including five deaths. 422 cases in the Calgary zone, 164 cases in the Edmonton zone, 46 cases in the Central zone, 45 cases in the North zone and 12 cases in the South zone.

British Columbia

  • Guidance provided to industrial camps during COVID-19 (Information Bulletin).

    • The guidelines are intended to highlight key preparedness and response measures that can be taken by industrial camps in relation to COVID-19. By providing staff and residents with accurate information about prevention and control measures, the guidelines can help minimize transmission within the camps.

  • 970 confirmed cases, an increase of 86 since yesterday, including two deaths. Vancouver Coastal Health: 472, Fraser Health: 323, Island Health: 67, Interior Health: 94 and Northern Health: 14.

Ontario 

  • Ontario extends declaration of emergency and subsequent emergency orders, regulations and amendments issued under s.7.0.1 and 7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to April 13, 2020 (News Release). Orders below:

    • O. Reg. 105/20: Order Made Under the Act – Extension of Emergency

    • O. Reg. 106/20: Order Made Under the Act – Extensions and Renewals of Orders

    • O. Reg. 107/20: Order Under Subsection 7.1 (2) of the Act – Meetings for Corporations

  • All outdoor recreational amenities across the province are now closed:

    • O. Reg. 104/20: Emergency Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act – Closure of Outdoor Recreational Amenities.

  • Ontario enabling students to complete the academic year; offering loan payment deferrals and financial support for institutions (News Release).

  • Ontario is expected to unveil online learning plan this afternoon (The Globe and Mail).

  • Premier Doug Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health; Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities; and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, to make an announcement at 1 p.m. (EDT).

Quebec 

  • Order 2020-012 was published yesterday evening related to Premier François Legault’s announcement of the closing of Sunday businesses, with the exception of certain essential services.

  • Québec solidaire offers 30 days of grace for rents and mortgages (News Release).

  • Order 2020-04 (related to the suspension of deadlines to pay the sums eligible to retain the right to drive certain vehicles) was added to the Gazette officielle du Québec. In force March 31, 2020.

March 30, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT) 

Canada – Federal

  • Canadian military assembles "rapid reaction" teams to help with pandemic response (CBC).

    • The military's "rapid reaction" teams will be available for a range of missions, such as delivering medical supplies and supporting remote communities that may be vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks.

  • All businesses seeing 30 per cent drop in revenue due to pandemic will be eligible for 75 per cent wage subsidies, says Prime Minister Trudeau (The Globe and Mail).

    • The wage subsidies will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.

  • Indigenous, territorial and federal leaders mobilize funding to support unique northern physical-distancing initiative (News Release).

U.S. – Federal 

  • Americans prepared for a prolonged lockdown. New York expanded its capacity to care for sick patients as total U.S. cases exceeded 150,000 (Wall Street Journal).

  • Notice of Designation of Scarce Materials or Threatened Materials Subject to COVID-19 Hoarding Prevention Measures (Federal Register).

  • Waiver of Original Handwritten Signature Requirement Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak (Patent and Trademark Office).

Alberta 

  • No new updates.

British Columbia

  • Ministerial Order M089 – Residential Tenancy (COVID-19) Order has been published (related to support for renters and landlords).

  • Ministerial Order M088 – related to Class Exemption for Patients, Practitioners and Pharmacists Prescribing and Providing Controlled Substances in Canada during the Coronavirus Pandemic (see also Ministerial Order 087).

Ontario 

  • Ontario enhancing public reporting about COVID-19 (News Release).

    • Dedicated website will include expanded information of confirmed cases across the province

  • Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, issued a statement earlier today with stay-at-home recommendations except for essential reasons, such as to:

    • Access to health-care services

    • Shop for groceries

    • Pick-up medication at the pharmacy

    • Walk pets when required

    • Support vulnerable community members with meeting the above needs

  • Ontario increasing health and safety measures to better protect frontline nurses from COVID-19 (News Release).

    • The directive also addresses the ongoing stewardship and conservation of the current level of PPE supplies.

  • Ontario posted various orders/regulations to E-Laws website this afternoon:

    • O.Reg. 95/20 Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act – Streamlining Requirements for Long-Term Care Homes. In force March 27,  2020.

    • O.Reg. 98/20 Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act – Prohibition on Certain Persons Charging Unconscionable Prices for Sales of Necessary Goods. In force March 27, 2020.

    • O.Reg. 99/20 Emergency Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act (related to the prohibition of gatherings of more than five people).

    • O.Reg. 100/20 – Emergency Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act (related to the closure of establishments extended to March 31, 2020).

    • O.Reg. 101/20 – General, under the Travel Industry Act (amendments in part about a supplier’s failure to provide travel services related to COVID-19). In force March 30, 2020.

  • Province investing C$10-million to mobilize businesses and volunteers to support the most vulnerable (News Release).

  • 1,706 confirmed cases, an increase of 351 since yesterday including 10 deaths.

Quebec

  • Premier François Legault announces the closing of Sunday businesses, with the exception of certain essential services (News Release).

  • To encourage all workers who fight against COVID-19, Marie-Victorin MP Catherine Fournier proposes that overtime be tax-free (News Release).

  • Worried about the pressures exerted at the negotiating table to quickly renew collective agreements in the public sector, the spokesperson for Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, and the manager of public services, Vincent Marissal, ask Premier François Legault to call its negotiators to order and ensure that agreements are not negotiated under pressure (News Release).

  • Temporary measure in relation to supervised visits ordered by the Superior Court (News Release).

  • Open school: a web platform is now available online for children and parents (News Release).

  • 3,430 confirmed cases, an increase of 590 since yesterday, including three deaths.

Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Competition Bureau issued a report outlining competition concerns with Air Canada's proposed acquisition of Transat (Competition Bureau).

  • New domestic transportation measures were announced on Saturday (Transport Canada).

    • Canadians who show any symptoms of COVID-19 will be barred from boarding all domestic flights and trains.

    • These measures come into effect today at noon.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced measures to support vulnerable Canadians to help cope with the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic (News Release).

  • Parks Canada helps tourism businesses in national parks and historic sites deal with the impacts of COVID-19 by deferring commercial lease payments without interest until September 2020 (News Release).

  • Joint statement on ongoing collaboration of federal-provincial ministers related to COVID-19 impacts.

    • Temporary foreign workers in the fish and seafood processing sector will be allowed, under very specific conditions, to travel to Canada, while following mandatory health and safety measures.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to speak at 11:15 a.m. (EDT).

U.S. – Federal 

  • President Donald Trump said on Sunday that the physical distancing guidelines would be in place until at least April 30 to slow the spread of COVID-19 (Wall Street Journal).

  • U.S. coronavirus deaths could reach as high as 200,000, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said (Bloomberg).

  • The U.S. is prepping a fourth stimulus package, perhaps even larger than last week's US$2-trillion package (Wall Street Journal).

  • Local and state leaders across the country are preparing for the coronavirus to move inland (New York Times).

Alberta 

  • The List of Essential Workplaces has been published.

  • Increased security for Alberta renters was announced. These protections are required by new ministerial orders under the Residential Tenancies Act and the Mobile Homes Sites Tenancies Act (News Release).

  • Vehicle access to provincial parks, parking lots and staging areas on public land has been suspended (News Release).

  • Mass gatherings are now limited to 15 people and more restrictions will be placed on available services (News Release).

  • Funding for K-12 education is being temporarily adjusted to reflect the cost of at-home learning by students during the COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • 661 confirmed cases, an increase of 175 since Friday, including three deaths. 408 cases in the Calgary zone, 149 cases in the Edmonton zone, 46 cases in the Central zone, 45 cases in the North zone and 12 cases in the South zone.

British Columbia 

  • Guidance to retail food and grocery stores operating during COVID-19 (Information Bulletin).

  • An Information Bulletin was released yesterday related to Friday’s order under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

    • The order enables the broader use of communications tools for health-care workers and other public-sector staff who are responding to the COVID-19 state of emergency.

  • The province is providing a C$3-million emergency grant from the Community Gaming Grants program to Food Banks British Columbia (News Release).

  • New guidelines for school leaders and a new website are being introduced to support B.C.’s K-12 students while in-class education is suspended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (News Release).

  • 884 confirmed cases, an increase of 159 since Friday, including one death (in the Vancouver Coastal region). Vancouver Coastal Health: 444, Fraser Health: 291, Island Health: 60, Interior Health: 77 and Northern Health: 12.

Ontario 

  • Ontario protecting supply chains to support COVID-19 emergency response – news release related to the regulations issued Friday under the Supply Chain Management Act (News Release).

  • Ontario protecting consumers from price gouging – offenders face fines of up to C$500,000 for charging unfair prices on necessary goods (News Release).

  • Ontario stepping up measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 on construction sites (Statement).

  • Ontario taking emergency measures to support long-term-care homes during COVID-19 (News Release).

    • The temporary measures provide further flexibility for long-term-care homes and allow homes to redirect their staffing and financial resources to essential tasks.

  • Ontario prohibits gatherings of more than five people with strict exceptions – effective as of Saturday (News Release).

  • Premier Doug Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health; Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care; and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, to make an announcement today at 1 p.m. (EDT).

  • 1,355 confirmed cases, an increase of 362 since Friday, including four deaths.

Quebec 

  • The Quebec government announced C$133-million in emergency funds for seniors residences and other facilities that work with vulnerable groups to help them deal with the COVID-19 pandemic (CBC).

  • Police control to isolate eight regions (News Release and Ministerial Order 2020-011).

  • Ministerial Order 2020-010 and Order 4267 – Temporary measures authorizing notaries to close acts remotely and bailiffs to serve pleadings by technological means (News Release).

  • Quebec Premier François Legault said Sunday that the number of new COVID-19 cases in the province appears to be "stabilizing” (CBC).

  • 2,840 confirmed cases, an increase of 819 since Friday.

March 26, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Today the Minister of Indigenous Services, Marc Miller, outlined the details of the C$305-million for the new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities related to COVID-19 (Indigenous Services Canada).
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier today that the federal government is urging Canada’s banks to lower interest rates on credit cards (The Globe and Mail).

  • The official order for the mandatory quarantine rules for returning Canadians has now been added: PC 2020–0175.

U.S. – Federal

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy “may well be in a recession,” but that the central bank is taking unprecedented action to help ensure economic activity can resume (Wall Street Journal).

  • A source told CBC News the White House is looking at placing American troops near the shared border (CBC).

Alberta 

  • Premier Jason Kenney says the province is continuing to create a list of essential and critical infrastructure that would remain open should all non-essential services be shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • "I anticipate that by early next week we will have settled on certain criteria and a list of essential services.” (CTV)

  • To date, the government focus is on maintaining an open trade relationship between Canada and the United States for movement of essential goods across the border; also working with the federal and provincial partners to maintain functioning rail service, ports and commercial trucking systems within Canada and across North America to enable the movement of essential goods (News Release).

  • Twenty-two Indigenous communities have paused consultations as of March 25 (companies that propose oil, gas, mining, forestry or similar projects that could disturb Crown land are responsible for managing consultation with affected Indigenous communities) (News Release).

British Columbia 

  • B.C. has just released its List of Essential Services. Official order is forthcoming.

  • Using the extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, is issuing a series of ministerial orders to ensure a coordinated response to COVID-19 across all levels of government for the duration of the provincial emergency (News Release).

    • These include: supply chain, protecting consumers, enforcement, travel and protecting B.C.’s most vulnerable.

    • The orders are forthcoming.

Ontario 

  • The Ontario government is providing an additional C$3.3-billion to support frontline health-care workers and increase health-care capacity in response to the COVID-19 outbreak (News Release).

  • The Ontario government is enabling C$1.9-billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain. The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province (News Release).

  • Ontario published various regulations related to COVID today:

    • O.Reg. 86/20: Licences to sell liquor. In force March 26, 2020.

      • Alcohol can now be ordered with food takeout and delivery across Ontario (AGCO Info Bulletin).

    • O.Reg. 85/20 General, related to the Health Insurance Act. In force April 1, 2020.

    • O.Reg. 84/20 Special Payments for Physician Services. In force April 1, 2020.

    • O.Reg. 87/20 General, related to child, youth and family services. In force on March 26, 2020, except subsection 2(2) in force on July 1, 2020.

  • 858 confirmed cases, an increase of 170 since yesterday.

Quebec

  • The official opposition is working in collaboration with the government to quickly find flexible economic measures adapted to the reality of Quebec to support SMEs in all regions of Quebec (News Release – only available in French).

  • 1,629 confirmed cases, an increase of 290 since yesterday including two deaths.

Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • New order from the Public Health Agency of Canada makes self-isolation mandatory for individuals entering Canada (News Release).

  • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety makes courses and publications available to help workplaces during COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • Department of Finance issued its News Release on The COVID-19 Emergency Response Act.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to speak at 11:15 a.m. (EDT).

U.S. – Federal

  • Yesterday evening the Senate passed the US$2.2-trillion economic rescue package (H.R. 748). The Senate passage delivered the legislation to the House, which will most likely pass it on Friday (Wall Street Journal).

    • The Bill would provide one-time direct payments to Americans of US$1,200 per adult.

    • It builds on efforts focused on vaccines and emergency response, sick and family medical leave for workers, and food aid; it will expand unemployment benefits and provide a US$367-billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.

    • It includes a heavily negotiated US$500-billion program for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries, including airlines.

Alberta 

  • The Kenney government will soon introduce its own list of essential businesses, an Alberta government source told The Globe and Mail.

  • Law enforcement agencies have been granted full authority to enforce public health orders and issue fines (News Release).

  • 419 confirmed cases, an increase of 61 since yesterday. 250 cases in the Calgary zone, 100 cases in the Edmonton zone, 23 cases in the North zone, 35 cases in the Central zone and 10 cases in the South zone.

British Columbia 

  • 659 confirmed cases, an increase of 42 since yesterday, one death (another resident of the Lynn Valley Care Centre). 339 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 218 are in the Fraser Health region, 47 are in the Vancouver Island Health region, 46 are in the Interior Health region and nine are in the Northern Heath region.

Ontario

  • S.O. 2020, c. 5 (Bill 188), Economic and Fiscal Update Act 2020, received royal assent yesterday evening. Coming-into-force information is set out at the end of each schedule. If there is no CIF information provided, the schedule comes into force on royal assent (March 25, 2020).

  • Premier Doug Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, to make an announcement at 1 p.m. (EDT).

Quebec 

  • No new updates.

March 27, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced support for small businesses facing impacts of COVID‑19 (News Release). The government will:

    • Launch the Canada Emergency Business Account to provide up to C$25-billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses.

    • Announce a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to three months, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

    • Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all GST/HST payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports.

    • Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to C$40-billion in lending.

  • Additional support for Canadian businesses from the economic impact of COVID-19 (Backgrounder).

  • Senate leader calls for more ambitious action, including buying stakes in companies (The Globe and Mail).

U.S. – Federal

  • Statement from President Trump regarding the Defense Production Act: requires General Motors to accept, perform and prioritize federal contracts for ventilators.

    • Memorandum on Order Under the Defense Production Act Regarding General Motors Company.

  • President Trump signed the US$2-trillion relief bill (Wall Street Journal).

Alberta

  • Legislature to reconvene Tuesday, March 31, 2020, to debate legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting Albertans and the province’s economic future (News Release).

  • Alberta posted two orders this afternoon:

    • O.C. 99/2020 Meeting Procedures (COVID-19 Suppression) Regulation. The purpose of this regulation is to provide for meetings under the act to be held in a manner that avoids exposing persons to COVID‑19.

    • O.C. 100/2020 Procedures (Public Health) Amendment Regulation – penalty payable by an individual in respect of a contravention of an order of a medical officer of health.

  • Tax relief for tourism industry (News Release).

    • Payments deferred until August 31 will not be subject to penalties or interest.

British Columbia

  • Limitation periods to commence court proceedings in British Columbia have been suspended, and statutory decision-makers have been provided discretion to waive, suspend or extend time periods related to their powers (News Release).

    • Ministerial Order No. M086 Limitation Periods (COVID-19) Order.

    • Ministerial Order No. M085 related to health-care disclosure and communication under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This order will remain in effect until June 30, 2020. The Minister may rescind or extend the effect of this Order in full or in part before June 30, 2020.

  • Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, released a statement about immediate responses to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for the arts and culture sector.

Ontario 

  • Ontario posted various orders to the E-Laws website this afternoon:

    • O.Reg. 92/20 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response and Recovery – made under the Supply Chain Management Act. In force when section 2 of Schedule 37 to the Plan to Build Ontario Together Act comes into force (not yet in force).

    • O.Reg. 91/20 Health Sector Entities – made under the Supply Chain Management Act. In force when section 2 of Schedule 37 to the Plan to Build Ontario Together Act comes into force (not yet in force).

    • O.Reg. 90/20 Extending Time Periods for Accessible Parking Permits. In force March 26, 2020.

    • O.Reg. 89/20 Order under subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the act – Traffic Management (related to the closing of highways, other means). In force March 26, 2020.

    • O.Reg. 88/20 Extending Time Periods in Ontario Regulations – under the Highway Traffic Act. In force March 26, 2020.

  • 993 confirmed cases, an increase of 135 since yesterday, including three deaths

Quebec 

  • Part of the list of priority services and activities that was posted online includes garbage collection and residual materials management. In respect of residual materials management, here is the list of services that are deemed essential.

  • The following two orders remove tolls as a measure and permit products to be delivered:

    • M.O. 2020-02 – Suspension of the prohibition from driving a road vehicle on bridges P-15020 of autoroute 25 and P-10942 of autoroute 30 subject to a toll under the Act respecting transport infrastructure partnerships unless the amount of the toll and the fees are paid in accordance with that act. In force March 25, 2020.

  • M.O. 2020-03 – Suspension of the axle load and total loaded mass limits applicable during the thaw period to certain road vehicles or combinations of road vehicles. In force March 25, 2020 and repealed on June 20, 2020.

  • The Quebec government announced new measures to help individuals and businesses (News Release).

    • Quebec is following the federal government's lead and allowing businesses to postpone filing until June 30, 2020, for their returns and payments in respect of the March 31, April 30 and May 31 QST remittances, without interest or penalties.

    • Quebec will accelerate the processing of requests for tax credits intended for businesses and tax refunds.

  • Due to the major impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the operations of businesses, the Ministère de l'Énergie et des Ressources naturelles and the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) informed entities subject to the obligations in the Act respecting transparency measures in the mining, oil and gas industries that the annual statements to be provided to the AMF will be accepted up to 120 days after the prescribed deadline (News Release).

  • Emergency childcare remains open and free until May 1 (News Release).

  • 2,021 confirmed cases, an increase of 392 since yesterday.

Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Parliament’s Budget Officer released a report today, Scenario Analysis: COVID-19 Pandemic and Oil Price Shocks, which provides an illustrative example of what could happen based on a set of economic assumptions (Report).

  • The Bank of Canada has made a second unscheduled cut to its benchmark interest rate, lowering it to 0.25 per cent amid the COVID-19 crisis (CBC).

  • In-person Service Canada centres to be closed (Employment and Social Development Canada).

  • Canadians arriving home from abroad cannot take taxis, ride-sharing cars or public transit home if they don’t have their own transportation, but rather must use transit arranged by the federal government, says the Health Minister (under the federal Quarantine Act) (The Globe and Mail).

  • Statement from John Ossowski, president of the Canada Border Services Agency: CBSA is working closely with other government partners, including the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as allies, such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to confront the rapidly developing outbreak. Recently, the agency has bolstered its capacity and heightened its operational posture at all points of entry into Canada (Statement).

  • The official orders for Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada have been added: PC Number: 2020-0185 and PC Number: 2020-0184.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to speak at 11:15 a.m. (EDT).

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. coronavirus cases now surpass those of China and Italy (Wall Street Journal).

    • The Trump administration is planning to issue guidelines categorizing counties across the nation as high risk, medium risk or low risk, aiming to help state and local authorities decide whether to tighten or relax social-distancing measures designed to help slow infections.

Alberta

  • 486 confirmed cases, an increase of 67 since yesterday. 300 cases in the Calgary zone, 111 cases in the Edmonton zone, 26 cases in the North zone, 37 cases in the Central zone and 12 cases in the South zone.

British Columbia

  • B.C. published the following orders yesterday as part of its list of unprecedented steps to support COVID-19 response (News Release).

    • Order No. M084 of the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, which grants B.C. power to take over supply chains and the ability to demand that retailers and suppliers report inventory of critical supplies (The Globe and Mail).

    • Order No. M083 of the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, related to the Local Government Meetings and Bylaw Process.

    • Order No. M082 of the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, enabling municipal bylaw officers to support enforcement of the provincial health officer’s orders for business closures and gatherings, in line with offences under the Public Health Act.

      • People who ignore public health orders can now be jailed or fined upward of C$25,000 (CBC).

  • New clinical guidance to reduce risk for people during dual health emergencies (News Release).

    • The provincial clinical guidance incorporates the federal government’s recent exemptions to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • The provincial health officer has made two orders for public- and private-health-sector employers and long-term-care facilities. These orders ensure employees work at only one facility to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission (Information Collection from Long Term Care Facility Staff Order and Movement Limitation Order.)

  • 725 confirmed cases, an increase of 66 since yesterday. Vancouver Coastal Health: 359, Fraser Health: 241, Island Health: 52, Interior Health: 62, Northern Health: 11.

Ontario

  • Premier Doug Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, to make an announcement at 1 p.m. (EDT).

Quebec

  • No new updates.

March 25, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • All travellers returning to Canada — with the exception of what the federal government is calling "essential workers" — will have to enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine as of midnight to help slow the spread of COVID-19, said federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu (CBC).

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has been introduced to help workers and businesses (Department of Finance).

    • This taxable benefit would provide C$2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.

  • The Government of Canada is taking action to support the publishing and news sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic (Canadian Heritage).

    • The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) confirmed that the Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures is now in place.

  • Statement on joint international effort to ensure supply chain connectivity amid COVID-19 pandemic (Global Affairs Canada).

    • Joint ministerial statement by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, New Zealand and Singapore affirming commitment to ensuring supply chain connectivity amid the COVID-19 situation.

  • Help for Canada's oil and gas sector is "hours, possibly days" away, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said earlier today (CBC).

    • The minister said Ottawa has been in daily contact with provincial governments to discuss those issues and how it is impacting provincial revenues.

  • S.C. 2020, c. 5 (Bill C-13), COVID-19 Emergency Response Act received royal assent today. Coming into force information is set out at the end of each part. If there is no CIF information provided, the part comes into force on royal assent (March 25, 2020).

U.S. – Federal 

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the street closures in New York City as a pilot program and said sports like basketball would be banned in city parks, first on a voluntary basis as long as people comply (CBC).

    • A number of other U.S. states have also applied for major disaster relief status in recent days, including Florida, Texas, New Jersey, North Carolina, Missouri, Maryland and South Carolina.

Alberta

  • MyAlberta is now receiving emergency isolation support applications from working Albertans who are self-isolating or the sole caregivers for someone in self-isolation (News Release).

  • There are early signs of success in flattening the curve, despite rising cases (CBC).

British Columbia

  • New guidance to B.C. manufacturers during COVID-19 has been released (Information Bulletin).

  • New guidance to mining and smelting operations during COVID‐19 has been released (Information Bulletin).

  • A new temporary rental supplement has been introduced, halting evictions and freezing rents, among other actions (News Release).

Ontario

  • Premier Ford and Minister Phillips Announce Additional Health Care Resources and Support for People, Jobs and Employers (News Release).

    • Finance Minister Rod Phillips released Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 (March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update).

      • The action plan will provide C$7-billion in additional resources for the health-care system and will provide direct support for people and jobs. This includes C$3.3-billion in additional health-care resources, C$3.7-billion to support people and jobs, and measures that will make available up to C$10-billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flows.

  • 688 confirmed cases, an increase of 100 since yesterday.

Quebec

  • The following orders have now been added to the Gazette Officielle du Québec:

    • M.O. 2020-005, Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

    • M.O. 2020-006, Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic situation. 

    • M.O. 2020-007, Public health emergency order to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

    • M.O. 2020-008, Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic situation. 

    • M.O. 2020-009, Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • O.C. 222-2020, Renewal of the public health emergency under section 119 of Public Health Act and certain measures to protect the health of the population.

    • O.C. 223-2020, Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Quebec is asking universities to inventory medical equipment that might be needed in for hospitals (Press Conference).

  • 1,339 confirmed cases, an increase of 326 since yesterday.

Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal 

  • Bill C-13, COVID-19 Emergency Response Act passed third reading in the House of Commons just after 6 a.m. (EDT) this morning after significant delays caused by opposition to the Liberals' attempt to grant broad spending and taxing powers to cabinet without parliamentary oversight (CTV). The full text of the Bill is expected to be published at approximately 12 p.m. (EDT) today on Legisinfo.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to speak at 11:15 a.m. (EDT).

U.S. – Federal

  • The White House reaches deal with lawmakers on an estimated US$2-trillion stimulus package (Wall Street Journal). The Senate will move to vote on the bill later on today.

    • Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or H.R. 748 will provide direct financial checks to many Americans, drastically expand unemployment insurance, offer hundreds in billions in loans to both small and large businesses, and provide health-care providers with additional resources.

    • The bill would also provide that businesses can carry back losses from 2018, 2019 and 2020 for up to five years.

Alberta

  • 358 confirmed cases; an increase of 57 since yesterday, one death (female in her 80s and a resident at the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in Calgary).

  • 214 cases in the Calgary zone, 86 cases in the Edmonton zone, 20 cases in the North zone, 28 cases in the Central zone, eight cases in the South zone and two cases where the zone is still under investigation.

British Columbia

  • 617 confirmed cases; an increase of 145 since yesterday. Vancouver Coastal Health: 330, Fraser Health: 194, Island Health: 44, Interior Health: 41, Northern Health: 8.

Ontario

  • There will be an emergency session of the legislature later this afternoon, Finance Minister Rod Phillips is expected to reveal more support for the health system and businesses when he tables his one-year spending plan (CBC).

    • The Minister of Finance to Release an Economic and Fiscal Update in the Legislature at 4 p.m. (EDT) (approximately), followed by the Premier and Minister media availability at 5 p.m. (EDT).

  • Two additional Ontario Orders were added yesterday evening:

    • O.Reg. 82/20, Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) - Closure Of Places Of Non-Essential Businesses.

    • O.Reg. 83/20, General (made under the Long-Term Care Homes Act). In force March 24, 2020.

  • Two deaths in Ontario long-term care homes (one woman in the Durham Region in her 90s and one woman in Hamilton in her 80s).

Quebec 

  • Order number 2020-009 of the Minister of Health and Services related to the suspension of visiting rights to the elderly, suspension of rights for the elderly to leave their homes and suspension of court delays under the Civil Code of Procedure (except for urgent matters).

March 24, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal 

  • The Prime Minister solicited the views of premiers on the Emergencies Act and related emergency measures (PM Readout).

  • The COVID-19 Emergency Response Act is currently being debated in the legislature. The Senate is scheduled to reconvene tomorrow to further scrutinize and pass the bill  royal assent is expected tomorrow.

  • The Globe and Mail and CTV viewed draft copies of the Bill  full text is not yet available to the public – and listed the following highlights from the legislation:

    • Includes measures that could help auto parts makers retool their factories to produce life-saving ventilators for desperately ill COVID-19 patients.

    • Provides C$500-million for the provinces that could be used, among other things, to purchase sorely needed medical equipment.

    •  Creating a 16-week window where eligible Canadian workers can be absent from work on account of the novel coronavirus. 

    • Enacting a new Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act, which would grant the finance minister the ability to spend “all money required to do anything, including making payments to provinces and territories,” in relation to public health events of national concern.

    • Providing the finance minister a range of new powers related to procuring, loaning to, merging, selling, winding-up or dissolving corporations.

    • Allowing for, on the authorization of the health minister, the ability to “make, construct, use and sell a patented invention to the extent necessary to respond to the public health emergency.”

  • Parks Canada implements additional measures, suspending visitor vehicle access to Parks Canada places across the country until further notice (News Release).

U.S. Federal

  • Negotiators are nearing accord on U.S. Stimulus Package to Combat Coronavirus (Wall Street Journal).

  • Indiana, Michigan and Oregon announced orders to stay home other than for essential business (Wall Street Journal).

  • Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department Announce Expedited Antitrust Procedure and Guidance for Coronavirus Public Health Efforts (Federal Trade Commission).

Alberta

  • No new updates.

British Columbia 

  • The Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation is amended re: temporary authority to sell liquor (O.C. 134/2020).

    • The amendments are repealed on July 15, 2020.

  • Certain parks and recreation areas will close (News Release).

Ontario

  • Ontario posted various Orders to E-laws this afternoon:

    • O.Reg. 78/20, Emergency Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act regarding child care for specified workers. In force March 23, 2020.

    • O.Reg. 77/20, Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act – Work Deployment Measures In Long-Term Care Homes. In force March 23, 2020.o   Accompanying News Release.

    • O.Reg. 76/20, Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act – Electronic Service. In force March 23, 2020.

    • O.Reg. 75/20, Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act – Drinking Water Systems And Sewage Works. In force March 23, 2020.

  • For a 45-day period, the government is working to suspend time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour (Office of the Premier). 

  • The Ontario Construction Consortium (OCC) (an umbrella group for labour unions representing carpenters, painters and other workers), said the government should suspend work in the sector for 14 days to protect the safety of workers and employers during the crisis (The Globe and Mail).

    • In the press conference today, Premier Ford noted: “if the industry does not take every step necessary to look after their workers, I will shut them down.”

  • 588 confirmed cases; an increase of 85 since yesterday.

Quebec

  • C$2-million dollars has been released for food banks (La Presse).

  • 1,013 confirmed cases; an increase of 385 since yesterday.

Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • House of Commons is set to reconvene this afternoon.

    • The federal Liberals appear to be backing away from a proposal to grant themselves sweeping power to spend money, borrow and change taxes without parliamentary approval through to December 31, 2021, as part of legislation the government is expected to table Tuesday, as it passes COVID-19 emergency economic measures (CTV).

  • Public Health Agency of Canada reported that 44 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in the country are the result of community transmission (The Globe and Mail).

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to speak at 11:15 a.m. (EDT).

U.S. – Federal

  • President Donald Trump has speculated that he might ease social distancing recommendations in the next week (The Globe and Mail).

Alberta

  • Government is providing C$25-million to support homeless-serving agencies respond to COVID-19 (News Release).

  • 301 confirmed cases; an increase of 42 cases since the weekend. 188 cases in the Calgary zone, 68 cases in the Edmonton zone, 19 cases in the North zone, 17 cases in the Central zone, eight cases in the South zone.

British Columbia

  • Two significant Bills were tabled/received royal assent yesterday and have made changes to the Employment Standards Act to better support workers both during the COVID-19 public health emergency and in the long term (News Release):

    • Bill 15, 2020: Supply Act (No. 2), 2020. In force on royal assent (March 23, 2020).

    • Bill 16, Employment Standards Amendment Act (No. 2), 2020. In force on royal assent (March 23, 2020).

  • Vancouver can now enforce physical distancing with fines up to C$50,000 (CTV).

Ontario 

Quebec

  • Yesterday evening Quebec posted its List of Essential Workplaces – the official Order is still forthcoming.

  • Premier François Legault expected to speak at 1 p.m. (EDT).

March 23, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced support (C$275-million) for coronavirus research and medical countermeasures (News Release).

    • The funding will be used to advance projects that are already underway by university researchers and others to respond to COVID-19 and ensure domestic supply of potential vaccines.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced new measures to support farmers and agri-food businesses in Canada facing financial hardship (News Release)

    • Farm Credit Canada will receive support that will allow for an additional C$5-billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses and food processors.

  • “Stiff enforcement measures could be imposed if people don't stop engaging in behaviour that puts lives at risk,” says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (CBC).

U.S. – Federal

  • The Federal Reserve unveiled a major expansion of lending programs that are designed to keep credit markets functioning after they seized up last week (Press Release).

  • The Senate failed to advance Coronavirus rescue package for a second day (Wall Street Journal).

  • The White House announced the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium to provide COVID-19 researchers worldwide with access to the world’s most powerful high-performance computing resources that can significantly advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the virus (News Release).

Alberta

  • Three significant decisions have been made that will give Albertans and Alberta employers additional supports as they deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis: education property tax freeze, education property tax deferral for business and WCB premiums deferral for private sector businesses and support for small and medium businesses (News Release).

  • New temporary physician billing codes are being added to the schedule of medical benefits so that physicians are compensated for providing virtual care (News Release).

British Columbia 

  • COVID-19 Action Plan: B.C.’s first steps to support people, businesses – particularly through tax relief (Office of the Premier).

    • The plan dedicates C$2.8-billion to help people and fund the services they need to weather the crisis; C$2.2-billion will provide relief to businesses and help them recover after the outbreak.

    • Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a tax-free C$1,000 payment to British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by the outbreak.

    • Boosted income supports by increasing and expanding the B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit in July 2020.

    • Effective immediately, businesses with a payroll over C$500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until September 30, 2020.

    • The recovery plan will dedicate funding to particularly hard-hit parts of the economy, such as the tourism, hospitality and culture sectors.

  • Service BC centres are remaining open (News Release).

  • 472 confirmed cases; an increase of 48 since the weekend. Three more patients have died (one from Lynn Valley Care Centre, one from Haro Park Centre and one resident from Fraser Health).

Ontario

  • Premier Ford announced all non-essential businesses to close by midnight Tuesday, March 24. A list of non-essential and essential businesses will be released by the government tomorrow (News Release).

    • Official Order has not yet been published.

    • Grocery stores and pharmacies singled out as part of an "extensive" list of businesses that can stay open (CBC).

  • New funding (C$200-million) will support municipalities, food banks, homeless shelters and individuals (News Release).

    • The funding will also help individuals who do not qualify for emergency financial supports under federal programs.

    • The government is putting in place an expanded Emergency Assistance Program administered through Ontario Works to cover these individuals' needs such as food, rent, informal childcare and services.

  • Ontario schools will not reopen April 6; Premier Ford did not say when students can plan to return to school (CTV).

  • 503 confirmed cases; an increase of 78 from the weekend.

Quebec

  • François Legault announced all non-essential businesses to close by midnight Tuesday, March 24 (Press Conference).

    • Official Order has not yet been published.

    • Residents of elderly care homes will now not be allowed to leave their residences.

  • Police forces have new temporary powers to enforce the containment measures (CBC).

  • 628 confirmed cases; an increase of 409 since the weekend.

Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • House of Commons will be recalled on Tuesday at 12 p.m. (EDT) to pass emergency legislation to help workers and businesses (News Release).

  • The CBSA will facilitate entry for Canadians driving U.S. plated vehicles by permitting the temporary import of U.S. vehicles without paying duties and taxes, subject to conditions (CBSA).

    • Exemptions to the air travel restrictions will apply to foreign nationals who have already committed to working, studying or making Canada their home – exemptions include seasonal agricultural workers (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada).

  • Federal, local governments consider fines, prison to enforce social distancing, “we will use every measure in our toolbox at the federal level to ensure compliance,” says federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu (The Globe and Mail).

    • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is not at the point where the federal government needs to take emergency measures to force people to stay at home (Bloomberg).

  • Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) say they won't send athletes to compete at the Tokyo Games — set to begin July 24. Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees call for 1-year postponement (CBC).

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to speak at 11:15 a.m. (EDT).

U.S. – Federal

  • The lockdown affecting large segments of the American public to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus is likely to last 10 to 12 weeks, or until early June, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday (The Globe and Mail).

    • U.S. cases climbed to over 25,000 on Sunday morning and at least 325 people have died, with about half the cases in New York State. Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey instituted statewide lockdowns (Wall Street Journal).

    • President Trump approves New York and Washington Disaster Declaration.

  • Lawmakers in Washington are nearing a deal that could pump a record $1 trillion into the economy to limit the economic damage. Mnuchin told “Fox News Sunday” that he hopes Congress will vote on the bill today (The Globe and Mail).

Alberta

  • Select licensed child care centres will be opened to provide child care for core service workers (News Release).

  • Premier Jason Kenney has announced the membership of the Economic Recovery Council, created to provide advice which will guide Alberta through the downturn that comes as a result of COVID-19 and the energy price crash (News Release).

  • The Premier’s Council on Charities and Civil Society will strengthen community organizations working to address social challenges. Their first task is advising on civil society’s response to COVID (News Release).

  • 259 confirmed cases; an increase of 113 cases since Friday, including three recovered and one death. 64 cases in the Calgary zone, 60 cases in the Edmonton zone, 18 cases in the North zone, 10 cases in the Central zone, Seven cases in the South zone.

British Columbia

  • Distillers in British Columbia are temporarily authorized to manufacture alcohol-based hand sanitizer to help combat COVID-19, through an updated policy directive from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (News Release).

  • Guidance issued to construction sites operating during COVID-19 (News Release).

  • Changes made to temporarily allow restaurants to deliver liquor products alongside the purchase of a meal (Policy Directive).

  • Personal service establishments – like barbershops, salons, nail estheticians, health spas, massage parlours, tattoo shops and others – are ordered to close (Joint Statement).

  • Action is being taken to protect vulnerable people, including those experiencing homelessness. Measures include a ban on evictions for non-payment of rent and centralized procurement for critical supplies needed by frontline providers, including gloves and cleaning products (News Release).

  • Child care centres that remain open will receive compensation to continue operating with reduced enrolment (News Release).

  • 424 confirmed cases; an increase of 153 since Friday, including six recovered and 10 deaths. Vancouver Coastal Health: 230, Fraser Health: 126, Island Health: 37, Interior Health: 27, Northern Health: 4.

Ontario

  • New temporary order announced which would give hospitals the ability to cancel and postpone services to free-up space and valuable staff, identify staffing priorities, and develop, modify and implement redeployment plans, (News Release).

  • New Government Website Removes Barriers for Companies to Provide Essential Goods and Services (News Release).

    • Ontario Together will identify the province's supply challenges and solicit ideas and advice from Ontario's business and manufacturing communities.

    • Ontario to open select child care centres across the Province (News Release).

  • Closure of drive test centres will take effect today (Statement).

  • Premier Ford to make an announcement at Queen's Park at 12:30 p.m. ET.

  • 425 confirmed cases; an increase of 117 since Friday, including six recovered and five deaths.

Quebec

  • François Legault announced Sunday that schools will be closed until May 1, along with all stores in shopping malls apart from grocery stores, pharmacies and SAQ liquor stores (CBC).

    • All playgrounds in Montréal have been closed and starting today Hydro-Québec will not charge late payment fees for those who cannot pay their bills.

  • 219 confirmed cases; an increase of 80 since Friday, including one recovered and four deaths.

March 20, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister announces Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19 (News Release).

    • The Plan introduces new measures to directly support these businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada that will help in the fight against COVID-19.

    • It focuses on domestic capacity building, innovative solutions and procurement of essential supplies.

  • U.S.-Canada Joint Initiative: Temporary restriction of travellers crossing the U.S.-Canada border for non-essential purposes (Public Safety Canada Statement).

    • Irregular migrants/asylum seekers will be turned back — a move described as unprecedented (CBC).

    • Supply chains, including trucking, will not be impacted by this new measure.

    • This decision will be implemented on March 21, 2020 (midnight).

  • Government of Canada announces additional measures to support continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses (Department of Finance).

    • Minister of Finance Bill Morneau announced amendments to mortgage insurance eligibility criteria, set out in regulations made under the National Housing Act and Protection of Residential Mortgage or Hypothecary Insurance Act.

  • The Canadian military is preparing to respond to multiple waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, which could stretch out over a year or more, the country's top military commander said in his latest planning directive.

    • Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of the defence staff, warned in a memo on Thursday that requests for assistance can be expected "from all echelons of government and the private sector and they will likely come to the Department [of National Defence] through multiple points of entry." The directive notes the federal government has not yet directed the military to move into response mode, but if — or when — it does, a single government panel, likely a deputy-minister level inter-departmental task force, will "triage requests and co-ordinate federal responses" (CBC).

U.S. – Federal

  • Mutual agreements with Canada and Mexico to restrict non-essential travel across our northern and southern borders (Fact Sheet).

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all nonessential workers to stay home as the [NY] state dramatically escalated its efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic (Statement).

    • New restrictions go into effect on Sunday evening.

    • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to make a similar announcement soon.

Alberta

  • The Emergency Management Amendment Act, 2020 (Bill 9) was tabled today. The bill is currently at third reading and awaiting Royal Assent (when it will be officially enacted as law).

British Columbia

  • Select day-use services and facilities are currently still available at B.C. provincial parks (News Release).

  • Government liquor stores remain open with readjusted hours of operation (News Release).

Ontario

  • Ontario is waiving the three-month waiting period for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. Additionally, the province will cover the cost of COVID-19 services for uninsured people who do not meet the criteria for OHIP coverage (News Release).

  • Ontario is launching an online portal for students who can't go to class (CTV).

  • 308 confirmed cases; 51 more than yesterday.

Quebec

  • Government announced it's making C$2.5-billion available for businesses, much of that to be delivered in the form of loans and loan guarantees, Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said (CBC).

  • François Legault has announced that in the coming days infrastructure projects will be accelerated to curb layoffs in the construction industry (Press Conference).

  • 139 confirmed cases; 18 more than yesterday.

Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Statement from the Commissioner of Competition regarding enforcement during the COVID-19 coronavirus situation (Competition Bureau Canada Statement).

    • The Bureau will scrutinize any evidence that companies or individuals have violated Canada’s competition laws, including: deceptive marketing practice and collusion by competing businesses.

  • Ottawa finalizing plan to boost production of pandemic supplies; Prime Minister expected to make the announcement today (CBC).

    • Both the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association and Aerospace Industries Association of Canada said they have spoken to officials from Ottawa.

    • The Prime Minister said Canada might also use its military procurement policy to get medical equipment.

  • The federal government is preparing a multibillion-dollar bailout package for Canada’s oil and gas sector that is expected to be unveiled early next week (The Globe and Mail).

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to speak at 11:15 a.m. (EDT).

U.S. – Federal

  • The United States is expected to announce restrictions on travel across the border with Mexico; the restrictions are expected to be revealed sometime today (Reuters).

  • Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has mandated that all law firms and other legal services close their physical offices, as part of a larger order specifying that non-life-sustaining businesses must close (PA.gov).

  • California ordered its 40 million residents to stay at home except for essential activities (Wall Street Journal).

Alberta

  • 146 confirmed cases; an increase of 27 since yesterday. Cases have been identified in all zones across the province: 101 cases in the Calgary zone, 29 cases in the Edmonton zone, 10 cases in the North zone, 3 cases in the Central zone, 3 cases in the South zone.

    • First confirmed COVID-19-related death in the province (the individual was a male in his 60s who had been admitted to ICU in the Edmonton zone on March 12 and had pre-existing conditions).

British Columbia

  • 271 confirmed cases; an increase of 40 since yesterday, 1 death (connected to the Lynn Valley Care Centre). Confirmed cases by region: Vancouver Coastal Health: 152, Fraser Health: 81, Island Health: 22, Interior Health: 12, Northern Health: 4.

  • The government is waiving the Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage wait period for people moving back to B.C. from COVID-19-impacted areas. In addition, the B.C. government is planning to provide health coverage to British Columbians who are out of province and unable to return (MSP).

Ontario

  • Doug Ford has called upon the auto industry to manufacture ventilators and other medical equipment. He announced that talks are ongoing between the government and companies such as Linamar, GM, etc. (Financial Post)

    • Ford said he has also been in touch with the CEO of Magna International, another auto parts manufacturer, to help with ventilator production (CTV).

  • Premier Ford, Minister Elliott and Minister Lecce to make an announcement at Queen's Park at 12:30 p.m. (EDT).

Quebec

  • Hotels are being asked to clear their beds in case public health needs the space to accommodate patients not infected with COVID-19 (CBC).

March 19, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he expects new restrictions on non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border to take effect Friday night. Both sides are still fine-tuning the agreement. Essential supplies will still flow (CBC).

    • Travellers crossing the border for recreational and tourism purposes will be stopped; Canadian citizens and permanent residents will still be able to get home.

    • Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said international students, workers on visas and temporary foreign workers will also be able to enter Canada, with the expectation that they'll self-isolate for 14 days.

    • Bill Morneau said Parliament could be recalled this weekend or early next week to pass the legislation required to distribute the money.

  • Government of Canada funds 49 additional COVID-19 research projects (News Release).

    • The investment will support 49 researchers across the country whose teams will focus on developing and implementing measures to rapidly detect, manage and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

U.S. – Federal

  • The Trump administration plans to increasingly emphasize social distancing as the primary method to contain the new coronavirus, a shift away from its recent focus on accelerating widespread testing as a containment tool, according to officials (Wall Street Journal).

Alberta 

  • Pharmacists to assess Albertans for COVID-19, manage drug supply (News Release)

    • Alberta government-sponsored Coverage for Seniors and Non-Group Coverage programs will pay a lower co-payment for prescriptions.

British Columbia

  • No new updates.

Ontario

  • Emergency sitting sees two critical pieces of legislation receive unanimous consent (News Release):

    • Municipal Emergency Act, 2020 (S.O. 2020, c. 4, Bill 187), in force March 19, 2020.

      • The Municipal Act, 2001 and the City of Toronto Act, 2006 are amended to provide that, during emergencies, members of councils, local boards and committees who participate electronically in open and closed meetings may be counted for purposes of quorum.

      • The Municipal Act, 2001 is also amended to allow regulations be made imposing limits and conditions on the powers of a municipality.

  • Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 (S.O. 2020, c. 3, Bill 186)

    • Provides job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or daycare closures or to care for other relatives.

    • Applies to most employees and employers in Ontario and not people in sectors that fall under federal jurisdiction, including employees working for banks, airports, inter-provincial and international rail, and federal crown corporations.

    • These measures are retroactive to January 25, 2020 (Backgrounder).

  • Ontario courts and tribunals are limiting in-person proceedings (Statement):

    • The Superior Court of Justice and Small Claims Court has suspended all regular court operations.

    • Ontario Court of Justice has established procedures to reduce the number of people who attend court in-person for criminal and family matters. All non-urgent matters have been adjourned.

    • The Court of Appeal has suspended all scheduled appeals until April 3, 2020 (urgent appeals will be heard based on either the written materials or remotely).

  • The validity period of driving products, services and health cards has been extended (News Release).

    • These new regulations include extensions for driver licences, licence plate validation and Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration certificates, among others.

  • 257 cases now confirmed, an increase of 43 since yesterday; second death confirmed in Halton (a man in his 50s).

Quebec 

  • When it is not essential, François Legault has advised not to travel from one Quebec region to another (Press Conference).

  • 121 cases now confirmed, an increase of 27 since yesterday.

Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Trudeau is set to address the public today – at 11 a.m. (EDT).

U.S. – Federal

  • President Trump said he will expand the nation's diagnostic testing capacity and deploy a Navy hospital ship to New York City, which is rapidly becoming an epicenter of the pandemic (CBC).

Alberta

  • Total confirmed cases now 119; 22 new cases since yesterday.

    • 83 cases in the Calgary zone; 27 cases in the Edmonton zone; four cases in the North zone; three cases in the Central zone; two cases in the South zone.

  • New funding and supportive measures will provide immediate financial relief to Alberta’s families, vulnerable populations, local businesses and employers (News Release).

    • Small business customers, in addition to payment deferrals on loans and lines of credit, will be provided access to additional working capital.

British Columbia

  • Total confirmed cases now 231; 45 new cases since yesterday; seven deaths; five recovered.

    • Confirmed cases by region: Vancouver Coastal Health: 144, Fraser Health: 58, Island Health: 16, Interior Health: 9, Northern Health: 4.

  • Ferries are reducing food and retail services to minimal levels on board ships and at our terminals effective March 18, 2020 (News Release).

  • Chief inspector of mines has communicated to all major mines, sand and gravel and placer operations in B.C. to ensure they are complying with the orders and directives issued by the provincial health officer (News Release).

  • Insurance brokers will be able to conduct ICBC business, such as vehicle insurance renewals, by phone and email (Insurance Corporation of B.C.).

Ontario

  • All provincial parks will be closed to the public from March 19, 2020, until April 30, 2020.

  • The Ontario government is expected to pass emergency legislation today aimed at protecting workers who are forced to stay home (CBC). The Legislature is scheduled to sit at 1 p.m. (EDT).

    • The house leader says he expects the bill to pass with unanimous consent from all parties.

  • Ford and several cabinet ministers will take questions from media at Queen's Park at 12 p.m. (EDT).

  • The TTC reported this morning that one of its workers has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee works at the agency's Duncan Shop, where buses are repaired and overhauled.

Quebec

  • Teachers across Quebec say they are worried after receiving a notice stating their assignments, schedules and workplaces could be modified at any time because their collective agreements are no longer considered binding (CTV).

March 18, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses (Department of Finance).

    • Support for businesses: The measures introduced today include a deferral of payment of income tax until after August 31, 2020, an increase in the available credit for businesses and farms, and the launch of a program to purchase up to C$50-billion of insured mortgage pools through CMHC to provide stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders and support continued lending to businesses and consumers.

    • Support for workers: Several measures were announced to provide support for workers, including Emergency Care Benefits and Emergency Support Benefits, waiver of certain EI requirements, extension of the tax filing deadline, provision of a 10 per cent wage subsidy for the next 90 days for eligible small businesses, and increased flexibility to lenders to defer mortgage payments on homeowner government-insured mortgage loans.

  • The government is not legally ordering a curfew/isolation under the Emergencies Act or limiting domestic travel yet.

U.S. – Federal

  • Senate passes Bill to Combat Pandemic as administration proposes direct payments to Americans (Wall Street Journal)

    • It will provide free testing for the COVID-19 disease and require smaller employers to provide at least two weeks of paid sick leave to many of those affected by the crisis.

    • It will also increase Medicaid funding, expand unemployment insurance, and provide more money for food stamps, aiming to provide an initial safety net as layoffs begin and coronavirus cases hit every state.

British Columbia

  • 186 confirmed, including seven deaths and five cases listed as resolved.

Alberta

  • 97 now confirmed.

Ontario

  • 212 confirmed cases, up by 22 today, including one death.

  • The Ontario legislature has been recalled for an emergency one-day session tomorrow (at 1 p.m. EDT) to allow the province to pass two pieces of legislation designed to give Ontarians relief during the provincial state of emergency (Queen’s Park).

    • After the one-day sitting, the legislature will resume on March 25, when Finance Minister Rod Phillips is expected to deliver a pared down version of the 2020 Ontario budget, which will include a fiscal and economic update.

    • The Ford government is also spending C$300-million in surge funding to help the fight against COVID-19.

  • Chief Medical Officer of Health has recommended that licensed retirement homes only allow essential visitors (Statement).

Quebec

  • 94 confirmed, including 20 new cases announced today, and the first death (an elderly person in the Lanaudière region).

  • Harmonization with the federal government for the income tax remittance and provisional accounts delayed to August 31 (Press Conference Transcript).

  • Quebec's largest farmers' union is asking the federal government to let temporary foreign workers into the country, saying they are essential to keep Quebec's agricultural industry afloat (CBC).

Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canada, U.S. to close border to non-essential travel (The Globe and Mail).

  • Poloz press conference fuels Bank of Canada rate cut speculation

    • Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will speak to reporters Wednesday in a joint press conference with Finance Minister Bill Morneau, stoking speculation the central bank will cut interest rates again. Poloz and Morneau will hold a news conference at 11:15 a.m. (EDT), according to an advisory from the Ministry of Finance. Morneau is expected to release a stimulus package of about one per cent of GDP in a bid to help stave off a recession as Canada grapples with fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and a sharp drop in oil prices (Advisory).

  • Effective at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020, Parks Canada is temporarily suspending all visitor services in all national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas across the country until further notice (News Release).

U.S. – Federal

  • Stocks, bonds and commodities fell Wednesday in a simultaneous sell-off that suggests investors and companies are trying to raise cash as rapidly as possible to cope with the economic disruption sparked by the coronavirus pandemic (Wall Street Journal).

Alberta

  • Alberta Order declaring a state of public health emergency: O.C. 80/2020; and O.C.64/2020 Employment Standards (COVID-19) Leave Regulation.

British Columbia

  • The provincial health officer has declared a public health emergency (as at 5:50 p.m. (PDT) yesterday evening) (News Release)

    • 83 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 186 cases; of the total cases, 116 are in Vancouver Coastal, 47 are in Fraser, 12 are on Vancouver Island, seven are in Interior and four are in northern health regions.

    • Effective immediately, businesses with liquor primary licences, such as bars, pubs and night clubs, must close.

Ontario

  • Ontario taking another step to integrate the health-care system (News Release).

    • Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, issued a transfer order (this morning at 9:30AM) under the Connecting Care Act, 2019 to transfer the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) to Ontario Health, the province's new health agency. The transfer will take effect on April 1, 2020.

Quebec

  • State of emergency has been declared O.C. 177-2020; cases rise to 74.

  • Premier Francois Legault is scheduled to speak around 1 p.m. (EDT).

March 17, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is looking into recalling Parliament for a brief period in order to pass additional emergency legislative measures, such as changes to employment insurance, as Canada continues to ratchet up its response to COVID-19 (CBC).
    • "Tomorrow we will be making another major announcement on economic actions to support Canadians. By the end of the week, we will have more to say about changes for the upcoming tax season.”

    • “The government is also examining the Emergencies Act to decide if it should be invoked, or if there are other ways for the government to take steps to protect the public….”

    • “This crisis could last weeks, months....”

U.S. – Federal

  • White House seeks US$850-billion from Congress in coronavirus relief push (Wall Street Journal).
    • White House stimulus package now estimated at US$1-trillion, including initial US$250-billion in direct payments to Americans – official says administration will push additional direct payments in coming weeks if needed.

      • U.S. stocks jumped higher after a punishing selloff Monday as the Federal Reserve and White House moved to soften the economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic.

    • The stimulus plan will include roughly US$50-billion for the airline industry, as well as billions of dollars in general stimulus that could include a payroll tax cut.

    • Government will postpone the April 15 tax-payment deadline for millions of individuals; the IRS will waive interest and penalties.

Alberta

  • The government will declare a state of public health emergency later today, empowering authorities under the Public Health Act (Alberta Update).
    • Alberta’s Provincial Operations Centre has also been elevated from a level 3 to a level 4, the highest level.

    • Effective immediately and until further notice, the Alberta government is implementing additional measures, including cancelling events that have more than 50 people; until further notice, all Albertans are restricted from attending bars and nightclubs.

    • Municipalities, charitable and non-profit organizations providing social services support will immediately see C$60-million to support their COVID-19 response.

British Columbia

  • K-12 schools are now suspended, news comes as four deaths and 103 cases now reported; gatherings of more than 50 people ordered to be cancelled.

  • B.C. Centre for Disease Control said its supply of swabs used to test for COVID-19 has become "critically limited” (CBC).

  • The B.C. premier and the ministers of education and finance are holding a news conference at noon (PDT).

Ontario

  • Death in Ontario (Barrie) potentially related to COVID-19; individual was a 77-year-old man (News Release).

Quebec

  • Press conference with Mr. François Legault, Prime Minister and Ms. Danielle McCann, Minister of Health and Social Services (only available in French) (Press Conference).
    • Now 63 cases, 3,500 under investigation; 22 designated clinics, 31 very soon.

    • Legault met with the three opposition leaders and agreed together to adopt the appropriations, the budget and certain bills. “For example, there were bills that affected pharmacists, nurses, so we passed these bills there, and we close the Assembly until April 21.”

    • In the coming days, Pierre Fitzgibbon will announce measures to help all businesses that have liquidity problems.

    • Confirmation that income tax returns for individuals are postponed to June 1; confirmation that all income tax remittance and provisional account postponed to July 31.
Last updated at 10 a.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Bank of Canada unveils new measures to support financial system, mortgage markets (Globe and Mail article is attached).
    • The bank issued a notice Monday that it will broaden the eligible forms of collateral under its term repo facility, under which the central bank temporarily buys treasury bills from dealers as a means to provide a “backstop” for financial institutions’ funding needs.

U.S. – Federal

  • President Donald Trump said the crisis could stretch into August, adding the administration may look at locking down “certain areas” (White House Briefing).
    • The White House aims to deploy at least US$800-billion in aid in the coming weeks to prop up the U.S. economy, as retailers, restaurants, sporting events and other businesses shut down and Americans slow their spending while staying home to guard against the coronavirus pandemic. Among the administration’s targets this week: providing relief in the form of tax deferments, loans or even direct payments to airlines, the hospitality industry and small-to-medium businesses crippled by plunging demand (Politico).

    • The possibility of nationwide curfews continues to be debated. Many cities and states have already taken aggressive steps toward curbing social gatherings as the coronavirus outbreak progresses in the United States. For example, New Jersey residents are no longer allowed to travel from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Alberta

  • 18 additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Alberta, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 74. Cases have now been identified in all zones across the province. One Edmonton zone and one Calgary zone case have been confirmed to be the result of community transmission (Full Update).
  • 52 cases in the Calgary zone; 18 cases in the Edmonton zone; two cases in the Central zone; one case in the South zone; one case in the North zone.

  • The Provincial Court of Alberta and Court of Queen’s Bench are limiting operations.

Ontario

  • Ontario enacts declaration of emergency to protect the public as a result of this declaration and its associated orders; the following establishments are legally required to close immediately (News Release):
    • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs

    • All public libraries

    • All private schools as defined in the Education Act

    • All licensed childcare centres

    • All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery

    • All theatres, including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies

    • Concert venues

  • All organized public events of over 50 people are also prohibited, including parades and events and communal services within places of worship.

  • Ontario is also investing up to C$304-million to enhance the province's response.

Quebec

  • Starting today, Quebec will try to increase its testing capacity from 1,600 to 6,000 daily (Gazette).
    • Quebec is creating a new program for employees who must self-isolate but are not eligible for the employment-insurance benefits from Ottawa.

    • Quebec now has 50 cases confirmed; nearly 3,000 people have tested negative.

March 16, 2020
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Today, Justin Trudeau announced the closure of the Canadian border (air/land/water) to all non-Canadians and permanent residents, with the exception of U.S. citizens, diplomats, crew and immediate family members of citizens. The closure does apply to commerce/trade. He also mentioned that an announcement will be made tomorrow regarding employment insurance and other worker benefits (CBC).

British Columbia

  • Join statement on B.C.'s COVID-19 response (News Release).
    • Three deaths, 30 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 103 cases in British Columbia.

    • Several of the new cases are related to the Pacific Dental Conference 2020 held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on March 6 and 7, 2020.

    • All public gatherings of more than 50 people prohibited.

Alberta

  • COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (News Release).
    • Student attendance at schools is now prohibited; in-person post-secondary classes are cancelled. Campuses will remain open.

    • All licensed childcare facilities, out-of-school care programs and preschool programs are closed indefinitely.

    • All long-term-care and other continuing-care facilities are advised to limit visitation to essential visitors only.

    • 17 additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Alberta, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 56. Three of the new cases are in the Edmonton zone and 14 are in the Calgary zone.

    • At least two cases identified in the last two days appear to have been acquired through community transmission from an unknown source, and seven cases occurred as a result of a single gathering in the Calgary zone.

Ontario

  • Premier ford announces job protection for workers during the COVID-19 situation; Ontario budget has also been postponed (News Release).
    • The government intends to introduce legislation that, if passed, would immediately provide job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures.

    • They are also reviewing current access and eligibility to emergency assistance.

Quebec

  • Quebec government to provide update on new financial measures to deal with COVID-19 impact (news conference in progress):
    • Quebec will provide C$573 per week for workers in isolation who don't qualify for other income compensation measures.

    • 50 confirmed cases in Quebec on Monday, up from 39 on Sunday. The first COVID-19 patient detected in Montreal has recovered.

    • Increased screening coming at Montréal's Trudeau airport.

    • Recreational and leisure sites are closed until further notice, including bars, gyms and movie theatres.