COVID-19 Update for March 26, 2020 – All Province Update

March 26, 2020

Across Canada update

With over 3,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases across Canada to date, provinces and territories are continuing to take steps to address the unfolding pandemic. Here are the most recent major actions from provincial governments.

British Columbia – Premier John Horgan and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth today announced that BC is establishing a new Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit to co-ordinate goods and services distribution. The province is also restricting the resale of food, medical, cleaning, and other essential supplies. In another significant move, the province is waiving existing bylaws restricting food delivery.

Alberta – Alberta yesterday became the latest province to introduce stiff monetary penalties for those ignoring public health guidance on social distancing. Fines from peace officers and police start at $1,000 for those who travel abroad and don’t isolate for 14 days, those who exhibit symptoms and don’t isolate (regardless of travel), and those who don’t isolate after they’ve been around someone who tested positive. Meanwhile, in more serious situations, courts can issue fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and $500,000 for subsequent offence.

Saskatchewan – Saskatchewan yesterday outlined a comprehensive list of “allowable business services.” Effective today, businesses not on the allowable list can no longer provide public-facing services.

Manitoba – Manitoba today called on the Government of Canada to immediately establish an emergency credit agency to borrow on the provinces’ behalf because the federal government can borrow at a much lower rate than the provinces. Manitoba is also issuing a plea to businesses to assist in providing products and supplies that can help in the COVID-19 fight.

Ontario – Ontario yesterday unveiled a fiscal update on what would have been their Budget Day (read Enterprise’s full analysis here). Ontario’s Action Plan delivered by Minister Rod Phillips outlines a comprehensive provincial response to COVID-19, with emphasis on extra funding for health care and supports for businesses and employees impacted by the shutdown.

Québec – As the province surpassed 1,629 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Premier François Legault issued an appeal today for volunteers in the fight against the pandemic. The Premier joined his Minister of Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity Jean Boulet to announce the launch of a web platform where anyone across Québec can register their name and get in touch with organizations and other volunteers to assist with food delivery.

New Brunswick – Premier Blaine Higgs and the Government of New Brunswick announced a series of measures to support workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19, including: income support for workers, job protection, up to $25 million in working capital for small business owners, up to $25 million in working capital for medium and large employers, and the deferral of interest and principal payments on government loans.

Prince Edward Island – In partnership with Sobeys Inc., the Government of Prince Edward Island announced an Employee Gift Card program to offer a $100 Sobeys gift card to any PEI employee laid off as a result of the pandemic.

Nova Scotia – Nova Scotia announced further emergency measures, including increased testing and the doubling of lab capacity, expanded virtual care for physicians and nurse practitioners, and requirements for regulated health professions to only remain open for emergency cases while non-regulated professions, such as naturopaths, must close.

Newfoundland and Labrador – Newfoundland and Labrador convened an urgent legislative sitting to pass a series of contingency measures. These include $200 million in contingency funds, borrowing authority for $2 billion, job-protected leave for employees, and a ban on evictions from rental properties if there’s a COVID-19 related reason for not making rent.

Yukon – The Yukon government has launched a COVID-19 Business Advisory Council comprised of 21 individuals, to advise Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai.

Northwest Territories – The territorial government established a Mutual Aid Agreement to ensure no electricity disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nunavut – Nunavut has restricted travel. As of yesterday, those seeking to enter Nunavut are required to self-isolate at designated facilities for a period of 14 days, except for critical employees not exhibiting symptoms. Those returning to Nunavut require the approval of the Chief Public Health Officer.

The Enterprise Team

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