COVID-19 Update for April 16, 2020 – All Province Update

Across the provinces

As Canada passes 30,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, some provinces and territories are expanding previously declared states of emergency, while continuing to take other steps to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Here is a summary of the latest measures taken by the provinces and territories:

British Columbia – The BC government is stepping in to provide extra relief for businesses and municipalities. A new set of initiatives announced today include a 25% property tax reduction for businesses and a series of cash flow measures for municipalities, including interest-free borrowing from capital reserves and delaying school tax remittances. BC is also extending the province’s state of emergency, thereby enabling continued use of powers under its Emergency Program Act. Under BC law, a declared state of emergency can be extended for up to 14 days at a time.

Alberta – Yesterday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced a massive $53 million mental health and addictions funding boost to support Albertans struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new funding is in addition to the $140 million announced in the Kenney government’s first budget last year. Overall, Alberta’s funding for mental health supports during COVID-19 is more than what has been announced so far by all other provinces and territories combined.

Saskatchewan – The Government of Saskatchewan announced relief measures for the province’s oil and gas industry, including extending filing deadlines, extending mineral rights by one year, and reducing the industry’s portion of the Oil and Gas Administrative Levy by 50%. The Saskatchewan Health Authority also brought in stronger screening and masking requirements, now doing daily screenings of any staff member entering an SHA facility.

Manitoba – Manitoba yesterday called back the Legislature for an emergency sitting to move ahead on COVID-19 related items. The province made amendments to the Emergency Measures Act and provided spending authority for $1 billion in pandemic-related spending. A previously announced mental health support program to help Manitobans cope with COVID-19 is officially up and running as of today.

Ontario – Premier Doug Ford’s government today announced a major expansion of hospital capacity: 1,035 acute care beds and 1,492 critical care beds. Earlier this week, Ford announced an extension of the province’s Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until May 12. He also announced a new action plan to protect long-term care home residents, including a series of measures to increase testing, manage outbreaks, and grow the long-term care workforce.

Québec – Citing the pandemic, the Government of Québec is moving ahead with its plan to hike the province’s minimum wage by $0.60 on May 1, up to $13.10 per hour. Wages for workers making tips are also moving up, to $10.45 an hour. Wages for those picking raspberries and strawberries are increasing to $3.89 and $1.04 per kilogram, respectively. The province is also providing $20 million in emergency assistance for regional community organizations.

New Brunswick – The Government of New Brunswick has expanded its testing protocols for COVID-19, hoping to identify more cases. The province also established new protocols for individuals and businesses who want to donate personal protective equipment.

Nova Scotia – COVID-19 projections released by Nova Scotia anticipate that identified cases will rise to 1,453 by June 30 if Nova Scotians follow public health orders. If they don’t, the projections show cases rising to 6,269.

Prince Edward Island – PEI has declared a state of emergency over COVID-19 and extended the previously declared public health emergency by another 30 days. PEI also released COVID-19 projections. They are anticipating 120 hospital stays by June 1 if strong controls stay in place, but up to 14,000 hospital stays with mild controls.

Newfoundland and Labrador – Like other provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador is expanding its testing criteria for COVID-19, hoping to identify more cases.

Yukon – With only eight confirmed cases so far, the Yukon government has been able to trace each case to its origin with no signs of community transmission yet, according to the territory’s Chief Medical Officer.

Northwest Territories – NWT’s Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency have both been extended to April 28. The government also brought in regulatory changes to allow tenants to defer their rent if their income has significantly declined.

Nunavut – Nunavut’s Department of Education will cover parental fees for licensed child care facilities until April 21, to ensure that staff can continue to be paid while facilities themselves remain closed.

We hope you are finding these COVID-19 updates useful. In addition to trying to keep on top of the fast-changing situation, Enterprise is also working to support local charities during these challenging times. If you are able, your contributions to this effort would be deeply appreciated.

To donate, please click on the link.

Many thanks.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

The Enterprise Team

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