COVID-19 Update for June 18, 2020 – All Province

Across the provinces

With Ontario reporting 173 new cases today, the total topped 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Canada since the start of the pandemic.

Here are the latest steps being taken by provinces and territories to re-open their economies while still fighting the spread of the virus.

British Columbia – BC’s government approved a temporary wholesale pricing model allowing liquor licensees to purchase beer, wine, and spirits at reduced cost. The government is hoping the measure will help restaurants and tourism operators recover from COVID-19. It will be in place until March 31 of next year, at which point the program will be reviewed.

Alberta – As part of Alberta’s continued Phase Two re-opening, a number of provincial historic sites have been given the greenlight to re-open this coming Saturday: Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, Oil Sands Discovery Centre, Remington Carriage Museum, Reynolds-Alberta Museum and Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. The big news item from Alberta this week was the release of the long-awaited Fair Deal Panel report (on what a fair deal in Confederation looks like for Alberta), which was partially delayed by COVID-19. You can read the panel’s final report here and the government’s response here.

Saskatchewan – Finance Minister Donna Harpauer presented her province’s full Budget 2020-21 on Monday. You can read Enterprise’s analysis here. Back in March, with pandemic uncertainty on the rise, Premier Scott Moe’s government introduced spending estimates for the year but no revenue forecasts. In what may be a sign of government budgets to come amid the ongoing uncertainty, this week’s budget didn’t include projections for future years. It maintained a sharp focus on economic recovery from COVID-19, but also a $2.4-billion deficit attributed to recent events.

Manitoba – Premier Brian Pallister yesterday unveiled details of Phase Three of Manitoba’s re-opening, which officially begins this coming Sunday (June 21). Key items include fully lifting capacity limits for restaurants and bars (with some distancing requirements still in place) and allowing residents of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and northwestern Ontario to enter Manitoba without being subject to the 14 day self-isolation requirement.

Ontario – Premier Doug Ford today announced that the Government of Ontario is releasing an enhanced case management and contact tracing strategy, Protecting Ontarians through Enhanced Case and Contact Management. A new, made-in-Ontario contact tracing app called COVID Alert is also being launched, to notify Ontarians when they may have been exposed to the virus. Ford emphasized that the app aims to protect personal privacy of users. It is expected to be available within the next two weeks.

Québec – The province is taking its next step towards re-opening with the resumption of sports activities. Beginning Monday, indoor sports facilities as well as public and private beaches will be able to open again. The government this week also unveiled plans for the coming school year in September: while schools will be able to re-open at full capacity, students will be organized into sub-groups within their classrooms and will have to adhere to distancing requirements.

New Brunswick – There are no new actions or measures to report for New Brunswick since our last update.

Nova Scotia – Premier Stephen McNeil and chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang today announced new gathering limits, allowing groups of up to 10 to gather without physical distancing. Up to 50 can gather with physical distancing limits in place. Businesses too small for distancing can have a maximum of up to 10 people inside at once.

Prince Edward Island – Finance Minister Darlene Compton yesterday unveiled Prince Edward Island’s 2020-21 Budget. The $2.2 billion budget comes with a $173 million deficit. Of note, the budget includes $65 million in contingencies for COVID-19 and a reduction in the small business tax rate from 3% to 2% beginning January 1. You can read the full budget here. Like Saskatchewan’s budget earlier this week, PEI’s budget does not have line by line forecasts for future years.

Newfoundland and Labrador – After weeks of each day resulting in no new confirmed cases or very few, Newfoundland and Labrador is moving to the next step of its re-opening plan, Alert Level 2, on June 25.

Yukon – The government announced further re-openings starting July 1, including allowing restaurants to move to 100% capacity and allowing up to 50 people to attend outdoor gatherings. Guidelines have also been issued for recreation centres and gyms.

Northwest Territories – The Business Development and Investment Corporation is extending its three-month Payment Deferral/Reduction initiative, previously set to expire at the end of this month, until March 31, 2021. It’s not automatic, however: businesses will need to request the extension.

Nunavut – As Nunavut begins to open up next week, health officials confirmed that five visitors per household will remain the recommended limit. Under the existing public health order, gatherings in private residences are limited to the number of people normally living there plus five who do not normally live there. The territory’s Chief Public Health Officer made the reminder during yesterday’s update at the Legislative Assembly.

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 organization below:

Many thanks.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

The Enterprise Team

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