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Bulletin | Covid-19

Daily Workplace Wrap-up on COVID-19 for May 20, 2020

Reading Time 4 minute read

Labour, Employment & Human Rights Bulletin

Below are the key government announcements made on May 20, 2020 that touch on workplace issues. Our daily (weekday) and weekend overviews of previous government announcements, employment analyses and other COVID-19 information are available here

The Federal Government

On May 19, 2020, the government announced proposed legislative changes to suspend certain time limits, including those regarding temporary lay-offs under the Canada Labour Code (section 30 of the Canada Labour Standards Regulations). The draft legislative proposals will be online for 10 days. Employers are invited to share their comments with the government.

The government announced that applications and updated criteria for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program for small businesses are now available, and that the program will be opened for applications on May 25, 2020.

The government also announced that the application process for the government's Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) program is now open. The program will support eligible large employers whose needs are not being met through conventional financing.


The government announced stricter safety measures for international travellers arriving at the Calgary and Edmonton international airports. International travellers arriving at those airports will be subject to an infrared temperature scan. Travellers with an elevated body temperature will be subject to further screening.

International travellers will also be required to fill out a form detailing (i) the location at which the traveller will isolate for the required 14 days; (ii) how the traveller will get to their isolation location; and (iii) plans for getting essentials (e.g. food and medications) at the isolation location.

The government indicated that similar checkpoints will be implemented at the Alberta-U.S. border in the future.

British Columbia

There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on May 20, 2020.


The government announced that portions of Phase 2 of the provincial reopening plan will be implemented May 22, 2020. The limit for indoor gatherings will increase to 25 people and the limit for outdoor gatherings will increase to 50 people, if physical distancing measures are in place. The government also confirmed that limited outdoor visitation at personal care homes and the reopening of further businesses will be permitted in the near future.

The government also announced an additional $10-million in grants to support community development projects under its Building Sustainable Communities program. These grants are available to eligible non-profit and charitable organizations, municipalities, and Northern Affairs community councils. 

New Brunswick

The government announced that teachers may begin to return to schools as early as June 1, 2020 to perform work. School will remain closed to students for the remainder of the academic year.

The government requested funding from the federal government for a temporary monthly top-up payment for certain front-line workers. The federal government had not provided a response as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T.

Newfoundland and Labrador

There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on May 20, 2020.

Nova Scotia

The government announced that currently-paused healthcare services will begin to gradually restart, commencing with clinic-based day and short-stay surgeries on May 25, 2020.


The government recommended that individuals wear face coverings when physical distancing is not possible, including in workplaces and on public transit. The Ministry of Health published guidance and a poster (PDF) on the wearing of face coverings.

Prince Edward Island

Phase 2 of the government's Renew PEI plan will start on May 22, 2020 with, among other things, further easing of restrictions and the permitted reopening of certain retail, indoor, childcare and non-urgent healthcare businesses and services.


The Deputy Premier announced that outdoor gatherings will be permitted in all regions as of May 22, 2020. Gatherings are to be capped at a maximum of 10 people from a maximum of 3 different households. A 2-meter distance should be maintained between individuals from different households. 

The government also announced that:

  • the following private healthcare clinics throughout the province may reopen on June 1, 2020: dental clinics, therapeutic care clinics (physiotherapists, optometrists, psychologists, social workers, nutritionists), alternative medicine providers, pet grooming businesses; and
  • the following aesthetic and personal care businesses that have their own exterior exit (i.e. which are not internally located in shopping centres, etc.) may reopen (with restrictions to be confirmed) on June 1, 2020 throughout the province, with the exceptions of the region of Montreal and the Regional County Municipality of Joliette: hairdressers, barbers, beauty shops, manicure salons, skin treatment centres, tattoo and piercing centres.

All reopening businesses are expected to provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment and follow all public health requirements.


There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on May 20, 2020.

Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Yukon

There were no major government updates in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories or the Yukon as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on May 20, 2020.

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