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Bulletin | Covid-19

Daily Workplace Wrap-up on COVID-19 for May 5, 2020

Fasken
Reading Time 4 minute read
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Labour, Employment & Human Rights Bulletin

Below are the key government announcements made on May 5, 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

The Prime Minister announced an aid package of more than $252-million to support farmers, food businesses, and food processors, including:

  • more than $77-million for food processors to adapt hygiene and health protocols, purchase more personal protective equipment, maintain physical distancing measures, and respond to emerging pressures from COVID-19; and
  • a $50-million Surplus Food Purchase Program, to allow the government to bulk buy certain perishable products and redistribute them to organization addressing food insecurity.

Alberta

The government announced that it will introduce Bill 14, the Utility Payment Deferral Program Act, in the legislature on May 6, 2020. Bill 14 is expected to include new financial relief for businesses, including utility bill payment deferrals until June 18, 2020.

British Columbia

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

Manitoba

The government announced a new $45-million program for Manitoba's seniors, aged 65 and older. The new Seniors Economic Recovery Credit provides a one-time $200 tax credit to each recipient, which will be mailed as a cheque. The tax credit will not be counted as taxable income nor will it claw back income-tested benefits to seniors. 

New Brunswick

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

Newfoundland and Labrador

The following legislation was introduced in the House of Assembly:

  • Bill 34, which would amend the Liquor Control Act and the Liquor Corporation Act to give the board authority to temporarily authorize certain licensees and their employees to sell and deliver alcohol for personal consumption;
  • Bill 35, which would temporarily allow lawyers to witness documents identified in the Wills Act, Notaries Public Act, Commissioners for Oaths Act and Registration of Deeds Act, 2009 using audio-visual technology;
  • Bill 36, which would amend the Temporary Variation of Statutory Deadlines Act to change the expiry of the Act to September 30, 2020;
  • Bill 37, which would amend the Pharmacy Act, 2012 to allow the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board to issue emergency registrations to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians where there is an immediate need for services due to an actual or potential threat to public safety, health or welfare or where the federal Minister of Health makes a request; and
  • Bill 38, which would amend the Public Health Protection and Promotion Act to:
    • allow for the authorization of peace officers to enforce the Chief Medical Officer of Health's orders during a public health emergency, including the authority to detain individuals and to convey individuals to a point of entry in the province;
    • clarify the powers of inspectors; and
    • allow inspectors to require an individual to stop a motor vehicle.

None of these bills had become law as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T.

Nova Scotia

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

Ontario

The government announced the expansion of virtual mental health services for, among others, frontline healthcare workers experiencing anxiety and depression during the pandemic.

The government also issued a new temporary emergency order on May 4, 2020. The order retroactively exempts certain public sector compensation increases related to COVID-19 from counting towards the maximum compensation increases permissible under the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2000. The exemption applies to specific workplaces, such as long-term care homes, and to certain frontline workers whom the government will support with additional COVID-19 pay. 

Prince Edward Island

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

Quebec

Premier Legault confirmed that there is an ongoing shortage of 11,200 full-time staff in the healthcare sector. The Premier announced that the government expects to develop new bonuses to incentivize full-time work and new workers in the sector.

The government announced that as of May 11, 2020, an individual's "significant caregiver" will be able to visit them in a long term care facility or residence (CHSLD), with some exceptions. Caregivers will have to comply with infection prevention protocols. Others may "meet" residents of long-term care facilities or residences outdoors, so long as they maintain a 2-metre distance at all times.

Finally, the government announced that as of May 11, 2020, special measures will be in place to require essential businesses to provide set times during which only seniors will be served.

Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Health Authority announced (PDF) a phased resumption of provincial health care services starting May 19, 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 5, 2020.

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