Updated Wednesday, June 3, 2020
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario is extending the provincial Declaration of Emergency to June 30. The decision supports the government's efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and protect the health and safety of Ontarians as the province reopens in a measured and responsible way. The extension, under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, was approved by the Ontario legislature earlier today.
New Regulation will protect employees from permanet layoffs and businesses from potential closures.
Funds will be made available to regional destination marketing organizations (The Ottawa Valley Tourist Association in Renfrew County) with applications to be made through the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO).
As more workplaces open, essential travel is expected to increase. If you are returning to or entering Canada for essential work and have no COVID-19 symptoms, you may not need to self-isolate. Monitor your health for 14 days after each entry and follow local public health guidance.
Aiming to minimize layoffs and bandruptcies, the LEEFF provides bridge loans to significant large companies in Canada with revenues greater than $300 million that require financing for over $60 million.
May 19, 2020 10:00 A.M. - Ontario Extends Emergency Orders to Keep People Safe
The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force until May 29, 2020. That includes the closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery only, restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women's shelters. The government is also allowing drive-in religious gatherings.
Today, the province officially enters the first stage of its Framework for Reopening the Province. As part of this initial stage, the government is permitting the reopening of some outdoor recreational amenities, including outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, off-leash dog areas, and outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters in parks and recreational areas, effective as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
Outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, fitness equipment, public swimming pools, splash pads and similar outdoor water facilities will remain closed until later stages of the province's reopening plan.
May 14, 2020 1:30 pm - Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen - Additional seasonal, retail and household businesses must follow public health guidelines
Today the Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government's reopening framework. The workplaces opening as part of this stage are well-positioned to put workplace safety measures in place and get more people back to work, while not overburdening public transit and other services.
The government also announced additional seasonal services and activities will be permitted to open as early as Saturday May 16, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, as key public health indicators continue to show progress.
As soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020:
The government's responsible and measured approach to reopening will allow business owners and service provider's time to ensure workplaces are safe for staff, consumers and the general public. Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, Ontario's first stage of reopening will begin on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will include:
The government and health and safety associations have released more than 90 safety guidance documents to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing. As new sectors of the economy begin to reopen, additional resources will be made available to help protect the safety of workers and the general public.
To support business-owners, workers and the economic recovery of the province, the government has launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.
To ensure that these first actions to reopen the province are a success, the public should continue to adhere to public health measures, including practising physical distancing or wearing a face covering when physical distancing is difficult or not possible, as well as regular handwashing and staying home when ill. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when certain public health restrictions, including adjustments to social gatherings can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.
May 13, 2020 - The Federal Government of Canada announced the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to be delivered through the Regional Development Agencies to support businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism, seasonal industries and others.
The RRRF is specifically targeted toward those that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 but have been unable to access existing support measures such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).
The RRRF is now accepting applications from businesses and communities. Details on eligibility and how to apply can be found through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
Applications are now being accepted under two streams:
Please visit the FedDev Ontario website for more information or to apply under this stream.
In order to provide targeted assistance to the small towns and communities they serve, CFDCs, who will deliver this stream of funding, will focus on assisting “main street” businesses, such as retail shops, restaurants and corner stores, etc., and businesses of strategic importance to their communities, with loans up to $40,000.
Please apply directly through Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation (RCCFDC) for funding through this stream.
The Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until June 2nd. This additional time will ensure the province has the necessary tools and health care capacity to contain COVID-19, while gradually reopening businesses, services, and amenities safely.
A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
May 11, 2020 - Ontario Retail Stores Open for Curbside Pickup and Delivery
Health and safety guidelines in place to protect workers and customers
Starting today, more people will be returning to work across the province as the Ontario government allows retail stores with a street entrance to offer curbside pickup and delivery. Over the weekend, garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores began offering in-store purchasing. All retailers should follow available safety guidelines in order to protect staff, consumers and the general public during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In addition, provincial parks and conservation reserves will begin opening today with limited access. To start, recreational activities will be restricted to walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching. People will be able to access all parks and conservation reserves for free until the end of the month.
The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and its health and safety association partners have now released over 80 sector-specific health and safety guidelines, including guidelines for curbside pickup and delivery services. The Ministry of Health has also released a Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces. Business owners should use these guidelines to develop reopening plans that work for their business and protect workers, customers and the general public as the province prepares for the gradual reopening of the economy.
May 8, 2020 - Onatario economy gradually and safely being re-opened
As of today, garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases. Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases as soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. On Monday at 12:01 a.m., non-essential retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery.
May 7, 2020 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that an agreement has been reached with all provinces and territories to top up the wages of some essential front-line workers including those in long-term care facilities where COVID-19 has spread among both residents and staff, with deadly impact. (Further details to come.)
May 6, 2020 - Ontario Extends Electricity Rate Relief During COVID-19
The Ontario government is extending emergency electricity rate relief to families, farms and small businesses until May 31, 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest price, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This electricity rate relief, initially provided for a 45-day period starting on March 24, 2020, has been extended by an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The rate relief is intended to be in place for an additional 24 days.
On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is also extending all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until May 19, 2020. The emergency orders include:
Effective immediately, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has temporarily removed the requirement for cideries to have five acres of planted fruit in order to qualify for a retail store at their cidery.
Under this temporary policy change, cideries may qualify for a retail store without having five acres of planted fruit. Manufacturers with an on-site retail store authorized by the AGCO may also sell their products online.
Regulation 719 under the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) has been amended to reduce the minimum price of spirits sold by licensed establishments with food takeout and delivery orders by 33 percent. This pricing change applies specifically to spirits with an alcohol content greater than 14.8 percent.
The reduction in minimum pricing will be revoked on January 1, 2021, matching the duration of the temporary ability for bars and restaurants to sell alcohol with food for takeout and delivery which is in place until December 31, 2020.
The reduced minimum pricing structure for spirits is only applicable to takeout and delivery orders.
May 4, 2020 - CERB reminder: Canadians who were among the first to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit must now reapply.
CERB offers $500 per week for Canadians who lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but recipients must confirm their eligibility for the program every four weeks. (Courtesy CTV News)
May 1, 2020 - Certain Businesses Allowed to Reopen Under Strict Safety Guidelines
The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects.
Today's announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health has provided general recommendations on how the openings of businesses and workplaces could be implemented to support safe operations, including strict adherence to health and safety requirements.
"We are allowing certain businesses to reopen under strict guidelines because we are confident they can operate safely and adapt to the current environment," said Premier Ford. "While further reductions in the spread are needed before we can begin reopening the province, we have the right framework and the right workplace guidelines in place to do so gradually and safely."
The government, in partnership with Ontario's health and safety associations, has developed more than 60 guidelines in response to COVID-19. These sector-specific measures will help employers prepare their workplaces so they can be reopened safely and ensure workers, customers and the general public are protected.
By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m.:
The government safety guidelines released today will provide direction to those working in manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service, and the agricultural sector. These measures build on more than 60 guidelines developed by Ontario's health and safety associations in response to COVID-19 for various sectors such as retail, health care, construction, transportation, police services, firefighters, and transit employees.
The Ontario government is launching the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the global pandemic. Businesses working to retool their operations to produce health-related products, or those that want to continue their operations in this new environment of physical distancing, can submit any potential roadblocks to the website. The province is prepared to allow temporary changes to provincial rules and regulations in order to remove any barriers that are hindering business and negatively impacting Ontario's supply chain.
April 27, 2020 1:30 pm - Ontario Unveils Guiding Principles to Reopen the Province: Premier and Ministers Commit to New Phased Approach for a Safe Restart and Recovery
Today, the Ontario government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. The framework also provides details of an outreach strategy, led by the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, to help inform the restart of the provincial economy.
The government is planning a stage-by-stage approach to reopening the economy to ensure there are appropriate measures in place so workplaces can open safely. Public health officials will carefully monitor each stage for two to four weeks, as they assess the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak to determine if it is necessary to change course to maintain public health.
Throughout each stage, continued protections for vulnerable populations must be in place, along with the continued practice of physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene, and significant mitigation plans to limit health risks.
April 27, 2020 - Applications can now be made for the Canadian Wage Subsidy, see the application guide at this link:
April 24, 2020 3:00 pm - Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs:
April 24, 2020 - Ontario Provides Urgent Relief for Small Businesses and Landlords: Rent Assistance in Addition to Billions in Measures to Support Business During the COVID-19 Outbreak
The Ontario government is partnering with the federal government to provide urgent relief for small businesses and landlords affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The total amount of provincial-federal relief that would be provided is more than $900 million, helping to ensure small businesses are ready to reopen their doors when the emergency measures are lifted.
April 17, 2020 - Federal Government Announces Support for Energy Sector, Small Businesses, Arts & Culture and Sport. (Source: Global Public Affairs)
As well as various supports for the energy sector, the Government of Canada will be providing $962 million to regional development agencies and the Community Futures Network to support smaller businesses that don’t qualify for Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) & and the Canada Emergency Business Account.
Also, for innovators and other early-stage development firms that cannot access the CEWS, the PM announced $270 million to Futurpreneur and the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)
He also announced that Canada Day will be hosted virtually and that they are working with Canadian artists and artisans to put together a virtual program
April 16, 2020 - Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
Businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 are now eligible for CEBA. Previously, the eligibility threshold for the CEBA loans was a minimum payroll of $50,000 and a maximum payroll of $1 million. Applications can be made through your bank or credit union.
April 16, 2020 - Announcing its intent to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses.
The Prime Minister reiterated the ongoing collaboration with the Premiers in the provinces and territories to launch a program that will help small businesses offset commercial rent. Further details and information on how to apply will soon be available.
The federal government will provide support of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker, to employers or those working with them to ensure requirements are fully met. The funding is conditional on employers not being found in violation of the mandatory 14-day isolation protocols or any other public health order. This program will be available as long as the Quarantine Act is in force and the isolation protocol is followed.
April 11, 2020 - House of Commons Passes Wage Subsidy Legislation, which was also given Royal Assent (Source: Global Public Affairs)
In a rare Saturday sitting in Ottawa, the House of Commons passed the federal government’s emergency wage subsidy legislation – “the largest Canadian economic policy since World War II,” the Prime Minister told the Commons. The legislation, Bill C-14, is now in the Senate which, like the House, is expected to pass it quickly, to have Royal Assent by the end of the day.
With the passage of today’s bill, the federal government will now begin to implement and deliver the $73 billion Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the 75 per cent subsidy designed to help companies avoid laying off employees over the next three months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 11, 2020 - Province Extends Emergency Orders until April 23
TORONTO — To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of people across the province, the Ontario government has extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until April 23, 2020, including the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings and the prohibition of price gouging.
In addition, new measures have been introduced to address surge capacity in retirement homes, restrict recreational camping on Crown land, and allow the repurposing of existing buildings and temporary structures. All of these actions are based on the advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.
April 9, 2020 - Ontario Starts Planning for Economic Recovery
TORONTO — The Ontario government has launched a new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee which will focus on getting businesses up and running and people back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. While the government's primary focus is on combatting the virus, supporting frontline health care workers and providing immediate relief to people and businesses, this new committee will be developing a plan to stimulate economic growth and job-creation in the weeks and months ahead.
In an effort to ensure the future sustainability of the County of Renfrew’s business, agriculture, tourism, commercial and manufacturing sectors, an economic task force has been created by the County’s Development and Property department. For full media release:
April 6, 2020 Canada Emergency Response Benefit - Applications Open Today
April 6, 2020 - The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has established the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) in partnership with the Government of Canada to help the business community prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 4, 2020 - Ontario Takes Steps to Keep Food on the Table during COVID-19
TORONTO - In order to ensure grocery store shelves remain full and families have food on the table during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Ontario is launching a new web portal, connecting workers with employers looking to fill positions in the agri-food sector. This new online tool will make it easier to match people to essential jobs and training resources throughout the provincial food supply chain.
April 3, 2020 - Ontario Extends Business Closures to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
The updated essential businesses list can be found here.
April, 2, 2020 - Unemployed during COVID-19? Here’s how to navigate federal programs
TORONTO ― To stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe, the Ontario government is launching a new $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment and ventilators. This new Fund will support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal.
March 31, 2020 7:00 am Premier Ford announces the extension of the State of Emergency in Ontario for another 2 weeks
March 30, 2020 8:45 pm - Ontario Extends Emergency Declaration to Stop the Spread of COVID-19. All Outdoor Recreational Amenities across Province Now Closed
March 28, 2020 Ontario issued a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people.
March 27, 2020 12 pm - Prime Minister Announces Increased Support for Businesses:
More Detials to come.
March 27, 2020 9:21 am - The Bank of Canada cut its key interest target by half a percentage point to 0.25 per cent in an unscheduled rate announcement today.
March 26, 2020 1 pm Ontario Provides $3.3 Billion More to Increase Health Care Capacity
March 25, 2020 10 pm - Renfrew County & District Health Unit Confirmed First Case of COVID-19 in Renfrew County
https://www.rcdhu.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020_March_25_COVID-19_Media-Release_Positive-Case_UpdatedCB.pdf Please take and practice social/physical distancing seriously.
March 25, 2020 9:45 am - Stop the Spread - Ontario Business Information Line Now Open at 1-888-444-3659
March 23, 2020 8:00 pm - Ontario issues Essential Workplacese List, Link below:
March 21, 2020 1:00 P.M. TORONTO — The Ontario Government is launching Ontario Together, a new website that will help businesses and their employees work with the province to meet the challenges of COVID-19. This initiative will remove barriers allowing Ontario's manufacturing sector to redeploy capacity towards the production of essential equipment like ventilators, masks and swabs. (Click here to go to news release)
Businesses having questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line with help available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m.
March 20, 2020: Calling all suppliers – Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (click on the previous text to take you to the Government of Canada Procurement site, www.buyandsell.gc.ca)
March 17, 2020: Ontario Enacted Declaration of Emergency to Protect the Public.
March 13, 2020 The Canadian government announced additional support to businesses by establishing a Business Credit Availability Program. This program will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses.
March 25, 2020 4:00 pm Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19