Bulletins

January 13, 2021 – 

The linked document has been posted on the Government website. Construction specific information starts on page 23 and confirms the list of essential construction services that was circulated earlier yesterday afternoon. Enhancing Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures in the Provincewide Shutdown 

Please note that the information contained in this document is intended to communicate a summary of information about measures proposed to come into effect in Ontario or in areas of Ontario between Tuesday January 12, 2021 and Thursday, January 14, 2021. The material is not legal advice and does not purport to be or to provide an interpretation of the law. In the event of any conflict or difference between this summary information and any applicable legislation or regulation, the legislation or regulation prevails.


January 4, 2021 –
From IHSA: In response to the recent Ontario Government announcement of a province wide lock down effective 12:01 AM December 26, 2020.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour Training and Skills Development has indicated that during the provincial lock down the requirement for a written COVID-19 workplace safety plan for all operating essential businesses applies.

As of 12:01 AM Boxing Day, all operating businesses within the province of Ontario will be required to have a COVID-19 workplace safety plan available and posted.

A free customizable template and more details can be found here. Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Constructors and/or employers can access below key resources from IHSA to help in the development of the COVID-19 workplace safety plan.

 

December 21, 2020 – Ontario Announces Provincewide Shutdown to Stop Spread of COVID-19 and Save Lives. Link HERE.

At a News Conference today, the Provincial Government announced that there will be a province-wide lockdown from Boxing Day until Jan. 9 for the northern region and Jan. 23 for Southern Ontario.

The News Release does not specifically mention construction, but it is our understanding that construction remains unaffected. We will provide additional details as soon as we have them.

Measures include, but are not limited to:
• Restricting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.
• Prohibiting in-person shopping in most retail settings – curbside pickup and delivery can continue. Discount and big box retailers selling groceries will be limited to 25 per cent capacity for in-store shopping. Supermarkets, grocery stores and similar stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, will continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity for in-store shopping.
• Restricting indoor access to shopping malls – patrons may only go to a designated indoor pickup area (by appointment only), essential retail stores that are permitted to be open (e.g. pharmacy, grocery store), or, subject to physical distancing and face covering requirements, to the food court for takeout purchases. Shopping malls may also establish outdoor designated pickup areas.
• Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take out, drive-through, and delivery only.

The Province has provided a document that is a summary of information about measures proposed to come into effect in Ontario or in areas of Ontario at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 26.

On page 18 of the document:

Businesses Permitted to Open and Sector-Specific Restrictions:

• Construction activities or projects and related services that support construction activities or projects, including demolition services
• Land surveyors
Other
• Businesses that supply businesses or places that are permitted to open within Ontario, or that supply businesses or services that have been declared essential in a jurisdiction outside of Ontario, with the support, products, supplies, systems, or services, including processing, packaging, warehousing, distribution, delivery, and maintenance necessary to operate
• Maintenance, repair and property management services that manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings
• Businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (e.g. primary metal/ steel, blow molding, component manufacturers, chemicals, etc. that feed the end-product manufacturer), regardless of whether those other manufacturers are inside or outside of Ontario, together with businesses that support and facilitate the movement of goods within integrated North American and global supply chains

The complete document can be found HERE. 

The New Ontario Small Business Support Grant

The government recognizes that small businesses impacted by these necessary public health measures will require additional support so they can continue serving their communities and employing people in Ontario once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. That is why the government is announcing the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to eligible small business owners to help navigate this challenging period.

Small businesses required to close or restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown will be able to apply for this one-time grant. Each small business will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business. For example, some businesses will need support paying employee wages or rent, while others will need support maintaining their inventory.
Eligible small businesses include those that:

• Are required to close or significantly restrict services subject to the Provincewide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020;
• Have less than 100 employees at the enterprise level; and
• Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant will provide businesses with dollar for dollar funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown. The business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20 per cent when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. This time period was selected because it reflects the impact of the public health measures in spring 2020, and as such provides a representation of the possible impact of these latest measures on small businesses.

 

December 21, 2020 – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government made a regulation that changed certain Employment Standards Act (ESA) rules during the “COVID-19 period.” This regulation has been amended to extend the COVID-19 period to July 3, 2021. CLICK HERE for more information and other important links.


December 11, 2020 – 
Attached are statements from the Prevention Council and Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer regarding the COVID-19 second wave. ENGLISH: PC Statement Second Wave COVID_Eblast  / FRENCH: PC Statement Second Wave COVID_Eblast_FR


December 1, 2020
– The Infrastructure & Safety Association (IHSA) has updated their website with useful COVID-19 information. For general COVID-19 information links and resources, click HERE. For construction specific resources, click HERE.


October 15, 2020 –
  Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) 
“The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.

If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.”


October 15, 2020 – 
As a way to help businesses through the pandemic, the WSIB has implemented some new policies and changes:


August 20, 2020 – 
Ontario Extends Orders Under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020 – Extensions needed to address ongoing risks of COVID-19 as province reopens. Read the complete news release HERE.


July 20, 2020 – 
Ontario Moving More Regions into Stage 3 – More Businesses and Services Across the Province Can Safely Reopen on Friday. Read the complete news release HERE.


July 16, 2020 –
Ontario Extends Emergency Orders – Extensions Protect Health and Safety as Economy Gradually Reopens. Read the complete news release HERE.


July 13, 2020 –
Nearly All Businesses and Public Spaces to Reopen in Stage 3 – Public Gatherings Will Increase in Size as the Province Continues its Path to Economic Recovery. Read the complete news release HERE.


July 9, 2020 –
Ontario Extends Emergency Orders – Province Maintains Flexibility to Protect Public Health as Economy Gradually Reopens. Read the complete news release HERE.


July 7, 2020 – 
IHSA Hosts Webinar on COVID-19 Construction Health and Safety Practices

“The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) is providing an information awareness webinar on COVID-19 construction health and safety practices. The session is approximately 45 minutes and includes information on best practices for construction sites as well as the various roles and responsibilities on site with regard to COVID-19.

This session will be available for download to watch at your own pace.”

More details available HERE.


June 24, 2020 –
Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to July 15 – Province Focuses on Safe, Gradual Reopening of Regions. Read the complete news release HERE.


June 17, 2020 –
Ontario Pauses Commercial Evictions – Government protecting small businesses as the province safely and gradually reopens. Read the complete news release HERE.

June 17, 2020 – Ontario Extends Emergency Orders – Province Focuses on Safe, Gradual Approach as Reopening Continues. Read the complete news release HERE.


June 16, 2020 –
Ontario Releases Guide on How to Develop a Workplace Safety Plan – New Toolkit Will Help Employers Create Safer Working Environments for Employees during COVID-19. Read the complete news release HERE.


June 15, 2020 –
More People Can Get Back to Work as Additional Businesses and Services to Reopen This Week – Ontario Moving More Regions into Stage 2 on Friday. Read the complete news release HERE.

June 2, 2020 –  Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency until June 30 – Extension Key to Protecting Ontarians as Province Safely Reopens. Read the complete news release HERE.


June 1, 2020
– Ontario Extending Infectious Disease Emergency Leave for Workers during COVID-19 – New Regulation will protect employees from permanent layoffs and businesses from potential closures. Read the full news release HERE.

June 1, 2020 – The following briefing note provides some clarification to a new Ontario regulation that was introduced on Friday, whereby any temporary layoffs of non union staff due to COVID 19 will not result in the normal “termination of employment” obligations that would otherwise be triggered under the guidelines of the Employment Standards Act. Briefing Note – New Ontario Regulation Exempts COVID-19 Related Work Reduction and Layoff from Notice and Severance Obligations – June 1 2020 – Sherrard Kuzz LLP


May 22, 2020 –
Ontario Helps People Impacted by COVID-19 Get Back to Work – New Programs Focus on Hospitality Workers and Apprentices – helping apprentices by providing grants to purchase tools, protective equipment, and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools. Read the full news release HERE.


May 19, 2020 – 
Ontario Extends Emergency Orders to Keep People Safe – Some Outdoor Recreational Amenities Reopening with Restrictions. Read the full release HERE. 


May 15, 2020
– Government extends the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Read the complete news release HERE.


May 14, 2020
– Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen – Additional seasonal, retail and household businesses must follow public health guidelines. Of important note is “Lifting essential workplace limits on construction” which can be found in the news release, available HERE.


May 8, 2020
– Ontario Supports Job Creators as People Start Returning to Work – Government continues to prepare for the next stages of reopening the economy. More information HERE.

If you are interested in reading the “Framework for Reopening the Province” it can be found HERE.


May 1, 2020 – 
Certain Businesses Allowed to Reopen Under Strict Safety Guidelines – Steady Decrease in COVID-19 Cases Required Before Beginning Next Stage of Reopening. More information HERE.


April 30, 2020 – 
Health and Safety Association Guidance Documents for Workplaces During the COVID-19 Outbreak – The Ontario Government today announced and released a series of more than 60 technical sector guidance documents to further support employers and employees in remaining safe in the workplace during the COVID-19 outbreak. More information HERE.


April 28, 2020 –
Ontario Helping Businesses Overcome the Unique Challenges Created by COVID-19 – New Website Accepting Proposals for Temporarily Changing Rules and Regulations. More information HERE.


April 27, 2020 – Reopening Ontario after COVID-19 – Learn how the government of Ontario is planning to reopen businesses, services and public spaces. More information HERE. 

April 27, 2020 – Ontario Unveils Guiding Principles to Reopen the Province – Premier and Ministers Commit to New Phased Approach for a Safe Restart and Recovery. More information HERE.


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. More information HERE.

April 24, 2020 – Prime Minister announces partnerships with provinces and territories to deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. More information HERE.

April 24, 2020 – COVID PPE Help is a new platform being run by the faculty at the U of T on a non profit basis, to connect customers and suppliers.The suppliers engaged in this platform are urged to provide the PPE at the lowest possible cost, and any suppliers engaging in price gouging are removed from the system. The PPE being offered meet the required quality standards, with suppliers being asked to upload certification documents.

For further details on this new platform, please check out the following link: https://www.covidppehelp.ca/


April 22, 2020 – 
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program (CEWS) – The CRA has now issued an on line calculator, which includes detailed information and instructions including eligibility parameters.

The calculator also includes a printable statement feature that employers can use to view their claim at a glance, and, as of April 27th, enter required information into the CEWS application form. Details can be found HERE.


April 21, 2020 – 
Sherrard Kuzz LLP,  has issued an update to their Frequently asked Questions briefing note. It can be found HERE or in our FAQ section.

April 20, 2020 – Health Experts Say the COVID-19 Outbreak Has Likely Peaked in Ontario.

April 17, 2020 –
COVID-19: Support for Businesses Webpage: 

There is now a dedicated COVID-19 webpage for businesses seeking information on how to navigate the economy during COVID-19. The webpage includes details about the supports available, guidance for employers and links to additional resources.

Ontario Together Portal
We encourage businesses to continue submitting their solutions and proposals for in-demand products and services through the Ontario Together Portal. We are always looking for innovative solutions that provide the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario. Your input will help us address the rapidly evolving challenges we face in communities across the province.

Emergency Order on Essential Services
Please visit our dedicated web page at ontario.ca/stopthespread or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line is 1-888-444-3659 for information on the businesses that are deemed essential.

 

April 14, 2020 – Ontario’s state of emergency has been extended to May 12th, 2020.

The legislature also passed the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act to amend the Education Act, Planning Act, Development Charges Act, Police Services Act and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act.

The Development Charges Act will make it possible to suspend certain municipal planning decision timelines during the state of emergency, and change the Development Charges Act to ensure municipalities can continue to count on a vital source of revenue that helps pay for local growth-related infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewers as well as fire and police services.

The complete News Release HERE


April 14, 2020 –
The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has published the April 2020 issue of “What’s New” which is mainly devoted to workplace issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak to help keep you safe and informed. Found HERE.


April 13, 2020 – 
Over the weekend, the Federal Government officially passed the Emergency Response Act #2 legislation, which among other things, clarifies the benefits and revised parameters of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), including additional flexibility within the program.

Details can be viewed by following the link HERE


April 9, 2020 –
Most major banks have opened their online portals to allow you to access the Canada Emergency Business Account loan program (CEBA). The process is an online application only, and is being handled through the banks.

As a reminder, some details of CEBA are as follows:
• A $40,000 interest-free (until December 31, 2022), government guaranteed loan to help you pay for operating costs that you’re not able to defer as a result of COVID-19.
• $10,000 (25%) of the $40,000 loan is eligible for complete forgiveness if $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022.
• If the loan is not repaid by December 31, 2022, it will be extended for an additional 3 year term bearing an interest rate of 5% per annum.
• The loan can be repaid at any time without penalty.
• More info can be found by following the link, or by contacting your bank

Click HERE for more details.


April 8, 2020 – 
Ontario Accelerates Essential Construction Projects During COVID-19. Click HERE for details.


April 7, 2020 – 
Questions about whether you should be open or closed? Please call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. Or visit their website ontario.ca/stopthespread

 

March 30, 2020 – The Ontario Government has released new guidelines in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 on construction sites. Click HERE for details.

 

March 26, 2020 – The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on business brought on by COVID-19. The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province. The complete News Release is HERE.

 

March 25, 2020 – The Law Society of Ontario has developed guidance to law offices for delivery of their services during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most extraordinary measures is the change to allow virtual means to verify the identity of a client as well as virtually commission Affidavits and Declarations to help legal professionals practice safe social distancing. Read their full statement, including details on how to manage risk during virtual commissioning HERE.

The Federation of Ontario Law Associations has prepared a video conference checklist to be used when conducting online meetings with clients. Click HERE to access the “Basic approach for remote signing”, which includes the checklist.