COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESOURCES
May 13, 2020
COVID-19 Related FAQs for Chiropodist/Podiatrists: Click here
Questions and Answers for Members of the Public regarding care during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Click here
Source: College of Chiropodists of Ontario
UPDATE: Declaration of Emergency Extended While Ontario Gradually Reopens the Economy: See Full Details Here
The Declaration of Emergency has been extended until June 2.
May 12, 2020 2:30 P.M.
TORONTO — The Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. 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.
Passed during a special sitting of the Ontario Legislature today, the Declaration of Emergency has been extended until June 2. The declaration will allow Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as restricting retirement and long-term care home employees from working in more than one facility and prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people. Since the emergency was first declared on March 17, the government has taken over 150 actions to help protect individuals, families, and businesses from the impacts of COVID-19.
A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
"We are making steady progress to flatten the curve and get more people back to work safely, including our legislators, but we still have far to go in defeating COVID-19," said Premier Ford. "Extending the declaration of emergency will allow us to continue to take action to protect Ontarians, while carefully and cautiously reopening more parts of our economy."
The House also passed the COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020, which will help people conduct business while practising physical distancing by:
Providing authority to address in-person attendance rules for school board trustees' meetings in regulation. This would provide the flexibility in certain emergency situations to allow trustees to meet virtually during school closures;
Enabling corporations to call and hold meetings virtually, as applicable, and extending the time period in which annual meetings must be held in specific circumstances;
Allowing designations of a beneficiary to be provided electronically for Retirement Savings Plans, Retirement Income Funds, Locked-in Retirement Accounts, Life Income Funds and Tax-Free Savings Accounts;
Allowing electronic filing of business registration documents, and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of business registration documents and e-signatures;
Allowing for regulations to set out the parameters for remotely commissioning or notarizing a document;
Extending, on a one-time basis for 2020, the legislated four-year period during which a Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) election is mandated to be held to give more time to support remote voting.
The Expenditure Estimates for the 2020-21 fiscal year were also tabled in the Legislature. This includes program spending to support the $17 billion announced as part of Ontario's Action Plan 2020: Responding to COVID-19 to ensure the province's health care system, communities, and economy are better positioned to weather challenges posed by the pandemic.
"Today's legislation is just one step further in the fight against COVID-19," said Government House Leader Paul Calandra. "We are all eager to reopen the economy and return to work, while physical distancing remains an important reality. Today's legislation helps to modernize some of our economic and community activity and make many necessary interactions that much easier and safer."
April 21, 2020
UPDATE: Trudeau announces $350M community support fund; Quebec surpasses 1,000 deaths: See Full Details Here
Speaking during his daily COVID-19 update, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new $350-million emergency community support fund meant to help vulnerable Canadians, as he said the pandemic has worsened inequalities throughout the country.
That fund is aimed at helping community organizations, charities and non-profits, which have had to change how they help groups like seniors and those experiencing homelessness, Trudeau said.
"Their mission has always been to support people in their time of need, and that hasn't changed," Trudeau said. "But COVID-19 is putting a tremendous amount of pressure on those organizations, because more people need help."
Trudeau also said the government is launching a calculator for businesses to use when applying for the emergency wage subsidy, which gives employers up to $847 dollars per employee each week. That calculator, which will be hosted on the Canada Revenue Agency website, will allow companies to determine exactly how much the subsidy will cover.
Applications for the program will open on April 27, he said. At a later press briefing, Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos said the government anticipated 90 per cent of applications would be processed by May 5.
Trudeau also spoke of the difficulties Canadians have gone through while practising physical distancing for nearly six weeks. He said there are early signs that those measures have helped reduce the spread of COVID-19. Health officials in provinces across Canada are reminding people to stick with public health measures, however, even as some regions see a drop in new cases of COVID-19.
Ontario on Monday released updated modelling that suggested community spread of COVID-19 appears to have peaked. But the health experts who presented the updated information noted that the spread of the virus in long-term care is still growing.
"We're at peak in the community, but still in that accelerating upswing of the curve in long-term care," said Adalsteinn Brown, dean of the University of Toronto's public health department.
Dr. Heather Morrison says localizing the province's testing has allowed for a faster turnaround. This allows for quicker contact tracing, and she says is essential when we talk about lifting restrictions.
She says it's a challenging to lift restrictions and manage the virus when there is no vaccine.
The World Health Organization said Tuesday that rushing to ease coronavirus restrictions will likely lead to a resurgence of the illness, a warning that comes as governments start rolling out plans to get their economies up and running again.
"This is not the time to be lax. Instead, we need to ready ourselves for a new way of living for the foreseeable future," said Dr. Takeshi Kasai, the WHO regional director for the Western Pacific.
He said governments must remain vigilant to stop the spread of the virus, and the lifting of lockdowns and other physical distancing measures must be done gradually and strike the right balance between keeping people healthy and allowing economies to function. UN agencies on Tuesday made an appeal for more funding to help the most vulnerable, saying: "In this race against an invisible enemy, all countries must fight back, but not all begin from the same starting line."
As of 1:50 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 38,205 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. The provinces and territories that provide public information on recoveries listed 13,132 cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News count of coronavirus-related deaths based on provincial data, local public health information and CBC's own reporting has recorded 1,884 coronavirus-related deaths in Canada. There have been two reported COVID-19-related deaths of Canadians abroad.
Visit CBC's coronavirus case tracker for a look at what's happening in your region and details on what the numbers can (and can't) tell us about the outbreak in Canada.
According to a case tracking tool maintained by U.S-based Johns Hopkins University, there are over 2.5 million confirmed cases worldwide of the novel coronavirus, which causes an illness called COVID-19.
The novel coronavirus, formally known as SARS-CoV-2, was first reported in China in late 2019. There are no proven treatments or vaccines for the virus, though researchers around the world are racing to find answers as to what might be effective against it.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says COVID-19 is a "serious health threat" in Canada. "The risk will vary between and within communities, but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high."
Source: CBC News
April 13, 2020
UPDATE: Ontario Takes Further Action to Stop the Spread of COVID-19: See Full Details Here
April 11, 2020 8:00 A.M.
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.
"I understand the actions we are taking are affecting the lives and livelihoods of people across the province, but these are extraordinary times and we need to do whatever we can to keep individuals and families safe and stop the spread of this terrible virus," said Premier Ford. "We all must continue to do our part by staying home and practicing physical distancing. With the proper precautions and additional measures we're taking today, I am confident we will get through this together and stronger."
Ontario introduced the following new steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The government is:
The following emergency orders have been extended until April 23, 2020:
April 7, 2020
UPDATE: The Government of Canada and Canadian Chamber of Commerce have just launched a new website
In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery.
Visit their website: Canadian Business Resilience Network
April 6, 2020
UPDATE: Everything you need to know about the upgraded COVID-19 wage subsidy program See full details here
This week, the government released detailed information on the new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), which provides both small and large employers with a subsidy that may cover up to 75 per cent of employee wages. It’s meant to help employers who have had a significant decline in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic keep their workers.
This comes on top of the previously announced 10 per cent Temporary Wage Subsidy (TWS), which was passed into law last week. The TWS is aimed at assisting small- and medium-sized employers with their payrolls. Here’s what we know, so far, about the new CEWS, and how it ties in with the TWS.
What’s the CEWS?
The CEWS will provide a subsidy to “enable employers to re-hire workers previously laid off, and to keep those who are already on payroll.” The benefit is equal to 75 per cent of “eligible remuneration” paid by “eligible employers” for up to three months, retroactive to March 15, 2020.
What is an eligible employer?
Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, partnerships whose partners are eligible employers, non‑profit organizations, and registered charities. Employers would have to attest that their monthly revenues have dropped by at least 30 per cent in the month(s) of March, April or May 2020, compared to the same month(s) in 2019. Public bodies, such as municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges, schools and hospitals, don’t qualify.
How do you measure a revenue decrease of 30 per cent?
To qualify for one of the three eligible periods, revenues must have decreased by 30 per cent or more during the relative reference period. The first eligible period is for remuneration paid from March 15 to April 11 and the relative reference period is revenues from March 2020 over March 2019. The second period is for remuneration paid from April 12 to May 9, with a measurement period for revenue of April 2020 over April 2019. The final period for remuneration runs from May 10 through June 6, with the third revenue measurement period being May 2020 over May 2019.
The revenue used to determine if there has been a decrease of 30 per cent or more includes amounts from business carried on in Canada that are earned from arm’s-length sources; extraordinary items and revenue arising from the sale of capital assets are excluded. Revenue would be calculated using the employer’s normal accounting method.
For non-profits and charities, the government said it would continue to consult with the sector to ensure the definition of revenue is appropriate to their specific circumstances.
What is eligible remuneration?
Eligible remuneration includes salary, wages, and other remuneration but does not include items such as severance pay, employee stock option benefits or the personal use of an employer’s vehicle.
How much is the subsidy worth?
The subsidy is generally equal to 75 per cent of the amount of eligible remuneration actually paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week; however, employers may be entitled to a subsidy of up to 75 per cent of pre-crisis wages of existing employees (if, for example, wages or hours have been reduced), up to the actual amount paid, with the same maximum of $847 per week for each employee. Employers may also claim the CEWS for eligible remuneration paid to new employees.
Is it taxable?
The CEWS is considered government assistance and will be included in the employer’s income and taxed in the year it’s received.
How do you apply?
Eligible employers will be able to apply for the CEWS through the CRA’s My Business Account portal as well as a web-based application. Employers must keep records demonstrating their reduction in revenues and remuneration paid to employees.
The government warned employers that if they don’t meet the eligibility requirements of the CEWS or fail to pay their employees accordingly, the employer would be required to repay amounts received under the CEWS. In addition, penalties may apply in cases of fraudulent claims and anti-abuse rules will be introduced to ensure that the CEWS is not inappropriately obtained. The penalties would apply to individuals, employers or business administrators who provide “false or misleading information to obtain access to this benefit or who misuse any funds obtained under the program.” The penalties could include fines or possibly imprisonment.
What about the Temporary Wage Subsidy (10 per cent)?
This program remains unchanged. Under the TWS, an “eligible employer” can claim an amount equal to 10 per cent of the remuneration paid between March 18, 2020 and June 19, 2020. If no remuneration was paid to employees during this period, then no subsidy is available. The maximum amount of the subsidy is $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. There is no required drop in revenues needed to qualify for the TWS.
Eligible employers that qualify for the TWS include individuals (sole-proprietors), certain partnerships, non-profit organizations, charities and certain Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPCs). A CCPC is essentially a private corporation whose shares are not listed on a stock exchange, and that is owned and controlled by Canadian residents. Large CCPCs which have taxable capital of more than $15 million among their associated corporations in the previous year won’t qualify for the TWS.
Employers are only eligible if they had a payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020.
The TWS is calculated manually and the employer can choose to reduce its payroll income tax remittances to the CRA by the amount of the TWS. Although the TWS is based on remuneration paid to employees between March 18 and June 19, there is no deadline for claiming the TWS (through reduced income-tax remittances.) In other words, if the amount of the TWS exceeds the income tax that the employer would normally have to remit up to June 19, 2020, the employer can continue to reduce subsequent income tax remittances to claim remaining TWS after this date.
Just like the CEWS, the TWS is taxable and will be included in the employer’s income and taxed in the year it is received.
Can you claim both the 75 per cent CEWS and 10 per cent TWS?
Sort of. Some employers will be eligible for both the 75 per cent CEWS and the 10 per cent TWS. The government has stated that any benefit from the TWS paid in a specific period will reduce the amount available to be claimed under the 75 per cent CEWS for that same period.
Source: The National Post
March 27. 2020
UPDATE: Federal Government Boosts Wage Subsidy to 75% for Small, Medium Businesses to Avoid Layoffs During COVID-19 Crisis
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced more help for small and medium-sized businesses to keep employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis, including a 75 per cent wage subsidy and guaranteed interest-free loans.
During a news conference outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Trudeau called small and medium-sized businesses the "backbone" of the economy and said the new measures will help them avoid ordering layoffs or closing down because of the climate of uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
"We're thinking about that family-owned restaurant that's been around for years, [has] had many of the same employees for years. Employees who've been there through slowdowns, good times and bad times, and now in this moment of crisis they're having to lay these people off at their time of need," he said.
"We know that allowing people to continue that relationship, allow[ing] people to continue to feel and to know they have a job ... is a really important thing, not just for people's confidence, but for the ability of all us to bounce back strongly from this once we're through it."
The prime minister said the wage subsidies will be backdated to March 15, 2020.
March 26, 2020
UPDATE: Federal Government Economic Response Plan
On March 25, 2020, the Federal Government announced an update to their previous Economic Response Plan. Full details of the plan can be found here.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit. Once approved, this legislation will provide eligible Canadians with their first CERB payments within 10 days of their application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.
Who is eligible?
The CERB would cover Canadians (including wage earners, contract workers, and self-employed individuals) who:
NOTE: This also applies to individuals who would otherwise be eligible for EI benefits and who have NOT currently applied.
What if I have already applied for EI?
List of Essential Workplaces
The Government of Ontario has provided a list of Essential Workplaces that are allowed to remain open during the COVID-19 Pandemic.Businesses include any for-profit, non-profit or other entity providing the goods and services listed here. This does not preclude the provision of work and services by entities not on this list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery. Note that teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses.
March 23, 2020
SUGGESTED SIGNAGE FOR MEMBERS
The Chief Medical Office of Health of Ontario has directed ALL Regulated Health Professionals, ALL non-essential and elective services should be ceased or reduced to minimal levels, subject to allowable exceptions, until further notice.
We want to assure patients who attend our office during this period that we are maintaining appropriate infection prevention and control procedures according to Public Health Ontario protocols. We are also strongly advising our staff to follow the directions of the Government of Ontario regarding how to minimize the spread of the virus. It must be understood, however, that these are unprecedented times and despite screening all of our patients before they attend the office, it is impossible to give any assurances that the persons who do attend have not been exposed to the virus which could potentially put others at risk.
Health professions/primary care providers are closely monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID 19). As Primary care providers, Podiatrists will continue to provide services during the current virus outbreak.
In addition to the advice/guidelines provided by both the Federal and Provincial health authorities (see links below), primary care providers, such as Podiatrists are instituting further measures in response to this new virus. These include:
Podiatrists and clinical offices, are asked to carry out passive and active screening.
Signs will be posted in reception areas asking patients with symptoms to identify themselves.
Mark Holman of Holman Insurance gave us this feedback:
Professional liability coverage should be maintained during this difficult period due to the nature of the “claim made” policy wording. Should one cancel their insurance they would not have any protection for their prior acts or disciplinary actions. We don’t forsee any Errors & Omissions claims arising from anything relating to COVID-19 as the Errors & Omissions policy provides protect for the professional services each member provides to the public. Most claims will be for Business Interruption coverage i.e. individuals/companies looking to recoupe any loss of revenue as a result of having to temporarily close their doors as well as having to lay staff off. Business Interruption coverage is part of a Commercial Business policy. Even having a Commercial Business policy in place and such policy including Business Interruption coverage, most Insurers will not be offering coverage for anything relating to COVID-19. In order for Business Interruption to be triggered there must be bodily injury or property damage to the building and/or its contents. Business interruption can't be triggered on its own – a slowdown in business, closure, quarantine, etc. are neither considered bodily injury or property damage. An extension in policy wording called "interruption by civil authority" does exist but refers to bodily injury or property damage to a neighbouring or adjacent property where a business is closed by order of civil authority for clean-up, investigation.
Unfortunately, the situation the world finds itself in right now as a result of the COVID-19 virus is NOT something that would be covered as the virus is not an insured peril and there has been no bodily injury or physical damage. For further information, we invite you to visit the Insurance Brokers of Canada website:
March 20, 2020 - Our members have many questions about how COVID-19 will impact their practices including staff and business continuation.
The Canadian Payroll Association has developed a comprehensive Q & A document related to payroll, layoffs, Records of Employment and EI Benefits. CLICK HERE to download the document.
We have done the research so you don't have to. Here are some helpful links which we will update on a regular basis:
FEDERAL ECONOMIC SUPPORT PLAN (announced March 18)
The federal government has announced the first phase of its economic support plan in response to COVID-19. $82 billion is being released to support Canadian individuals and businesses, including $27B in direct support and $55B to meet liquidity needs through tax deferrals.Below is an overview of the specific measures announced and a table summarizing the cost and implementation dates.
The backgrounder with additional details can be found here
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS
To support Canadians businesses and help them retain their workers during this difficult time, the Government is announcing measures to:
The six largest financial institutions in Canada have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges, such as pay disruption due to COVID-19, childcare disruption due to school or daycare closures, or those suffering from COVID-19. As a first step, this support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. The Government of Canada will continue to monitor evolving economic conditions and seek greater relief measures should it be necessary.
SUPPORT FOR WORKERS
To support workers and their families, the Government of Canada is taking action to:
FEDERAL MONETARY AND FISCAL MEASURES (announced March 13)
A series of monetary and fiscal measures were announced by the Department of Finance, the Bank of Canada and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institution to help stabilize Canada’s economy: