Trudeau Enacts Border Closures and Airline Entry Restrictions
At a press conference this afternoon in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced tightened border controls, including travel restrictions and new travel screening requirements.
The Government of Canada continues their open procurement call for goods and services that can help fight COVID-19. Below is the link to more information about what products and services the government is looking for and the appropriate forms to submit. Please reach out if you need assistance and guidance on this process.
Also, while the Government remains focused on containing the spread of COVID-19 as the first order of business, they are keen to hear about ideas and projects that will help mitigate the economic impact and can stimulate recovery. Prime Minister Trudeau noted that “in the medium term and then into the long term, we will need to invest significant amounts to restore people’s confidence in the economy, to restore the kinds of growth that is going to ensure a better future for all Canadians.”
The Government of Ontario has taken several significant steps to address the evolving challenge of the pandemic.
These steps include:
Today’s legislation to provide protections to Ontario workers received support from both the NDP and the Liberals, although both called for more robust protections such as financial support for small and medium-sized businesses that are operating at the margins.
The Government of Ontario is responding to advice and guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and others. By necessity, response measures are fluid. At today’s press conference, the Ford government made it clear all options remain on the table and that the situation will likely continue to evolve. When asked if Ontario would follow the restrictions put in place in other jurisdictions, the Premier and Deputy Premier did not say no. Already in Ontario, some businesses have voluntarily changed their business models or operating hours without being ordered by government to do so.
Your Sussex consultants are in regular contact with senior government officials, who are seeking to ensure issues relating to COVID-19 are adequately addressed. If you or your organization are experiencing specific challenges due to COVID-19, please let your Sussex consultant know, so we can ensure your voice is heard by the provincial government.
Economic Support and Recovery Task Force – City of Toronto
Mayor John Tory announced today the launch of an Economic Support and Recovery Task Force to help protect Toronto’s economic success in the wake of COVID-19. This task force will include the Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson and Budget Chief Gary Crawford along with City Finance and Economic Development staff, who will be setting up conference calls with key stakeholders to discuss how to best help businesses.
“The first set of meetings start[ed] today with representatives from the hospitality and film sectors. Meetings are also being convened with faith and community leaders, BIAs, universities, social services and not-for-profits, organized labour, tech and big business.
The City will be working with industry partners to identify actions to support businesses and the Task Force is to enable the City to better respond to the evolving challenges with a coordinated approach.
5 Immediate Measure have been identified that the City can take under its purview to provide economic relief:
“The Mayor will also be seeking from the Federal and Provincial Governments to waive penalties for business owners failing to remit HST on time.”
This Task Force will also be consulting with Members of Council who are recommending stakeholders/businesses to get in touch with and we are happy to assist you with this essential follow up to limit your impacts.
Other municipalities are slower to release a potential/commitment to a stimulus plan and are likely waiting to see what other measures the Federal and Provincial Governments will take which they may assist in the administration of.
24-Hour Retail Deliveries – City of Toronto
In a push by the Retail Council of Canada, to ensure supply chains remaining active, the City of Toronto is, effective immediately, exempting all retail businesses from the City of Toronto Noise Bylaw, in order to facilitate after-hour deliveries. This step is being taken to ensure that retailers are able to keep essential goods in stock.
The Bylaw regulates, loading and unloading of goods and motor vehicles. “The City's Noise Bylaw [also] includes the ability to provide an exemption in response to extraordinary circumstances affecting the immediate health, safety or welfare of the community. This exemption will ensure retailers can receive deliveries 24 hours of a day, seven days a week to ensure essential goods remain in stock.”
Provincial Offences Act – Toronto Courtrooms Temporarily Close
Starting today all Provincial Offences Act (POA) courtrooms located in Toronto will be closed from March 16 to April 3, 2020.
These courtrooms handle offences against Municipal Bylaws, including:
“Provincial Offences Act matters will be adjourned without the individual being present and rescheduled to a later date, as per an order by Chief Justice of Ontario. Individuals who were expected to appear in court are not required to attend and will be notified of new court dates. A notice of the new court date will be sent by mail to the address on file with the court.”
All legislative timelines for tickets that have not expired prior to March 15, 2020 have been extended. For tickets outside of this timeline, click HERE.
New Recommendations Related to Restaurants, Entertainment and Shopping Malls – City of Toronto
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, and the head of the City’s Office of Emergency Management, Chief Matthew Pegg, provided further temporary closure recommendations to begin tomorrow:
“Businesses that provide food takeout and delivery options are encouraged to keep those options available to continue to provide the public with food options while limiting social interactions between people.”
Due to community transmission that is starting to occur, “Dr. de Villa warned that if businesses fail to comply with the recommendation, she will issue orders to individual establishments under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.”
Additionally, when asked at a press conference this afternoon about Shopping Malls, Dr. Villa, is also encouraging them to participate in the effort to practice social distancing (like all residents) however she does recognize that residents need access to goods and services as part of their daily lives and that the basic interaction to purchase necessary goods they are small and limited interactions. The recommendations aim to maximize social distancing, minimizing time, encourage staying home when you can and not purchasing items unless they are essential/necessary.
For updates on the COVID-19 risk in Toronto and information on how to protect yourself from infection, click HERE.
As this situation continues to evolve, we will keep you updated. Please reach out to your Sussex representative directly or to:
Paul Pellegrini – President
Brett James, Partner – Federal Government Relations
Devin McCarthy, Vice President – Federal Government Relations
Joseph Ragusa, Partner – Ontario Government Relations
Brian Zeiler-Kligman, Vice President – Ontario Government Relations
Jamie Besner, Partner – Municipal Government Relations
Angela Drennan, Vice President – Municipal Government Relations