COVID-19 Updates and Resources

AIAC is continually updating this page with news and resources that will help our members respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. If you have any questions or need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

LAST CALL to register for AIAC’s members-only webinar with the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade on Thursday, April 2 at 11 AM EST. REGISTER NOW >

Table of contents:

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The Latest from AIAC

Changes to wage subsidy eligibility

Today, the Hon. Minister of Finance and the Hon. Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, outlined details relating to the wage subsidy plan for businesses, estimated at $71 billion.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Further details regarding the Canada Emergency Response Benefit were announced on April 1.

Guidance for Employers of Temporary Foreign Workers

If you are an employer with temporary foreign workers, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (which is supported by federal, provincial, and territorial governments) has prepared a fact sheet that may be of interest.

ISED Payment Deferrals

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, AIAC has been aggressively lobbying both the political, and public service side, of the federal government to defer repayment obligations for the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI).

On March 31, AIAC informed members that the Minister has approved a 9-month deferral for:

  • Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI),
  • Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC),
  • Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF),
  • Program for Strategic Industrial Projects (PSIP).

Transport Canada list of aviation essential workers identified

On March 30, AIAC’s President and CEO Jim Quick received confirmation on March 30 from the Director General of Civil Aviation at Transport Canada that parts manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and repair and overhaul organizations have been included in the list of essential aviation workers.

Meeting with Hon. Anita Anand and our latest letter to the Prime Minister

On March 24, we met with both the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and senior officials at ISED. We expressed the necessity of immediate attention to this issue and a need for leadership.

We also sent a follow-up letter to the Prime Minister and provincial premiers calling for action to ensure the aerospace and defence industry is designated an essential service in all of Canada’s provinces and territories. 

Webinars & Briefings

Members-only briefing with Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

As part of our continuous efforts to ensure our members have the most-up-to date information, make sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity to hear direct from Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, on the details of the wage subsidy program.

Briefing with the Honourable Mary Ng
Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
Thurs. April 2, 2020 – 11:00am EST 

If you are a member who would like to take part, please click the button below to register – and stay tuned for further details on an additional briefing from BDC and EDC.

Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

BDC Webinar

Experts from Business Development Bank of Canada have provided their economic perspectives and advice on how to manage your business while coping with the impacts of COVID-19.

The 30 minute webinar is available for viewing here.

Business Stimulus: News & Updates

Wage Subsidy

On April 1, the Hon. Minister of Finance and the Hon. Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, outlined details relating to the wage subsidy plan for businesses, estimated at $71 billion.

If passed by Parliament, here’s how the program will work:  

  • The subsidy will apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
  • Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy.
  • Eligible employers include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.
  • An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers would be expected to at least make best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered.
  • Eligible employers will apply through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal. More details regarding how to apply for the program will follow.
  • Organizations that do not qualify may continue to qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

Industry-Related Fiscal Stimulus Details:

The Government has announced up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households.  The measures include:

  • Additional support to Canadian companies through loans, guarantees or insurance policies through changes to the Canada Account administered by EDC;
  • More than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses through the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), administered by BDC and EDC
  • Temporary wage subsidies to support businesses that are facing revenue losses and lay-offs.  (Period of three months – equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer);
  • All businesses are able to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020;
  • Credit and liquidity support through the Bank of Canada, OSFI, CMHC and commercial lenders;
  • An Emergency Support Benefit to provide up to $5.0 billion for workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.

Support for Small Businesses

Following AIAC’s calls on the Prime Minister for fiscal support and tax measures for Canada’s aerospace industry, AIAC was pleased that on March 27 the government announced additional support measures for small and medium-sized enterprises dealing with COVID-19. The measures include:

  • Boosting wage subsidies to 75 per cent, up from the 10 per cent previously promised; for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020.  More details on eligibility will be shared before the end of the month;
  • Allowing businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports;
  • The creation of a new Canada Emergency Business Account that will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans will be guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada at a zero per cent interest rate;
  • The creation of a new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. 

BDC Support for Business

Effective immediately, new relief measures for qualified businesses include:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses.
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans.
  • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less.

BDC / EDC: Business Credit Availability Program

Under the federal government’s new Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will be providing more than $10 billion of additional financing to customers facing economic challenges caused by COVID-19.

In order to best serve members, we reached out to the Government and have received the following information to help AIAC members navigate the process:

  1. As an initial starting point, visit EDC’s Coronavirus information page.
  2. Or, if you prefer direct contact information and  are a new customer seeking more information please call 1-800-229-0575 or email
  3. Existing EDC Customers should contact their account manager.
  4. Existing customers needing any assistance with insurance products and online portals should contact 1-866-716-7201 and

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

This benefit provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working and are without employment or self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19.

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be:

  • Paid in blocks of four weeks in the amount of $2,000, which is equivalent to $500 per week.  A maximum 16 weeks of benefits can be paid.
  • Available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. You can apply no later than December 2, 2020.
  • Accessed through a portal set to launch on April 6. Applicants will be able to apply for the benefit retroactively to March 15, 2020.

Next Generation Manufacturing announces $50 million funding program to help scale response to COVID-19

On March 25, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) announced that it will invest $50 million in Supercluster funding to support companies as they rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by building a Canadian supply of essential equipment, products, and therapeutics. 

Projects will be selected for funding according to critical needs identified by the Government of Canada and the ability of manufacturers to produce products that are safe for both patients and health care workers. 

Business Stimulus: Links & Resources

Canada Business App

A dedicated COVID-19 tile has been added to the Canada Business App, providing links to government announcements and information for businesses.

The Government of Canada is updating this App regularly.

Resources For Your Payroll Questions

The Canadian Payroll Association has put together a resource document to answer payroll questions to ensure forms are filled correctly, avoiding unnecessary errors and delays in Employment Insurance processing.

‘Stop the Spread’ Business Information Line (Ontario)

The province of Ontario has launched a toll-free line to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close non-essential workplaces. 

Businesses who have questions about closures or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. 

Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m.

A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario’s website.

Resources from Key Agencies, Departments and Organizations

Provincial & Territorial Links

What Canada’s Regional Development Agencies are doing to help business during the COVID-19 pandemic:

For the latest information and announcements from the different regions of Canada, please click below:

Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Updates

ISED Payment Deferrals

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, AIAC has been aggressively lobbying both the political, and public service side, of the federal government to defer repayment obligations for the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI).

On March 31, AIAC informed members that the Minister has approved a 9-month deferral for:

  • Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI),
  • Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC),
  • Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF),
  • Program for Strategic Industrial Projects (PSIP).

This decision rightly recognizes the need to relieve some of the financial pressure our member companies are facing during these uncertain times. 

We are told that in the coming months, ISED will work with affected companies to formalize these deferrals into an amended repayment schedule. 

The deferral will cover repayments due to the Government between April 1 and December 31, 2020. 

Transport Canada Updates

Transport Canada list of aviation essential workers identified

Following concerted efforts from AIAC for the inclusion of Canada’s aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul workers in the essential aviation workers designation, AIAC President and CEO Jim Quick, received confirmation on March 30 from the Director General of Civil Aviation at Transport Canada.

Originally, the essential aviation list only included parts distributors and suppliers. The list now includes:

Parts manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and repair and overhaul organisations

Please click below to read the entire letter, and annex list, regarding the categories of employees included in the delivery of essential aviation transportation services.

AIAC thanks Transport Canada for their cooperation and prompt action.

For more information, please contact Mark Beauregard, AIAC’s Vice President for Regulatory Affairs.

Transport Canada Regulatory Exemptions

AIAC continues its close collaboration with Transport Canada, other regulators and ICAO to encourage regulatory flexibility during the current crisis. 

Of note, TCCA has updated in policies to allow on a case-by-case basis, flexibility for an air operator’s scheduled maintenance program. Please refer to TCCA IPB/BIP 2020-01.

AIAC expects that TCCA will publish additional alleviating measures for Canadian civil aviation stakeholders during the coming days.

For more information, please contact Mark Beauregard, AIAC’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs.

Procurement Updates

Canadian Armed Forces gearing up

The Prime Minister stated on March 30 that the Canadian Armed Forces have been gearing up to provide support as part of the COVID-19 efforts.  He stated that while the federal government has not yet received a formal request from a province or territory for the military’s assistance, whether sending supplies or to aid with the coming flood or forest fire seasons, they are ready to respond.

Messages for Government Contractors & Suppliers

In light of the situation with COVID-19, the Government has posted some updates relevant to the contractor and procurement community.  

If you are a business or supplier with a question regarding procurement, there are several ways to contact PSPC depending on the nature of your question:


For information about emergency goods and services needed to support the Government of Canada’s action plan for COVID-19, please go to the Calling all suppliers – Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) web page.

Procurement specialists are assessing, categorizing and prioritizing submissions against the Government’s COVID-19 response needs and will contact suppliers who can meet identified requirements as they arise.

Please note that this does not mean every company that has submitted a response will be contacted.

To stay informed on the latest procurement-related newstenders and website updates are posted on the website

General Questions

For general questions about procurement or to find tender opportunities or register for a Procurement Business Number: 

For a question specific to a tendering opportunity or an awarded contract, contact the contracting authority identified in the tender information or the contract.

Calling All Suppliers – Help Canada Combat Coronavirus

The Government of Canada has identified the need for the following items and supplies, particularly ventilators and N95 masks.

If you have capability to convert your operations to deliver on any of these, please click here:

  • Ventilators
  • Disposable N95 masks
  • Disposable surgical masks
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Gowns
  • Bottles of hand sanitizer
  • Other prevention products

Other Government Announcements

Aerospace as an Essential Service

AIAC has been working hard to ensure aerospace is identified as an essential service during these uncertain times. (Read our March 23 letter to the Prime Minister and Premiers.) As a result of our efforts we now have further clarity in both Quebec and Ontario. 

We have secured confirmation from the Ontario Premier’s office that all manufacturers as a class are deemed essential. 

Aerospace-Related Details on Essential Workplaces

Supply chains (Ontario)

Businesses that supply other essential businesses or essential services with the support, supplies, systems or services, including processing, packaging, distribution, delivery and maintenance necessary to operate;

  • Businesses and facilities that provide transportation services to businesses and individuals including by air, water, road, and rail including providing logistical support, distribution services, warehousing and storage.
  • Businesses that provide materials and services for the operation, maintenance and safety of transportation systems (road, transit, rail, air and marine) including delivery of maintenance services … and completing needed repairs to the transportation systems.
  • Motor vehicle, auto-supply, auto and motor-vehicle-repair, including bicycle repair, aircraft repair, heavy equipment repair, watercraft/marine craft repairs, car and truck dealerships and related facilities.
  • Businesses, facilities and services that support and facilitate the two- way movement of essential goods within integrated North American and Global supply chains.

Priority Transportation and Logistics Services (Quebec)

  • Manufacture and maintenance for the defence sector.
  • Mass transit and passenger transportation.
  • Ports and airports.
  • Locomotive and aircraft maintenance services and essential aeronautical services (air transport).
  • Transportation, warehousing and distribution of essential goods.

Canada-US Border Updates

Over the weekend, measures took effect to temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the U.S.-Canada land border.  The measure is to be in place for 30 days, at which point it will be reviewed by both parties.

In announcing their decision, both governments stated that they recognize it is critical to preserve supply chains between both countries and these will not be impacted by this new measure.

Implications for the aerospace industry

We understand that many of you have questions related to the ability of goods and services to enter Canada.   We reached out to Government and have received the following information:

The intent of the measures is to restrict leisure travel; the term ‘essential’ was used in the generic sense to distinguish business/commercial activity required for economic integrity reasons vs discretionary/tourism personal travel.

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) is capable of processing all commercial entries and essential travel. 

The CBSA has expanded its services available to provide information for the air, land, rail or marine modes using an existing automated 1-800-461-9999 Border Information Service Line (BIS) that is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with an automated, bilingual, interactive voice response system to provide basic information for travelers and businesses.

Should the automated answers provided through the Border Information Service Line not address the individual questions or concerns from the traveler or business, the caller may select an option (press “0”) to speak to a Border Information Service Line Officer.

Border Information Service Line Officers will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to specific questions from travelers and businesses related to their travel.

Prime Minister names new Ambassador of Canada to the United States

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed Kirsten Hillman as Canada’s Ambassador to the United States.  Ms. Hillman has served as Canada’s Acting Ambassador to the United States since August 2019, and was previously the Deputy Ambassador. 

She has worked in close collaboration with partners in the United States and around the world to support Canada’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including the temporary border agreement reached last week between Canada and the United States. 

Plans for COVID-19 Research

On March 23, Prime Minister Trudeau announced $275 million for coronavirus research and medical countermeasures (potential vaccines and treatments), as part of the more than $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund.