Provincial COVID-19 Resources

Below you will find a compilation of the various measures announced by provincial governments across Canada in response to COVID-19.

In addition to these measures, the Government of Canada has announced nearly $1 billion in support to businesses and communities through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). There are six RDAs across the country (the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Western Economic Diversification Canada, FedNor, FedDev Ontario, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency). Click here for more details.

NEW: Provincial Re-Opening Frameworks

Almost all of Canada’s provinces and territories have now released plans for reopening their businesses and public spaces.  Please see each province’s section for the latest information. We will continue to update this page with additional information as it becomes available.

Provincial Re-Opening Framework
UPDATED [May 14]: Stage 1 of re-opening starts today
UPDATED [May 19]: Increased limits on outdoor gatherings

Support for businesses:

  • Corporate income tax balances and installment payments will be deferred from March 19 until August 31, 2020.
  • Private-sector employers can defer WCB premiums until 2021. For small and medium businesses, the government will also cover 50% of the 2020 premium.
  • ATB small business customers can apply for a payment deferral on loans and lines of credit for up to 6 months.
  • Small businesses can now seek free advice, coaching and information regarding COVID-19 resources and supports by contacting Business Link, a refocused support service that will provide a one-stop shop to help the province’s small businesses. Retailers are encouraged to visit the Business Links website or connect with one of their business strategists by phone, email or live chat.
  • The maximum time for a temporary layoff has been increased from 60 days to 120 days to ensure temporarily laid off employees stay attached to a job longer. This change is retroactive for any temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 that occurred on or after March 17, 2020.
  • To increase flexibility for employers, the province has removed some requirements:
    • The 24-hour written notice requirement for shift changes, and the two weeks’ notice for changes to work schedules for those under an averaging agreement has been removed.
    • Removing the requirement to provide the group termination notice to employees and unions when 50 or more employees are being terminated.
    • Streamlining the process for approvals related to modifying employment standards so employers and workers can respond quicker to changing conditions at the workplace due to the public health emergency.
  • View Alberta’s “Support for Employers” section for more details.

Support for employees/individuals:

  • Eligible working Albertans can receive a one-time emergency isolation support payment of $1,146 if they experienced loss of income as a result of having to self-isolate and have no other source of compensation, such as workplace sick leave benefits or federal EI. Applications are available here.
  • Employees caring for children affected by school and daycare closures or ill or self-isolated family members due to COVID-19 will have access to unpaid job-protected leave. The 90-day employment requirement is waived and leave length is flexible.

Additional Notes: Alberta is temporarily modifying some regulations for truck drivers and railway operators to protect the supply chain and ensure Canadians can access necessities like medical supplies, groceries and fuel during the COVID-19 crisis. Truck drivers transporting essential supplies in direct support of the COVlD-19 relief efforts to:

  • Work for longer periods of time, provided all safety conditions are met.
  • Apply for fewer municipal and provincial overweight permits by increasing the limits on weight of loads some vehicles can carry.
  • Be exempt from road bans.
  • Be exempt from municipal bylaws that restrict the hours they operate and park.

Provincial Re-Opening Framework
UPDATED [May 14]: Provincial parks open today
UPDATED [May 15]: Schools to re-open June 1
UPDATED [May 19]: Phase 2 of re-opening starts today

Support for business:

  • Eligible small businesses that have closed due to COVID-19 can apply to have their power bills forgiven between April and June 2020. The application form will be available the week of August 13. Full eligibility requirements and more information here.
  • The BC Government has provided more details on PST deferments and has made this application available to businesses that have had to temporarily cease operations.
  • Business and light and major industry property classes will have their school property tax cut in half for the 2020 tax year, providing cash flow relief for businesses that own their property and for tenants on triple-net leases.
  • C. business tax filings have been deferred to September 30, 2020, including PST, employers health tax, and municipal and regional district taxes, among others. The BC Government has also provided more details on PST deferments and has made this application available to businesses that have had to temporarily cease operations.
  • WorkSafe BC has deferred premium payment deadlines for employers who report and pay on a quarterly basis until June 30, 2020.  Employers who report annually will not be impacted because they do not report payroll or pay premiums until March 2021. View more information.
  • The BC Ministry of Agriculture will be accepting carbon tax relief grants for greenhouse operations. More information to come. Once application is live it will be posted here.

Support for employees/individuals:

  • C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a one-time tax-free $1,000 payment to British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The Province has passed amendments to the Employment Standards Act creating an unpaid, job-protected, COVID-19 emergency leave retroactive to January 27, 2020 as well as a permanent legislative change mandating 3 unpaid, job-protected sick days per calendar year (mirroring Ontario).
  • Employees can be excused from work for illness without a doctor’s note.

Utility/Property tax support:

  • BC Hydro announced its COVID-19 Relief Plan for small businesses is now accepting applications. The program allows eligible small business customers who’ve closed their business due to COVID-19 to have their business’ electricity use charges waived for up to three months. This is a temporary program available from April 1 to June 30, 2020. Applications will be open until June 30.
  • The BC Utilities Commission has issued a letter to all of its regulated public utilities (e.g. BC Hydro, FortisBC and ICBC) to stop any disconnections, for reasons other than safety, for a minimum of 90 days. Small businesses that have closed due to COVID-19 will have their power bills forgiven between April and June 2020 and large retailers and industries will have the opportunity to defer 50% of their bill payments for three months.
  • FortisBC (an electricity and natural gas distribution utility in BC) has announced that small business owners can either receive support in the form of bill credits to help offset the charges on their account while unable to operate their business or defer bill payments from April 1 to June 30, 2020. When they apply to the program, they will automatically be entered into a repayment plan that will be spread out over the next 12 months to help lessen the immediate financial impacts during this time. More information here and applications are now open. 

Additional Notes: 

  • The Government is looking for both medical and non-medical products and services to help with the response to COVID-19. View list of the products requested.
  • The BC Government has announced that essential service providers will not be held liable for COVID-19 related damages that result from operating or providing their services. For example, a grocery store will not be held liable for a customer being exposed to COVID-19, so long as the store is following established protocols on how to prevent the spread of the virus (social distancing guidance, proper handwashing, regular cleaning and disinfecting), has identified employees who are sick and has ensured they are not coming to work. View Ministerial Order

Provincial Re-Opening Framework
UPDATED [May 19]: Government proposed 5 days unpaid leave
UPDATED [May 20]: Increases to group size limits starts Friday
UPDATED [May 28]: Phase II of re-opening starts June 1

Support for businesses:

  • Support for small and medium sized retailers will be available, providing businesses with the ability to defer payment of payroll taxes and provincial PST remittance up to $10,000 for 60 days. The Minister noted that they will work with all sized businesses regarding flexible repayment options above the $10,000 cap. Application information available here.
  • The Manitoba government announced new measures in the Manitoba Protection Plan to provide extra support and relief to retailers, businesses and homeowners.
  • Several changes requested by RCC to Manitoba’s Employment Standards Code will be announced to address provisions regarding individual and group terminations, layoffs and other issues that could have negatively impacted cash on hand for retailers.
  • The government is adding a temporary exception to employment standards regulations to give employers more time to recall employees laid off as a result of COVID-19. Under current rules, employees who have been laid off for eight or more weeks in a 16-week period are deemed to have been terminated and are entitled to wages in lieu of notice. Effective immediately, any period of layoff occurring after March 1, 2020, will not be counted toward the period after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination. View more information.
  • Provincial and corporate income tax filing will be extended to August 31, 2020.
  • PST will be removed from Manitoba business property insurance beginning July 1, 2020.
  • The Manitoba government has announced they will establish a Support Call Centre to help Manitoba businesses affected by COVID-19 navigate through the various support programs available. More details will be available in a few days.

Support for individuals:

  • Critical services workers, including those from the retail sector can access child care if they require it.
  • Manitoba announced plans to amend the Employment Standards Code to allow employees protected unpaid leave. Eligible purposes include: any necessary isolation or quarantine, obtaining a pandemic related medical treatment, and providing care or support to a family member as a result of COVID-19, including but not limited to, school and daycare closures.  The new provisions would be retroactive to March 1, 2020.

Utility/Property tax support:

  • No interest charges or penalties on Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas, Manitoba Public Insurance and WCB for the next six months, until October 1, 2020.

Provincial Re-Opening Framework
UPDATED [May 14]: Opening of childcare facilities delayed
UPDATED [May 19]: In orange phase of recovery plan
UPDATED [May 28]: Potential cluster of new cases

Support for businesses:

  • WorkSafeNB employer premiums will be deferred for February, March and April 2020.
  • The province has declared that no commercial landlord shall give any tenant any sort of notice to quit, re-enter or re-possess demised premises or exercise any right of distress, until May 31, 2020 for non-payment of rent that came due after March 19, 2020.
  • Six month deferral of loan and interest payments (determined on cases by case basis).
  • Small to large employers can apply to Opportunities New Brunswick for loans of up to $200,000.

Support for employees/individuals:

  • Retail workers who have been displaced can apply for the $900 income benefits program from the Red Cross by completing this online application or by calling the Red Cross at 1-800-863-6582. There is also a 2020 Low-Income Seniors Benefit ($400 annually) that is available as of April 1, 2020.
  • New Brunswick Public Drug Plan: For the duration of the state of emergency, patients will only be responsible for the initial co-payment on a prescription fill or refill.
  • Landlords cannot require tenants to vacate for non-payment of rent are suspended until May 31, 2020.
  • Seniors can apply for an annual amount of $400. View application.

The government has set up an information line for people with questions about COVID-19 and includes the ability to report people who are believed to be violating the emergency declaration order. The number, 1-844-462-8387, is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The email address is helpaide@gnb.ca

Provincial Re-Opening Framework
UPDATED [May 15]: Schools to remain closed until September

Support for businesses:

  • WorkplaceNL is temporarily deferring the collection of employer premiums until June 30, 2020 and waiving interest charges or penalties. The deferral will be applied to all existing payment plans and post-dated cheques. Employers do not need to contact WorkplaceNL and will be able to revise their payroll estimates, used to calculate their assessment payable, prior to their payments being reinstated.
  • Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland Hydro have confirmed they will not cut off service.
  • $200 million in contingency funding will be available

Support for employees/individuals:

Provincial Re-Opening Framework
UPDATED [May 19]: In 1st phase of re-opening

Support for businesses:

  • NWT has provided more details on their economic relief package, immediate relief measures include: shortening the payment terms on Government of NWT invoices so that they are paid out as soon as possible, allowing small businesses and individuals to access cash flow more quickly and extending the due date for Employer Assessment Payments to the Worker’s Safety and Compensation Commission from April 1 to May 1, 2020.
  • NWT is offering low interest loans to business operators whose cash flow has been affected as a result of COVID-19 through the Business Development and Investment Corporation.Applications are available here.
  • Recognizing the important role that aviation plays in NWT’s supply chain, $2 million will be provided to help support critical aviation businesses that NWT communities and economy rely upon. 

Support for individuals:

  • The Government of the Northwest Territories has enacted the Residential Tenancies (COVID-19) Regulations, a new temporary regulation that offers tenants a mechanism to defer their rent if they have lost their job or have had a significant decline in their income during the COVID-19 health pandemic. More information

Provincial Re-Opening Framework
UPDATED [May 19]: Entering Phase 2 of re-opening

Support for businesses:

Support for employees/individuals:

  • Every individual on income assistance will receive an additional $50 starting Friday, March 20, 2020, to help pay for food, cleaning supplies and personal care items. People do not need to apply.
  • No tenant can be evicted because their income has been impacted by COVID-19, effective immediately for the next three months.
  • Employers do not require a doctor’s note if an employee must be off work.
  • The province will extend the hours of toll-free line for income assistance supports, including weekends and has implemented additional measure for seniors and vulnerable Nova Scotians.
  • Workers who do not qualify for EI can apply for the Worker Emergency Bridge, and one-time $1000 payment to the gap between layoffs and closures and the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit. View more information

Utility/Property tax support: 

  • The City of Halifax has deferred the interim bill due date from April 30, 2020 to June 1, 202, suspended Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) fees, and reduced interest rates charged on arrears from 15% per annum to 10% per annum. Read more

Additional information:

Support for business: 

Support for employees/individuals:

  • The Government of Nunavut has announced that it is continuing to fund parental fees for all Nunavut licensed child care facilities from April 7 to 21, 2020 to offset any losses due to closures during this period.

Provincial Re-Opening Framework
NEW [May 14]: Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen
UPDATED [May 19]: Stage 1 Re-opening begins today; schools closed until September

Other links and resources:
NEW [May 15]: Workplace PPE Supplier Directory
UPDATED [May 7]: Health and Safety Association Guidance Documents for Workplaces During the COVID-19 Outbreak
UPDATED [May 7]: Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19
Request a temporary rule or regulation change to help your business respond to COVID-19

Support for businesses:

  • There will be deferrals in place on all 10 of the provincial business taxes, including the Employer Health Tax, the provincial portion of property tax, as well as on all WSIB payments. The current package includes the following:
    • All 10 Provincial Business Taxes will be deferred until at least Aug 31st, interest & penalty free including the Employer Health Tax, all fuel taxes, beer and wine taxes.
    • For the Employer Health Tax, the minimum payroll amount of $490,000 will be increased to $1,000,000 for 2020. That means businesses with payrolls less than a million will not have to pay any EHT. For eligible private-sector employers with payrolls up to $5 million, the first $1 million of total Ontario remuneration is exempt, increasing the exemption to $19,500 for 2020.
    • All WSIB premium payments will be deferred for 6 months. In the interim, the Province will cover all employee claims.
    • The Provincial portion of Property Tax will be deferred for 90 days (Education payments).
    • Ontario is postponing property tax reassessment for 1 year. Assessments for the 2021 taxation year will continue to be based on the same valuation date that was in effect for the 2020 taxation year.
  • All municipal time-of-day delivery restrictions have been lifted for food, medication and essential household items for the next 18 months.
  • Ontario Government announced a new $50 million fund designed to help businesses retool operations and/or innovative solutions to issues stemming from COVID-19. This includes production/innovation for essential medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment and ventilators. This new Ontario Together Fund will support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal.

Support for employees/individuals:

  • Employees can take job-protected leave without a doctor’s note if they are in isolation due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children or other relatives. View complete list of reasons qualifying for job protection. Employers are allowed to ask the employee to provide other evidence in lieu of a medical note (e.g. a note from a daycare centre, airplane cancellation, etc.).

Provincial Re-Opening Framework
UPDATED [May 15]: Re-opening plan is accelerating
UPDATED [May 19]: Many businesses & services planning to re-open May 22

Support for businesses:

  • Small to medium sized retailers and businesses who have closed due to the impacts of COIVD-19 can access the Commercial Lease Rent Deferral Program. Landlords who defer rent payments of commercial tenants for three months (May-July) could be eligible for financial assistance (up to a maximum of $50,000 per landlord and $15,000 per tenant) if the deferred rent can’t be recovered.
  • WCB employer premiums have been deferred until June 30. All new employer payroll audits have been deferred.
  • PEI Broadband Fund has been expanded to support equipment and installation of Mi-Fi units and Wi-Fi Signal Boosters for businesses and the self-employed.
  • COVID-19 Special Situations Fund for businesses and organizations that do not qualify for other federal or provincial funding programs
  • Retailers temporarily have the option of either charging customers $0.15 per paper checkout bag (the current, legislated approach) or to provide customers with paper checkout bags, free of charge.

Support for employees/individuals:

Provincial Re-Opening Framework
UPDATED [May 14]: Montreal-area schools closed until September
UPDATED [May 19]: Montreal retail stores & daycares to reopen May 25 & June 1 respectively

Support for businesses:

  • The Quebec Government announced an incentive program that will provide $400 per month (for 4 months) for employees who work in essential service businesses and who earn less than $2,000 per month. In addition, another $150 million will be available to help small and medium-sized businesses in Quebec with their cash flow needs up to $50,000 per enterprise.
  • The new deadline to pay taxes (without penalties or fees) will be July 31 to pay any corporate taxes or make any scheduled installment payments.” More info
  • The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) will give $4 billion to support Québec companies temporarily impacted by the crisis. Read more
  • A new $100 million business assistance program will be offered by the government for employee training. This program, the Concerted Action Program for Maintaining Employment(French), will help prepare for a return to work after the COVID-19 crisis and will allow employers to keep employees.
  • financial incentive of $100 per week has been granted to Quebec food producers to ensure they can pay local labor costs if workers cannot be brought in from Mexico or Guatemala due to COVID-19 related precautions.

Support for employees/individuals:

  • QC workers in isolation will receive $573 weekly.
  • Employees who work in essential service businesses, and who earn less than $2,000 per month, will receive an incentive $400 per month (for 4 months) from the province.
  • The Quebec Government is developing a free psychological support service.

Additional: 

  • The government is launching a digital platform, “Le Panier bleu“, which will identify Quebec products that can be ordered to help alleviate supply chain pressures in Quebec and, at the same time, help support local growers, manufacturers and producers.

Provincial Re-Opening Framework
UPDATED [May 19]: Stage 2 of re-opening begins today

Support for businesses:

  • Several changes have been made to the Saskatchewan Employment Act that address unpaid leave, sick leave, the removal of notice or pay in lieu of notice when they lay-off staff, and layoff rules.
  • Effective immediately, Saskatchewan businesses who are unable to remit their PST due to cashflow concerns will have relief from penalty and interest charges.
  • The crown utility interest deferral program will waive interest on late bill payments for up to six months. This is available for customers as well as retailers. View more information.
  • The province has temporarily modified hours of service regulations for commercial truck drivers in an effort to help meet immediate needs related to COVID-19.
  • The Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment (SSBEP) program will provide grants based on 15% of a business’ monthly sales revenue, to a maximum of $5,000 and is flexible as to how it may used by the business.

Support for employees/individuals:

Provincial Re-Opening Framework
UPDATED [May 19]: Campgrounds re-opening June 4

Support for businesses:

  • The Government of Yukon has put forward a stimulus package to support businesses, relieve financial pressures by deferring Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Premium payments and reimburse those who paid up front, and establish a Business Advisory Council to gather information on economic impacts of COVID-19 to share with government.
  • Yukon businesses and the tourism sector will benefit from some waived, reimbursed and delayed government fees.
  • The Yukon Business Relief Program has been introduced to help Yukon businesses that have experienced a 30% reduction in revenue and require immediate relief. Eligible businesses can apply for a grant of up to $30,000 per month to cover fixed costs from March 23 to May 22, 2020. More information and eligibility criteria here.

Support for employees/individuals:

  • A stimulus package will support Yukon workers in COVID-19 related 14-day isolation with paid sick leave.
  • Eligible Yukoners will receive an additional 10 paid sick leave days if they are required to isolate because of COVID-19. Employers are able to recover wages paid out to sick employees from the Yukon government through a rebate program. These paid sick leave days will apply after all existing regular paid sick leave for the employee is used.