Ontario Moving More Regions into Stage 3

July 20, 2020

More Businesses and Services Across the Province Can Safely Reopen on Friday

TORONTO — The Ontario government is allowing seven more regions to enter Stage 3 on Friday, increasing the number of businesses and public spaces that will reopen across the province. This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower or low transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.

The details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance.

"We're working with communities across the province to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help more businesses safely and responsibly hang up their 'Open for Business' sign," said Premier Ford. "While we want as many people back to work and taking home a paycheque again as possible, it's important for everyone ― no matter what stage your community is in ― to remain on guard and keep following the public health advice. By working together, we can keep new case numbers down and ensure all of Ontario can enter Stage 3 when it's safe to do so."

The following public health units will be allowed to move into Stage 3 on Friday, July 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.:

  • Durham Region Health Department;
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
  • Halton Region Health Department;
  • Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Lambton Health Unit;
  • Niagara Region Public Health Department; and
  • York Region Public Health Services.

These regions will join the 24 public health regions that entered into Stage 3 on Friday, July 17, 2020. For more information on the restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, as well as the public health and workplace safety restrictions necessary to keep people safe, visit Ontario.ca/reopen.

The following regions will remain in Stage 2 until local trends of key public health indicators demonstrate readiness to move into Stage 3:

  • Peel Public Health;
  • Toronto Public Health; and
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

Ontario will continue to assess trends in the public health indicators to determine when these final public health unit regions can progress to Stage 3. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health experts also continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be further loosened or if they need to be tightened.

"Building on the success of the regional approach in the previous two stages and based on the positive public health trends we are seeing, we are ready to move more regions across the province into Stage 3," said Minister Elliott. "Entering Stage 3 does not mean the fight against COVID-19 is over. We all must remain vigilant and continue following public health advice to ensure the progress we have made so far in stopping the spread will not be undone."

Businesses not able to open or resume full activities due to Stage 3 restrictions, or businesses that have ideas to safely amend Stage 3 restrictions or requirements, can visit Ontario.ca/reopen to submit a reopening proposal. Government and public health officials will review proposals and contact businesses for feedback or clarifications. Proposals may inform the potential loosening of restrictions as Stage 3 progresses. Proposals will receive initial feedback within 10 days of submission. A sector could be allowed to reopen or resume Stage 3 activities based on proposals submitted by businesses.

"I'm impressed by how seriously business owners are taking the public health advice and how easy they made it for their customers to take precautions," said Minister Phillips. "By providing plenty of space to physically distance, keeping hand sanitizer by the door, and maintaining records for contact tracing, they're playing a vital role helping fight COVID-19. We're all doing our part and making it easy for others to do the same."

As the province carefully reopens, the health and well-being of Ontarians remains a top priority. The government is strongly recommending everyone to continue following public health advice, including practising physical distancing with those outside your household or social circle, wearing a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so, staying home when ill, and washing your hands frequently and thoroughly. These measures are critical as more Ontarians return to work and access more businesses and services.

QUICK FACTS

  • For regions in Stage 3, gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people indoors and a maximum of 100 people outdoors, with physical distancing in place. Gathering limits apply to all social gatherings and events, as well as some higher risk activities and venues. Gathering limits do not apply to settings such as beaches, parks, restaurants and bars, but measures to enable physical distancing may limit capacity at any given time.
  • Some municipalities have implemented additional restrictions or requirements, such as mandatory face coverings in commercial establishments and all indoor public places. Check your local public health unit’s or local municipality’s website.
  • For questions on restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, review the Stage 3 Emergency Order on the emergency information portal or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
  • Over 180 guidance resources are available to businesses to help them safely reopen and keep customers and workers safe.
  • The province has set up a Workplace PPE Supplier Directory, where employers can find suppliers who sell personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to support a safe reopening of their workplaces.
  • Testing is available at any of the province’s 144 assessment centres currently open. To find your closest assessment centre, please visit Ontario.ca/coronavirus.
  • The province has developed a practical step-by-step guide to help Ontarians as they safely develop and join a social circle.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

CONTACTS

Ivana Yelich    Premier’s Office    Ivana.Yelich@ontario.ca

Alexandra Hilkene   Minister Elliott’s Office  Alexandra.Hilkene@ontario.ca 

Office of the Premier    http://www.ontario.ca/premier



Ontario Focusses on Renewal, Growth, and Economic Recovery

July 10, 2020

TORONTO - Today, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued the following statement on Statistics Canada's monthly employment release:

"Today's employment numbers are an indication that Ontario's economy is beginning to stabilize as we continue to safely and gradually reopen the province. According to Statistics Canada, employment in Ontario increased by 377,900 in June, including an increase of 66,200 manufacturing jobs. But the job numbers are much more than a statistic, they represent, families, business owners and workers back at work and contributing to Ontario's economic recovery.

Earlier this week, we introduced the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act. This legislation is the first step in our made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and economic recovery. If passed, this bill will help get shovels in the ground faster on key infrastructure projects, lead to the creation of more jobs and investment, and cut red tape to help businesses adapt to the new environment.

As we look towards Stage 3 of reopening, we know we have a solid foundation upon which to continue building our future and emerge stronger than ever. Our government is committed to working in partnership with people, businesses and municipalities across Ontario to respond to the challenges they face so we can create jobs and continue to support the economic health and prosperity of every region of the province."

Our government intends to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who are struggling as a result of this global pandemic. That also means supporting and promoting everything local. Made in Ontario means built in Ontario, it means hope for businesses and workers. It means asking consumers to support Ontario manufacturers and businesses by purchasing local products, because you will not only be buying quality, but supporting your friends, neighbours and local communities during one of the darkest periods in our province's history."

CONTACTS

Rebecca Bozzato  Minister Fedeli’s Office  rebecca.bozzato@ontario.ca

Kwok Wong  Communications Branch 647-504-2774  kwok.wong@ontario.ca

Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade  https://www.ontario.ca/medjct


Ontario Starting Down the Path to Growth, Renewal and Economic Recovery

July 8, 2020

COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act Will Help Create Jobs and Opportunities, Build Stronger Communities


TORONTO — The Ontario government is taking the first step in a made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and economic recovery. Today, the province introduced the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, proposed legislation that lays the foundation to restart jobs and development, strengthen communities, and create opportunity for people in every region of the province. 

Details of the legislation were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has touched all Ontarians and created significant hardship for individuals, families and businesses," said Premier Ford. "People are relying on our government to help rebuild the province and get people back to work ― and that's exactly what we're doing, starting with this new legislation."

If passed, the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act will:

  • Restart jobs and development to get Ontario's economic engine roaring again by getting key infrastructure projects built faster, attracting more jobs and investment, and cutting red tape to help businesses adapt to the new environment.
  • Strengthen communities by ensuring municipalities are equipped with the tools they need to continue to provide the critical services people rely on every day, including allowing municipalities and their local boards to continue to choose to hold meetings electronically at any time and putting in place a new community benefits charge to help municipalities pay for the infrastructure and services needed for growing communities.
  • Create opportunity for people as they recover their lives and livelihoods by protecting consumers, modernizing services, improving the education system and removing the social and economic barriers that stand in the way of success for young people.

    "We are working hand in hand with our municipal partners so they can emerge stronger and better able to meet the needs of local residents," said Minister Clark. "Ontario will continue to be a champion for communities and work closely with the federal government to help every community chart a path to a strong economic recovery."

    "Making Ontario a modern regulator — one that communicates clearly and operates effectively — will free up our people and businesses to focus on what's important: recovering and re-emerging stronger than before," said Minister Sarkaria. "By improving digital access to government and incorporating best practices, we're empowering businesses to rebuild, rehire, and return to a period where their success fuels our economic growth. A modern Ontario is better for people and smarter for business."

    The government is committed to working in partnership with people, businesses and municipalities to respond to the challenges they face and support the long-term health and prosperity of Ontario's economy.

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario’s COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website was created to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by this pandemic.
  • Through almost 1,300 submissions the government is actively investigating nearly 400 as identified roadblocks.
  • To assist municipalities, the province announced several supports in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID 19 (March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update). This lays the groundwork for nearly $450 million of direct support to assist municipalities in their efforts to support vulnerable people, deferring the June municipal remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, and postponing the property tax reassessment for 2021 to ensure that municipal governments can focus their attention on critical public health initiatives.
  • The $450 million in support includes: $350 million through the Social Services Relief Fund, most of which allows local service managers and Indigenous program administrators to expand supports for our vulnerable people across the province; an additional $100 million to support public health units and Public Health Ontario for the extraordinary costs incurred in meeting this public health threat and in protecting Ontarians.
  • The government is investing $2.6 billion this year to rehabilitate Ontario’s highways and bridges in every corner of Ontario. To get shovels in the ground faster and get more people back to work, the government is making it easier to build this critical transportation infrastructure, which will reduce delays and save taxpayers money.

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

CONTACTS

Ivana Yelich  Premier’s Office  Ivana.Yelich@ontario.ca

Julie O’Driscoll Minister Clark’s Office  Julie.O'Driscoll@ontario.ca

Conrad Spezowka  Communications Branch  MMA.Media@ontario.ca

Office of the Premier  http://www.ontario.ca/premier

BMO Announces $100,000 Grant Program for Women-Owned Businesses

·         Applications open on July 20, 2020 and will close on August 7, 2020

·         Grant recipients will be announced in October

TORONTO, July 8, 2020 /CNW/ - As part of its longstanding commitment to helping the advancement of women, BMO Financial Group today announced the details of its new grant program for women-owned businesses, in collaboration with Deloitte.

To celebrate business owners' innovation and resilience during the pandemic and provide additional support, BMO Celebrating Women – a BMO-owned community program – has pledged $100,000 in grants to Canadian entrepreneurs. This new grant program will award ten women-owned businesses with $10,000 to put towards their business.

To assist with the grant recipient selection process, BMO is collaborating with key strategic partners to establish an advisory committee and judging panel consisting of leaders from GroYourBiz, Women Presidents' Organization (WPO), Women Get On Board, Women Business Enterprises Canada, Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, and Deloitte.

"The new grant program honours the achievements of women-owned businesses and their ability to innovate and persevere during this difficult time," said Erminia (Ernie) Johannson, Group Head, North American Personal and Business Banking, BMO Financial Group. "We are deeply committed to developing programs that support the growth of women-owned businesses and to helping women make real financial progress."

Since its inception in 2012, BMO Celebrating Women has honoured more than 180 women in communities across Canada and the United States. The new BMO Celebrating Women grant program is a part of the bank's commitment to drive the advancement of women and its Purpose commitment to Boldly Grow the Good in business and in life.

"It's essential for the economy and for the future of Canada that brilliant, resilient women entrepreneurs are recognized and elevated. Deloitte is proud to assist BMO with this important initiative," said Linda Blair, Managing Partner, Ontario, Deloitte. "We recognize that these are exceptionally difficult times to sustain and grow a business, and we want to do what we can to help these entrepreneurs thrive."

In addition to the new grant, BMO has developed programs and invested in solutions to support women entrepreneurs, including its commitment to making $3 billion in capital available to women-owned businesses across Canada over three years.

To learn more about the grant program and BMO Celebrating Women, visit bmoforwomen.com and join the social conversation using #BMOforWomen.

About BMO for Women

BMO is committed to supporting initiatives that empower women within its workforce and the communities the bank serves. BMO has partnered with organizations such as the Women Presidents' Organization, GroYourBiz, Women Business Enterprises, and Women Get On Board to provide expertise, leadership, knowledge, and opportunities for women to network and learn. In 2018, BMO announced $3 billion in capital available over three years specifically for Canadian businesses owned by women. Through the only bank-owned recognition program for women in North America – BMO Celebrating Women – BMO celebrates successful women who have given back to their communities or achieved success in business. Since 2012, BMO Celebrating Women has honoured more than 180 women in communities across Canada and the United States.

About BMO Financial Group 
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $987 billion as of April 30, 2020, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

About Deloitte 
Deloitte provides audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax, and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories bringing world-class capabilities, insights, and service to address clients' most complex business challenges. Deloitte LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

Our global Purpose is making an impact that matters. At Deloitte Canada, that translates into building a better future by accelerating and expanding access to knowledge. We believe we can achieve this Purpose by living our shared values to lead the way, serve with integrity, take care of each other, foster inclusion, and collaborate for measurable impact.

To learn more about how Deloitte's approximately 312,000 professionals, over 12,000 of whom are part of the Canadian firm, please connect with us on LinkedInTwitterInstagram, or Facebook.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information:

For News Media Inquiries: Olivia Fraczkowski, BMO Financial Group, Toronto, Olivia.Fraczkowski@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996


Canadians' mental health linked to quality of employer support during COVID-19

Morneau Shepell's Mental Health Index™ shows 11-point decline from the pre-pandemic benchmark of 75

TORONTO, July 6, 2020 /CNW/ - Morneau Shepell, a leading provider of total wellbeing, mental health and digital mental health services, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™ report, showing a consistent negative mental health score in Canada for the third consecutive month. The findings show that while most of the country is entering new phases of reopening, Canadians continue to struggle with uncertainty brought on by the pandemic and need employer support now more than ever.

The Mental Health Index™ score is -11. The score measures the improvement or decline in mental health from the pre-2020 benchmark of 75. This month's overall score is one point higher than the score last month. The Mental Health Index™ also tracks sub-scores against the benchmark, measuring the risk of anxiety (-12.9), depression (-12.7), work productivity (-12.1), optimism (-12.0) and isolation (-11.6). While the sub-scores remain low, there has been a modest improvement across these areas when compared to the prior month.

"As the country enters new phases of reopening and restrictions begin to ease, it's important to remain focused on the mental health of Canadians and recognize that mental wellbeing requires the same attention and action as physical health," said Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer. "The long-term impact of continued low levels of mental health is not only a concern for individuals, but also for organizations and governments due to higher health and disability costs and the negative impact on individuals' participation in the economy. It has been great to see organizations and governments expand mental health support in recent months, but our Mental Health Index™ tells us there is still more to do."

Strong correlation between employer support and mental health 
The level of mental health support an employer provides to employees is impacting Canadians' mental wellbeing. More than one third (34 per cent) of respondents indicated that their employer has been supporting employee mental health inconsistently, poorly or very poorly during the pandemic. Mental Health Index™ scores for this group were -17.2 for those who indicated that mental health was supported inconsistently, -17.7 for those who indicated poor support and -26.3 for very poor support. This compares to -10.4 for those who stated mental health was supported somewhat well and -1.0 for very well.

These results demonstrate that employer support is of utmost importance, as an individual's perception of how well their employer has addressed the mental health of employees has a strong link to their mental health. As the country continues to reopen, respondents that felt unsupported cited areas that employers could provide support, including clear guidance on how to prevent spreading or getting the virus (27 per cent) and support to deal with anxiety (23 per cent).

"Canadians have experienced consistent negative impacts to their mental health since the start of the pandemic. This is continuing as people go back to work and new stressors emerge," said Paula Allen, senior vice president of research, analytics and innovation. "The reopening of the economy is a welcome and positive change for some, but for many others, re-entering the workplace is bringing up new uncertainties related to their safety and security. There is also more concern that things may never return to what we previously had and there is a lack of clarity about what work and life will be like. Employers need to continue to promote their wellbeing plan and resources for employees to seek support, while also looking for opportunities to show employees that their mental health is valued."

Canadians unlikely to return to previous spending habits post-pandemic 
This month's Mental Health Index™ revealed that concerns over safety, job security and financial risk will change spending habits after the pandemic. Among respondents, only 19 per cent cited being likely to return to previous spending habits following COVID-19. There are a number of barriers for those who are hesitant to return to previous spending habit: 39 per cent are concerned about the risk of infection from being in stores and service areas, 27 per cent feel they will be concerned about job security for a while and 22 per cent indicate that their income has changed since the pandemic began.

The data shows that the mix of physical distancing, self-isolation and closure of some businesses is changing the way Canadians perceive spending on non-essential items. The likelihood of individuals frequenting brick-and-mortar locations following the pandemic is decreasing, as what was once a luxury for many is now being viewed as a threat to health, safety and personal finances.   

"The future of the economy remains uncertain, despite businesses reopening across the country," said Allen. "Our Mental Health Index™ shows that Canadians are holding onto funds much tighter than before the pandemic and are proceeding with caution when it comes to their disposable income. We need to pay close attention to the mental health impact that the current economy has on Canadians, to ensure their physical, mental, social and financial wellbeing remain strong following the pandemic and in the years to come."

About the Mental Health Index™ 
The monthly survey by Morneau Shepell was conducted through an online survey in English and French from May 29 to June 9, 2020, with 3,000 respondents in Canada. All respondents reside in Canada and were employed within the last six months. The data has been statistically weighted to ensure the regional and gender composition of the sample reflect this population. The margins of error for the survey are +/- 3.2 per cent, valid 19 times out of 20. The Mental Health Index™ is published monthly, beginning April 2020, and compares against benchmark data collected in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The full Canadian report can be found at https://www.morneaushepell.com/permafiles/92827/mental-health-index-report-canada-june-2020.pdf.

About Morneau Shepell 
Morneau Shepell is a leading provider of technology-enabled HR services that deliver an integrated approach to employee wellbeing through our cloud-based platform. Our focus is providing world-class solutions to our clients to support the mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing of their people. By improving lives, we improve business. Our approach spans services in employee and family assistance, health and wellness, recognition, pension and benefits administration, retirement consulting, actuarial and investment services. Morneau Shepell employs approximately 6,000 employees who work with some 24,000 client organizations that use our services in 162 countries. Morneau Shepell is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit morneaushepell.com.

SOURCE Morneau Shepell Inc.

For further information:

Heather MacDonald, Morneau Shepell, media@morneaushepell.com, 855-622-3327; Catherine Snider, Kaiser Lachance Communications, catherine.snider@kaiserlachance.com, 416.419.8333



Thursday, July 2, 2020

York Region supports small businesses through $500,000 fund

Additional recovery measures implemented for local businesses impacted by COVID-19

Newmarket – York Regional Council has authorized $500,000 from the Innovation Investment Reserve Fund to provide COVID-19 support to local small businesses.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted our economy and local businesses,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “We are supporting York Region businesses through the re-opening of our community and economic recovery.”

York Region’s nine cities and towns can leverage their allocation of the $500,000 to support small businesses across the Region either through existing municipal Community Improvement Plans or to expand the Starter Company Plus program. Starter Company Plus is a program delivered by the Small Business Enterprise Centres located throughout York Region on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

“As York Region slowly moves towards re-opening its economy, we are still seeing businesses suffer,” said City of Markham Regional Councillor Jim Jones, Chair of Planning and Economic Development. “Offering support beyond what is currently available through senior levels of government will help preserve our economic prosperity.”

York Region continues to collaborate with all levels of government to implement economic recovery measures. Both the Government of Canada and the Ontario Government have launched multiple funding programs to ensure businesses are provided the tools necessary to survive the crisis and get back to work as soon as possible.

In addition, York Region has shared resources for businesses including a toolkit and other assets for download and use at york.ca/covid19forbusiness 

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 54,000 businesses with over 650,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices
 

Media Contact:   

Stephanie Crowley, Corporate Communications, The Regional Municipality of York
Phone:  1-877-464-9675  ext. 77272 or Cell: 905-251-6416
Email: stephanie.crowley
@york.ca


Ontario Encourages Support of Local Small Businesses

Province Promotes Shop Local, Shop Safe and Shop with Confidence Campaign

TORONTO — The Ontario Government is celebrating International Small Business Week with the launch of the "Shop Local! Shop Safe! Shop with Confidence!" campaign, encouraging Ontarians to support their local small businesses and to shop safely while doing so.

"The countless stories of success from our diverse small business community is living proof that Ontario is a place to grow and achieve big dreams," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business. "All of our small businesses supported the fight against COVID-19, many by closing their doors for several months—now it's our turn to help support their recovery. When Ontarians Shop Local, Shop Safe and Shop with Confidence, we're doing our  part to ensure the future vitality of our main streets, our communities and our province."

The province's campaign asks for mayors, local leaders and groups to support our small businesses by committing on social media to "Shop Local, Shop Safe, Shop with Confidence," while highlighting the best practices put in place by businesses to help keep shoppers safe while ensuring that the reopening of Ontario continues to be a success. For example, the principles of the People Outside Safely Together (POST) Promise encourage small businesses to strictly follow health guidelines and reopen with appropriate measures in place, so consumers can shop safely and with confidence, including:

"The Retail Council of Canada is strengthened by the contributions of our diverse membership, and we're delighted join the Government of Ontario in supporting our main street retail businesses and indeed all retailers across the province," said Diane J. Brisebois, President of the Retail Council of Canada. "'Shop Local, Shop Safe, Shop with Confidence' helps retailers, the province's largest private-sector employers, promote safety for consumers and workplaces, while continuing to help to build strong and vibrant communities all across Ontario." 

The province, in partnership with various health and safety organizations, has also released sector-specific guidelines in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. These documents help workplaces better understand their responsibilities and includes best practices they can use to help them comply with their legal obligation to protect the health and safety of workers.

Ontario Provides Stable Electricity Pricing for Industrial and Commercial Companies 

June 26, 2020

Province provides predictable electricity rates for two years

TORONTO - The Ontario government is helping large industrial and commercial companies return to full levels of operation without the fear of electricity costs spiking by providing more stable electricity pricing for two years. Effective immediately, companies that participate in the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) will not be required to reduce their electricity usage during peak hours, as their proportion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for these companies will be frozen.

"Ontario's industrial and commercial electricity consumers continue to experience unprecedented economic challenges during COVID-19," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. "Today's announcement will allow large industrial employers to focus on getting their operations up and running and employees back to work, instead of adjusting operations in response to peak electricity demand hours."

Due to COVID-19, electricity consumption in Ontario has been below average and the province is forecast to have a reliable supply of electricity to accommodate increased usage. Peak hours generally occur during the summer when the weather is hot and electricity demand from cooling systems is high.

"Today's action will reduce the burden of anticipating and responding to peak hours for more than 1,300 ICI  participants with 2,000 primarily industrial facilities in Ontario," said Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy. "Now these large employers can focus on getting their operations back up and running at full tilt."

The government previously announced it was providing temporary relief for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) by deferring a portion of GA  charges for April, May and June 2020.

 

QUICK FACTS

  • ICI  provides an incentive for eligible electricity consumers to reduce their consumption during peak hours to reduce their costs.
  • New ICI  participants for the 2021-22 program year will not be affected; they will be assessed on their electricity consumption during peak hours in 2020-21.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

CONTACTS

Alex Puddifant Minister’s Office  647-201-8821  Alex.Puddifant@ontario.ca

Natasha Demetriades  Communications Branch  416-327-3855  Natasha.Demetriades@ontario.ca

Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines  http://www.ontario.ca/endm


Monday June 22 2020

King Township Council Meeting June 22, 2020

Commercial Tax Rate Increase/Small Business in Township

Can it actually be true that King Township Council is even considering a Tax Rate increase directed at the limited Commercial sector of the Township’s Assessment Base at this critical “make or break” time for small business?  The Chamber of Commerce understands that discussion of this item is up at this Council Meeting.  This is both untimely and unfortunate given that it is difficult for the Chamber of Commerce and residents to speak to any proposed increase in the ‘virtual setting’.  It remains a problem with all public forums, the tribunals and the courts to get a ‘fair hearing’ of any issue currently.

At a time when we still have not seen the full economic effects of the Covid 19 Pandemic, we question why Council would even consider burdening small businesses further?  We understand that upwards of 40% of King Township’s small commercial businesses won’t reopen because of Covid 19 and that number could well be as high as 70% when the final body count is taken.  

Is a Tax Rate increase directed at the Commercial Sector at this point not roughly akin to kicking a person when already down?  Further, is this not a point where both Council and the Region should be taking a sober second look at the allocation of Tax Rates for all of the Tax Classes and determining a Rate approach more in tune for the current and post-pandemic years?

We submit that the Township should be looking at ‘a different way of doing things’ as the Covid and post-Covid years (with perhaps a 10 year horizon) are going to be fiscally challenging.  Residents and businesses are deferring mortgage and tax payments, there is uncertainty with the assessing Authority, small businesses are rapidly disappearing, and a largely imbalanced Assessment Base (95%+ Residential/almost no Industrial/small component Commercial/large Exempt/PILT component, etc.) present problems in go-forward budgeting for the Township.

While the Chamber of Commerce is concerned about the potential Tax Rate increases in general and the Commercial Tax Rate increase in particular, we are at the same time suggesting that a strategy needs to be established towards an integrated approach to be applied in terms of expanding and enhancing the local economy and Tax Base.  The Chamber notes the approach being taken in Orillia where a City of Orillia Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) has been created, Phase 1 being their Patio and Public Realm Initiative.  It involves streamlining the process of application for expanded patios, vetting by concerned groups, CIP participation, a degree of funding, and working with the local business community to create new opportunities and ultimately increased tax revenue.

The Chamber encourages Council to adopt the Orillia approach or the creation of a working group comprised of Stakeholders interested in seeing what we can do to encourage development of a more diversified economic and tax base in the Township that might help sustain us going forward.  Further, we recommend not approving any Tax increases until after they can be reviewed under a “post-Covid light” – the local economy is a different beast today than it was 6 months ago and it will be different again 6 months from now.  We must pause and look at how we could be doing things differently to remain healthy and sustainable as a Township.

All of which is most respectfully submitted.

Angelo Santorelli, President King Chamber of Commerce 


Government protecting small businesses as the province safely and gradually reopens
Ontario Pauses Commercial Evictions 

June 17, 2020

TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government passed the Protecting Small Business Act, temporarily halting or reversing evictions of commercial tenants and protecting them from being locked out or having their assets seized during COVID-19. The legislation applies to businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance for evictions from May 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020.

"We know COVID-19 has had a significant impact on small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "This Legislation will allow us to protect small businesses and help them get back on their feet so they can continue to create jobs and participate in the rebuilding of the provincial economy."

Landlords and tenants are encouraged to participate in the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The pause on evictions does not apply to those participating in CECRA for small businesses, as the program requires landlords to enter into a rent reduction agreement with their impacted small business tenants and commits them to a moratorium on evictions for three months.

"Pausing evictions of commercial tenants is another way we are supporting small businesses and providing much needed relief as we work to reopen the economy," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance and Chair of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee. "Working with the federal government, we are providing more than $900 million in relief to tenants and landlords in Ontario through the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses."

QUICK FACTS

  • In partnership with the federal government, Ontario is committing $241 million to CECRA for small businesses, which will provide more than $900 million in support for small businesses and their landlords. 
  • CECRA for small businesses provides forgivable loans to eligible commercial landlords for the months of April, May, and June 2020. Small business landlords would be asked to forgive at least 25 per cent of the tenant's total rent, tenants would be asked to pay up to 25 per cent of rent and the provincial and federal governments would share the cost of the remaining 50 per cent. 
  • Tenants and landlords can learn who is eligible and how to apply at Ontario.ca/rentassistance. The application deadline is August 31, 2020.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • Canada Emergency Rent Assistance Calculator
  • Learn more about Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
  • Learn more about A Framework for Reopening our Province
  • Visit Ontario’s COVID-19 website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from the virus.

CONTACTS

Julie O’Driscoll Minister’s Office Julie.O'Driscoll@ontario.ca

Conrad Spezowka Communications Branch 416-585-7066

MMA.media@ontario.ca Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

http://www.ontario.ca/municipalaffairsandhousing

The Conference Board of Canada -June 17, 2020 

Second Month of Deflation Since 2009

  • The Consumer Price Index was down 0.4 per cent in May following a 0.2 per cent decline in April (year-over-year). This is the second month of negative price growth since 2009.
  • All three measures of core inflation dropped last month. CPI-Common (the Bank’s preferred measure) nudged down to 1.4 per cent, the lowest of the three measures. The average of the three core inflation measures sat at 1.7 per cent last month, 0.3 per cent below the Bank’s 2.0 per cent target.
  • As a result of oil production cuts by the OPEC and their allies (Russia and Mexico) in May, gasoline prices were up by 16.9 per cent (monthly) after two months of declines. However, despite the monthly increase, oil prices were still 29.8 per cent lower than one year ago. As such, gasoline prices were the number one source of deflationary pressure in May. Excluding gasoline, CPI inched up 0.7 per cent in May, sharply down from 1.6 per cent in April.
  • Mortgage interest rates declined 0.1 per cent in May compared to April, the first drop since July 2017. This is a result of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate cuts and dwindling bond yields.
  • Food prices continued to exert upward pressures on CPI. Meat prices increased 7.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis as COVID-19 outbreaks led to closures at several meat processing plants.
  • Overall, a sharper drop in prices in May reflects the deep recession we are in and the current lack of demand in the economy as well as the oil price shock on consumer prices. Only four essential CPI components out of eight saw an increase in their prices last month: food; shelter; health and personal care; and alcohol, tobacco and cannabis. This is in line with our expectations of a surge in household demand for essential goods while households remain cautious about discretionary spending. As the economy will take months to recover, inflation is expected to continue falling behind the Bank’s 2.0 per cent target for the rest of this year. 

Ottawa, ON, June 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ottawa, June 17, 2020—The Conference Board of Canada’s Economist Anna Feng offers the following insights on today's Consumer Price Index (CPI) data:

“Consumer prices were off their year ago level (-0.4 per cent) again in May, recording the second month of deflation since 2009. The Bank of Canada’s preferred measure of core inflation decelerated to just 1.4 per cent, well below the Bank’s 2.0 per cent target. Depressed oil prices combined with suppressed household demand for discretionary spending contributed to May’s deflation. As such, we expect that inflation will continue falling behind the Bank’s 2.0 per cent target for the rest of 2020.”

Additional info:

Follow The Conference Board of Canada on Twitter
 

Content Attribution: Anna Feng  Economist, The Conference Board of Canada
FOR INTERVIEW REQUESTS:  Michelle Rozon  E-mail: media@conferenceboard.ca


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

June 15, 2020

TORONTO — More people will be able to get back to work as additional businesses and services in certain regions across Ontario can begin reopening this Friday. The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local medical officers of health, is enabling more regions of the province to enter Stage 2 of the government's reopening framework. These regions are able to reopen due to positive trends of key public health indicators at the local level, including lower transmission of COVID-19, sufficient hospital health system capacity, local public health capacity to assist with rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing provincially.

The details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade, and Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Tourism, Culture, and Sport Industries.

Informed by public health advice and workplace safety guidance, and supported by the collective efforts of businesses, workers and families to limit the potential spread of the virus, the latest public health unit regions allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. are:

  • Durham Region Health Department;
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
  • Halton Region Health Department;
  • Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Lambton Health Unit;
  • Niagara Region Public Health Department; and
  • York Region Public Health Services.
These regions are in addition to the 24 public health regions that entered Stage 2 on June 12, 2020. Before opening, business owners need to review the workplace safety guidelines and public health  advice.

"Thanks to the collective efforts of our frontline health care workers and the people in these regions to stop the spread of COVID-19, more businesses will be able to open their doors and thousands of people will be able to go back to work and put food on the table," said Premier Ford. "With the public health trends improving day by day across the province, I am hopeful all regions of Ontario will enter Stage 2 very soon. But we must remain on our guard to prevent any potential surge or secondary wave by continuing to follow the sound advice of our public health officials."

The following regions will remain in Stage 1 under ongoing assessment until trends of key public health indicators demonstrate readiness to move into Stage 2:

  • Peel Public Health;
  • Toronto Public Health; and
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

"Opening more regions of Ontario is another positive sign that we are making steady progress in our collective efforts to contain this deadly virus," said Minister Elliott. "As many more Ontarians begin to work, shop and interact with others, it's never been more important that we continue to follow public health advice, especially physical distancing with anyone outside of our social circle, so we can soon successfully and safely move into Stage 3."

Public health remains the government's top priority. All Ontarians must continue to follow public health advice, including practising physical distancing, wearing a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, washing hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you think you have COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has COVID‑19, get tested.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.

 

QUICK FACTS

  • At the beginning of each week, the government is providing an update on the ongoing assessment of Ontario’s regions, and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2 at the end of the week.
  • To get tested, people should visit Ontario's website to find their local assessment centre and whether they need to call ahead to make an appointment.
  • The province has developed a practical step-by-step guide to help Ontarians as they safely develop and join a social circle.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

CONTACTS

Ivana Yelich  Premier’s Office  Ivana.Yelich@ontario.ca

Hayley Chazan  Minister Elliott’s Office   Hayley.Chazan@ontario.ca

Office of the Premier http://www.ontario.ca/premier


Ontario and Canada Helping Small Businesses Go Digital

$57 Million Investment in Digital Main Street Will Help Businesses Reopen, Recover and Grow Long after COVID-19

Release June 11, 2020 10:00 A.M.

TORONTO — The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is helping small businesses reach more customers through the Digital Main Street platform. It is a $57-million program which will help up to 22,900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students.

The new program was unveiled today by Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, joined by Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

"Ontario's small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and their recovery is critical to Ontario's recovery," said Minister Sarkaria. "As thousands of small businesses across the province closed their doors and halted business during the COVID-19 outbreak, many struggled to shift sales or services online. I am very pleased, that together with Minister Joly and our federal partners, we are providing small businesses with the tools they need to recover, and flourish, as Ontario reopens."

Through the $57-million contribution to the Digital Main Street platform, businesses will be able to take advantage of three new programs to support their digital transformation:

  • shopHERE powered by Google will leverage Ontario's strengths by hiring highly skilled and trained students to build and support the launch of online stores for businesses that previously did not have the capacity to do so themselves. The core goal will be to help small businesses compete and grow, in a world that is increasingly online, and help them recover as quickly as possible following COVID-19.
  • Digital Main Street Grant will help main street small businesses be digitally more effective. Through a $2,500 grant administered by the Ontario BIA Association, small businesses will be able to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. Municipalities, Chambers of Commerce, and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) can apply for a Digital Service Squad grant, which will allow them to establish teams to provide personalized, one-on-one support.
  • Future-Proofing Main Street will provide specialized and in-depth digital transformation services and support that helps existing main-street firms adapt to changes in their sector and thrive in the new economy. By leveraging teams of digital marketing professionals and talented students, these firms will be able to create new online business models, develop and implement digital and e-commerce marketing strategies, and maximize digital tools, platforms and content.

In addition, the Recovery Activation Program, operated through the Toronto Region Board of Trade, will help businesses grow and digitize their operations with custom consulting sessions, online resource sharing, learning webcasts and business planning. As a result of the investment announced today, the program will be offered province-wide and at no cost to businesses.  

"As local economies across Ontario reopen, we're focused on ensuring that our main streets don't just survive, but thrive," said Mélanie Joly, Canada's Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario."These businesses are the backbone of our economy, a source of local jobs - and local pride. Thanks to the expanded Digital Main Street platform, they'll be able to expand their offerings and take advantage of more and more people shopping online. Our message to Ontario's small businesses and those whose livelihoods rely on them is clear: we're working with you to support good jobs and help our economy come back stronger than ever."

"The global marketplace is rapidly changing, and in order to compete and succeed Ontario must adapt," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "By using innovative tools and technologies, Digital Main Street will help our businesses in expanding their reach to meet new markets and adjust to the new realities of doing business during the pandemic and into the next phase of economic recovery."

About 60 percent of Ontario's small enterprises have a website, and only seven percent have an online payment solution. Digitally, Canadian businesses are estimated to be two years behind their U.S. counterparts.

In response, the Ontario government is providing significant support to small business. Along with the Digital Main Street platform, the province is investing an additional $150 million in rural broadband which will help open the digital road for many Ontario small businesses. In addition, the province has proposed a ban on commercial evictions to help businesses that have been impacted by restrictions due to COVID-19.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario Government reduced the small business Corporate Income Tax rate by 8.7 percent starting January 1, 2020. This will deliver up to $1,500 in annual savings to more than 275,000 businesses.
  • Ontario’s Small Business Success Strategy, launched prior to COVID-19, identified the need for small businesses across the province to build or enhance their online presence to remain competitive and expand their markets. The 2020 pandemic has further reinforced the need for Ontario small businesses to embrace digital tools, including having online storefronts and expanding them.
  • To further support small businesses with physical storefronts impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, Ontario is Proposing a Temporary Ban on Commercial Evictions.
  • The planned expansion of these Digital Main Street programs, including ShopHERE powered by Google and the Future-Proofing Main Street program, are the next evolution in efforts to help businesses embrace digital tools that began with the City of Toronto. Through the leadership of Mayor John Tory and the City of Toronto, the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) pioneered the creation of Digital Main Street and laid the foundation for it to be expanded and scaled-up to serve businesses across the province.
  • The expansion of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas’ (TABIA) Digital Main Street platform and program is delivered by the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) with the financial support of the provincial and federal governments.
  • shopHERE is a Digital Main Street program operated by TABIA. TABIA will also support the delivery of the Future-Proofing Main Street program, along with Communitech and Invest Ottawa.
  • The Recovery Activation Program is operated by the Toronto Region Board of Trade.

Background Information

Additional Resources

Media Contacts


News Release  June 8, 2020

Ontario Proposing Temporary Ban on Commercial Evictions

Government to introduce changes to the Commercial Tenancies Act to protect small businesses

TORONTO — The Ontario government announced today that it intends to take action to protect commercial tenants from being locked out or having their assets seized by their landlords due to the negative impacts of COVID-19. 

The proposed changes to the Commercial Tenancies Act would, if passed, temporarily halt evictions of businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance. If passed, the legislation would reverse evictions that occurred on or after June 3, 2020. The government intends to bring this legislation forward as soon as possible.

In partnership with the federal government, Ontario is committing $241 million to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses which is providing more than $900 million in support. CECRA for small businesses provides forgivable loans to eligible commercial landlords to help cover 50 per cent of commercial rent for tenants for the months of April, May and June 2020.

The tenant will be responsible for covering up to 25 per cent of rent, so that up to 75 per cent of the rent is covered. Tenants and landlords can learn how much they may be eligible for by visiting Ontario.ca/rentassistance.

"We need everyone working together to overcome COVID-19," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "Commercial tenants who can pay their rent, must do so. Landlords should work with their tenants to come to an agreement and use this joint program. Ontario's small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we need them to flourish."

If passed, the proposed legislation would make it illegal to evict a commercial tenant until August 31, 2020.  

"Working with the federal government, we are providing more than $900 million in relief to tenants and landlords," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. "We've been clear we would support small businesses and today's action does just that."

"Ensuring the immediate future of our small businesses is critical to helping our economy recover and rebound," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. "A moratorium on commercial evictions will bring stability to our small businesses and the employees and families they support. Their success is Ontario's success."

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • Visit Ontario’s COVID-19 website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from the virus.

CONTACTS

Julie O’Driscoll Minister’s Office  Julie.O'Driscoll@ontario.ca      Conrad Spezowka  Communications Branch  MMA.media@ontario.ca

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing  http://www.ontario.ca/municipalaffairsandhousing       


Ontario Permits More Businesses and Services to Reopen in the Coming Days 

News Release  June 8, 2020

Restrictions Being Eased in Communities Where It Is Safe to Do So

TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government announced that it is getting more people back to work and more recreational activities open by moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening the province.

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local health officials, the government is easing restrictions in communities where it is safe to do so, based on trends of key public health indicators such as lower rates of transmission, increased capacity in hospitals, and progress made in testing.

Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.

Public health unit regions allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. include:

  • Algoma Public Health
  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
  • Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

Details of the Stage 2 reopening were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

"We are able to make this announcement today because of the extraordinary effort of our frontline workers and every other person in the province who helped to stop the spread of this deadly virus," said Premier Ford. "Entering Stage 2 means parts of the province will see more people back on the job and an opportunity to get back together with friends and family. Although this is extremely encouraging, I urge everyone to exercise caution and continue to follow public health advice as we are not out of the woods yet."

Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:

  • Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
  • Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
  • Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
  • Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
  • Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
  • Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
  • Camping at private campgrounds;
  • Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
  • Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
  • Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
  • Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.

As more people return to work, the services they rely on will need to be available regardless of the stage a region is in. The province will soon release more details on:

  • Child care;
  • Summer camps;
  • Post-secondary education pilots to help people graduate;
  • Training centres; and
  • Public transit.


"The health and long-term economic well-being of the people of Ontario has guided every decision we have made in response to COVID-19," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance and Chair of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee. "The people and employers of Ontario have demonstrated responsible behaviour throughout the global pandemic. I'm confident that will continue in Stage 2 and beyond. Our collective health and the economic recovery of the province depend on it."

At the beginning of each week, the government will provide an update on the ongoing assessment of these regions, and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2 at the end of the week.

Everyone, regardless of where they live in the province, must continue to follow public health advice, including to practise physical distancing, wear a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.

"As a result of efforts of all Ontarians to stop the spread of COVID-19, many regions have met the criteria to move into the next stage of our reopening plan, including a decrease in new daily cases and sufficient hospital capacity in the event of any spikes in cases or outbreaks," said Minister Elliott. "Our regional approach recognizes that different regions in the province are experiencing COVID-19 differently and can safely and gradually ease restrictions and reopen local businesses. We will continue to monitor any shifts in the spread and take decisive action to contain any outbreaks."

The government, in partnership with health and safety associations, has released more than 100 health and safety guidance documents at Ontario.ca/COVIDsafety to help employers in multiple sectors ― including retail, restaurant and food services and child care ― keep spaces safe for workers and customers. As they prepare to reopen, employers are strongly advised to review these guidance documents and implement appropriate measures to help protect their workers and customers.

"Ontario employers have the information and the tools they need to keep workers safe," said Minister McNaughton. "That includes safety guidelines, posters and tip sheets to promote safe workplaces and help stop the spread of COVID-19. I strongly advise everyone to visit Ontario.ca/COVIDsafety to read, download, print and post them, for your sake and the sake of those around you."

"Since the beginning of this pandemic, our government has worked together with Ontario's business community to mobilize our manufacturing and innovation might to develop made-in-Ontario solutions," said Minister Fedeli. "As we proceed into Phase 2 of the reopening process, we will continue to support both businesses and workers as we move forward on the path to economic recovery together."

QUICK FACTS

  • For questions about what is currently able to open during Stage 1, or what will be open or impacts to your business or employment when we enter Stage 2, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
  • The Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee wants to hear directly from people and organizations from all regions and sectors to help inform the next steps in Ontario’s Action Plan in response to COVID-19. You can provide your input here.
  • Visit Ontario.ca/reopen to learn how you can provide your feedback on the impacts of COVID-19 on personal finances, business supports and government relief measures.
  • On April 1, 2020, the government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal and help businesses retool their operations.
  • The government has launched the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The directory can be accessed here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

CONTACTS

Ivana Yelich  Premier’s Office  Ivana.Yelich@ontario.ca     Emily Hogeveen       Minister Phillips’s Office  647 294-6166  Emily.Hogeveen@ontario.ca 

Scott Blodgett   Ministry of Finance  416 728-9791  Scott.Blodgett@ontario.ca       Office of the Premier  http://www.ontario.ca/premier


Support for small business tenants and landlords now available 

May 29, 2020

Ontario commercial landlords can apply for urgent rent assistance

through Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses

TORONTO — All commercial landlords in Ontario can now apply for rental assistance to help their small business tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative will keep more small businesses in operation and more people employed as the province gradually and safely restarts the economy.

The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, has launched the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The province is committing $241 million to the program, which will provide more than $900 million in support for small businesses across Ontario during this difficult time.  To find out how much rent support you may be eligible for, visit Ontario.ca/rentassistance.

"We know that some of the necessary measures put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 have created significant financial hardships for small businesses," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. "That's why we've partnered with the federal government to deliver urgent rent assistance and help both small businesses and commercial landlords make ends meet. I encourage all commercial landlords to take advantage of this benefit as soon as possible in order to provide some certainty for our small businesses."

The CECRA  for small businesses, administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), provides forgivable loans to eligible commercial landlords to help cover 50 per cent of commercial rent for tenants for the months of April, May and June 2020. The tenant will be responsible for covering up to 25 per cent of rent, so that up to 75 per cent of the rent is covered.

To receive the forgivable loan, eligible commercial landlords will be required to enter into a rent reduction agreement with their impacted small business tenants for April to June 2020, which includes committing to a moratorium on evictions for three months.

"As Ontario's economy gradually reopens, we will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure people and businesses across the province get the support they desperately need. We want to do everything we can to ensure our small businesses are able and ready to reopen their doors when the time is right," said Phillips.

To learn more and apply for the CECRA  for small businesses, visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) application portal


QUICK FACTS

  • The CECRA  for small businesses is administered by the CMHC  and will be available until August 31, 2020. Support will be retroactive to April 1, covering April, May and June 2020.
  • The CECRA  for small businesses has been developed to share the cost of rent between small business tenants, landlords and the governments of Ontario and Canada. Small business landlords would be asked to forgive at least 25 per cent of the tenant's total rent, tenants would be asked to pay up to 25 per cent of rent and the provincial and federal government would share the cost of the remaining 50 per cent.
  • Partnering with the federal government to deliver rent assistance builds on the government’s actions to support small businesses during COVID-19. As part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, the first phase of the government’s response, the province has implemented $10 billion in cash flow supports to help support jobs and businesses through tax and other deferrals.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

CONTACTS

Emily Hogeveen  Minister’s Office 647-294-6166  emily.hogeveen@ontario.ca

Scott Blodgett  Communications Branch  416-728- 9791  scott.blodgett@ontario.ca

Ministry of Finance  http://www.ontario.ca/finance

News Release

Ontario Helps People Impacted by COVID-19 Get Back to Work 
New Programs Focus on Hospitality Workers and Apprentices

May 22, 2020

TORONTO — As the economy gradually reopens, the Ontario government is helping people affected by COVID-19 get back to work. The province is investing in Ontario's first Virtual Action Centre, an online counselling and training portal, to support laid off and unemployed hospitality workers, and is helping apprentices by providing grants to purchase tools, protective equipment and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools.

The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

"The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for many business owners, workers, and families, and that's why we are doing everything we can to help people through this difficult period," said Premier Ford. "Hospitality workers and our skilled tradespeople have been among those hardest hit by this pandemic. These new programs will ensure they're ready to get back on the job and play an important role in our economic recovery."

The government is providing an Ontario Tools Grant of $2.5 million in 2020-21 and $7.5 million in 2021-22 and ongoing. This will help new eligible apprentices purchase the equipment they need to start their careers. The funding amounts will be distributed as follows:

  • $1,000 for those in motive power sector trades;
  • $600 for those in construction and industrial sector trades;
  • $400 for those in service sector trades.

To be eligible for the new grant, apprentices must have:

  • completed level 1 training on or after April 1, 2020;
  • an active registered training agreement; and
  • been registered as an apprentice for at least 12 months.

The government is also forgiving more than $10 million in outstanding loans owed by apprentices for tool purchases made at the beginning of their careers. The Loans for Tools Program allowed thousands of new apprentices to buy tools, equipment, clothing, manuals and code books required for their trade. About 19,000 apprentices who participated in the program owed, on average, $495.

"If we are going to rebuild our economy, we must reach out and help the workers and businesses that are suffering as a result of COVID-19," said Minister McNaughton. "The programs that we are announcing today will leave more money in the pockets of our apprentices and support those hospitality workers who have been laid-off by providing access to the training and services they need to recover and rejoin the workforce."

The government is also investing nearly $2 million to open a Virtual Action Centre in partnership with UNITE HERE Local 75. This virtual job training resource will provide up to 7,000 unemployed workers in the hospitality sector with access to a wide range of services and supports online and over the phone, including:

  • Stress management and mental health resources through video conferencing;
  • Immediate health and safety online training for workers who return to work at designated quarantined sites;
  • Technical skills online training;
  • Online training to upgrade English language and digital skills;
  • Peer group facilitation and employment preparation through videoconferencing.

UNITE HERE will operate the Virtual Action Centre. UNITE HERE is a union that represents workers in hotels, restaurants, racetracks and casinos, laundry and food service companies, airport concessions and apparel, textile and general manufacturing and distribution centers.

"Ontario's hotel and hospitality sectors create thousands of jobs across the province," said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. "This new virtual platform will make sure that those workers are supported as we gradually reopen the province and prepare our $35 billion tourism sector to welcome visitors back."

"We are very grateful for the generous support of the Ontario government," said Guled Warsame, President of UNITE HERE Local 75. "This support will provide services and skills training to our members who are laid-off due to COVID-19. We know that people are at the heart of the hospitality industry. We are very grateful and proud to work with the provincial government to ensure that people are provided with support and the opportunity to upgrade their skills and get back to work as soon as possible."

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

            CONTACTS

            Ivana Yelich,  Premier’s Office  Ivana.Yelich@ontario.ca

            Bradley Metlin,  Minister McNaughton’s Office  Bradley.Metlin@ontario.ca

            Janet Deline, Communications Branch  416 326-7405
            MLTSDmedialine@ontario.ca

            Office of the Premier   http://www.ontario.ca/premier

            Prime Minister announces opening of program to protect jobs and help businesses

            OTTAWA, May 20, 2020 /CNW/ - Canadians are focused on keeping their jobs and paying their bills, as they continue to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. That's why the Government of Canada has put jobs and workers first, in our approach to support businesses during this challenging time.

            The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that application documents and updated criteria for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses are now available, and that the program will be opened for applications beginning on May 25.

            The Government of Canada is focused on safeguarding workers' jobs as we continue to deal with this pandemic. That's why we reached an agreement in principle last month with all provinces and territories to implement CECRA. This program will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners, who in turn will give a rent reduction of at least 75 per cent for April and May (retroactive), and June, to their small business tenants.

            This program provides property owners the opportunity to do their part in helping small businesses and their employees succeed in these challenging times. We're all in this together, and that's why the government is stepping up to provide rent relief to businesses, while helping property owners maintain rental income through this crisis.

            CECRA will provide important relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship, and is another measure that helps businesses keep Canadians on the payroll. Applications will be accepted through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website beginning on May 25, and application documents can be accessed now. 

            The Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan is protecting middle class jobs and helping Canadian businesses through this crisis. Together, we will continue to ensure Canadians have what they need to pay their bills and keep their families safe and healthy during these challenging times.  

            Quotes
            "Canadians want to know that their jobs are protected and their families are safe and healthy. That's why we're stepping up to provide support that will keep workers on the payroll, protect middle class jobs, and help Canadians recover quickly once we make it through these difficult times." 
            The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

            "The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profound impact on Canadians. We thank and commend the many property owners who have already taken action to help their tenants during this crisis. With CECRA, the Government of Canada is stepping up to support Canada's small businesses. The forgivable loans will significantly lower the rent for small business tenants and keep them prepared to bounce back when this crisis subsides."
            The Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

            Quick Facts

            • CECRA will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners, whether they have a mortgage on their property or not. The loans will cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June. 
            • The loans will be forgiven if the qualifying property owner agrees to reduce the small business tenants' rent by at least 75 per cent under a rent reduction agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent. 
            • Impacted small business tenants are businesses that are paying less than $50,000 per month in gross rent in a given location, with annual revenues of less than $20 million (at the ultimate parent level), and who have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.

            Associated Links

            Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

            Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

            COVID–19: CECRA for small businesses

            Prime Minister announces partnerships with provinces and territories to deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses

            Prime Minister announces additional support for small businesses

            This document is also available at https://pm.gc.ca

            SOURCE Prime Minister's Office

            For further information: PMO Media Relations: media@pmo-cpm.gc.ca


            Prime Minister announces expansion of support for workers and small businesses

            OTTAWA, May 19, 2020 /CNW/ - Throughout the pandemic, the Government of Canada has focused on keeping Canadians safe and healthy and helping families pay their bills. That's why we have introduced strong measures to protect middle class jobs and support businesses, so they can keep Canadians on the payroll during this challenging time.

            The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. This extended measure will help small businesses protect the jobs that Canadians rely on.

            The changes to the CEBA will allow more Canadian small businesses to access interest free loans that will help cover operating costs during a period when revenues have been reduced, due to the pandemic.   

            The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.

            To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

            1. business operating account at a participating financial institution 
            2. Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return. 
            3. eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance. 

            Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada. Funding will be delivered in partnership with financial institutions. More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come. To date, over 600,000 small businesses have accessed the CEBA, and the government will work on potential solutions to help business owners and entrepreneurs who operate through their personal bank account, as opposed to a business account, or have yet to file a tax return, such as newly created businesses.

            This measure is part of the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which is putting Canadians and the protection of middle class jobs first. We will continue to help all Canadians, and together we will get through this crisis.

            Quotes 
            "Canadians are counting on us to protect their jobs and help them pay their bills during this difficult time. By expanding the CEBA, we will be giving more businesses access to the support they need, so they can help protect workers and the jobs they rely on. Today we are helping to keep more businesses open and more Canadians working, so we are better prepared for the recovery to come."
            The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

            "Our government has been taking action since the start of this crisis to support the small businesses that define our Main Streets and provide jobs that Canadians rely on. We have been listening to you throughout this, and will continue to, to make sure we're delivering the support Canadian businesses need to get through this tough time and be well positioned for success once the recovery begins."
            The Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

            "Small businesses are at the heart of our communities, and they drive our national economy. By making our lending supports more generous and inclusive, we're working hard to save Canadian jobs and businesses. We will continue to be there for Canadian businesses and workers every step of the way through this crisis."
            The Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

            Quick Facts
            • Launched on April 9, 2020, the CEBA provides zero-interest, partially forgivable loans up to $40,000 to small businesses that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19, but face ongoing non-deferrable costs such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, and employment costs. Twenty-five per cent of this loan is forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022. 
            • The CEBA is administered by Export Development Canada, which is working closely with Canadian financial institutions to deliver the loans to their existing business banking customers. 
            • When first launched, the CEBA was designed to allow for rapid deployment of credit to businesses with 2019 payroll between $50,000 and $1 million. The government then expanded the eligibility parameters of the program, by increasing the payroll eligibility range to between $20,000 and $1.5 million. 
            • Since the CEBA's launch, over 600,000 loans have been approved, representing a total of more than $24 billion in credit.

            Associated Links

            ·         Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
            ·         Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
            ·         Prime Minister announces additional support for small businesses
            ·         Prime Minister announces support for small businesses facing impacts of COVID‑19

            This document is also available at https://pm.gc.ca/

            SOURCE Prime Minister's Office



            Ontario Retail Stores Open for Curbside Pickup and Delivery

            May 11, 2020

            Health and safety guidelines in place to protect workers and customers

            TORONTO ― Starting today, more people will be returning to work across the province as the Ontario government allows retail stores with a street entrance to offer curbside pickup and delivery. Over the weekend, garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores began offering in-store purchasing. All retailers should follow available safety guidelines in order to protect staff, consumers and the general public during the COVID-19 outbreak.

            In addition, provincial parks and conservation reserves will begin opening today with limited access. To start, recreational activities will be restricted to walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching. People will be able to access all parks and conservation reserves for free until the end of the month.

            Today's update was provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance.

            "The reopening of more businesses and provincial parks is a clear sign that we are making progress in our battle against COVID-19," said Premier Ford. "We are getting more people back to work when safe to do so and laying the groundwork for a full economic recovery. At the same time, we are moving carefully and cautiously to ensure we don't put people at risk and remain ready to respond to any potential outbreaks or surges in cases."

            "As we see more positive signs on the public health front, the fight for business-owners, for workers and for families continues," said Minister Phillips. "Our Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee is actively working towards the next important step, which is reopening our province so we can get the people of Ontario back on the job safely. We are all going to have to work together to get our economy growing again. And now more than ever, the Ontario Spirit will ensure we're successful in these next steps."

            The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and its health and safety association partners have now released over 80 sector-specific health and safety guidelines, including guidelines for curbside pickup and delivery services. The Ministry of Health has also released a Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces. Business owners should use these guidelines to develop reopening plans that work for their business and protect workers, customers and the general public as the province prepares for the gradual reopening of the economy.

            "Throughout this period of uncertainty, businesses and people across Ontario have responded tremendously to help fight this outbreak," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "Today, businesses can offer curbside pickup and delivery, if they follow appropriate safety guidelines. This is the next step forward in safely and methodically re-opening our economy, so that we can return to the path of economic prosperity and renewal."

            "Hardworking families and small businesses have shown remarkable resiliency in navigating the challenges brought on by COVID-19," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. "The guidelines we put in place for deliveries and curbside pickup are helping Ontarians access the things they need, while laying the groundwork for the economic recovery ahead."

            Easing restrictions on retail stores is aligned with the first phase of the government's Framework for Reopening our Province, Protect and Support, which allows for businesses that can operate safely to do so. The Framework also includes guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces, and sets out the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts are using to advise the government on adjusting or loosening public health measures.

            "Together, we have made tremendous progress in our shared battle against COVID-19," said Minister Elliott. "There is still work to be done. Each of us needs to keep up the fight by continuing to practise physical distancing, frequent handwashing and staying home when ill. Let's continue to do our part."

            ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

            CONTACTS

            Ivana Yelich, Premier’s Office Ivana.Yelich@ontario.ca

            Rebecca Bozzato, Minister Fedeli’s Office  Rebecca.Bozzato@ontario.ca

            Kwok Wong, Communications Branch 647 504-2774  Kwok.Wong@ontario.ca

            Office of the Premier, http://www.ontario.ca/premier



            Ontario Further Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction During COVID-19

            May 6, 2020

            Retailers to follow health and safety guidelines

            TORONTO ― The Ontario government is allowing all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, as well as in-store payment and purchases at garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores. The business owners should review the health and safety guidelines developed by the province and its health and safety association partners.

            Today's announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

            "We haven't been sitting on our hands. Whether it's releasing our framework for reopening or putting in place the workplace safety guidelines needed to help businesses adapt to the new environment, we've been laying the groundwork for the safe, measured, and gradual reopening of our province," said Premier Ford. "As the trends improve, we can move forward with reopening more and more of our economy and getting people back to work."

            As early as Friday, May 8 at 12:01 a.m., garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies. Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases as soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 9. On Monday, May 11 at 12:01 a.m., retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry of Health's Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements.

            In addition to easing restrictions on retail, the government is also expanding essential construction to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue. This will help clear the way for the housing and jobs our economy will need to support economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

            Businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines, such as promoting physical distancing and frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering shifts, and using contactless payment options to stop the spread of COVID-19.

            "It's due to the progress we have made collectively to slow the spread of COVID-19 that we are able to see a gradual easing of restrictions, allowing certain businesses to reopen safely," said Minister Fedeli. "During this period, we must move cautiously and strike the right balance between getting people back to work and preventing further outbreaks. Protecting the safety of staff, customers and the general public is our number one priority."

            The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, in partnership with Ontario's health and safety associations, has released over 60 sector-specific health and safety guidelines, including guidelines for curbside pickup and delivery services. Business owners should review the guidelines and consult with local public health officials to ensure they have the information they need to protect workers, customers and the general public as the province prepares for the gradual reopening of the economy.

            "Small businesses across Ontario have done their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. "I encourage all business owners to learn the new health and safety guidelines, so when it comes time to reopen you will be prepared to hit the ground running and provide the services we all count on every day."

            The government's Framework for Reopening our Province, which was released on April 27, 2020, includes guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces, and the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts are using to advise the government on the loosening of public health measures, including emergency orders.

            "The health and safety of every Ontarian will always be our top priority as we continue planning for the next phase of our fight against COVID-19," said Minister Elliott. "Together, each of us have put in tremendous effort to stop the spread, and because of these collective efforts we have made tangible progress. More than ever, we need to continue practicing physical distancing while we slowly and carefully reopen Ontario's economy."

            ADDITIONAL RESOURCES


            CONTACTS

            Ivana Yelich, Premier’s Office Ivana.Yelich@ontario.ca

            Rebecca Bozzato, Minister Fedeli’s Office Rebecca.Bozzato@ontario.ca 

            Kwok Wong, Communications Branch 647 504-2774 Kwok.Wong@ontario.ca

            Office of the Premier http://www.ontario.ca/premier  


            News Release

            Ontario Providing Support for Industrial and Commercial Electricity Consumers During COVID-19

            May 1, 2020

            Businesses to See Temporary Relief starting from April 2020

            TORONTO - Through an emergency order passed today, the Ontario government is taking steps to defer a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan for the period starting from April 2020. This initiative is intended to provide companies with temporary immediate relief on their monthly electricity bills in April, May and June 2020. The government intends to keep this emergency order in place until May 31, 2020, and subsequent regulatory amendments would, if approved, provide for the deferral of these charges for June 2020 as well.

            This relief will prevent a marked increase in Global Adjustment charges due to the low electricity demand caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Without this emergency order, a small industrial or commercial consumer (i.e., Class B) could have seen bills increase by 15 per cent or more. This emergency order will hold GA rates in line with pre-COVID-19 levels.

            "Ontario's industrial and commercial electricity consumers are being impacted by COVID-19. They employ thousands of hardworking Ontarians, and we know this is a challenging time for them," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. "This would provide immediate financial support for more than 50,000 companies when they need it most: as they do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and as they prepare to help get our economy moving again."

            QUICK FACTS

            • The GA rate for smaller industrial and commercial consumers (i.e., Class B) has been set at $115 per megawatt-hour, which is roughly in line with the March 2020 value. Large industrial and commercial consumers (i.e., Class A) will receive the same percentage reduction in GA charges as Class B consumers.
            • Subject to the approval of subsequent amendments, deferred costs would be recovered over a 12-month period beginning in January 2021.

            ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

              CONTACTS

            Sydney Stonier, Minister’s Office   416-314-5199   Sydney.Stonier@ontario.ca

            Natasha Demetriades, Communications Branch   416-327-3855   Natasha.Demetriades@ontario.ca

            Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines   http://www.ontario.ca/endm

               

                MEDIA RELEASE for Immediate release 

               

            Thursday, April 30, 2020

            York Region creates Business Recovery Support                                                          Partnership in response to COVID-19 pandemic

            Collaboration focuses on current needs of the business community, with an eye on recovery 

            Newmarket – The Regional Municipality of York is collaborating with economic development stakeholders and industry leaders from across York Region to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

            “Economic vitality remains a key priority for York Regional Council and is fundamental in maintaining a prosperous Region,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Right now, more than ever, the success of our residents and businesses relies within the strength of collaboration and partnerships. We are stronger, together, as we all support and promote economic resiliency and recovery.”

            The York Region Business Recovery Support Partnership comprises York Region, economic development teams from our nine cities and towns, local Chambers of Commerce / Boards of Trade, the Workforce Planning Board of York RegionYork Region Business Coalition and ventureLAB.

            The group will:

            • Conduct ongoing economic impact assessments
            • Streamline business advisory supports
            • Develop coordinated communications

            Four sub-groups will focus on the following areas:

            • Crisis response supply chain
            • Business advisory services
            • Agriculture and agri-food
            • Tourism, arts and culture

            Sub-groups will be comprised of economic development and industry representatives from across York Region to lead and participate in various recovery-oriented initiatives. A number of these are already operating and further outreach is underway.

            The work of this partnership continues to support many of the activities already in progress by the individual group members, including:

            • Identifying suppliers of personal protective equipment
            • Discussions with federal and provincial ministries, providing York Region-specific feedback from the business community
            • Discussions with other economic development groups such as York Region’s Innovation Centre
            • Participation in the GTA-wide economic development working group
            • Supporting the York Region Business Coalition, a collaborative with the nine municipal Boards of Trade and Chambers of Commerce to hear concerns within the business community

            Partnership members continue to re-tool the services they deliver and evaluate the needs of the business communities during and post-pandemic.

            For more information on York Region’s commitment to economic vitality, visit york.ca/business

            For up-to-date information about COVID-19 in York Region, visit york.ca/covid19

            The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.4 million residents and 54,000 businesses with over 650,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices

            Media Contact:   

            Stephanie Crowley, The Regional Municipality of York

            Phone: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 77272 or Cell: 905-251-6416

            Email: stephanie.crowley@york.ca



            Ontario Providing Employers with Workplace Safety Guidelines 

            News Release

            April 30, 2020

            Province Takes Critical Steps to Help Businesses Adapt to New Environment

            TORONTO ― The Ontario government is ensuring employers have the safety guidelines they need to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19 as it prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy.

            The government safety guidelines released today will provide direction to those working in manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service, and the agricultural sector. These measures build on more than 60 guidelines developed by Ontario's health and safety associations in response to COVID-19 for various sectors such as retail, health care, construction, transportation, police services, firefighters, and transit employees. 

            "We all want to reopen our businesses, services and favourite places across the province, but we must do it in a safe and responsible way," said Premier Ford. "That's why we are providing clear guidelines to employers, with practical measures to help them keep staff and customers safe while preventing the spread of COVID-19. By taking these steps, we will be prepared to get people back to work when the time is right."

            These new sector-specific guidelines feature recommended actions employers can begin to plan for as they prepare to adapt to the new reality during COVID-19, including:

            • Ways to ensure appropriate physical distancing, like eliminating pay-at-the-door options, holding team meetings outdoors, staggering shift times and using ground markings and barriers to manage traffic flow.
            • Changes to the workplace, like installing plexiglass barriers, increasing the air intake on building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to increase air flow, and using boot sanitizing trays.
            • Promoting proper workplace sanitation, providing personal protective equipment, substituting dry dusting with vacuuming, ensuring customer-facing staff are given hand sanitizer, providing a place to dispose of sanitizing wipes, and enforcing handwashing before and after breaks.

            The government is also issuing posters to promote a variety of useful safety tips. The posters offer helpful advice on physical distancing and sanitation. They are downloadable from the Ontario.ca website so employers can print and post them in their workplaces.

            "We are truly in extraordinary times and employers and employees are facing situations they have never had to deal with before," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "It is incumbent on our government, with the advice of health officials, to provide the guidance and tips outlining the safest ways to reopen workplaces and help prevent the spread."

            The government will work with Ontario's health and safety associations to bring forward additional workplace safety guidelines for more sectors in the coming days and weeks.

            Starting this week, 58 new inspectors will join the hundreds of existing provincial labour inspectors on the ground. The inspectors, which include workers from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) and the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT), will be tasked with communicating COVID-19 safety guidelines to essential workplaces or enforcing emergency measures, including physical distancing and the closure of non-essential businesses.

            "Protecting the health and well-being of Ontarians during the COVID-19 outbreak has been and will always be our government's number one priority," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "These guidelines will help employers begin to plan for their safe reopening based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and in alignment with our framework to ease public health measures and restart our economy. In doing so, we can ensure we continue to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep workers safe."

            "Our province's businesses have made great efforts to protect the health and safety of their workers throughout the course of this pandemic," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "These new guidelines will help employers continue to protect their staff and customers as we begin to carefully and methodically re-open our economy, so that we can return Ontario to prosperity in the safest way possible."

            The government is committed to a careful, stage-by-stage approach to loosening emergency measures and reopening Ontario's economy. Public health and workplace safety will remain the top priority, while balancing the needs of people and businesses.

            QUICK FACTS

            • The 61 sector-specific guidelines are available here from Ontario’s health and safety associations. 
            • Guidelines for construction are available here.
            • Ontario recently doubled the capacity of Ontario’s Health and Safety Call Centre to 50 phonelines to deal with a large increase in calls.
            • As of April 29, inspectors had completed 5,158 workplace visits and issued 1,822 orders, including 18 stop-work orders, related to COVID-19.

            BACKGROUND INFORMATION

            ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

             

            CONTACTS

            Ivana Yelich,  Premier’s Office  Ivana.Yelich@ontario.ca

            Bradley Metlin,  Minister McNaughton’s Office   Bradley.Metlin@ontario.ca

            Janet Deline,  Communications Branch   416 326-7405  

            MLTSDmedialine@ontario.ca,  Office of the Premier  http://www.ontario.ca/premier  

            News Release

            Ontario Unveils Guiding Principles to Reopen the Province April 27, 2020

            Premier and Ministers Commit to New Phased Approach for a Safe Restart and Recovery

            TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. The framework also provides details of an outreach strategy, led by the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, to help inform the restart of the provincial economy. 

            Details were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

            "Our top priority remains protecting the health and safety of the people of Ontario and supporting our frontline heroes as we do everything in our power to contain and defeat this deadly virus," said Premier Ford. "At the same time, we are preparing for the responsible restart of our economy. This next phase of our response to COVID-19 is designed to help us map out what needs to be done, and when, to get us back on the road to recovery."

            The government is planning a stage-by-stage approach to reopening the economy to ensure there are appropriate measures in place so workplaces can open safely. Public health officials will carefully monitor each stage for two to four weeks, as they assess the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak to determine if it is necessary to change course to maintain public health

            Stage 1: For businesses that were ordered to close or restrict operations, opening select workplaces that can immediately modify operations to meet public health guidance. Opening some outdoor spaces like parks and allowing for a greater number of individuals to attend some events. Hospitals would also begin to offer some non-urgent and scheduled surgeries, and other health care services.

            Stage 2: Opening more workplaces, based on risk assessments, which may include some service industries and additional office and retail workplaces. Some larger public gatherings would be allowed, and more outdoor spaces would open.

            Stage 3: Opening of all workplaces responsibly and further relaxing of restrictions on public gatherings.

            Throughout each stage, continued protections for vulnerable populations must be in place, along with the continued practice of physical distancing, hand washing and r espiratory hygiene, and significant mitigation plans to limit health risks.

            "Recent public health indicators show us that we're beginning to turn a corner in the COVID-19 outbreak, while economic data, feedback from businesses and insights from our communities are outlining how we need to plan for economic recovery," said Minister Phillips. "Turning on an economy after an unprecedented shut-down is not as simple as flipping a switch. We need to plan this out carefully to ensure we do not spark a sudden outbreak, undo the progress we have made and put the safety of the public at risk." 

            To reopen the economy, the government will consider factors such as the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and the ability to implement protective measures to keep workplaces safe. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will provide advice to the government about easing public health measures using a range of set criteria, including:

            • A consistent two-to-four week decrease in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases;
            • Sufficient acute and critical care capacity, including access to ventilators and ongoing availability of personal protective equipment;
            • Approximately 90 per cent of new COVID-19 contacts are being reached by local public health officials within one day, with guidance and direction to contain community spread; and
            • Ongoing testing of suspected COVID-19 cases, especially of vulnerable populations, to detect new outbreaks quickly.

            "It is because of the collective efforts of all Ontarians to stay at home and stop the spread of COVID-19 that we are able to consider plans to move into the next phase of our battle against this virus," said Minister Elliott. "The Chief Medical Officer of Health has outlined some criteria he will use to advise government on when we may begin to slowly and safely ease public health measures and restart our economy. To be able to do so, w e need everyone to continue their extraordinary efforts so that we can meet these thresholds and begin to move forward."

            Supporting the next phases of Ontario's Action Plan, the new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, chaired by Minister Phillips, will be consulting with key sectors in all regions to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the provincial economy and develop a plan to move forward. The government and Members of Provincial Parliament will lead discussions with business associations, chambers of commerce, municipal leaders, the postsecondary sector, corporate leaders, small business owners, community and social service providers, Indigenous partners, Franco-Ontarians, entrepreneurs and others.

            The work of the committee will build on Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, the first phase of the government's $17 billion response, that is delivering targeted relief for businesses and families across Ontario.

            "The COVID-19 outbreak has had far-reaching economic impacts for businesses and communities across Ontario," said Minister Fedeli. "In the face of these challenges, businesses and individuals have stepped up to support our frontline workers, produce essential equipment and keep our supply chains moving. Our plan to carefully and methodically reopen Ontario's economy will ensure that businesses are supported on our path to renewed economic prosperity."


            Chamber wants businesses protected   By Mark Pavilons  

            King Weekly Sentinel  -  Thursday, April 16, 2020

            A couple of weeks back we wrote pleading with all levels of government to implement an Emergency Standstill Agreement to protect and preserve businesses impacted by COVID-19 and mandatory business closures. Since then, the federal government has taken extraordinary steps to protect laid off workers (CERB) and to allow those businesses who can continue to operate at some level to keep employees on the payroll (CEWS).

            What has not been addressed though is the economic survival of the many businesses who have payrolls of less than $50,000 or more than $1,000,000 who don’t qualify for emergency business loans and who are required to continue to pay rent on commercial space that they are unable to use as result of the mandatory closure of all “non-essential” services. This includes many retail outlets like the barber who can’t open to cut hair, the trainer who can’t train clients at the gym that is closed, and all of the bars and restaurants who are trying to survive on takeout and delivery.


            The knock-on effect of these businesses failing or being unable to pay their rent is that commercial landlords, many of whom are also small businesses or investors themselves, won’t be able to pay their mortgages or their property taxes. This conjures up images of abandoned restaurants, strip plazas and commercial buildings lying derelict with long term unemployment for those workers formerly employed at these sites.

            Perhaps it is time for the federal government to create a third stream of subsidy, the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Subsidy (CECRS). Another alternative at the provincial level might be a mandated pause on rent for shuttered non-essential commercial businesses with a corresponding pause on mortgage payments and property taxes for their landlords. Without such support from one or the other levels of government we are going to lose many small independent businesses in our community due to COVID-19 and the dire picture painted above may well play out in our cities and towns.

            Let’s continue to stand together and get through this together! 

            MEDIA RELEASE   April 14 2020

            A couple of weeks back we wrote pleading with all levels of government to implement an Emergency Standstill Agreement to protect and preserve businesses impacted by COVID-19 and mandatory business closures. Since then, the federal government has taken extraordinary steps to protect laid off workers (CERB) and to allow those businesses who can continue to operate at some level to keep employees on the payroll (CEWS).

            What has not been addressed though is the economic survival of the many businesses who have payrolls of less than $50,000.00 or more than $1,000,000.00 who don’t qualify for emergency business loans and who are required to continue to pay rent on commercial space that they are unable to use as result of the mandatory closure of all “non-essential” services. This includes many retail outlets like the barber who can’t open to cut hair, the trainer who can’t train clients at the gym that is closed and all of the bars and restaurants who are trying to survive on takeout and delivery.

            The knock-on effect of these businesses failing or being unable to pay their rent is that commercial landlords, many of whom are also small businesses or investors themselves, won’t be able to pay their mortgages or their property taxes. This conjures up images of abandoned restaurants, strip plazas and commercial buildings lying derelict with long term unemployment for those workers formerly employed at these sites.

            Perhaps it is time for the federal government to create a third stream of subsidy, the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Subsidy (CECRS). Another alternative at the provincial level might be a mandated pause on rent for shuttered non-essential commercial businesses with a corresponding pause on mortgage payments and property taxes for their landlords. Without such support from one or the other levels of government we are going to lose many small independent businesses in our community due to COVID-19 and the dire picture painted above may well play out in our cities and towns.

            Let’s continue to stand together and get through this together!

            Angelo Santorelli 


            King Chamber calls for stronger measures Businesses, employees need immediate assistance   By Mark Pavilons  

            King Weekly Sentinel  -  Thursday, April 2, 2020

            King’s business organization is calling for all levels of government to infuse some needed economic stimulus, to slow the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis. The King Chamber of Commerce sent out a plea to King councillors, King-Vaughan MP Deb Schulte and King-Vaughan MPP Stephen Lecce last week, calling for an “emergency standstill agreement.” In the letter, from Chamber president Angelo Santorelli, said all payments should top – mortgages, lease payments, taxes, etc. “All businesses would pay their employees with a paythrough fund that all levels of government pass on to employers to pass on to employees that are currently on staff as of a specifi c date set by the government. “This needs to be implemented immediately, with all levels of government working together to make it happen so we can have stability and continuity in our work place, our homes and our businesses. “We need to bring all business leaders and governments together to make this agreement now. Our goal should be to have this in place within 15 days and have the emergency standstill agreement become the lifeline that is so badly needed at this time, a lifeline that can’t be broken until life gets back to normal. No waiting period, start now!” Santorelli said the government must stop throwing more money out without working out a sustainable future for all people and all businesses in this great country. “We need long-term positive action.” He pointed out he’s been in business in Ontario for 43 years and has seen a lot of economic turmoil over four decades. “I have had to deal with many situations in my business but nothing like this! Not many of us, or perhaps none of us, have seen anything like this before, that’s why we have to act now.” MP Schulte said nothing in our lifetime has compared with the changes to our daily routines that we now face.   

            The federal government of is delivering immediate help to Canadians and businesses that are most in need. They are providing $27 billion of direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, and keeping an additional $55 billion in the economy through tax deferrals.

            The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is available to all workers, regardless of whether they are eligible for Employment Insurance or not.

            For businesses, the government has provided a deferral of tax payments until the end of August and to help businesses retain workers, there now is a 75% wage subsidy and enhancements to the Work-Sharing Program.

            “We are looking carefully at the models being deployed in other countries, like Denmark and Germany, and are looking at how we can make similar measures work here in Canada,” Schulte said. “We are reviewing suggestions received by citizens, businesses and stakeholders, like the one proposed by the president of the King Chamber of Commerce. We will have more to say in the coming days. 

            "As we work together to flatten the curve and slow down the transmission of the virus, the government is working to support Canadians every step of the way."

             MPP Lecce has been working around the clock checking in with local stakeholders, small business owners, and constituents of the King-Vaughan community, while we all deal with the global pandemic of COVID-19.

            He has reached out to both Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Mayor Steve Pellegrini, as well as federal MPs Deb Schulte and Francesco Sorbara. He spoke with Brian Shifman (president of Vaughan’s Chamber of Commerce), Angelo Santorelli (president of King’s Chamber of Commerce), and small business owners on government efforts to support local business and the KingVaughan economy.

            “In partnership with all levels of government and our Township, we will do whatever it takes to protect the health of our people and of our economy. This is why we have made $10 billion in support available for small businesses to protect jobs, keep taxes low, and support local businesses. I recently engaged in conversations with the Chamber of Commerce President Angelo Santorelli, where I emphasized our efforts to support the King-Vaughan economy. Citizens of King Township and Vaughan should know that our Government will continue to take action to save lives, jobs, incomes and our local economy, working to ensure we all overcome this pandemic together.”

            First announced in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, measures to help lessen the burden on businesses and household budgets include:

            •  Supporting more affordable electricity bills for eligible residential, farm and small business consumers, by providing approximately $5.6 billion for electricity cost relief programs in 2020-21, which is an increase of approximately $1.5 billion compared to the 2019 Budget plan.
            • Making electricity bills more affordable by setting electricity prices for residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, addressing concerns on timeof-use metering.
            • Cutting taxes by $355 million dollars for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption.
            • Making available $6 billion by providing five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.
            • Deferring in the upcoming June 30 quarterly municipal remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, which will provide over $1.8 billion in relief to businesses by providing municipalities the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals to residents and businesses, while ensuing school boards continue to receive their funding.
            • Making available $1.9 billion by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months
            • Helping to support regions lagging in employment growth with a proposed new Corporate Income Tax Credit, the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit.


            MEDIA RELEASE  March 31 2020

            EMERGENCY STANDSTILL AGREEMENT      

            I have been in business in Ontario for 43 years and have seen a lot of economic turmoil over four decades.  I have had to deal with many situations in my business but nothing like this! Not many of us, or perhaps none of us have seen anything like this before, that’s why we have to act now.

            During this difficult time, dealing with the spread of the Coronavirus, Covid-19, I was thinking of the effects on my business and all the other businesses in my community, in Ontario and across the country.  The stories are very real, heartbreaking and many are living in fear and uncertainty.

            I believe that we need the governments and leaders at all levels to install or put in place an EMERGENCY STANDSTILL AGREEMENT for every person, every business, small, medium or large. 

            This agreement, as basic as it may be can work with the cooperation of all parties.

            1.    All payments would stop, such as mortgage, lease payments, taxes, etc.

            2.    All businesses would pay their employees with a pay through fund that all levels of government pass on to employers to pass on to                   employees that are currently on staff as of a specific date set by the government.

            3.    This needs to be implemented immediately, with all levels of government working together to make it happen so we can have stability               and continuity in our work place, our homes and our businesses.

            4.    The government would take care of those who are not currently employed or have no proof of employment such as those who are self-           employed.

            We need to bring all business leaders and governments together to make this agreement now. Our goal should be to have this in place within 15 days and have the EMERGENCY STANDSTILL AGREEMENT become the life line that is so badly needed at this time, a life line that can’t be broken until life gets back to normal.  No waiting period, start now!

            I have many ideas on how this could work but something must be done now.  The government must stop throwing more money out without working out a sustainable future for all people and all businesses in this great country.  We need long term positive action.

            Thank-you!  Let’s stand together and get through this together!

            Angelo Santorelli

            President of the King Chamber of Commerce


            MEDIA RELEASE

            For Immediate Release

            Businesses Gather to Discuss Areas of Efficiency with Senior Members of the Provincial

            Government, House Leader Paul Calandra and MPP Michael Parsa


            Red Tape Reduction the key focus at Roundtable with York Region Business Leaders

            AURORA, ON–January 31st 2020 – The York Region Business Coalition gathered businesses to engage provincial leaders on reducing red tape. Local business leaders were in attendance to highlight the challenges they face on growth and scaling.

            The Honourable Paul Calandra, Government House Leader, MPP for Markham—Stouffville as well as Michael Parsa, MPP for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill and Parliamentary Assistant to the President of the Treasury Board, directly engaged businesses on a new platform launched by the Ontario government.

            The Ontario government has launched a new website that allows business to provide direct feedback to the government on areas of regulation and red tape which can be streamlined.

            The discussion covered a number of key challenges facing business owners including: red tape reduction, layering of regulations and small business tax.

            Sandra Ferri, President & CEO for the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, hoped the meeting would give the government further feedback on how they can help businesses.

            “Aurora businesses and the Aurora Chamber of Commerce look forward to continuing to work with Government in support of business growth and development, by reducing red tape and regulations. Meetings with key business stakeholders are a critical piece to understanding the changes needed to make Ontario a better place to do business.”

            Newmarket Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Tracy Walter also called on the government to further reduce regulations. 

            “The Provincial Government has taken some positive steps to make conducting business easier for small businesses. We look forward to continuing to work together on specific measures to alleviate the regulatory burden on small businesses in the Region.”

            Michael Parsa, MPP, reaffirmed the Provincial Government’s commitment to keeping Ontario open for business.

            “Making Ontario work better for people and smarter for business is a key part of our mandate, and by cutting red tape, as well as modernizing and streamlining regulations, we are working to improve Ontario’s investment climate so that businesses are able to create jobs, grow wages, and help Ontario prosper.”

            The YRBC will continue to engage with the government to advocate for further red tape reduction to keep York Region a competitive place to do business.

            For more information please contact:

            Abdus Samad

            Manager of Government Relations and Policy York Region Business Coalition

            C: 613.697.2435 E: abdus@yrbc.ca



            Working with the Township on
            addressing these important issues.

            On Tuesday, February 4, 2020, the Chamber was pleased to host the inaugural Mayor’s Roundtable discussion. President Angelo Santorelli chaired the discussion whose theme was challenges and opportunities for business in King and what the Township can do to assist.

            Attendees represented a cross-section of Chamber members including: Allstone Quarry Products, Schomberg Agricultural Society and W.B. Cross (Schomberg); KARS, Cosmocare and John’s No Frills (Nobleton); and, Desjardin Insurance and Laceby Real Estate (King City). Each attendee had an opportunity to speak and interact directly with Mayor Steve Pellegrini, Township CAO Daniel Kotsopoulis and Economic Development Officer Jamie Smyth. Key themes discussed included parking in the village cores, expansion of the C.I.P. grant program, future growth plans and transportation.

            King Chamber of Commerce - Box 381 Schomberg, L0G 1T0                        Administrator- Helen Neville         905-717-7199            info@kingchamber.ca               

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