COVID Information & Resources

Message from the Canadian Propane Association

During these challenging times, the Association's top priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of our propane community.

We are working 24/7 on your behalf and talking to all levels of government to ensure your needs are met while keeping everyone safe.  If you face any challenges please let us know. We are ready to assist to ensure you have the information you need to maintain all of your essential services.

Thank you for your membership and ongoing support. We wish you, your families and colleagues continued and health and safety.

 

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Today's News - April 3, 2020

Ontario - Adjustments to TSSA’s procedures

10-year inspection: the inspection requirement will be deferred for a maximum 90-day grace period or 14 days after the state of emergency in Ontario is lifted. TSSA further indicated that this is an evolving situation and that they are hopeful that the social distancing restrictions will be lifted well before 120 days allowing time within that period to complete an inspection. If it goes longer TSSA would propose inspections are done within 14 days after the emergency has ended. They will revisit these timelines if the COVID-19 risks look like they will last for a much longer timeframe.

TSSA also indicated that businesses need to keep a record for TSSA and be prepared to provide a recovery plan once the pandemic has ended.

Finally, clarification on the 10-year inspection deadlines for both propane appliances and tanks in Ontario: TSSA confirmed that this grace period can apply to appliances and tanks

***

British Columbia - The province is taking steps to protect those providing essential services by ensuring they cannot be held liable for damages caused by exposure to COVID-19 while continuing to operate, so long as they are complying with orders from the provincial health officer and other authorities. Other provinces are considering a similar approach.

Essential service providers who are not compliant with respective authorities or who are grossly negligent will not receive protection under the order and will be held liable for damages. The order only applies to situations related to COVID-19 and will remain in effect for as long as the state of emergency remains in place. Additionally, it will continue to protect essential service providers until any relevant limitation periods have expired.

***

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. For more details, consult the government Website which is updated regularly.

Note that Ottawa will subsidize 75% of wages for all businesses.

A business must have lost at least 30% of its income to be eligible for the grant. Ottawa will subsidize 75% of the first $ 58,700 of each salary. The federal government could thus insure up to $ 847 per week, per employee.

“The grant will apply to non-profit organizations, charities, as well as businesses of all sizes. The goal is that people can continue to receive a salary, regardless of whether they work for a company that employs 10 or 1000 people, "said the Prime Minister on his daily exit Monday morning.

The measure is retroactive to March 15.

Ottawa cannot yet say when the money will go to businesses. The Prime Minister advises employers to use the credit offered by his government to continue paying wages while waiting for the subsidy.

***

Alberta suspends environmental reporting requirements for industry. For the next three months, no company will have to comply with any reporting requirements for provincial approvals, registrations or licences. The suspension applies to three pieces of legislation at the heart of environmental protection in the province: the Water Act, the Public Lands Act and the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

The order was issued under the authority of the provincial state of public health emergency and will last at least 60 days and as long as 90 days.

***

As of April 4, Ontario will be under a total fire ban – including outdoor fire – except for those using propane.

This decision by the provincial government overrides any municipal bans in place.

“The Ontario government is taking action to protect people and communities from the risk of preventable human-caused fires and to ensure that the province’s emergency response system remains strong during the COVID-19 outbreak,” the province says in a statement.

Starting Friday, Ontario’s entire legislated fire region will be designated a restricted fire zone. “Residents who live in an area with a restricted fire zone cannot have an outdoor fire – this includes burning of grass, debris and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire grate, fireplace or fire pit,” the province says.

If you need heat for cooking or warmth, you are able to use a gas or propane stove and portable liquid fuel or a gas stove that can be turned off easily using a valve or lid. Charcoal installation can be used, but must be within 100 metres of the building, at least one meter from any flammable material and completely extinguished. You can also use an outdoor wood burning stove or furnace if you live in a building a restricted zone, but it must be within 100 metres of the building, five metres from any forest area, and at least two metres from any flammable material.

The restriction will continue until Ontario’s ability to respond to emergencies is no longer impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

***

Measures for truckers - Quebec

  • Implementation of a front-line service with the SAAQ to meet the needs and requirements of truckers (essential service by appointment)
  • Several seasonal rest areas have been and others will be opened earlier than usual. There are 5 stops that can open early in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Estrie, Chaudière-Appalaches and Mauricie
  • They are deploying sanitary blocks equipped for disinfection on 6 sites located along major highways
  • All rest areas (permanent) are kept open 24/7. The toilets and parking lots are accessible at all times. In service areas, road users also have access to gas, convenience stores, drive-thru service and the fast food counter.
  • A special measure has been implemented for maintenance so that staff clean and disinfect the premises on a continuous basis and precise attention is paid to bathrooms, seats, tables, counters and door handles.
  • The services of the 42 relay villages throughout the country are also still available. The following services are considered essential: toilets and secure stopping places available 24 hours, gas and food.

***

Measurement Canada scales back operations and extends recalibration dates

Measurement Canada, an agency of the Government of Canada's Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, says it is taking the next steps to protect the safety of people and communities by reducing services across their offices, effective March 16, 2020.

They will continue to deliver their legislative mandate, programs and services, while also taking measures to reduce the potential for the spread of COVID-19 and the impacts on clients and stakeholders.

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CPA Resources

The CPA has created 3 documents to support you during your operations. We invite you to consult them regularly – they will be updated on an on-going basis.

CPA Guide - Best practices recommended during COVID-19

CPA Guide - Communications strategy during COVID-19

For trainers - CPA Guide to hosting a training session during COVID-19

These documents are provided solely for informational purposes in response to COVID-19. They are not to be construed as legal advice or legal guidance. The CPA disclaims any liability associated with the accuracy or content of the information contained in these documents. Users should consult governments authorities and resources for the most complete and current information pertaining to COVID-19 or contact an attorney for any specific advice.

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The Canadian Propane Association is monitoring COVID-19 and keeping members informed as it relates to the propane industry as well as compiling information sources for business continuity planning and risk mitigation. Please check this page regularly for updates.

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Essential Services in Canada

Propane production and deliveries are essential services. The CPA has worked with all governments to ensure production and delivery of propane be included in the list of essential services. Currently, the following provinces have included propane in their lists:

Please consult the section below “Essential Services” for more information.

 

Please click on the tabs below for additional detailed information and resources.

ESSENTIAL SERVICES IN CANADA

Federal Government

Borders:  Federal government measures that have been put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may affect members who are required to temporarily cross the Canada-US border to access customers who are living on Canadian island border locations and are only accessible from the United States side.  Fore more details, click here.

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Measurement Canada scales back operations and extends recalibration dates. Measurement Canada, an agency of the Government of Canada's Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, says it is taking the next steps to protect the safety of people and communities by reducing services across their offices, effective March 16, 2020.

They will continue to deliver their legislative mandate, programs and services, while also taking measures to reduce the potential for the spread of COVID-19 and the impacts on clients and stakeholders.

***

Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Public Safety Canada has developed a set of functions deemed essential in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to help provinces / territories, Indigenous communities, and municipalities protect their communities while maintaining the reliable operation of critical infrastructure services and functions to ensure the health, safety, and economic well-being of the population. These services and functions can also help the private sector self-identify as essential.

Natural and propane gas workers in:

  • Natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines, including compressor stations
  • Underground storage of natural gas
  • Natural gas processing plants, and those that deal with natural gas liquids
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities
  • Natural gas security operations centre, natural gas operations dispatch and control rooms/centres natural gas emergency response and customer emergencies, including natural gas leak calls
  • Drilling, production, processing, refining, and transporting natural gas for use as end-use fuels, feed stocks for chemical manufacturing, or use in electricity generation
  • Propane gas dispatch and control rooms and emergency response and customer emergencies, including propane leak calls
  • Propane gas service maintenance and restoration, including call centres
  • Processing, refining, and transporting natural liquids, including propane gas, for use as end-use fuels or feed stocks for chemical manufacturing
  • Propane gas storage, transmission, and distribution centres
  • construction and restoration projects and services associated with the safe and reliable operations of natural and propane gas services

 For the complete list, please click here.

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UPDATED : Transport Canada – Transportation of dangerous goods – extension of certificates to September 30, 2020: Transport Canada has issued two temporary certificates to provide temporary regulatory relief in these areas. Transport Canada confirmed this applies all four modes, including ground transport.

Transport Canada has scaled back the coverage of the Temporary Certificate TU-751 for Highway Tank Inspections

MODIFIED APRIL 2, 2020

Transport Canada indicted that they expect this equivalency certificate to only be used when inspection facilities are unable to provide services for this required inspection.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY - If your vehicle is coming due for the inspection, Transport Canada expects that you will make an attempt to set up the inspection.

If it cannot be completed due to unavailability of services due to COVID-19, you are expected to document your efforts (for example, keep copies of correspondence).

Once done, you can continue to use the vehicle as long as you keep a copy of the equivalency certificate in that particular vehicle.

While the CPA feels this change does not protect our industry from unnecessary added contact between personnel, we are ensuring you are aware of Transport Canada’s new expectations regarding the use of this certificate.

We believe that Transport Canada will update their website to reflect this change.

We will continue our discussions and try to maintain the equivalency certificate as is.

Should you have any additional questions, please contact your regional office or the TDG Approvals Division in Ottawa.

Approvals Division (Ottawa)

tdgapprovals-approbationstmd@tc.gc.ca

 

Atlantic Region

TDG-TMDAtlantic@tc.gc.ca

1-866-814-1477

Quebec Region

TMD-TDG.Quebec@tc.gc.ca

514-633-3400

Ontario Region

TDG-TMDOntario@tc.gc.ca

416-973-1868

Prairie and Northern Region

TDG-TMDPNR@tc.gc.ca

1-888-463-0521

Pacific Region

TDGPacific-TMDPacifique@tc.gc.ca

604-666-2955

Hours of service exemption for federally regulated carriers: Transport Canada, the Provinces and Territories, through the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), have approved an hours of service exemption for federally regulated carriers related to the fight against COVID-19.

The purpose of this exemption is to support efforts by extra-provincial truck undertakings and their drivers to transport essential supplies and equipment, in direct assistance to emergency relief efforts during the response to COVID-19. The definition of “direct assistance to the emergency relief efforts” includes fuel.

For more information, click here: Essential Freight Transport Exemption

Driver & vehicle licensing decisions: In response to COVID-19 Provinces and Territories have made driver & vehicle licensing decisions based on local conditions.  Click here for a table of jurisdictional actions. – Thank you to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA).

Continuity of TDG services and activities : The vast majority of Transport Canada's Transportation of Dangerous Goods services and work will be continuing, including their inspection activities and planning of their upcoming virtual stakeholder meetings.  Depending on how the situation evolves, they may trigger their Continuity of Operations Plan. In the event they do, only critical services would prioritized/delivered.  Those services are as follows:

TDG Critical Services

Critical Services must continue to be provided to protect the health and safety of Canadians, while providing essential services to the transportation sector:

  • CANUTEC Transport Emergency Centre
  • CANUTEC Registration System (CRS)
  • Response Operations (at incident sites)
  • Response Operations (Assessment and Support)
  • Temporary Certificates
  • Emergency Certificates

PROVINCIAL ESSENTIAL SERVICES

British-Columbia

In British-Columbia, propane is on the provincial essential services list. We are working on the permitting, licensing, and training re-certifications.

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British Columbia. The province is taking steps to protect those providing essential services by ensuring they cannot be held liable for damages caused by exposure to COVID-19 while continuing to operate, so long as they are complying with orders from the provincial health officer and other authorities. Other provinces are considering a similar approach.

Essential service providers who are not compliant with respective authorities or who are grossly negligent will not receive protection under the order and will be held liable for damages. The order only applies to situations related to COVID-19 and will remain in effect for as long as the state of emergency remains in place. Additionally, it will continue to protect essential service providers until any relevant limitation periods have expired.

***

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is allowing British Columbians to extend their expiring driver’s licence remotely. For more information, click here: ICBC.

Alberta

In Alberta, propane is on the provincial essential services list. We are working on the permitting, licensing, and training re-certifications.

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Alberta

Drivers Licenses: Upcoming expiry dates for Alberta drivers’ licences, identification cards, vehicle registrations, other permits and certificates are being extended until May 15.

Vehicle registration: Vehicle registrations expire on an assigned month based on the registrant’s surname or a company name.

  • Albertans and companies with registrations expiring in March and April (including those whose last names begin with B, D, G, Y) will now have until May 15, 2020 to renew their vehicle registrations.

Road tests: Effective March 20, Alberta commercial and passenger road tests have been suspended for at least 4 weeks. Road tests will resume when it is safe to do so.

  • Albertans who have a road test scheduled will be able to rebook online as of April 17, 2020 for a test on April 20, 2020 or later, at no additional charge.

Alberta is working with the commercial carrier industry to determine whether there are any urgent driving tests that need to be held in order to support maintaining delivery of essential goods, such as food and medical supplies.

***

Alberta suspends environmental reporting requirements for industry. For the next three months, no company will have to comply with any reporting requirements for provincial approvals, registrations or licences. The suspension applies to three pieces of legislation at the heart of environmental protection in the province: the Water Act, the Public Lands Act and the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

The order was issued under the authority of the provincial state of public health emergency and will last at least 60 days and as long as 90 days.

***

Training. Sidney Manning, AB Municipal Affairs, indicated that Alberta will be issuing a 120-day extension of training for PTI, understanding the need to protect everyone involved.

Saskatchewan

It is our understanding that in Saskatchewan, propane deliveries in this context are maintained. We are talking to the SaskPower and Training and Development ministries on the permitting, licensing, and training re-certifications.

Manitoba

In Manitoba, propane is on the list of essential services.

Ontario

In Ontario, propane is on the provincial essential services list.

***

Ontario - Adjustments to TSSA’s procedures

10-year inspection: the inspection requirement will be deferred for a maximum 90-day grace period or 14 days after the state of emergency in Ontario is lifted. TSSA further indicated that this is an evolving situation and that they are hopeful that the social distancing restrictions will be lifted well before 120 days allowing time within that period to complete an inspection. If it goes longer TSSA would propose inspections are done within 14 days after the emergency has ended. They will revisit these timelines if the COVID-19 risks look like they will last for a much longer timeframe.

TSSA also indicated that businesses need to keep a record for TSSA and be prepared to provide a recovery plan once the pandemic has ended.

Finally, clarification on the 10-year inspection deadlines for both propane appliances and tanks in Ontario: TSSA confirmed that this grace period can apply to appliances and tanks

***

As of April 4, Ontario will be under a total fire ban – including outdoor fire – except for those using propane. This decision by the provincial government overrides any municipal bans in place.

“The Ontario government is taking action to protect people and communities from the risk of preventable human-caused fires and to ensure that the province’s emergency response system remains strong during the COVID-19 outbreak,” the province says in a statement.

Starting Friday, Ontario’s entire legislated fire region will be designated a restricted fire zone. “Residents who live in an area with a restricted fire zone cannot have an outdoor fire – this includes burning of grass, debris and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire grate, fireplace or fire pit,” the province says.

If you need heat for cooking or warmth, you are able to use a gas or propane stove and portable liquid fuel or a gas stove that can be turned off easily using a valve or lid. Charcoal installation can be used, but must be within 100 metres of the building, at least one meter from any flammable material and completely extinguished. You can also use an outdoor wood burning stove or furnace if you live in a building a restricted zone, but it must be within 100 metres of the building, five metres from any forest area, and at least two metres from any flammable material.

The restriction will continue until Ontario’s ability to respond to emergencies is no longer impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

***

Support to the Trucking Sector for Keeping Goods Moving. The Ontario government will be providing more safe places for truck drivers to stop and rest across the province and are keeping all 23 ONroute travel plazas open for take-out, grab and go and drive-through services, including washrooms with enhanced cleaning. They are also providing portable washrooms at 32 truck inspection stations so trucks have a place to stop and rest safely.

These actions build on measures announced last month that allow the 24-hour delivery of goods without the restrictions of municipal noise by-laws, and the extension of the validation of driver's licences, Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration certificates and other products that expired on or after March 1, 2020.

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Training Certificates:

  1. TSSA is continuing to conduct inspections following their protocols and customers’ protocols. They are accommodating unique circumstances at each business while ensuring they appropriately oversee safety risks.

  2. TSSA inspectors will not be entering homes unless there is an emergency or high-risk situation. TSSA will offer a grace period of 120 days to perform home inspections for fuels distributors (or 14 days after the state of emergency is lifted if longer than 120 days).

    10-year inspection: the inspection requirement will be deferred for a maximum 90-day grace period or 14 days after the state of emergency in Ontario is lifted. TSSA further indicated that this is an evolving situation and that they are hopeful that the social distancing restrictions will be lifted well before 120 days allowing time within that period to complete an inspection. If it goes longer TSSA would propose inspections are done within 14 days after the emergency has ended. They will revisit these timelines if the COVID-19 risks look like they will last for a much longer timeframe.

    TSSA also indicated that businesses need to keep a record for TSSA and be prepared to provide a recovery plan once the pandemic has ended.

    Finally, clarification on the 10-year inspection deadlines for both propane appliances and tanks in Ontario: TSSA confirmed that this grace period can apply to appliances and tanks.

  3. TSSA will renew a license even in cases where the mandatory pre-license inspection could not be performed. TSSA will defer the inspection requirement for a maximum 90-day grace period or 14 days after the state of emergency in Ontario is lifted.
  4. While TSSA will continue to seek licensing renewals from organizations, they are offering a grace period of 120 days, when necessary, to submit a new or revised Risk and Safety Management Plan (RSMP) for new owners or where site changes necessitate a new RSMP. 
  5. Directors and company officers will be allowed a grace period of 120 days to submit a new Record of Training (ROT). ROT and ROT training provider renewals will be given a 120-day grace period from the day of expiry if virtual training options are not available.

The CPA will continue its discussions to obtain further clarifications.

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Permits: The Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Health, in cooperation with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and Service Ontario, is extending the validity period of driving products, services and health cards. It includes: extensions for driver licences, licence plate validation, Ontario Photo Cards, and Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration certificates, among others. For more information, please click here.

Québec

In Québec, propane is on the provincial essential services list.  We are continuing our discussions on items such as drivers’ licenses and registration.

***

Measures for truckers

  • Implementation of a front-line service with the SAAQ to meet the needs and requirements of truckers (essential service by appointment)
  • Several seasonal rest areas have been and others will be opened earlier than usual. There are 5 stops that can open early in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Estrie, Chaudière-Appalaches and Mauricie
  • They are deploying sanitary blocks equipped for disinfection on 6 sites located along major highways
  • All rest areas (permanent) are kept open 24/7. The toilets and parking lots are accessible at all times. In service areas, road users also have access to gas, convenience stores, drive-thru service and the fast food counter.
  • A special measure has been implemented for maintenance so that staff clean and disinfect the premises on a continuous basis and precise attention is paid to bathrooms, seats, tables, counters and door handles.
  • The services of the 42 relay villages throughout the country are also still available. The following services are considered essential: toilets and secure stopping places available 24 hours, gas and food.

***

Régie du bâtiment du Québec: The Régie modified its expectations regarding the processing of operating permit renewal requests. Please consult the questions and answers included on the yellow banner on the RBQ website by clicking on “COVID-19” then on “Gas”. (available here in French only)

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Authorization Letter to Travel Between Regions for Québec: Since March 28, 2020, movements from one region to another in Quebec have been tightly controlled, and this for the entire population, including the staff of members of the Organisation de la sécurité civile du Québec (OSCQ). It is proposed that a letter be provided to your staff when they need to travel in the controlled regions within a province or between provinces. Click here for more information and a model letter.

The Québec government limits access to certain territories of four new health regions (the Outaouais, the Laurentians, Lanaudière and La Mauricie - Centre-du-Québec) to workers who provide essential services.

Checkpoints operated by the police will be deployed from Wednesday noon. These new measures "aim to limit non-essential travel," Québec said in a press release.

For the Laurentides region, access will be limited to the regional county municipalities of Antoine-Labelle and Argenteuil. In Lanaudière, the targeted sectors are the territories of Autray, Joliette, Matawini and Montcalm. In Mauricie, it is the agglomeration of La Tuque.

The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) confirmed on Wednesday that there will now be random (and not systematic) checkpoints at the exit of the bridges that connect Gatineau to Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Other checkpoints could be erected elsewhere in the region.

The measures put in place do not cover activities that provide and provide health care and services, or those that provide humanitarian support and essential services for the continuity of the supply chain in all regions of Quebec.

These restrictions are in addition to the checkpoints that already limit access in general to 8 other regions of Quebec since March 28: Bas-Saint-Laurent, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Gaspésie -Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Côte-Nord, Nord-du-Québec, Nunavik and Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James.

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Vehicle registrations for carriers (trucking industry): 

New – Québec from Société d’assurance automobile du Québec

According to TEC – Transport-Expert Conseil, the SAAQ is implementing new measures to reduce the risk of infection and protect heavy vehicle drivers who are carrying out essential work during this crisis (English available below French).

To prevent non-essential trips to our service outlets, the SAAQ is asking all peace officers to disregard the expiry dates of the following documents:

  • driver’s licences;
  • vehicle registration certificates.

Drivers are asked to keep their current documents.

In addition, given the current situation, owners who must have their road vehicle inspected by a specialized vehicle inspection agent will be given an additional month in which to carry out the inspection. Owners are asked to keep their current certificates, even if they have expired.

The situation is constantly evolving. The latest information is published daily on the SAAQ’s website at saaq.gouv.qc.ca.

Other companies targeted by the postponement of commercial registration to September 1, 2020 are the owners of commercial vehicles (plate F) and taxis (plate T) whose due date for retaining the right to travel is due on March 31 2020 or April 30, 2020. You can access the website of Société d’assurance automobile (in English) for more information.

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Seasonal Load restrictions: The propane industry is not subject to the load limit exemptions in the Ministerial Order of March 25 issued by the Ministry of Transport and that it must submit to the official and targeted dates of the thaw period. You can access the website of Transport Québec (in French) for more information.

New-Brunswick

In New-Brunswick, all heating fuels including propane is considered as an essential service in the province.

Nova Scotia

It is our understanding that propane will be included in Nova Scotia. However, we are still waiting for a clearer list of what is an essential service for the province of Nova Scotia. The government mentioned last week that more information will be made available soon.

Driver licences: All driver licences expiring in March, April and May are extended until 31 August 2020.

Vehicle registrations: All vehicle registrations expiring 31 December 2019 and later are extended until 31 August 2020.

Prince Edward Island

In Prince Edward Island,  propane is considered a household needs and is considered as an essential service - services that the interruption of which would endanger the life, health or personal safety of the whole or part of the population.

Permits for propane sector: Chief Inspector mentioned all related permits, licenses or requirements to submit documents have been extended until the end of May for our sector. Please contact Ryan MacCormak if you need assistance.

For Registrar of Motor Vehicles: All licenses renewals can be done online and at this time they do not anticipate an issue with renewals of existing licenses.

Newfoundland

Newfoundland and Labrador has declared retail businesses that provide the following goods and services to be essential: Home fuel distribution.

Permit and certification: All Propane Plant licenses, Gas Fitter, Gas Installer, and Gas Verifier Certificates have been issued for 2020 with expiry dates of December 31, 2020 and the following Propane Training Institute certificates for Bulk Plant Operations (600-03), Bulk Truck Propane Delivery  (300-01) and Propane Pump Attendant (100-01) which require renewal every three years are hereby granted the 120-day extension requested in CPA's letter of March 23, 2020.

FINANCIAL AID

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. For more details, consult the government Website which is updated regularly. 

Note that Ottawa will subsidize 75% of wages for all businesses.

A business must have lost at least 30% of its income to be eligible for the grant. Ottawa will subsidize 75% of the first $ 58,700 of each salary. The federal government could thus insure up to $ 847 per week, per employee.

“The grant will apply to non-profit organizations, charities, as well as businesses of all sizes. The goal is that people can continue to receive a salary, regardless of whether they work for a company that employs 10 or 1000 people, "said the Prime Minister on his daily exit Monday morning.

The measure is retroactive to March 15.

Ottawa cannot yet say when the money will go to businesses. The Prime Minister advises employers to use the credit offered by his government to continue paying wages while waiting for the subsidy.

 

Federal government

The Government of Canada has announced a number of measures to help stabilize the economy. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businessesSupport includes:

  • Temporary wage subsidies for small businesses;
  • Access to credit through the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP);
  • Deferral of income tax payments owing on or after March 18;
  • An Insured Mortgage Purchase Program;
  • Augmenting credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada;
  • Flexibility in the Canada Account limit to allow for additional support to Canadian businesses in exceptional circumstances;
  • Enhancing the Work-Sharing Program to help employers who are experiencing a downturn in business due to COVID-19, and their workers;
  • Introducing an Emergency Care Benefit to provide income support to workers who must stay home and do not have access to paid sick leave;
  • Introducing an Emergency Support Benefit to support workers who are not eligible for EI and are facing unemployment.

For more information, visit Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

  • Avoiding layoffs
  • Access to credit
  • Support for farmers
  • Supporting financial stability
  • More flexibility
  • Support for the air transportation sector

Waiving ground lease rents


British Columbia

COVID-19 - Action Plan

Some measures for businesses:

Tax support for businesses:

  • Effective immediately, many provincial tax filing and payment deadlines are deferred to Sept. 30, 2020.
  • Businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until Sept. 30, 2020. Businesses with a payroll under this threshold are already exempt.
  • Payments for provincial sales tax (PST), employer health tax, municipal and regional district tax on short-term accommodation, carbon tax, motor fuel tax and tobacco tax are also deferred.
  • The scheduled increase to the carbon tax rate, and application of PST to e-commerce transactions and sweetened and carbonated drinks, will be delayed.

Relief for commercial property owners and tenants:

  • Business and light and major industry property classes will see their school property tax cut in half for the 2020 tax year, providing $500 million in relief for business that own their property and for tenants on triple-net leases.

To learn more about Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html


Alberta

Funding and supportive measures to support local businesses, employers and employees include:

  • WCB premium payment deferral
  • Utility payment deferral
  • Job-protected leave
  • Vacation pay, leave or banked overtime
  • Business continuity plans

Manitoba

Ontario

The Government issued an Economic and Fiscal Update that was essentially a fiscal stimulus package in response to COVID-19. The most impactful measures for businesses are:

  • The Employer Health Tax exemption is increased from $490,000 to $1 million for 2020.
  • A Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit will be given to Canadian-controlled private corporations that construct, renovate, or acquire eligible commercial and industrial buildings and other assets in specified regions of Ontario after March 25, 2020. The tax credit will apply to expenditures of between $50,000 and $500,000, at a rate of 10% of eligible expenses. A list of the specified regions and specifics on eligibility can be found here.
  • Tax filing deadlines for select Provincial taxes, including the Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax, Fuel Tax, Gas Tax, Wine and Spirits Taxes, Mining Tax, Insurance Premium Tax, International Fuel Tax Agreement, and Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts and Benefit Plans, are extended until August 31. The government is also postponing the planned property tax reassessment for 2021.
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board payments can be deferred for up to six months.
  • Electricity prices for time-of-use customers (including small businesses) will be set at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, for 24 hours a day for 45 days.

Québec

All measures can be found here: Measures taken by the government

New-Brunswick

COVID-19 - Guidance for Businesses in New-Brunswick:

Waiving late penalties on property taxes:

  • Though business property taxes must be paid by May 31, late penalties will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to see if the penalty can be waived due to undue financial challenges, such as having to close a business due to COVID-19.

Deferring interest and principal payments on existing loans:

  • As an immediate measure, and on a case-by-case basis – the Government of New Brunswick will defer loan and interest repayments for up to six months on existing provincial loans.
  • This support will enable businesses to have immediate relief if they are experiencing difficulties as a result of COVID-19.
  • This assistance is available, on a case-by-case basis, to any business that has a loan with an existing Government of New Brunswick department. The deferral can be requested by contacting the department that issued the loan.

Support for small business

  • To support small businesses, the Government of New Brunswick will provide working capital to support small businesses. Loans will help companies respond to challenges associated with COVID-19.
  • Loans will be up to $200,000.
  • Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB) will work with a trusted partner to administer the application process.
  • More details will be available on application process in the coming days.

Injecting needed working capital for mid-to-large employers:

  • Opportunities New Brunswick will make available support mid-to-large sized employers.
  • ONB will also provide – upon request – working capital in excess of $200,000 to help large employers manage the impacts of COVID-19 on their operations.
  • Large employers will be able to apply for this assistance directly from Opportunities New Brunswick.

WorkSafeNB has announced assessment premiums related to employer payrolls for March, April and May will be deferred for three months without interest charges.

Nova Scotia

Support for businesses
Commercial rent deferral

To support small and medium-sized businesses, landlords are encouraged to defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for 3 months, spreading the deferred rent amount over the rest of the lease term.

If you’re deferring rent because your tenant’s business is closed due to the Health Protection Act order, you could be eligible for coverage (up to a maximum of $50,000 per landlord and $15,000 per tenant) if you can’t recover the deferred rent.

To be eligible for the COVID-19 Small Business Rental Deferral Guarantee Program, landlords must register with the Department of Business by 3 April by emailing NSRentDeferral@novascotia.ca

Changes to payments

  • Government will defer payments until June 30 for all government loans, including those under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.
  • Government will defer payments until June 30 for small business renewal fees, including business registration renewal fees and workers compensation premiums (a list of fees will be posted online early next week).
  • Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, administered through credit unions, include deferring principal and interest payments until June 30, enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000, and for those who might not qualify for a loan, government will guarantee the first $100,000.
  • Small businesses which do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days.

Prince Edward Island

Details about programs and online applications can be found here:

Broadband Fund for Businesses
Commercial Lease Rent Deferral Program
Emergency Income Relief for the Self-Employed
Emergency Relief - Worker Assistance Program
Emergency Working Capital Financing
Employee Gift Card Program

Commercial Lease Rent Deferral Program

Defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for 3 months, spreading the deferred rent amount over the rest of the lease term.

The Emergency Income Relief Fund

A temporary program put in place to support the self-employed who have been significantly affected by COVID-19.  A maximum of $500 per week for the period of March 16 to March 29, 2020 (this period will be reviewed as required).

The Emergency Relief - Worker Assistance Program

A temporary program to provide financial support to employers to assist their employed workers who have been impacted by reduced hours at work as a result of COVID-19.

Eligible employers include:

  • Registered private sector businesses or non-profit organizations in Prince Edward Island where employed workers have experienced a reduction of at least 8 hours per week during the two-week period March 16-29, 2020.

A maximum of $250 per week for each employed worker that experienced a reduction of at least 8 hours per week during the two-week period March 16-29, 2020 (An example, an employed worker that typically works 40 hours/week was reduced to a minimum 32 hours/week).

Emergency Working Capital Financing

A financing program to provide emergency working capital financing to assist PEI’s small business during this disruption to business, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Eligible applicants can apply to receive a working capital loan of up to $100,000 with a fixed interest rate of 4% per annum.

For businesses – if you have questions, call 1-866-222-1751 or email peibusinesshelpline@gov.pe.ca

Newfoundland and Labrador

The provincial government in Newfoundland and Labrador announced March 14 that it will compensate private-sector employers to ensure employees do not go without pay during the pandemic.

Deadline Extended for Fuel Tax Exemption Permits

The expiry date for Fuel Tax Exemption Permits, which allows permit holders to purchase tax-exempt marked gasoline and light fuel oil, which was set to expire on March 31, 2020 has been extended to June 30, 2020.

Gasoline and carbon product retailers throughout the province are authorized to accept such permits and continue to sell marked diesel and light fuel oil exempt of gasoline and carbon tax to these permit holders up to and including June 30, 2020.

Extension of the exemption will ensure permit holders (primarily fishers), are not negatively impacted by any inability to apply for a permit extension or processing delays resulting from COVID-19.

For the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19, please visit www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19. For general inquiries related to available government services, please email covid19info@gov.nl.ca.

Introducing $200 million in contingency funding

This fund is to address the impacts of COVID-19 and reduced oil prices. More details will be provided once they are made public.

OTHER CPA INFORMATION

CPA Communication

CPA and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce working for you - Call on government to protect jobs and postpone non-essential new measures.

Relevant business information

  • Federal - changes or alternatives to their in-person Annual General Meetings (AGMs). The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have provided guidance for issuers considering changes or alternatives to their in-person annual general meetings.
  • OntarioEmergency Order Extends Deadline for under the Ontario Business Shareholder Meetings Corporations Act (OBCA). For more details click here.

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Information from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce