News & Media

July 20th Update from the Federal and Provincial Governments

July 20, 2020

Please see below the most recent updates on the federal and provincial governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal:

  • The House of Commons is in session today to pass legislation enacting the changes to the federal government’s emergency wage subsidy bill, and to pay people with disabilities a one time tax free benefit to help defray extra costs incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The changes to the wage subsidy will make more businesses eligible to take part in the program. The government hopes this will mean that more workers will return to company payrolls. As it now stands, the government will pay eligible firms that have lost at least thirty percent of their revenues because of the pandemic, seventy-five per cent of an employers wages, up to a maximum of $847 a week, if they are put back on the company pay-roll even if they have little or no work to do.  The new legislation will reduce the threshold of revenue loss below thirty per cent for a company to qualify for the program, although companies who will become eligible at the lower revenue rate will also be eligible for a lower wage subsidy.  On the other hand, companies with much higher losses than the thirty per cent threshold will receive up to  a 25 per cent Increase In the wage subsidy, to a maximum of $950.
  • Like the legislation that did not pass in June, this Bill will provide a one time $600 Tax free payment to people with disabilities. The Bloc Québécois has already said it will support the bill so this time both the wage subsidy changes and the disabilities payment will become law. However, the Conservatives have shown no indication that they will speed up the process. That means there may not be unanimous consent to move the bill quickly.

Provincial:

  • The Ontario government is allowing seven more regions to enter Stage 3 on Friday, July 24 at 12:01 a.m., increasing the number of businesses and public spaces that will reopen across the province:
    • Durham
    • Haldimand-Norfolk
    • Halton
    • Hamilton
    • Lambton
    • Niagara
    • York
  • The Premier reminded all Ontarians, no matter what stage a 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 its safe to do so.
  • The following regions will remain in Stage 2 until local trends of key public health indicators demonstrate readiness to move into Stage 3:
    • Peel
    • Toronto
    • Windsor-Essex
  • 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.  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.
  • The Premier also announced that the federal government is to announce their contact tracing app on Friday.
  • The Premier also confirmed that an announcement for the funding of municipalities will be made in the next few days.  The province is working on how the Federal funding will be distributed.
  • The Premier indicated he will support the Federal Government’s, 10 days paid sick leave.  The announcement is expected to be made by the Federal Government soon.

James Barry
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario

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