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May 12th Update from Federal and Provincial Governments

May 12, 2020

RECENT NEWS: James Barry Responds to Decision of Provincial Government to Deem Construction as Essential

Read the letter here: IBEW Response to Ontario Govt Re: Construction Workplaces as Essential Workplaces

UPDATE: May 12 8:58:17 PM

Message from Executive Secretary Treasurer, James Barry:

Below is the most recent updates on the federal and provincial governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • The Federal Government is committing $2.5 Billion to provide help for Canadian seniors dealing with additional expenses created by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Under the plan, all 6.7 Million Seniors receiving Old Age Security will receive an additional one time sum of $300, tax free. In addition, the 2.2 Million who also qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement will receive an additional tax-free $200. In total, the most needy Seniors will receive $500, tax free.  The Government will also inject $20 Million into the existing New Horizons Program to help seniors in isolation and removed from family members and dealing with the resulting loneliness.
  • Mr. Trudeau said the aid announced today was designed to meet emergency conditions, but if the pandemic persisted for an additional six months, or even a year then this assistance and other Government aid programs would have to be revisited. He said that he hoped that wouldn’t be necessary.

“We want to get through this and get through this quickly,” he said.

  • On another matter, The Prime Minister was also asked if the Canada – US border will reopen when the current agreement with Washington to limit crossings to essential traffic expires next week. Mr. Trudeau did not answer directly, but left the impression that there would no immediate change.

“We will reopen the country very, very careful, including with the United States,” he said.


  • In a special sitting of the legislature, the provincial government passed into legislation “An Act to enact one Act and amend various acts in respect of COVID-19 and to make other amendments.”  In this Act, the House passed amendments to the following:
    • Corporate meetings flexibility: These legislative amendments give corporations the additional flexibility they need to continue to conduct business through virtual meetings while complying with physical distancing guidelines and legal requirements. The legislative amendments apply to:
    • E-signatures: These legislative amendments provide flexibility for affected corporations and businesses to, for example, use electronic signatures on documents filed with the Ministry of Government Services, and to file documents electronically that are ordinarily filed by mail or in-person delivery.  The legislative amendments apply to the:
    • Notaries & Commissioners Modernization: These legislative amendments provide for accelerating a proposal first announced in December to allow Ontarians to verify legal and business documents online for transactions such as real estate agreements, gifting a used vehicle to a family member or starting a claim in court. Changes would also allow paralegals to be appointed as notaries in a similar way to lawyers, increasing access to notary services for the public.
  • The Members will be in the House this afternoon to debate extending the provincial declaration of emergency until June 2nd, 2020. 
  • During the Premier’s daily update, he was asked about this Thursday’s announcement that will outline which parts of the economy will be reopened, and while he did not get into any specifics he did say that everything will be done in consultation  with the Chief Medical Officers.  He was also asked if there would be a public inquiry of the long term care homes, and said that there will be a comprehensive review of how things were managed within each ministry.

James Barry
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario


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