May 15, 2020
Construction gets the green light to get back to work effective Tuesday, May 19, 2020
On Thursday, May 14, 2020, The Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government’s reopening framework. The workplaces opening as part this stage are well-positioned to put workplace safety measures in place and get more people back to work, while not overburdening public transit and other services.
The government and health and safety associations have released more than 90 safety guidance documents to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing. As new sectors of the economy begin to reopen, additional resources will be made available to help protect the safety of workers and the general public.
To support business-owners, workers and the economic recovery of the province, the government has launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.
Click here to read the complete News release.
$962 million additional support fund now available to businesses and communities affected by the pandemic
The Federal Government today announced the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). The RRRF devotes nearly $962 million to help more businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and to local economies.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that the RRRF is now accepting applications from businesses and communities. It is specifically targeted toward those that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic but have been unable to access existing support measures.
The funding will be allocated as follows:
- $110 million for Atlantic Canada – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
- $211 million for Quebec – Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)
- $34.3 million for Northern Canada – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)
- $252.4 million for Southern Ontario – Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)
- $49.5 million for Northern Ontario – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor)
- $304.2 million for Western Canada – Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)
The funding announced today is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which commits more than $149 billion to support Canadians and businesses through this difficult time. As other government measures are further strengthened, the RDAs will adapt to meet the ongoing needs of local businesses.
Businesses interested in receiving support through this initiative are now invited to apply for the RRRF through their local RDA.
Click here to read the complete News release.
FAO Releases Update on Ontario’s Labour Market
The Financial Accountability Office (FAO) has released a new report looking at Ontario’s labour market results for April, during the ongoing economic shutdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ontario lost 689,200 jobs in April, bringing the province’s employment down to its lowest level since late 2009. As a result, Ontario’s unemployment rate climbed to 11.3 per cent in April, its highest level since June 1993.
Nearly all the job losses were related to the government-directed closure of non-essential activities starting in mid-March. Since then, the FAO estimates that about 2.2 million Ontario workers – nearly one in three jobs in the province – have been directly affected through either job losses (1.1 million) or sharply reduced hours (1.1 million).
· Almost 87 per cent of the job losses between February and April occurred in the private sector (-947,500), while public sector employment (-88,700) and self-employment (-55,700) recorded relatively smaller declines.
· Part-time workers lost jobs at more than twice the pace (-27.9 per cent) compared to full-time workers (-11.5 per cent).
· Workers in industries with below-average wages (including wholesale and retail trade and accommodation and food services) have accounted for seven in 10 jobs lost since February.
· Job losses have also been more pronounced for temporary workers (-28.0 per cent) and youth (-32.4 per cent).
· Since February, job losses among women (-577,200) have been somewhat larger than for men (-514,800).