Canadian seniors across the country are facing significant health, economic, and social challenges due to COVID-19. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday that seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will receive their special one-time, tax-free payment during the week of July 6.

Through this measure and others, the government is providing nearly $900 more for single seniors and more than $1,500 for senior couples, on top of their existing benefits, to help these vulnerable Canadians with extra costs during the pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Government of Canada has introduced a number of measures to support seniors, including those most vulnerable. The government is also investing an additional $20 million in community organizations that offer services to seniors, and have reduced minimum withdrawal requirements for all types of registered retirement income funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for the year 2020.

Click here to read the full statement.

Read More

The Canadian Business Resilience Network’s vast network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and more than 100 of Canada’s leading business and industry associations, the Roadmap to Recovery lays out nine policy areas and specific measures that our political leaders must start considering to help ensure a sharp and lasting recovery.

The nine policy areas featured in the roadmap are:

  • Getting Canadians Back to Work
  • Keeping Supply Chains and People Moving
  • Managing Debt and Deficits
  • Navigating Global Fragmentation
  • Adopting Technology and Innovation
  • Ensuring a Resilient Resource Sector
  • Planning for Small and Medium Business Continuity
  • Strengthening Our Public Health Infrastructure
  • Rethinking Government’s Role and Priorities

To read the full roadmap in detail, click here.

Read More

Work in Sarnia Lambton (WISL) is an interactive toolkit designed for job seekers and apprentices, employers, training and skill development resources, and community employment services.

The toolkit includes regional jobs board, regional jobs map, and a regional census tool. There is also a regional career path outlook being developed for the toolkit as well.

WISL is free to everyone and was made to be a resource provided and managed by the Sarnia Lambton Workforce Development Board to help job seekers and employers alike.

For any further information or to look at the guidebook, click here (PDF).


Read More

The Ontario government announced that it has enacted a new regulatory amendment that will put non-unionized employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave during the COVID-19 outbreak any time their hours of work are temporarily reduced by their employer due to COVID-19. This will ensure businesses aren’t forced to terminate employees after their ESA temporary layoff periods have expired.

“As we take the necessary steps to safely and gradually restart the economy, we need to make sure business owners can reopen their doors and workers have jobs to go back to,” Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training & Skill Development says. “This regulatory change will protect businesses from being forced to permanently lay off their employees due to COVID-19 and suffer a financial loss that could shutter their operations for good”. 

The regulatory amendment applies retroactively to March 1, 2020 and will expire six weeks after the declared emergency ends.The regulatory amendments do not include employees represented by a trade union.

To read the full article, click here.

Read More

The Ontario government launched the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website in late April 2020 to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the pandemic. The website allows the provincial government to listen to and support businesses as they adapt to this new environment.

The website facilitates communication between businesses and the Ontario government by allowing visitors to submit a request to a temporary rule change to help your business respond to COVID-19. Some examples of this are:

  • Assisting the health care system meet the needs of the emergency.
  • Assist businesses in retooling or producing essential or health-related product and supplies.
  • Making it easier for businesses to operate remotely or in a non-traditional fashion and are facing unexpected challenges.

Some regulation changes that have already been implemented include: extending registrations, licenses and certificate renewals, allowing permitted restaurants to include alcohol as a part of a takeout or delivery order, provide electricity rate relief to residential, farm, and small business customers, and permitting pharmacists to renew and adapt prescriptions for controlled drugs and substances.

For the full statement, click here.

To visit the COVID-19 Tackling the Barriers Website, click here.

Read More

The Ontario government announced on June 1, that it will continue to support provincial electricity consumers by providing stability and greater customer choice, while helping those struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Initiatives include:

  • $9 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program to support consumers struggling to pay their energy bills during the pandemic.
  • $8 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) to provide support to businesses struggling with bill payments as a result of the outbreak.
  • An extension of the Ontario Energy Board’s winter disconnection ban until July 31, 2020 to ensure no one is disconnected from their natural gas or electricity service during these uncertain times.

While we make progress to contain this deadly virus, we know people will need to stay home when possible and businesses will need ongoing support as we gradually and safely reopen the economy” said Premier Ford, “Providing additional rate relief, flexibility, and customer choice will help ensure everyone can recover from this extraordinary crisis and get back to a life that is as normal as possible”.

For the full statement, click here.

Read More

As part of its Canadian Business Resilience Network campaign, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, through the generosity of Salesforce will provide 62 small Canadian businesses from coast to coast to coast with $10,000 grants to help their recovery efforts during these unprecedented times.

Businesses can use the $10,000 grants to support their recovery efforts, including paying salaries, acquiring safety and personal protective equipment for staff, replenishing materials, or paying for the measures required to adapt business models to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

To be eligible, businesses must:

  • Be a for-profit company,
  • Belong to a chamber of commerce, board of trade, or association that is a member of the Canadian Business Resilience Network,
  • Have between 2 and 50 employees,
  • Have been in business for 2 years as of March 1, 2020,
  • Have an annual revenue between $150,000 CAD and $5,000,000 CAD,
  • Been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and
  • Meet additional criteria set out in the programs terms and conditions.

Applications are open until June 12, 2020 at 8:00 pm. Click here for more details.

Read More

Partners and Sponsors