Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

CKL's businessesnon-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.

If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to receive the rent subsidy, you must meet all four of the following criteria – you:

1.Meet at least one of these conditions:

1. You had a CRA business number on September 27, 2020

2. You had a payroll account on March 15, 2020, or another person or partnership made payroll remittances on your behalf

3. You purchased the business assets of another person or partnership who meets condition 2 above, and have made an election under the special asset acquisition rules
These special asset acquisition rules are the same for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

4. You meet other prescribed conditions that might be introduced
Note: there are no prescribed conditions at this time

If you don’t have a business number but you qualify under condition b or c, you will need to set one up before you are able to apply for CERS.

You do not need a payroll account to apply for CERS.

2.You are an eligible business, charity, or non-profit (eligible entity). 

Types of businesses, charities, or non-profits (entities) that are eligible for CERS

  • individuals (other than a trust)

  • corporations (or trusts) that are not exempt from income tax (Part I of the Income Tax Act)

  • the following persons that are exempt from income tax (Part I of the Income Tax Act):

    • non-profit organizations

    • agricultural organizations

    • boards of trade

    • chambers of commerce

    • non-profit corporations for scientific research and experimental development

    • labour organizations or societies

    • benevolent or fraternal benefit societies or orders

  • registered charities

  • partnerships consisting of eligible employers (including partnerships where at least 50% of the interests in the partnership are held by eligible employers)

  • the following prescribed organizations:

    • certain Indigenous government-owned corporations that carry on a business

    • partnerships consisting of eligible employers and certain Indigenous governments

    • registered Canadian amateur athletic associations

    • registered journalism organizations

    • private schools or private colleges, and

    • partnerships consisting of eligible employers (including partnerships where at least 50% of the interests in the partnership are held by eligible employers)

Public institutions are not eligible for the subsidy. This includes municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges and schools, and hospitals.

If your business, charity, or non-profit is related to another eligible entity, you may be considered an "affiliated entity".

This may affect your calculations for the subsidy.

If your business, charity, or non-profit is related to another eligible entity, you may be considered an "affiliated entity".

This may affect your calculations for the subsidy.

3.Experienced a drop in revenue

Your drop in revenue is calculated by comparing your eligible revenue during the reference period with your eligible revenue from a previous period (baseline revenue).

There is no minimum revenue drop required to qualify for the subsidy. The rate your revenue has dropped is only used to calculate how much subsidy you receive for these periods.

Calculate your revenue drop online

After you have read about the expenses you can claim, you can use the online calculator to find your revenue drop while calculating how much subsidy you may receive.

A CERS application must be filed no later than 180 days after the end of a claim period.

4.Have eligible expenses

To apply for CERS, you must have a qualifying property. Only certain expenses you pay for qualifying properties are eligible for CERS.

How to apply:

For information about claim periods, including for between November 22 to December 19, 2020, click here:

The CERS covers a portion of eligible expenses in respect of a claim period for each qualifying property, subject to certain maximums. The CERS is calculated on a property by property basis.

Qualifying property

Properties (business locations) that do qualify include any "real or immovable property" (buildings or land) in Canada that your business or organization:

  • owns or rents, and

  • uses in the course of your ordinary business activities

Properties that do not qualify, include:

  • your home, cottage, or other residence used by you, your family members, or other non-arm’s-length persons

  • any properties you own that are primarily used to earn rental income from arm’s-length parties

Eligible expenses

For each claim period, you can claim eligible expenses up to a maximum of:

  • $75,000 per business location (base and top-up)

  • $300,000 in total for all locations (including any amounts claimed by affiliated businesses)

    • applies to the base subsidy only

    • there is no maximum for the top-up subsidy

Eligibility criteria for expenses

There are a few criteria expenses need to meet, in order to be eligible to be included in your claim for a particular claim period.

  • Only amounts paid or payable to an arm’s-length party can be included

  • The expense must be in respect of the claim period

  • The expense must be paid or payable under a written agreement in place before October 9, 2020 (or a renewal on substantially similar terms or assignment of such an agreement)

If you have not paid the amounts due for your eligible expenses yet, you must attest (confirm) that these amounts will be paid within 60 days of receiving your rent subsidy payment.

You cannot claim expenses that were paid or payable:

  • to non-arm’s-length entities

  • for a timeframe that falls outside of the claim period you are applying for

If you rent the qualifying property, your eligible expenses are:

  • Rent (including rent based on a percentage of sales, profit or similar criteria)

  • Amounts required to be paid or payable by you under a net lease (either to the lessor or a third party). Includes:

    • base rent

    • regular payments for customary operating expenses

    • property and similar taxes

    • regular payments to the lessor for customary ancillary services

You cannot include amounts paid or payable for:

  • sales taxes (such as GST/HST and provincial sales taxes)

  • damages

  • interest or penalties on unpaid amounts

  • other special amounts

If your landlord received an amount under the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program and they applied the amount to your future rent payments, you can still claim the full rent amount in the current period.

If you own the qualifying property, your eligible expenses are:

  • Property and similar taxes

    • Includes school taxes and municipal taxes, if these are part of your property tax assessment

  • Property insurance

  • Interest on commercial mortgages for the purpose of purchasing real property

    • Your mortgage amount cannot exceed the lesser of: the lowest principal amount secured by one or more mortgages on the property at any time it was acquired; OR the cost amount of the property

Expenses that are not eligible include:

  • payments between non-arm’s-length entities

  • amounts that were paid or payable for a time that fall outside of the claim period

If you earned any revenue from sub-leasing space on the property to arm’s-length parties, you must subtract that revenue from your eligible expenses.

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Caregivers are increasingly being held to a higher legal standard. They are now generally regarded as a “fiduciary” to the person to whom they provide care. A fiduciary has higher obligations legally – caregivers are now in that category. 

Historically there are general categories of fiduciary relationships that have evolved in Ontario. They include: agent to principal; lawyer to client; trustee to beneficiary; business partner to partner; and, director to corporation.

Generally, a fiduciary obligation on a person will be imposed when:

  1. The fiduciary has scope for the exercise of some discretion or power;

  2. The fiduciary can unilaterally exercise that power or discretion so as to affect the beneficiary’s legal or practical interests; and

  3. The beneficiary is peculiarly vulnerable to, or at the mercy of, the fiduciary holding the discretion or power.

Vulnerability of the other person is often a key consideration.

This is important if a caregiver, for example (which may include a family member) is added to a bank account of a person in need of care, handles finances for a parent or generally provide financial assistance to, for example, an elderly parent or disabled person.

A recent case in British Columbia illustrates this trend in the law: Reeves v. Dean.

In this case, the caregiver was found to have misappropriated money from a bank account to which the caregiver was added by the person in need of the caregiver services. 

There are special remedies available from the Court when it is found that a fiduciary has acted unlawfully. They include: a constructive trust, accounting for profits, compensation to to the aggreived person (to restore them to their former position) and others. Generally, the remedies are identified by the Supreme Court of Canada in Frame v. Smith (1987).

Therefore, if you act as a caregiver, be very mindful of your higher duty.

On the other hand, if you receive, or you know someone who receives, caregiver services (particularly if they related to handling personal finances), be sure to speak to a qualified lawyer if you suspect there has potentially been wrongdoing by the caregiver. 

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The Health Unit recommends rethinking the usual door-to-door trick-or-treating this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

They encourage creative ways to celebrate at home.


However, if you do decide to do a little trick-or-treating this year………….

  • Individually wrap goodie bags and leave them out on a table or chair at the end of your walk or driveway.

  • Don't go trick-or-treating if feeling ill, even if symptoms are minor

  • Choose costumes that allow a non-medical mask to be worn underneath - make sure you can see and breathe comfortably

  • Minimize contact with others: trick-or-treat with your family or cohort, remain within your community, and stay 2 metres apart

  • Avoid touching doorbells or railings: call "trick or treat" from 2 metres away, knock instead of using doorbells, use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces

  • Wash hands and disinfect packages before eating candy


  • Don't hand out candy if feeling ill or isolating

  • Wear a non-medical mask that fully covers your nose and mouth

  • Ask trick-or-treaters to knock or call out instead of ringing the doorbell

  • Use tongs to hand out pre-packaged candy to avoid handling treats

Find creative ways to maintain distance from trick-or-treaters:

  • Hand out treats from your driveway or front lawn, if weather permits

  • Set up a table or desk to help keep yourself distanced

  • Make candy bags and space them out on a table or blanket; don't leave out self-serve bowls of bulk candy

  • Build a candy slide, candy catapult or other fun, non-touch delivery methods


  • Stay home if feeling ill, even if symptoms are mild

  • Spend time with people you know - the smaller the group the better

  • Choose games and activities that don't use shared items and allows people to stay 2 metres apart

  • Don't share drinks, food, cigarettes, vapes or cannabis

  • Host your party outdoors, if weather permits. If you must stay indoors:

  • reduce your gathering size (max is ten people indoors; 25 outdoors)

  • choose a location that allows for physical distancing between people from separate families and cohorts

  • provide hand sanitizer

  • Wash or sanitize your hands often

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Unmonitored and private social gatherings include functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas.

The limit on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored private social gathering across the province is:

  • 10 people at an indoor event or gathering (previous limit of 50); or

  • 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering (previous limit of 100).

Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together. Gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted.

These limits do not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, recreational sporting or performing art events.

Existing rules, including public health and workplace safety measures for these businesses and facilities, continue to be in effect.

The new amendments to the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act establish:

  • a new offence regarding hosting or organizing a gathering in residential premises or other prescribed premises that exceeds limits under an order.

  • A minimum fine of $10,000 for organizers of these gatherings.

  • Authority for the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe additional types of premises for the purpose of the new offence.

  • Authority for a police officer, special constable or First Nations constable to order the temporary closure of a premises where there are reasonable grounds to believe that any gathering exceeding the number of people allowed is taking place and require individuals to leave the premises.

It remains important for everyone to continue following public health advice. This includes:

  • staying home when ill, or keeping your child home from school when ill, even with mild symptoms;

  • practising physical distancing with those outside your household or social circle, or at gatherings;

  • wearing a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so;

  • washing your hands frequently and thoroughly; and

  • adhering to gathering limits and rules.

For additional protection, the Ontario government is encouraging everyone to download the new COVID Alert app on their smart phone from the Apple and Google Play app stores.

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As the number of new cases continues to rise, the province is taking more action to prevent and stop the spread of the virus and avoid future lockdowns.

These new restrictions were adopted through the amended order O. Reg 364/20 (Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario [A Flexible Response to COVID-19] Act, 2020).

They include mandating the use of face coverings in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces, with limited exemptions, including corrections and developmental services.

The best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) is by staying home and avoiding close contact with others outside of your household.

When you do go out, you must use a face covering (non-medical mask, such as a cloth mask) in public indoor spaces and whenever physical distancing is a challenge.

This includes:

  • public spaces (for example, inside stores, event spaces, entertainment facilities and common areas in hotels)

  • workplaces, even those that are not open to the public

  • vehicles that operate as part of a business or organization, including taxis and rideshares

Face coverings will not stop you from getting COVID-19, but may help protect others.

Medical masks (surgical, medical procedure face masks and respirators like N95 masks) should be reserved for use by health care workers and first responders.

When you don’t have to wear a face covering

There are some situations when you do not need to wear a face covering.

You do not need medical documentation to support any of the exceptions below.


Children do not have to wear a face covering indoors if they are younger than two years old.

Health and accommodations

You do not need to wear a face covering if you:

  • have a medical condition that inhibits your ability to wear a face covering

  • are unable to put on or remove your face covering without help from someone else

  • are receiving accommodations according to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 or the Human Rights Code

Correctional institutions

You do not need to wear a face covering if you are in a:

  • correctional institution

  • custody program for young persons in conflict with the law

  • detention program for young persons in conflict with the law


You do not need to wear a face covering when you are working in an area that allows you to maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from anyone else while you are indoors.

Residences and dwellings

You do not need to wear a face covering in:

  • university dorms, retirement homes, long-term care homes or other similar dwellings except when you are in a common area and can’t maintain 2 metres from others

  • residences for people with disabilities (any residences listed in the definition of“residential services and supports”in subsection 4 (2) of the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008)

Performing or rehearsing

You do not need to wear a face covering while you are performing or rehearsing for a:

  • film or television production

  • concert

  • artistic event

  • theatrical performance

Temporarily taking off your face covering

You can take off your face covering temporarily:

  • to receive services that require you to take it off (for example, at the dentist, when receiving some personal care services such as facials, or when you have to verify your identity)  

  • to engage in an athletic or fitness activity

  • to eat or drink

  • as necessary for health and safety purposes


Non-medical masks or face coverings should:

  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops

  • maintain their shape after washing and drying

  • be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material (such as cotton or linen)

  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping

Face coverings will not protect you from getting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is to:

  • minimize errands to a single trip where possible

  • avoid close contact with others and keep at least two metres from others outside your household

  • wash your hands regularly (or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available)

  • practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette (for example, sneeze and cough into your sleeve and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth)

How to properly use face coverings

When wearing a face covering, you should:

  • wash your hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off (practise good hand hygiene while you are wearing the face covering)

  • make sure the face covering fits well around your nose and mouth

  • avoid moving the mask around or adjusting it often

  • avoid touching the covering while using it

  • not share it with others

Face coverings should be changed when they get slightly wet or dirty.

Remove or dispose of face coverings

When removing a face covering, you should:

  • throw it out into a lined garbage bin

  • wash your hands

Do not leave any discarded face coverings in shopping carts or on the ground.


If the face covering can be cleaned, you should:

  • put it directly into the washing machine or a bag that can be emptied into the washing machine

  • wash with other items using a hot cycle with laundry detergent (no special soaps are needed), and dry thoroughly

  • wash your hands after putting the face covering into the laundry

All face coverings that cannot be cleaned should be thrown out and replaced as soon as they get slightly wet, dirty or crumpled.

For more information, please read the Public Health Ontario (PHO) fact sheet.

Summary dos and don’ts


  • wash your hands immediately before putting on and immediately after taking off a face covering or face mask

  • practise good hand hygiene while you are wearing the face covering

  • make sure the face covering fits well around your nose and mouth

  • avoid moving the mask around or adjusting it often

  • avoid touching the covering while using it

  • change the face covering or face mask when it gets slightly wet or dirty

Do not:

  • share face coverings or face masks with others

  • place on children under the age of two years or on anyone unable to remove without assistance or who has trouble breathing

  • use plastic or other non-breathable materials as a face covering or face mask

Guidance for health care workers

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a garment or device worn by health care workers to protect themselves from infection when they:

  • are in close contact with people who are infected

  • can’t maintain a safe physical distance

  • do not have access to a physical barrier

PPE includes:

  • surgical masks, also called procedural or medical masks, which prevent droplets and splashes from passing through the mask material  

  • respirators, such as the N95 respirator, which have a filter and seal around the nose and mouth to help prevent exposure to airborne particles

  • gowns

  • gloves

  • eye protection, such as goggles or face shields

The type of PPE you need depends on the type of health care work you do. Health care workers who provide direct care to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID‑19 need to:

  • follow droplet and contact precautions

  • use a surgical mask, isolation gown, gloves and eye protection



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1.What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the right to make decisions on your behalf.

2. Are there different kinds of Power of Attorney?

Yes. In Ontario there are three kinds of Power of Attorney:

 A Continuing Power of Attorney for Property (CPOA) covers your financial affairs and allows the person you name to make decisions for you even if you become mentally incapable.

A non-continuing Power of Attorney for Property covers your financial affairs but can’t be used if you become mentally incapable. You might give this Power of Attorney, for example, if you need someone to look after your financial transactions while you’re away from home for an extended period of time.

A Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC) covers your personal decisions, such as housing and health care.

3. Does the law require everyone to have a Power of Attorney?

No. Making a Power of Attorney is voluntary. No one can be forced to make one.

4. What does the term “attorney” mean?

The term “attorney” refers to the person or persons you have chosen to act on your behalf. The person does not have to be a lawyer. 3

5. What does the term “mentally incapable” mean?

It means different things for different types of decisions and actions. For example, the level of mental capacity a person needs in order to make a valid power of attorney is different from the capacity needed to make personal care or financial decisions. The definitions are provided below under the topic headings.

6. Can I express my wishes in advance?

Ontario laws recognize that your known wishes expressed while mentally capable about your future care choices, will be binding on your attorney or other substitute decision-makers, unless they are impossible to follow. Ontario law does not use the term “living will’. Sometimes people use the term “advance directive” to refer to a written statement of wishes about future care.

7. Is an “advance directive” the same thing as a “Power of Attorney”?

No. A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you name a specific person to make decisions on your behalf. You can, however, write your treatment wishes (an “advance directive”) as part of your Power of Attorney for Personal Care so that you can be sure your attorney is aware of them. An “advance directive” just addresses your treatment and personal care wishes and does not need to name anyone or be written in any specific way.

8. Is a Power of Attorney the same thing as a “Last Will and Testament”?

No. Your Last Will and Testament covers the distribution of your property after you die and only takes effect upon your death. A Power of Attorney only applies while you are alive and ceases to be effective upon your death.

9. Do I have to register my Power of Attorney with the government?

No. There is no requirement that these documents be registered. The government does not keep a registry. It makes sense, however, to make sure that the people in your life who need to know about these documents – especially your attorney – have a copy or know where to get one if needed.

10. Is a Power of Attorney effective outside of Ontario?

It depends on the law of the particular place where you want to use the Power of Attorney. If you are going to move, or be out of the province for some time, you may want to check with a local lawyer to see if you need to make new documents. 4

11. If I don’t make a Power of Attorney, will the government automatically step in if I can’t manage my own affairs?

No. In these circumstances a family member has the right to make your health care decisions or apply to become your “guardian” of property. Alternatively, someone else – such as a close friend - could apply to make decisions for you in these matters. The government, through the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT), acts only in situations where it is legally required and where no other suitable person is available, able and willing. For more information about applications for guardianship please see the brochure entitled “Becoming a Guardian of Property”.

12. Do I have to use a lawyer to make my Powers of Attorney?

The law does not require you to use a lawyer’s services. However, you may wish to consider hiring a lawyer, especially if your affairs are complicated.

13. Where can I get Power of Attorney forms?

Your lawyer can draft Powers of Attorney for you. Alternatively, some bookstores sell forms and there are also some forms on the Internet. The OPGT provides forms for both Power of Attorney for Property and Personal care. You may request these by calling Service Ontario at 416-326-1234 or toll free at 1-800-267-8097. Forms can also be requested from the OPGT by calling 416-314-2800 or toll-free at 1-800-366-0335 or TTY: 416-314-2687. Access them on-line at Obtaining legal advice in creating these documents is something you should seriously consider. Note: The Ontario Government’s 1994 Power of Attorney Kit is still valid for use today.

14. Does the government also provide a “Will Kit” or similar forms that I can use to make my Last Will and Testament?

No. It is difficult to make one form that would adequately cover the many diverse situations that people may want to reflect in their Wills and provide all the information that people need to plan properly. We recommend that you hire a lawyer to assist you in making your Will.

15. Is my Power of Attorney valid?

f the document is properly completed, signed and witnessed, and you had the legal capacity to give the POA there are no further steps that need to be taken in order for it to be legally binding. Please note the POA must be witnessed by two individuals who are eligible to serve as a witness. Some people, for example, your spouse and children, are not allowed to serve as a witness to you signing the POA. Please see the OPGT’s POA Kit for complete instructions. You may also wish to obtain legal advice. Neither the Attorney General’s office nor the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee keep a record of Power of Attorney documents, so there is no need to submit one in order for it to be legally binding. It is also not necessary to have a lawyer review the documents, although this may be helpful to ensure they are executed properly. While not required under the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, a person being asked to recognize a Power of Attorney may require a notarized copy of, or the opportunity to see the original Power of Attorney, before dealing with an attorney in place of the grantor. This requirement provides additional assurance that the attorney has authority. Requiring the attorney to produce the original for inspection or provide a notarized copy helps establish that the original document is still in existence and is in the attorney’s possession. As well, if a notarized copy is produced, it reduces the risk of potential fraud as the notary is required to compare the original Power of Attorney to the copy prior to notarizing the copy.

16. If a witness to a Power of Attorney dies, does the Power of Attorney become invalid?

No. The subsequent death of a witness does not affect the validity of the Power of Attorney.

17. If there is more than one Power of Attorney, which one is valid?

Only the most recent Power of Attorney is valid unless you state, in that document, that you intend to have more than one Power of Attorney.

18. I am an attorney named in a Power of Attorney. What if someone refuses to accept the Power of Attorney?

It may have been that, despite the grantor’s best intentions, the document was not executed properly. For instance, although it is signed and witnessed, it may be that one of the witness signatures is not valid owing to the witness’s relationship to the grantor or because the witness is also the appointed attorney. It is also possible that the grantor lacked the required mental capacity to make a POA. 6 If the POA is executed properly, there may be some policy reason that an institution (e.g. bank) in Ontario has not accepted it. In order to protect from fraud, many institutions establish policies around the acceptance of POAs. You should discuss this with them. You may need to seek legal advice if the POA appears to be validly made and the institution still refuses to honour it. Please Note: Powers of Attorney are governed provincially, rather than federally, so each province has its own requirements. If you are trying to use a POA from Ontario, in another province, you may run into difficulty. However, it may be possible to have the POA validated by another province; you should seek legal advice with respect to this issue.

19. Can a Power of Attorney be challenged?

Yes, but only a court has the final say.

20. Will the OPGT agree to be appointed in a Power of Attorney?

The OPGT rarely consents to act under a Power of Attorney. The OPGT’s mandate is to make decisions as guardian for mentally incapable adults who have no one else available, willing and suitable to make decisions on their behalf.



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If you are looking for great reason to get outside, you can take up the annual Ontario Parks 30x30 Challenge.

It is part of our government's Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative and runs for the month of August.

To meet the 30x30 Challenge, participants must spend 30 minutes outside in nature each day for 30 days.

The 30x30 challenge can be a fun way to kickstart healthy new habits or renew old ones and take advantage of the life-long benefits. Spending time in nature can have a profound impact on our health and well-being, improve our overall mood, boost our immune system and reduce stress. There are countless ways to participate, from going on a bike ride, taking a long walk, or enjoying a provincial park or another greenspace near you.

Although we are encouraging people to be more active, it's important to remember we must continue to be responsible and follow public health advice, including practicing physical distancing whether inside or out, wearing a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is required, washing your hands frequently and avoiding large gatherings."

Additional Resources

  • Use the Ontario Parks locator tool to find a provincial park near you.

  • More ideas on what to do for the 30x30 Challenge can be found on the Ontario Parks Blog and YouTube channel.

  • As part of Ontario’s Healthy Parks Healthy People strategy, Ontario recently consulted people and organizations across the province to help us develop more effective programs, policies and partnerships to improve access to the health benefits of provincial parks and green spaces. Read a summary of what we heard.

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So, what is happening with Ontario’s declaration of emergency for COVID-19?

It’s ended, but the containment rules and directives continue.

The declaration of emergency was made initially under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (“EMCPA”). Recently, the provincial declaration of emergency was extended to July 24, 2020, while existing emergency orders were extended to July 29, 2020. However, recognizing that there will likely be a continued need to manage the public health risks and effects of COVID-19 well beyond the declared emergency, on July 21, 2020, the Ontario government passed Bill 195, now known as the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (the “Act”).

 End of Declared Emergency

The Act provides that the COVID-19 declared emergency is terminated once it comes into force unless the emergency has been terminated beforehand. The Act came into force on July 24, 2020, which coincides with the termination of the state of emergency.

Continuation and Amendment of Emergency Orders

The Act also provides that emergency orders made under section 7.0.2 or 7.1 of the EMCPA that are in force on the date the Act came into force will cease to be orders under the EMCPA but will be continued as valid and effective orders under the new legislation. The orders are continued for an initial period of 30 days, but the Act allows for the extension by the Lieutenant Governor in Council for further periods of no more than 30 days at a time.

Bill 195, as it was passed, does not allow for the creation of new emergency orders under the Act. However, the continued orders may be amended by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, but only if the amendment requires persons to act in compliance with the advice, recommendations or instruction of a public health official and the amendment relates to one of the following subject matters:

  • closing or regulating any place, whether public or private, including any business, office, school, hospital or other establishment or institution;

  • providing for rules or practices related to workplaces or the management of workplaces, or authorizing the person responsible for a workplace to identify staffing priorities or to develop, modify or implement redeployment plans or rules or practices that relate to the workplace or the management of the workplace, including credentialing processes in a health care facility; or

  • prohibiting or regulating gatherings and organized public events.

Bill 195, as it was passed, also provides that some orders cannot be amended, including, for example: Order 210/20 (Management of Long-Term Care Homes in Outbreak), Order 240/20 (Management of Retirement Homes in Outbreak) and Order 241/20 (Special Rules Re Temporary Pandemic Pay).

The Act limits the authority to extend or amend emergency orders continued under it to a period of one (1) year, subject to further extension by the legislature. It provides for oversight of that authority through regular, mandated reporting wherein any extension of an emergency order under the Act would have to be justified. Additionally, it addresses enforcement and compliance through the same type of provisions on offences and penalties as those already set out under the EMCPA.

It is important to note that despite the provincial declaration of emergency coming to an end, it will nonetheless remain possible for an individual head of the council of a municipality to declare that an emergency exists in any part of their municipality (or to continue such a declaration) and to therefore exercise the powers granted to municipalities in such circumstances by the EMCPA. It also continues to remain possible for Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health or for local medical officers of health to exercise the powers granted to them by the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

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The Ontario government has now released its final bait management strategy to protect the province's lakes and rivers from the threat of invasive species and fish diseases. As part of this new strategy, the government will be establishing four bait management zones to limit the movement of live bait across the province.

Live bait that is harvested in one area of the province is often shipped, sold, and later used in another region. If unused bait is not disposed of properly, invasive and other illegal bait species that may be mistakenly mixed in with the bait, or fish infected with disease, have the potential to establish new populations or infect other fish in the new waterbody.

To prevent the spread of invasive species and fish diseases through the movement of live bait, four bait management zones will be established across the province. This will limit the movement of most bait to the same bait management zone where it was harvested. Individual anglers who wish to use live bait outside of their own bait management zone will be required to purchase bait from a licensed commercial bait operator in the zone where they will be fishing.

The final Sustainable Bait Management Strategy, posted on the Environmental Registry of Ontario, is a result of extensive engagement with bait operators, stakeholder groups, the public, and Indigenous communities. They provided input on key elements related to the use and movement of bait, the type of bait allowed, and administrative improvements.


  • Ontario’s bait industry is estimated to be worth $23 million per year.

  • In 2020-2021, Ontario is investing over $2 million to support ongoing research, monitoring, and management of invasive species across the province.

  • Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada that has standalone invasive species legislation. The Invasive Species Act provides legislative tools to prohibit and restrict certain invasive species and carriers that facilitate the movement of invasive species.

  • Protecting our environment from invasive species by working with partners and other governments and using tools to prevent, detect and respond to invasions is a commitment under the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.

  • Anglers spend more than $1.6 billion annually in Ontario and support jobs in many rural and northern communities that depend on recreational fishing.

  • The use of bait is one route for the potential spread of fish-based diseases (e.g., viral hemorrhagic septicemia [VHS]) and invasive species (e.g., round goby) across Ontario.

Additional Resources:

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The Ontario government is proposing changes that would provide additional protection for payday loan borrowers by capping interest rates and fees on defaulted loans, ensuring that workers and families who use payday loan services can keep more of their hard-earned money.

The changes were included in the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020.

Proposed amendments to the Payday Loans Act, 2008, would cap the interest rate that lenders can charge on payday loans that are in default.

Lenders would not be permitted to charge interest in excess of 2.5 per cent per month (non-compounded), providing rate relief to borrowers unable to repay their loans on time.

The government would also establish a maximum fee of $25 that may be charged by lenders for dishonoured or bounced cheques or pre-authorized debits. This measure would protect borrowers from having to pay high fees while already facing financial hardship.

If passed, this would be the first time Ontario has taken action to protect borrowers in default from annual interest rates as high as 60 per cent and to establish a maximum fee that may be charged for dishonoured payments.      

Learn more about other supports provided by the Ontario government by visiting COVID-19: support for people.

Quick Facts: 

  • Ontario would join six Canadian jurisdictions that have similar maximum interest rates on payday loans in default, including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Payday loans are the most expensive form of consumer loans in Ontario.

  • Payday lenders typically have to be repaid two weeks after borrowing the money.

  • The government is also conducting a review of the Consumer Protection Act — the first comprehensive review in almost 15 years.

  • As part of the review of the Consumer Protection Act, the government will consider how to better protect vulnerable consumers who use alternative financial services that are regulated under that act.

Additional Resources

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The Ontario government is expanding the Risk Management Program a year earlier than planned by $50 million for a total of $150 million annually.

This funding supports farmers with unforeseen challenges such as fluctuating market prices, extreme weather events like flooding or drought, and disease.

Approximately 80 per cent of eligible commercial production in the cattle, hog, sheep, veal, grains and oilseeds, and edible horticulture sectors in Ontario is covered by the provincial Risk Management Program.

The increased investment in the Risk Management Program is in addition to a $15 million Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program.

Farmers and other operations have access to cost-share funding to help enhance health and safety measures for employees, such as purchasing personal protective equipment, medical testing equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and temporary or permanent modifications to enhance physical distancing. Support is also available for farmers who experience unexpected costs for housing and transportation as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak on their farm.


  • Applications for the Risk Management Program will reopen today to allow eligible farmers the opportunity to apply to the program. The deadline to apply closes at midnight on July 30th, 2020.

  • Producers should contact the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ delivery agent, Agricorp, to enroll in the Risk Management Program and AgriStability or to discuss their individual files.

  • In response to COVID-19, the federal and Ontario governments have added labour as an insured risk to Production Insurance for the 2020 growing season.

  • Canada and Ontario have also announced up to $10 million of support for beef and pork sectors through AgriRecovery.

  • Ontario has an estimated 49,600 farms that contribute an estimated $7.6 billion annually to the province’s economy.

More Information

Additional Resources

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The Ontario government has now announced proposed legislation that, if passed, would ensure certain emergency measures continue once the provincial declaration of emergency has ended. 

According to a government press release, Bill 195 Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, would:

• continue emergency orders in effect under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act ("EMCPA") under the new legislation for an initial 30 days;

• allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to further extend these orders for up to 30 days at a time, as required;

• allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to amend certain emergency orders continued under the EMCPA if the amendment relates to:

    • labour redeployment or workplace and management rules;

    • closure of places and spaces or regulation of how businesses and establishments can be open to provide goods or services in a safe manner;

    • compliance with public health advice; or

    • rules related to gatherings and organized public events;

• not permit new emergency orders to be introduced through the legislation; and

• allow emergency orders to be rescinded when safe to do so.

The ability to extend and amend orders under the new proposed legislation would be limited to 1 year, unless extended by the legislature.  The current declaration of emergency is in place until July 15, 2020, subject to further extension by the government.

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When Must I Wear A Non-Medical Mask?

Under instructions issued by the local Medical Officer of Health (the “MOH”), area businesses will have to have a policy in place that requires people to wear a non-medical mask or face covering before entering their commercial establishment. 

This applies to all owners and operators of commercial establishments currently open during Stage 2 of the province’s reopening.

The instructions have been issued under the authority of Ontario Regulation 263/20 under the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).


The requirement for non-medical mask or face covering use within local businesses will come into effect at 12:01 am July 13, 2020.

The use of masks will be required while the provincial Emergency Order remains in force or until such time that the MOH lifts the requirement.

What Businesses Does This Apply To? What Is An Establishment?

Under the Health Unit’s instructions, commercial establishments are premises that are openly accessible to members of the public and used for the purposes of offering goods or services for sale.

An establishment would include a mall or other structure containing commercial premises, including: retail stores, convenience stores, restaurants, personal services settings, grocery stores and bakeries, gas stations, indoor farmers’ markets, areas of mechanics’ shops/garages/repair shops, which are open to the public.

Who Does This Apply To?

If you own or operate a commercial establishment currently operating under Stage 2 of the provincial reopening, you must have policies in place to stop people from entering your establishment if they are not wearing a non-medical mask or face covering.

What If I Refuse?

Every operator of an enclosed public space will have a policy to ensure that no member of the public is permitted to enter or remain in the public areas of the enclosed public space unless they are wearing a mask in a manner that covers their nose, mouth and chin.

People in an enclosed public space who remove their mask for extended periods of time, will receive a verbal reminder of the requirement to wear a mask under these instructions.

The policy of the commercial establishment should be enacted and enforced in ‘good faith’ and should be used as an opportunity to educate about the use of non-medical masks or face coverings in indoor commercial establishments. Additional education and enforcement will be conducted by Health Unit staff, as well as local municipal bylaw and police officers.

Who is Exempted?

There are exemptions to the policy and a person will be exempt from wearing a non-medical mask or face covering in the premises if:

  • the person is a child under the age of two years; or a child under the age of 5 years either chronologically or developmentally and he or she refuses to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;

  • the person is incapacitated and unable to remove their mask without assistance;

  • for any other medical reason, the person cannot safely wear a non-medical mask or face covering such as, but not limited to, respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties or difficulties in hearing or processing information; and

  • for any religious reason, the person cannot wear a non-medical mask or face covering or cannot cover the face in a manner that would properly control the source.

How Do I Make or Choose the Best Mask For Me?

In choosing a non-medical mask, ensure it is:

  • made of 2+ layers of tightly woven fabric (such as cotton or linen);

  • well-fitted with ear loops or ties;

  • a comfortable fit against your face and allows you to breathe easily without having to adjust it;

  • large enough to completely cover the nose and mouth without gaping; and

  • durable to allow you to frequently wash and dry it without losing its shape.

Other options for non-medical masks include wearing a bandana or scarf, or making one out of a T-shirt or a bandana.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also offers instructions on how to make a homemade face coverings.

Can a Business Refuse to Serve Me If I Refuse to Wear as Mask?

The implementation of the policy should be enforced in “good faith” and any person not wearing a mask will receive a verbal reminder from the staff of the establishment.

However, any commercial establishment can also assert Ontario’s Trespass To Property Act, RSO c. T.21 to disallow entry of any person who refuses to wear a non-medical mask – notice should initially be given to the person. 

In addition, business owners have a right at common law to exclude entry to any person who fails to lawfully comply with a health directive or order. 

How Will This Be Enforced?

Every owner/operator of a commercial establishment will have a policy to ensure that no member of the public is permitted to enter or remain in the public areas of the enclosed public space unless they are wearing a mask in a manner that securely covers their nose, mouth and chin.

Employees and operators will provide a verbal reminder to any customer entering the premises without a mask that the customer should be wearing a mask as a result of this directive.

Implementation of the policy will be enacted and enforced in ‘good faith’ and will be primarily used as a means to educate people on mask use in public spaces.

Public Health Inspectors from the HKPR District Health Unit, as well as municipal bylaw and local police officers will be involved in providing additional education and enforcement to operators of commercial establishments.

However, any commercial establishment can also assert Ontario’s Trespass To Property Act, RSO c. T.21 to disallow entry of any person who refuses to wear a non-medical mask – notice should initially be given to the person. 

In addition, business owners have a right at common law to exclude entry to any person who fails to lawfully comply with a health directive or order. 

Will Fines Be Levied for Non-Compliance? What Is The Penalty?

As noted above, implementation of the policy will be enacted and enforced in ‘good faith’ and will be primarily used as a means to educate people on mask use in public spaces.

As per Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, those businesses that do not comply with the instructions may be liable for a fine of $750 to $1,000 for an individual, to a maximum of $100,000, or in the case of a corporation, not more than $10,000,000 for each day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.

Can I Ever Remove My Mask In Public?

Members of the public are permitted to temporarily remove a mask for the following reasons:

  • receiving services (including eating or drinking when dine-in services are allowed), or

  • while actively engaging in an athletic or fitness activity including water-based activities.

Ensure you wash your hands using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after removing your mask or face covering.

Do I Report Local Business Not Requiring Customers to Wear Masks?


For more information on the Health Unit’s instructions to commercial establishments to require the use of masks by patrons, or to report a non-complying business, call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.

How Do I Properly Use a Non-Medical Mask?

In choosing a non-medical mask, ensure it is:

  • made of 2+ layers of tightly woven fabric (such as cotton or linen);

  • well-fitted with ear loops or ties;

  • a comfortable fit against your face and allows you to breathe easily without having to adjust it;

  • large enough to completely cover the nose and mouth without gaping; and

  • durable to allow you to frequently wash and dry it without losing its shape.

Other options for non-medical masks include wearing a bandana or scarf, or making one out of a T-shirt or a bandana. The Public Health Agency of Canada also offers instructions on how to make a homemade face coverings.

Do Even Workplace Staff Have to Wear Masks In the Business

Yes. Staff are to wear masks when they are in those portions of a fixed commercial premises that are openly accessible to members of the public and that are used for the purposes of offering goods or services for sale to members of the public.

They are not required in lunch rooms, storage areas, prep areas etc. The areas of a commercial establishment that are subject to the non-medical mask and face covering requirements of these instructions are:

- any areas in which customers interact with one another or with staff members; 
- any areas that are open or accessible to members of the public; and 
- except where: the area is outside, whether or not the area is covered (e.g. a restaurant patio). 

What Should All CKL Commercial Businesses Now Do?

To comply with this new law, and with employer obligations under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers should review these requirements and any other provincial or municipal directives to ensure they are following the latest safety requirements.

Businesses in the CKL should now:

  • create and post a written mask policy for the establishment;

  • communicate this new policy to staff and customers - post is prominently in your business/workplace;

  • train your staff on the policy, including when staff and customers must wear a mask or face covering, what to do if a customer refuses to wear one, and who is exempt from wearing one; 

  • verbally remind all attendees/customers who enter without a mask that they are legally required by order of the local Health Unit - avoid confrontation with customers by contacting the Health Unit for assistance; and 

  • post signs at all entrances reminding everyone to wear a mask.

The Health Unit will consider the above steps, if followed, as discharging your "good faith" and "best efforts" responsibility for his new legal obligation. If any conflict arises, attempt to distill and avoid, including by contacting the Health Unit for guidance and direction.  

Face masks and coverings do not replace the need to keep a distance of two metres or six feet from others, wash hands often, and stay home when sick.

Employees should continue to work from home if possible.

For more information about the instructions requiring non-medical mask use or face coverings, visit the Health Unit’s website at or call toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.

What About Professional Offices or 'By Appointment Only' Businesses

Establishments that do not fall under the definition of a commercial establishment are: schools, child care centres, business offices that are not open to members of the public, professional offices where clients receive purchased services (e.g., lawyers’ offices) that are not open to members of the public, hospitals, independent health facilities and offices of regulated health professionals.

Do I Have to Supply Customers With Masks

This is not legally required, but not having a mask is not a valid 'exemption' so it may be to the benefit of the business to have masks for these circumstances.

So, have masks available to those who do not have one.

Can I Use Only a Facial Shield Instead

Face shields are not equivalent for source protection to non-medical masks. Face shields should only be considered as an alternative for those staff that are not able to tolerate masks due to age or a condition of some kind.

Is It Okay To Simply Hide Behind a Hygiene Screen

No. Masks must be worn by staff when in areas used by the public.

Formal Directions to “Commercial Establishments”

The Health Unit’s letter to all “commercial establishments” is here:

MOH’s Fact Sheet

The Health Unit’s “Fact Sheet” for this new directive is here:

Video – How To Use a Non-Medical Mask

A video about how to use a non-medical mask properly is here:

Posters For Your Business

Posters to prominently post in your workplace/business are available here:

Need a Written Mask Policy

Give us a call - we'll set you up in no time.  

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The Government of Ontario has developed a made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and economic recovery.

This plan includes measures that would make it easier and faster to build provincial highways, major transit infrastructure projects and quality, affordable housing, while ensuring there are meaningful opportunities for community consultation and input.

As part of the government's plan, the province is proposing to accelerate key provincial highway construction and priority transit projects by establishing an exemption from the Hearing of Necessity process.

Provincial Hearings of Necessity occur approximately 5-10 times per year on average for provincial highway projects.

Each hearing adds months of red tape and construction delays for critical provincial infrastructure, costing up to five months for transit projects and up to 12 months for provincial highway projects.

As part of this plan, the government would also enter into new commercial agreements with partners to build transit-oriented communities. This would allow for the development of more housing around transit in an integrated manner and put more job opportunities within the reach of more people.

The measures would also save taxpayers money by having the development industry make direct, significant contributions to the cost of building transit for the benefit of communities, all transit riders, and Ontario taxpayers.

These measures would allow the province to more quickly undertake important technical investigations and prepare construction sites, while ensuring meaningful consultation with landowners.


  • The province is investing $2.6 billion to expand and repair Ontario’s highways and bridges.

  • Ontario will continue to collaborate with the City of Toronto and York Region under the historic joint transit partnership agreements and Transit-Oriented Communities Memorandums of Understanding.

Additional Resources

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This is International Small Business. 

The Ontario government has now launched the "Shop Local! Shop Safe! Shop with Confidence!" campaign, encouraging Ontarians to support their local small businesses and to shop safely while doing so.

The province's campaign asks for mayors, local leaders and groups to support our small businesses by committing on social media to "Shop Local, Shop Safe, Shop with Confidence," while highlighting the best practices put in place by businesses to help keep shoppers safe while ensuring that the reopening of Ontario continues to be a success.

For example, the principles of the People Outside Safely Together (POST) Promise encourage small businesses to strictly follow health guidelines and reopen with appropriate measures in place, so consumers can shop safely and with confidence, including:

  • Washing and sanitizing hands

  • Maintaining physical distancing

  • Staying home if unwell

  • Practicing respiratory etiquette

  • Cleaning and disinfecting regularly

The province, in partnership with various health and safety organizations, has also released sector-specific guidelines in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. These documents help workplaces better understand their responsibilities and includes best practices they can use to help them comply with their legal obligation to protect the health and safety of workers.


  • Ontario is also providing significant support to small businesses, including an investment of $150 million in rural broadband which will help businesses access a greater pool of customers as well as significantly expanding the Digital Main Street platform to help small businesses create and enhance their online presence, helping them to adapt and meet the challenges of today. The province has also implemented a ban on commercial evictions to help small businesses that have been significantly impacted by restrictions due to COVID-19.

  • The Board of Directors of the POST Promise Corporation is comprised of senior level business leaders and public health experts from organizations such as: The Business Council of Canada, Retail Council of Canada, Canadian Global Cities Council, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada, Restaurants Canada, McCarthy Tetrault LLP, The University of Toronto, Salt XC, and Medcan.

  • The Ontario Government reduced the small business Corporate Income Tax rate by 8.7 percent starting January 1, 2020. This will deliver up to $1,500 in annual savings to more than 275,000 businesses.

  • Ontario’s Small Business Success Strategy, launched prior to COVID-19, identified the need for small businesses across the province to build or enhance their online presence to remain competitive and expand their markets. COVID-19 has further reinforced the need for Ontario small businesses to embrace digital tools, including having online storefronts and expanding them. The Strategy also seeks to promote entrepreneurship in all of Ontario’s diverse communities.

  • To further support small businesses with physical storefronts impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, Ontario has implemented a Temporary Ban on Commercial Evictions

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The federal government will soon extend the Quarantine Act restrictions requiring out-of-Canada travellers to isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada. 

This requirement would otherwise expire tomorrow.  

Up to this time, all returning Canadians were told they had to self-isolate for 14 days and that they were prohibited from stopping anywhere along the way home.

Once isolated, the traveller was required to report the development of any COVID-19 symptoms to public health officials.

A person who normally lives with an elderly person or someone with a compromised immune system, for example, would have to quarantine elsewhere.

More recently, Canadians returning home from abroad who didn't have credible plans to self-isolate were required to stay at a quarantine facility.  

In addition, travellers returning from abroad  were required to wear non-medical masks or face coverings before they could proceed to their final destinations.

If a traveller develops symptoms during a quarantine period, or is exposed to someone who does, the 14 days of isolation begins again.

If the Canada Border Services Agency suspects that a returning traveller is not going to comply with the rules, it can alert the Public Health Agency of Canada, which can then flag the RCMP's national operations centre. The RCMP has been playing a coordinating role with local police during the pandemic.

Maximum penalties for failing to comply with the Quarantine Act include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. If someone jeopardizes another's life while wilfully or recklessly contravening the act, the penalties are even greater: $1 million or three years in prison, or both.

The Canada/U.S. border has also been closed, at least until July 21, except for essential (commercial) travel.


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Generally, you can designate a beneficiary for your RRSPs.

If you do, generally the RRSP will be paid to your designated beneficiary on your passing. The RRSP will not form part of your Estate and, therefore, not be subject to Ontario’s estate administration tax.

However, the problem: the federal Income Tax Act provides that, even though the RRSP will pass to your designated beneficiary (outside of your Estate), tax will be payable by your Estate on those funds as of your death (as if you had withdrawn those funds). This can create a burden on your Estate and its beneficiaries, which they may perceive as unfair. In other words, your designated beneficiary gets the RRSP funds, but not the corresponding tax burden created by the Income Tax Act on your death.

This often causes litigation, which you were likely trying to avoid in your Estate plan.

Careful estate planning is important, including considering potential tax issues that can arise on your death.

There are some ways to potentially avoid this, such as:

1.            Having an insurance policy, payable to your estate, for example, that will pay the tax burden on the RRSPs that you designate to someone on your death;

2.            Rolling over your RRSPs to your spouse or a dependent child, if you meet the specific requirements of the Income Tax Act to do so (consultation with an accountant or tax-experienced lawyer would be helpful); and/or

3.            Designate your Estate as the beneficiary of your RRSPs – although this will mean estate administration tax is likely payable on those funds, that is likely less of a financial burden to your beneficiaries than the alternative. The Estate can receive and pay the tax on the RRSP on your death using this approach. You can even specify in your estate plan that the net amount is payable to a specific person, such as the person you could have designated as your beneficiary on the RRSP.

Estate planning is important. To avoid unintended results and possibly creating conflict among your family member beneficiaries, creating your plan with a good, qualified estate planning lawyer is well worth the modest investment.

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In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government has extended the provincial Declaration of Emergency under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 15, 2020. 

The provincial Declaration of Emergency enables the government to make, and as needed amend, emergency orders that protect the health and safety of all Ontarians. Emergency orders in force under the Declaration of Emergency include those allowing frontline care providers to redeploy staff to areas most in need, limiting long-term care and retirement home employees to working at one home, and enabling public health units to redeploy or hire staff to support the province's enhanced case management and contact tracing strategy. These measures continue to be needed to protect seniors and other vulnerable populations from the threat of COVID-19. The extension of the Declaration of Emergency will allow the province to make or amend emergency orders as needed as it continues to ease restrictions in support of its phased reopening.  

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the government will continue to monitor public health trends related to COVID-19 and assess on an ongoing basis whether the provincial Declaration of Emergency needs to be extended further. The government will also continue to review emergency orders currently in place to determine when and if it is safe to amend or lift them as more places in the province are allowed to reopen in a safe and measured way.

As of June 24, 33 public health unit regions have entered Stage 2 of the Framework for Reopening our Province, allowing more businesses and services to open and getting more people back to work. The Windsor-Essex County public health unit region remains in Stage 1 and the situation in the region will continue to be assessed on an ongoing basis.

A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and at

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Bars, restaurants and other approved liquor sales licensees in the CKL may be permitted to temporarily extend the size of their existing licensed patio, or temporarily add a new licensed patio.

Ontario has authorized these extensions and additions within the approved period, without a separate licence or approval, provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • the physical extension of the premises is adjacent to the premises to which the existing licence to sell liquor applies;

  • the municipality in which the premises is situated does not object to an extension;

  • the licensee is able to demonstrate sufficient control over the physical extension of the premises; and

  • there is no condition on the liquor sales licence prohibiting a patio.

Accordingly, every liquor sales licensee in the CKL should review their licences for any relevant restrictions and ensure that any extension or addition is designed to be adjacent to the licensed area and within the licensees' control.

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CKL businesses and organizations - discrimination and diversity in your workplaces is paramount. 

To promote inclusiveness and target systemic discrimination, did you know that you can arrange for all of your employees, including management, to complete training to promote understanding and compliance with the (Ontario) Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c 11 (the “AODA”) and the (Ontario) Human Rights Code (the “Code”). The training is designed to help every employee learn about his or her rights and responsibilities under both the AODA and the Code, including how they affect each employee in the workplace.

An excellent (online) training program is offered by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. The program is called “Working Together: The Code and the AODA”. The program is free. The Web site to use the training program is:

This five--part e-learning series (approximately 20 minutes) is for public, private and not-for-profit sectors and also completes the training requirements for section 7 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards of the AODA, which you must comply with, by law.  Each video is approximately four minutes in duration, as follows:

There is a quiz at the end of each video for each employee to complete, in order to obtain the certificate.

After each employee completes the training program, being a five-part e-learning series, a certificate is issued to that employee. You would obtain and retain these certificates for every employee.

Having certificates for each employee will not only minimize the risk of potential non-compliance and improve the workplace environment generally, but having the training/certificates available will likely assist you in the event of any potential claim or issue in future – that is good risk management practice.

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The Ontario government announced  the release of a safety plan for the 2020-21 school year. 

According to the government press release, school boards will be asked to plan for the following three scenarios:

1. “Normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols - Students going to school every day, in classes that reflect standard class size regulations.

2. Modified school day routine - Based on public health advice, an adapted delivery model has been designed to allow for physical distancing and cohorts of students. Under this model, school boards are asked to maintain a limit of 15 students in a typical classroom at one time and adopt timetabling that would allow for students to remain in contact only with their classmates and a single teacher for as much of the school day as possible. This model would require alternate day or alternate week delivery to a segment of the class at one time.

3. At home learning - Should the school closure be extended, or some parents choose not to send their child back to school, school boards need to be prepared to offer remote education. Remote education should be delivered online to the greatest extent possible, including the establishment of minimum expectations for students to have direct contact with their teacher at the same time on a regular basis, also known as synchronous learning. Synchronous learning can be used as part of whole class instruction, in smaller groups of students, and/or in a one-on-one context.”

The government also:

  • announced $4 million in funding for school cleaning, cleaning protocols and the hiring of additional custodial staff in September 2020; and

  • announced $736 million of additional funding in public education for the 2020-21 school year. 

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The Ontario government is focusing more on balancing  the safety and security of farmers, their families and the provincial food supply by protecting the right for people to participate in lawful protests on public property.

Today, Bill 156, the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020received Royal Assent.

Once proclaimed into force, the Act will further protect against the health and safety risks of on-farm trespassing.

In recent years, farmers have faced increased levels of trespass and theft of livestock from their farms as well as mental heath stress due to these threats.

Bill 156 will increase protections for those farmers while simultaneously protecting the right for people to participate in lawful protests on public property.

The Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020 helps deter trespassers by:

  • Escalating fines of up to $15,000 for a first offence and $25,000 for subsequent offences, compared to a maximum of $10,000 under the Trespass to Property Act;

  • Prescribing aggravating factors that would allow the court to consider factors that might justify an increased fine;

  • Allowing the court to order restitution for damage in prescribed circumstances which could include damage to a farmer's livestock or from theft;

  • Increasing protection for farmers against civil liability from people who were hurt while trespassing or contravening the act, provided the farmer did not directly cause the harm;

  • Removing consent to enter a farm property when it was given under duress or false pretenses.

Last year, the government passed the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019, giving Ontario the strongest penalties in Canada for people who are convicted of animal abuse. The province now has the first fully provincial government-based animal welfare enforcement system in Canada.

If anybody in Ontario believes that an animal is being mistreated, they should call 1-833-9ANIMAL or 1-833-926-4625 and have a trained inspector investigate the allegation.


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As CKL reopens gradually, the Ontario government plans to improve case and contact management to more quickly test, trace and isolate cases of COVID-19 to stop the spread of the virus and prepare for any potential future waves.

These additional measures include a comprehensive case and contact management strategy, Protecting Ontarians through Enhanced Case and Contact Management, and, in partnership with the federal government, a new made-in-Ontario national app called COVID Alert.

The government's enhanced strategy focuses on strengthening and standardizing case and contact management by:

  • Ensuring that all new cases and their close contacts are identified early, contacted quickly, investigated thoroughly and are followed up with daily for up to 14 days;

  • Supporting public health units with up to 1,700 additional staff from Statistics Canada;

  • Improving technology tools by modernizing the integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS) through the implementation of a new custom-built COVID-19 case and contact management system; and

  • Launching a privacy-first exposure notification app to alert Ontarians when they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Ontario is providing updated case and contact management guidance for all public health units to ensure consistency across the province. To continue to ensure cases and their contacts are reached in a timely and effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, public health units will:

  • Connect with cases, and with all individuals who have had close contact with a positive case, within 24 hours of being identified;

  • Direct all close contacts to self-isolate for up to 14 days;

  • Follow up with close contacts every day for the duration of their self-isolation; and

  • Advise testing of all appropriate close contacts.

To augment the current provincial capacity of approximately 2,000 case managers and contact tracers, Ontario is providing additional contact tracing staff. New and expanded capacity will be provided through Statistics Canada with access to up to 1,700 additional staff, available to all provinces, for contact tracing. Public Health Ontario will continue overseeing the training and coordination of these additional resources.

Over the summer and into the fall, Ontario will continue to build a supplementary pool of contact tracers from the Ontario Public Service and the broader public sector for additional surge capacity, as required. This will allow public health units to perform their other critical functions, including inspections of food premises and water in recreational facilities, and vaccinations.

To help Ontarians stay safe as the province reopens and social interactions increase, Ontario will be partnering with the federal government to launch COVID Alert, a new privacy-first exposure notification app, within the next two weeks. The made-in-Ontario app was developed by the Ontario Digital Service (ODS) and a group of volunteers from Shopify. One of the overarching principles is ensuring the privacy and security for all users, which is why the government will leverage BlackBerry volunteer expertise to audit the security and privacy of the application, in addition to the province's internal security reviews.

Users will be able to voluntarily download the app and be notified anonymously if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days. In Ontario, the app will also provide users with quick access to Ontario's public health advice and resources, and recommend any necessary actions, such as monitoring for symptoms, self-isolation or appropriate next steps on getting tested. Using a national application will help ensure that Ontarians are notified, regardless of which province they are in, helping us towards the goal of ensuring we can all move more freely and safely.

Ontario is also implementing a new user-friendly case and contact management system that will integrate with COVID-19 laboratory results from the Ontario Laboratory Information System (OLIS) data, making current processes significantly more efficient and reducing the administrative burden for public health unit staff. A single central system will enable the province to identify provincewide regional trends and hotspots, while protecting personal health information. Custom-built on the Salesforce platform, the new system will also allow for a remote workforce, enabling contact tracing to be quickly ramped up when required.

Everyone should continue to follow public health guidelines to stay safe, including physical distancing with people not in your social circle, wearing a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, washing your hands thoroughly and frequently, and, if you think you have COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, getting tested.

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The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $10 million in emergency assistance for beef and hog farmers.

The funding will help cover the increased costs of feeding market ready cattle and hogs due to COVID-19 related processing delays, while redirecting surplus pork products to help those in need.

This program is intended to help ensure the country's food supply chain will remain strong and ready to recover as the economy gradually and safely reopens.

The beef cattle set-aside program will provide beef farmers with up to $5 million in support.

Farmers can claim $2 per head of cattle per day to help pay for additional maintenance costs should they have to keep their market-ready animals on their farms for extended periods of time.

The hog sector support program will also provide hog farmers with up to $5 million to help cover additional maintenance costs. Ontario is also providing up to $1.5 million to process and package surplus pork for food banks, to provide those in need with fresh, locally produced pork products. This will assist the pork processing industry with managing capacity while helping those in need.

Both the beef cattle set-aside and hog sector support programs are being offered through AgriRecovery initiatives, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The provincial contributions are part of Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.


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The Ontario government has announced $15-million in supplemental Agri-food Workplace Protection Program funding for health and safety measures on farms and in food processing facilities. According to a government press release, this funding will help farmers purchase personal protective equipment and implement workplace modifications and other measures to improve health and safety for their workers.

Specifically, the Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program provides cost-share funding for farmers to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and implement workplace modifications and other measures. By significantly expanding the program, farmers can take additional steps to improve health and safety for their workers and ensure the continued supply of locally grown food during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This announcement more than triples the earlier investment in this program by the governments of Canada and Ontario.

Both levels of government had committed a total of up to $4.5 million for farmers and provincially licensed meat processors to enhance worker safety under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership program.

Some of the measures already approved through this program include purchases of PPE, temporary housing for ill workers, building physical barriers for worker separation, enhanced hand washing facilities and a tent rental to expand lunch room space.

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As of today, welcome to the new normal of “social circles” in Ontario. 

You can now establish a family or social circle of no more than 10 people who can interact with one another without physical distancing. 

You can only be in 1 social circle.

Choose wisely.

You can hug non-household members, but only those in your social circle.

Everyone living in the same household is in a social circle.

People in the same social circle:

Why social circles are important

Close contact with people beyond your household is important to:

  • connect and be close with family and friends outside of your immediate household to reduce social isolation
  • support the mental health and wellbeing of Ontarians during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • allow some families to get additional support with child care, elder care and other personal needs
  • allow for more rapid contact tracing in the event of a case of COVID-19 in a social circle

We can trace and isolate COVID-19 quickly and effectively when you limit the number of people you come into close contact with.

Create a safe social circle

Follow these steps to create a safe circle.

Step 1: Start with your current circle: anyone you live with or who regularly comes into your household

Be sure to include anyone that would come into regular close contact with you and the people you live with.

This may be:

  • family members, including children
  • your roommates
  • another parent to your child(ren) that lives outside the home
  • a babysitter or caregiver


If you add people outside of your household to your social circle, be sure to include anyone in their households as well. You may not see them often, but they would still be considered part of your current circle.

Remember that everyone in a household must be part of the same social circle.

Step 2: If under 10 people, you can add members to your social circle, including another household, family members or friends

As you add additional members, ask yourself:

  • Do they live with or come into regular close contact with anyone else? You may never see them, but they would still be considered part of your social circle.
  • What makes most sense for you or your household? That could include another household with similarly-aged children or family members that you want to spend more time with.


If you live alone, you may want to start with family members or other close friends. People may, or may not, chose to participate in a social circle depending on their unique circumstance, and risk of developing complications from COVID-19, for example people:

  • over 70
  • with compromised immune systems
  • with underlying medical conditions

Remember that your social circle can include fewer than 10 people. It’s always best to start slow and safely add more members later.

Step 3: Get agreement from everyone that they will join the social circle

That means they agree to join only one circle, and physically distance with anyone outside the circle.

Essential workers can be part of a social circle, so long as the other members are aware of the risks and agree to them.

Step 4: Keep your social circle safe

To keep the people in your social circle safe:

  • continue to follow public health advice, including frequent hand washing and sneezing and coughing into a sleeve
  • continue to physically distance with anyone outside your circle by keeping two metres or six feet apart from them

If someone in your circle feels sick

They should immediately inform other members of the circle, self-isolate at home and not come into close contact with anyone, including other members of the circle.

They should also get tested.

Find an assessment centre to get tested for COVID-19.

Everyone else in the circle should closely monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 you should also be tested.

Step 5: Be true to your social circle

No one should be part of more than one circle.

Here is a link to a step-by-step guide to building your own social circle:


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Can someone please finally fix my tooth ache? Yes. 

Our dentists are required by their regulatory body and the Ontario government regulations to open in a staged approach.  

Dentists are now permitted to resume providing non-essential and elective care along with essential services, emergency and urgent care. 

If you visit your dentist, the Ontario Dental Association has indicated that you may have to take, or be subject to, certain measures, which may include patient screening, mask use and waiting outside the dental office to be called in for your appointment.

I think I have a dental emergency: what do I do?

Call your dentist. They will ask you for information about your situation, including whether you have any symptoms of COVID-19, and give you advice about next steps.  If you need to visit the office, they will let you know if they can help or will direct you to another dentist.

Do not go to a hospital emergency room for a dental problem at this time. 

Visiting my dentist: Is it safe?

Dentists must consider the best interests of their patients and communities at all times. The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, our dentists' regulatory body, has developed a guidance document for dentists: COVID-19: Managing Infection Risks During In-Person Dental Care.

Dentists have to follow this guidance document along with information from the Chief Medical Officer of Health when re-opening their office and providing care. 

Here are the key areas of the guidance document provided to your dentist to help ensure your safety and manage infection risks during in-person dental care.

Infection Prevention and Control

  • Infection prevention and control in dentistry is vital for safe patient care.

  • All dentists providing dental treatment are required to ensure the College’s Standard on Infection Prevention and Control are met in their dental practice.

  • If you are concerned about your dental condition, your dentist will ask you questions over the telephone and determine if you need to be seen. If you need to be seen in the office, there are strict Infection Prevention and Control Standards that they must follow. 


  • Your dentist must ensure that the office and operatories are clean and disinfected between each patient appointment.

  • Your dentist must ensure magazines, toys, and any other non-essential items are removed from office, reception area, and operatories.

  • Dentists must tell their staff to clean their hands frequently, especially before and after contact with patients, after contact with high-touch surfaces or equipment, and after removing PPE.

Dentists’ Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Your dentist or oral health care worker should wear personal protective equipment such as gloves, protective eyewear, masks and protective clothing (if an aerosol-generating procedure is performed. PPE should always be used during your treatment.

  • Your dentist must ensure that they can meet the PPE and operatory requirements before they schedule an in-person appointment for assessment or treatment.

  • If your dentist can’t meet the PPE and operatory requirements, and you require emergency treatment, your dentist must refer you to another dentist.

Patient Screening and PPE

  • Before you go into the office, your dentist or their staff will ask you screening questions about to see if you have any COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Dentists must require all patients and visitors to wear a mask at all times while in the office except when they are being treated.

  • Patients who arrive without a mask given one by staff before entering the office. If they can’t provide a mask, they will schedule a new appointment.

Hand Hygiene

  • Patients will be required to perform hand hygiene (washing) using a 70-90% alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, as soon as they enter the dental office.

  • Your dentist may ask you to disinfect with 70-90% alcohol-based hand rub before leaving the dental office.

  • Your dentist or oral health care worker must wash their hands with soap and running water.

Patient experiencing symptoms of COVID-19

  • Contact your doctor if you might have COVID-19.

  • Call Telehealth Ontario. The Telehealth number is 1-866-797-0000. Stay in self-isolation until you receive instructions otherwise from one of the above sources. 

  • Click here for the Ministry self-assessment link.

  • Patients should tell office dental staff if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days after their dental appointment.

I don’t want to go to my dentist’s office. Can my dentist just prescribe medications for me over the phone?

Your dentist will decide if over-the-counter medications (e.g. Advil, Tylenol) are recommended, if prescription medications are necessary, or if you need to be seen at the office. 

If you need a prescription, your dentist may send a prescription to the pharmacy directly, if appropriate.

During this pandemic, all dentists must continue to practice within the College's Guidelines on prescriptions for narcotics and/or opioids.

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Recently the Ontario government updated its COVID-19 SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL.

The Tool delivers multiple questions designed to recommend what, if any, actions the self-assessing person should take or consider, including whether to attend work.

A link to the Tool is here:

Determining “At-risk group” and “close physical contact”:

The Tool identifies which individuals belong to an “at-risk group,” and defines “close physical contact.”

At-risk group:

Individuals who meet one of the criteria listed below are in an “at-risk group” for purposes of the Tool:

  • age 70 or older;
  • getting treatment that compromises their immune system (e.g., chemotherapy, medication for transplants, corticosteroids, TNF inhibitors);
  • having a condition that compromises their immune system (e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune disorder);
  • having a chronic health condition (e.g., diabetes, emphysema, asthma, heart condition); and
  • regularly going to a hospital or health care setting for a treatment (e.g., dialysis, surgery, cancer treatment).

Close physical contact:

The Tool defines “close physical contact” as:

  • being less than 2 metres away in the same room, workspace, or area for over 15 minutes; and
  • living in the same home

Four severe symptoms:

The Tool lists four potential severe symptoms of COVID-19:

  • severe difficulty breathing;
  • severe chest pain;
  • feeling confused or unsure of where you are; or
  • losing consciousness.

Seventeen additional symptoms:

The Tool also lists seventeen additional potential symptoms of COVID-19:

  • fever (feeling hot to the touch, a temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius / 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher);
  • chills;
  • cough that is new or worsening;
  • barking cough, making a whistling noise when breathing (croup);
  • shortness of breath;
  • sore throat;
  • difficulty swallowing;
  • runny nose (not related to other known causes or conditions);
  • stuffy or congested nose (not related to seasonal allergies or other known causes or conditions);
  • lost sense of taste or smell;
  • pink eye (conjunctivitis);
  • headache that is unusual or long-lasting;
  • digestive issues (nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain);
  • muscle aches;
  • extreme tiredness that is unusual;
  • falling down often; and/or
  • for young children and infants: sluggishness or lack of appetite.

The Tool also addresses individuals who were in “close physical contact” with a person (High-Risk Individual) who:

  • tested positive for COVID-19;
  • is currently sick with a new cough, fever, having difficulty breathing; or
  • returned from outside of Canada in the last two weeks.

Finally, the Tool asks individuals if they have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days.


The Tool provides recommendations for the actions that those in each categories should consider and take.

For example:

Q. What actions does the Tool recommend for individuals who have one or more of the four Severe Symptoms?

A. Call 911 or go directly to their nearest emergency department, and take the self-assessment again (presumably when the symptom(s) subside, given their severity).

Q. What actions does the Tool recommend for individuals who have one or more of the 17 Symptoms?

A. Among other things: (1) Go to a COVID-19 assessment centre to get tested; (2) Stay at home (self-isolate); (3) Only leave home for critical reasons (such as going to an assessment centre); (4) Monitor their health for a full 14 days after their symptoms started; (5) Tell people with whom they were in close contact two days before their symptoms started to monitor their health and self-isolate; (6) Work from home, if possible; otherwise call their manager and occupational health and safety representative to let them know if they are experiencing symptoms or have been instructed to self-isolate, and discuss next steps to ensure they and their company are taking the right safety precautions; and (7) Visit their local emergency department if they begin to experience worsening symptoms.

Q. What actions does the Tool recommend for individuals who in the last 14 days were in “close physical contact” with a High Risk Individual?

A. Among other things: (1) Go to a COIVID-19 assessment centre to get tested; (2) Stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days; (3) Only leave home for critical reasons such as going to an assessment centre; (3) Work from home, if possible; otherwise call their manager and occupational health and safety representative to let them know if they are experiencing symptoms or have been instructed to self-isolate, and discuss next steps to ensure that they and their company are taking the right safety precautions; and (4) Get re-tested at an assessment centre if they start feeling sick, come into close physical contact with someone who has symptoms, or feel like they need a test.

Q. What actions does the Tool recommend for individuals in the “at risk group”?

A. Among other things: (1) Stay at home (self-isolate); (2) Only leave their home for critical reasons (such as going to an assessment centre or for a medical emergency); (3) Work from home, if possible; otherwise, call their manager and occupational health and safety representative to let them know if they are experiencing symptoms or have been instructed to self-isolate, and discuss next steps to ensure they and their company are taking the right safety precautions; and (4) Visit an assessment centre if they begin to feel sick, come into close physical contact with someone who has symptoms, or feel like they need a test.

Q. What actions does the Tool recommend for individuals who travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days?

A. Among other things: (1) Stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days; (2) Work from home, if possible; otherwise, call their manager and occupational health and safety representative to let them know if they are experiencing symptoms or have been instructed to self-isolate, and discuss next steps to ensure they and their company are taking the right safety precautions; and (3) Monitor their health and visit an assessment centre if they have symptoms or were told to do so by their local public health unit or their health care provider (doctor, primary care physician).

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Today the federal Government announced more support to help Canadians with disabilities deal with extra expenses during the pandemic.

This support includes a special one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1, 2020, as follows:

  • $600 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate.  

  • $300 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension.

  • $100 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

Combined with the special payments of $300 for Canadians who are eligible for the OAS pension and the additional $200 for those eligible for the GIS, all seniors with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate will receive a total of $600 in special payments.

People who are eligible for this special payment will receive it automatically.

The Government of Canada recognizes that people with disabilities are also at higher risk of job loss during economic downturns.

To help Canadians with disabilities get and maintain good jobs so they can continue to support themselves and their families, the government will:

  • create a National Workplace Accessibility Stream through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. A new investment of $15 million in 2020-21 will provide community organizations with resources to improve workplace accessibility and access to jobs in response to COVID-19, including by helping employers set up accessible and effective work-from-home arrangements. This support will also cover expanding accessible online training opportunities and helping connect Canadians with disabilities working from home with employers.
  • invest $1.18 million in five new projects across the country through the Accessible Technology Program. With this funding, organizations will develop dynamic and affordable technology, such as accessible payment terminals for retailers and tools to make communication easier for Canadians with disabilities in the digital economy.


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Today the federal Government announced 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.  

Seniors eligible for the OAS pension will receive a payment of $300, and those also eligible for the GIS will receive an additional $200, for a total of $500.

Allowance recipients will also receive $500.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Government of Canada has introduced a number of measures to support seniors, including those most vulnerable.

This includes a one-time special payment through the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit in April, which provided an average of $375 to single seniors and $510 to senior couples, helping over 4 million low- and modest-income seniors. We are 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. In addition, we have taken steps to make sure seniors would continue to receive their GIS benefits if they were unable to submit their 2019 income information on time.

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The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will be increased as of July. 

This additional tax-free support is intended to assist families to pay for things such as food, clothes, and activities they can do together at home.

The increase will be in place for the 2020-21 benefit year, and will raise the maximum benefit to $6,765 per child under age 6, and $5,708 per child aged 6 through 17.

This increase is in addition to the one-time special CCB payment announced by the federal government earlier this month, to help families deal with the added pressures of COVID-19.

On May 20, 2020, this special measure will give families currently receiving the CCB an additional $300 per child with their May payment, and deliver almost $2 billion in extra support across the country to help families during this challenging period.

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New Ontario Funding for Victims of Gender-Based Violence and Human Trafficking During COVID-19

The government recently announced new measures to support people experiencing or at risk of sexual assault, gender-based violence and human trafficking during COVID-19:

"May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month, an important time to recognize those on the frontlines who are working each and every day to prevent sexual assault, gender-based violence and human trafficking. These professionals are dedicated and compassionate individuals who give selflessly to support those most in need.

Clearly, these extraordinary times are creating extraordinary challenges. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak there has been an increased risk of gender-based violence for many individuals who have been staying home and practicing physical distancing for weeks now.

It is crucial that Ontarians who have experienced or are at risk of sexual assault, gender-based violence or human trafficking have continued access to counselling and other critical services they need to stay safe, heal and rebuild their lives.

To further support those who need and rely on these services, our government is investing $1 million to help frontline agencies adapt to remote service delivery and ensure continued operation during COVID-19.

This funding will assist counselling service providers like the Assaulted Women's Helpline, who also work the Seniors Safety Line, which will receive $200,000 to develop text and online chat platforms, set up toll-free lines, provide on-demand interpreter services and hire additional staff to respond to increased call volume.

Along with the $40 million relief fund for residential service providers and emergency funding for victim services we have already provided, this response fund will ensure a range of critical supports remain available at this time. This is in addition to our government's large investment of $148 million in relief funding to ensure municipalities and social service providers can better respond to COVID-19.

Together with our partners across Ontario, our government remains committed to preventing sexual assault, gender-based violence and human trafficking, as well as supporting victims, survivors and those at risk of these crimes. Again, I would like to express my deep appreciation to those on the frontlines who are working tirelessly to ensure that people experiencing sexual and gender-based violence receive the support they need in this uncertain and difficult time."

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Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has invested $1.3 billion in a one-time special payment through the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit in April, being an average of $375 for single seniors and $510 for senior couples.

Investment was also made in community organizations that provide practical services to Canadian seniors, including the delivery of groceries and medications.

Today the federal government announced this additional support to seniors: 

  • additional financial support of $2.5 billion for a one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) - a total of $500 to individuals who are eligible to receive both the OAS and the GIS, and will help them cover increased costs caused by COVID-19.

  • expanding the New Horizons for Seniors Program with an additional investment of $20 million to support organizations that offer community-based projects that reduce isolation, improve the quality of life of seniors, and help them maintain a social support network.

  • temporarily extending GIS and Allowance payments if seniors’ 2019 income information has not been assessed, intended to ensure that the most vulnerable seniors continue to receive their benefits when they need them the most. To avoid an interruption in benefits, seniors are encouraged to submit their 2019 income information as soon as possible and no later than by October 1, 2020.


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As of April 14, 2020, the local Medical Officer of Health issued the following Class Order under Section 22 (5.01.1)  under Ontario's Health Protection and Promotion Act.

This order is designed to protect the health of local residents by reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the City of Kawartha Lakes. 

The order applies to ALL persons in the City of Kawartha Lakes who:

  • are identified as a person diagnosed with COVID-19

  • have the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test

  • otherwise have reasonable grounds to believe they have symptoms of COVID-19,  or

  • are a close contact of a person identified in the above points.

As of April 14, 2020 at noon, you must:

  • isolate yourself without delay as instructed by the HKPR District Health Unit. This includes: remaining in your home or isolation facility. Do not go outside, unless on to a private balcony or enclosed yard where you can avoid close contact with others. You must not have any visitors into your home except as permitted by the Health Unit.

  • remain in isolation until the expiry of a 14-day period that begins on the day on which you first show symptoms, are tested, or are diagnosed with COVID-19 (whichever is earliest, or on the last day of close contact). Follow these guidelines unless instructed otherwise by the Health Unit. 

  • during the self-isolation period, reduce exposure to others to prevent the spread of infection or potential infection from COVID-19. Follow infection control instructions on the HKPR District Health Unit website ( or those given to you by the Health Unit or any other staff of a healthcare facility to which you may seek or receive treatment.

  • keep away from vulnerable persons. Follow any further instructions provided by the Health Unit pertaining to COVID- 19. In particular, you should seek clinical assessment over the phone – either by calling your primary care provider’s office or Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000. If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario will direct you to in-person care options.

  • seek prompt medical attention if your illness worsens by calling 911 and telling responders of your COVID-19 related diagnosis or symptoms.

Self-isolating (quarantining) means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease.

Generally, you should self-isolate if you are:

  • over 70 years of age

  • have a chronic medical condition (for example, diabetes, lung problems, immune deficiency)

  • think you may have symptoms of COVID-19

This means that you should leave your home or see other people for essential reasons only. Where possible, you should try to get what you need:

  • online

  • over the phone

  • from friends, family or neighbours

Stay home

  • do not use public transportation, taxis or rideshares

  • do not go to work, school or other public places

  • your health care provider will tell you when it is safe to leave

Limit the number of visitors in your home

  • only have visitors who you must see and keep the visits short

  • do not visit with people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, meaning:

    • seniors

    • people with chronic medical conditions (for example, diabetes, lung problems, immune deficiency)

Avoid contact with others

  • stay in a separate room, away from other people in your home, as much as possible and use a separate bathroom if you have one

  • make sure that shared rooms have good airflow (for example, open windows)

Wear a mask

  • ensure the mask covers your nose and mouth and wear it:

    • if you leave your house to see a health care provider

    • when you are within two metres of other people

Keep distance

  • if you are in a room with other people, stay at least two metres away from each other and wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth

  • if you cannot wear a mask, people should wear a mask when they are in the same room as you

Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze

  • if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hand

  • throw used tissues in a wastebasket that’s lined with a plastic bag

    • the plastic bag makes it safer and easier to empty the wastebasket

    • after emptying the wastebasket, wash your hands

Wash your hands

  • wash your hands often with soap and water

  • dry your hands with a paper towel, or with your own cloth towel that no one else shares

  • use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

Also, read the Government of Canada’s guidance on how to self-isolate if you have:

A poster identifying the requirements for self-isolation is here:



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May 5 - Today the federal Government announced a new multi-million-dollar, multi-part package aid package for farmers and food processors.

It is an “initial announcement”, being substantially less than the $2.6 billion emergency fund requested by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

  • a new $77 million fund for food processors of varying size, including meat packers, to help businesses retrofit their factories and increase capacity to deal with the backlog of livestock that's been building up in parts of the county
  • aid money can be used to buy personal protective equipment for workers, adapt to health protocols and support other social distancing measures;
  • aid money can also be used to make conditions safer for workers on the line, noting that occupational health and safety is a provincial issue; and
  • an additional $125 million to the AgriRecovery fund, a federal-provincial-territorial program aimed at helping farmers during disasters.
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Zoom remains popular for video conferencing during the pandemic.

Zoom has made security upgrades after the initial controversy.

Here are eight additional tips to achieve better Zoom security and management for your vide conferencing:

[1] Use a password:

- only participants with the meeting ID and password may join in

- remove the password from email invitations; deliver it separately to each participant

[2] Disable the “joint before host” feature/option:

- as host, only you should control who participates using a verified Zoom account and log in

[3] Disable file sharing:

- use the Chat function to do so

- use alternative ways to deliver or exchange e-records

[4] “Lock the meeting”:

- when all participants have jointed, “lock the meeting” to prevent uninvited guests from crashing

[5] Adjust your settings to only those necessary for the specific meeting:

- disable chat, screen sharing, file sharing, annotation and whiteboard features, unless they are necessary for the specific meeting

- if not disabled, monitor them closely as the host

[6] Use and promote netiquette at the outset and throughout the meeting;

- consider using a checklist to manage the meeting and record the events during the meeting

[7] Recording the meeting:

- only with the consent of each participant, which needs to be recorded

- speak with Zoom to verify where the meeting will be stored in the “cloud” to ensure privacy and security is maintained

[8] Watch for and download/install Zoom updates and upgrades – refresh your settings before each meeting.

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By emergency order made on April 7, 2020, any person may now sign a will and powers of attorney virtually, or remotely, with your lawyer or licensed representative.

This new measure will make it much more convenient for you to make a new will and powers of attorney, particularly during isolation and the need to comply with the other pandemic containment requirements.


However, a person may still make a “holograph” will in Ontario.

A holograph will:

  • must be “wholly” in your hand-writing, as the “testator” [Note: the hand-written portion of your document will likely be valid, even if the entire document is not in your hand-writing - to the extent any part of the document is not in your own hand-writing, that part will be excluded from your otherwise valid holograph document];
  • you must sign it;
  • your document must contain these key provisions:
  • it identifies your document as your “Will”;
  • it revokes any prior will you may have made;
  • it appoints your trustee/executor;
  • it contains simple dispositive provisions (i.e., how your estate is to be distributed and to whom);
  • it contains a ‘power to sell’ clause for your trustee/executor; and
  • it must be dated and signed by you.

It is critical that your document be entirely in your hand-writing and be signed by you at the end of the document.

If you holograph may need to be ‘probated’, which is common, proof of your hand-writing will be necessary. You could video yourself preparing and signing the document – that should be sufficient.

However, now that wills and powers of attorney may be signed virtually with your lawyer, you should also contact a qualified lawyer to arrange to prepare and sign a formal will and related estate planning documents as soon as practicable. 


In Ontario, before April 7, 2020, the formal requirements for your (non-holograph) valid will are set out by Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act:

  1. the will must be in writing;
  2. the will is signed at the end by either you, the “testator”, or by some other person in your presence and acting under your direction;
  3. the will is signed or acknowledged by you in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses who are present at the same time; and
  4. at least two attesting witnesses sign/subscribe the will in your presence.

As of April 7, 2020, you can sign your will and powers of attorney virtually with your lawyer (i.e., your witnesses do not have to be physically present when you sign your will), subject to a few conditions. 

If you cannot read or write, you may be   unable to sign your name in the ordinary sense. However, a wide variety of “marks” have been judicially considered to have intended to give effect to a will, from hand-printed signatures and parts of a signature to initials and even thumb-prints in ink. With the wide variety of “marks” that will satisfy the formal requirement of signing the will, most people will be able to execute a will without difficulty.

The same issues may arise for a person who has physical difficulty with signing a will. 

While Ontario allows for some flexibility in how you “sign” your will, it is important to be cautious and taken certain steps to ensure that the requirement of your knowledge and approval of your will are not later questioned.

If there is any issue of capacity, or difficultly with the English language, for example, it is important to generate evidence that the will was read over for a non-English speaking testator in their preferred language, that it was read over for an illiterate person, or that the will was truly being signed by another person at the direction of the testator, and not as a result of undue pressure.

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