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A Further Update on COVID-19 – Additional Information about Changes to the CEWS Program and Toronto and Peel Public Health Regions are Permitted to Enter Stage Three

July 30, 2020
by Israel Foulon Wong LLP


As referenced in our earlier bulletin dated July 22, 2020, there have been recent significant changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) program. For your reference, a very helpful and practical summary of these changes as prepared by our accountants, RZN, LLP, can be accessed HERE.

Further, on July 29, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced that public health officials have authorized the Toronto and Peel Public Health regions to enter Stage Three of the Province’s plan to gradually reopen the economy, starting Friday, July 31, 2020.

Toronto and Peel Health Regions Permitted to Enter Stage Three

As of Friday, July 31, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., the following regions can begin reopening according to the public health guidelines outlined for Stage Three:

  • Toronto Public Health; and
  • Peel Public Health

Israel Foulon’s full break down of Stage Three can be accessed HERE.

Regions not Permitted to Enter Stage Three

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is not permitted to enter Stage Three until they are advised by public health that it is safe to do so.

The Ontario Newsroom press release can be accessed HERE.

Best Practices for Reopening your Business

Employers have an obligation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to provide a safe work environment. To minimize the risk of infection and meet their requirements under the OHSA, employers must implement a detailed COVID-19 Response Plan that:

  • Clearly communicates health and safety measures to employees;
  • Educates employees on effective strategies to prevent the spread of the virus;
  • Provides information on how the employer is taking steps to protect employees;
  • Lists what steps an employee should take if they develop COVID-related symptoms; and
  • Outlines how the workplace will respond to a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

You can access the Ministry of Labour’s COVID-19 Response Plan Template HERE.

Please feel free to contact Israel Foulon LLP for assistance with drafting and implementing COVID-19 Response Plans.

Sector Specific Health and Safety Guidelines

  • The Ministry of Labour has partnered with Ontario’s Health and Safety associations to develop sector-specific health and safety guidelines to help businesses safely reopen.
  • The full database can be accessed HERE.

Businesses That are Unable to Meet Health and Safety Requirements

  • Businesses that are not permitted to reopen during Stage Three or who are experiencing significant difficulty reopening amid social distancing requirements may submit a reopening plan to the Ministry of Finance.
  • Government health officials will review and contact businesses with an initial response within ten (10) days.
  • You can access the application for reopening plans HERE.

Workplace PPE Supplier Directory

  • The Ontario Government has provided an up to date list of companies and associations that are ready to supply businesses with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).The list may be accessed HERE.

Given the exceptional and unprecedented situation, we expect further developments in the coming days.

Israel Foulon’s Response to COVID-19 Israel Foulon is assessing the situation as it evolves, and is taking all necessary precautions within its workplace. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the health of our team and clients, absent extraordinary circumstances we are working remotely until further notice whenever possible. However, please be aware that our offices remain open and are fully functioning. In the circumstances, we encourage our clients to contact us by phone and email to the extent possible. Voicemail messages left at our office phone numbers are immediately forwarded via email. All messages will be promptly responded to. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our clients and would be more than happy to assist you with concerns regarding COVID-19 or any other employment or labour matters.

Legal Disclaimer

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice, which in all circumstances must be tailored to the specific facts of any problem. You should obtain a proper legal consultation in order to determine how this article applies to your specific situation. Please feel free to contact Israel Foulon LLP to learn more at 416-640-1550.