Skip to content

Covid-19 Resources & Information

COVID-19-1024x379
Webpage Updated: June 2nd 2020 at 12:55pm
What's The Current Risk?

As of June 2 at 9:00 am:

Confirmed cases: 5

Recovered Cases: 5

Complete Tests: 2233

Negative Tests: 2228

Tests Pending: 40

For more information and to stay up-to-date, please visit: https://www.gov.nt.ca/covid-19/

With a reduction in test volume, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is pausing weekend updates on COVID-19 testing. For the full Public Service Annoucement from May 27, 2020, click here.

How Is This Impacting The Yellowknife Chamber?

Our office is closed to the public until further notice. Staff are working from home. Please visit our contact page if you'd like to get in touch.

During this time of uncertainty, we are committed to researching and compiling business resources. This page will be updated daily as new information and resources become available.

To help us react quickly to the needs of our membership, the Board of Directors established the Business Resilience Working Group, with the goal of making policy recommendations for the municipal, territorial and federal governments. 

If you are looking for particular information, please let us know and we'll do our best to find you answers.

If you have resources that other businesses may find helpful, please email: ExecutiveDirector@YKChamber.com

Government of Canada Support For Businesses:

 

For more information on Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and the supports available to individuals and businesses, please visit the Government of Canada's website here.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS):

The Government of Canada will be providing a 75% wage subsidy, up to a maximum of $847 per week, to eligible employers. CEWS will be in place until August 29, 2020 and retroactive from March 15, 2020. 

Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, partnerships consisting of eligible employers, non-profit organizations and registered charities.

For the May 15, 2020 News Release, please click here.

The subsidy would be available to eligible employers that see a drop in revenue:

  • at least 15% in March 2020
  • at least 30% for April, May and up to June 6
Claiming period Required reduction in revenue Reference period for eligibility
Period 1 March 15
to
April 11
15% March 2020 over:

  • March 2019 or
  • Average of January and February 2020
Period 2 April 12
to
May 9
30% Eligible for Period 1
OR
April 2020 over:

  • April 2019 or
  • Average of January and February 2020
Period 3 May 10
to
June 6
30% Eligible for Period 2
OR
May 2020 over:

  • May 2019 or
  • Average of January and February 2020

Revenue would be calculated using the employer's normal accounting method. Both the accrual method or the cash method are permitted, but not a combination. The method chosen must be used for the duration of the program.

For registered charities and non-profit organizations, organizations can choose whether or not to include revenue from government sources. Once chosen, the same approach must be used for the duration of the program.

Subsidy Calculator:

To help you prepare for your CEWS application, the federal government has launched a subsidy calculator. You will be able to preview your subsidy claim, based on the information you enter.

For the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy webpage which includes the subsidy calculator, please click here.

Do You Have Any Staff On Paid Leave?

Employers who are eligible for this program and have on leave with pay are eligible to receive a 100% refund on employer-paid contributions to EI and CPP.

You are required to collect and remit employer and employee contributions as usual. However, you can apply for a refund at the same time that you apply for the wage subsidy program.

How To Apply:

Applications are open! You can expect to receive your payment within 10 business days if you are registered for direct deposit on your payroll account. You must submit a separate application for each CEWS claim period you are eligible for. 

There are 3 ways to apply:

  1. Through the CRA's My Business Account portal. Sign in to your account here.
  2.  Representatives for your business can apply using the CRA's Represent A Client portal.
  3. Via Web Forms using a web access code. Sign into your Web Forms application here. Get a web access code here.

Keep your records! Learn more about the records you should keep here.

Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy:

Under this program, eligible employers can reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the CRA.

The subsidy is 10% of remuneration paid between March 18, 2020 and June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each employee, up to a maximum of $25,000 per employer.

The subsidy must be manually calculated.

How To Apply:

You do not need to apply for this subsidy.

You will continue deducting tax, CPP and EI from your employees, as you currently do. The subsidy is calculated when you remit these amounts to the CRA.

Once you have calculated your subsidy, you can reduce your current payroll remittance that you send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy.

What if I'm eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy?

Any benefit from the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy will generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program, in the same period.

For more information on the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy, please click here.

Extending the Work-Sharing Program:
Work-Sharing is a program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in business activity.

The program provides EI benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers.

The duration of the Work-Sharing program has been extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.

For more information on the Work-Sharing Program, including access to Employer toolkit, the Employee Toolkit and the application page, please click here.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Measures:
This program includes:

  • Loan Guarantee For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
  • Co-Lending Program For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
  • BDC's Mid-Market Financing Program
  • EDC's Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program

Businesses interested in seeking support through these programs should contact their current financial institution.

For more information about the Business Credit Availability Programs, please click here.

BCAP Program #1: Loan Guarantee For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Export Development Canada is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million.

This financing support is to be used for operational expenses and is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies.

For more information on this program, please visit EDC's website here.

BCAP Program #2: Co-Lending For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Together with financial institutions, the BDC will co-lend to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.

The program offers differing maximum finance amounts based on business revenues.

80% of financing will be provided by BDC and 20% provided by your financial institution.

This program is available until or before September 30, 2020.

For details and eligibility criteria, visit BDC's webpage here.

BCAP Program #3: BDC's Mid-Market Financing Program
This program will provide commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to medium-sized businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through other programs.

BDC anticipates that qualifying companies will have annual revenues in excess of approximately $100 million.

More information is coming soon (as of May 22, 2020).

BCAP Program #4: EDC's Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program
Under this program, EDC will work with Canadian financial institutions to guarantee 75% of new operating credit and cash-flow loans - ranging in size from $16.75 million to a maximum of $80 million.

These expanded guarantees are available to exporters, international investors and businesses that sell their products or services within Canada.

More information is coming soon (as of May 22, 2020).

Canada Emergency Business Account:
This program will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover their operating costs.

Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000).

If the loan is not repaid by December 31, 2022, the remaining balance will be covered to a three-year term loan at 5% interest.

To qualify, applicants need eligible non-deferrable expenses (rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance) between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Businesses interested in seeking support through these programs should contact their current financial institution. 

For more information on the Canada Emergency Business Account, please click here.

For the May 19, 2020 News Release on the expanded eligibility criteria, click here.

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF):

This program will be open to large for-profit businesses - with the exception of those in the financial sector - as well as certain not-for-profit businesses, such as airports, with annual revenues generally over $300 million.

To qualify, businesses must be seeking financing of $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada, and not be involved in active insolvency proceedings.

Applications are now open through the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV).

Complete details on eligibility and the application process can be found here.
The application form is available here.

For the May 11, 2020 News Release, please click here.
For the May 20, 2020 News Release, please click here.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance:

The Government of Canada has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

This program will lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.

The program will provide commercial property owners with forgivable loans to cover 50% of 3 monthly rent payments for April, May and June.

The loans will be forgiven if the commercial property owner agrees to reduce rent by at least 75% under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place.

The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.

This program is available for small businesses, non-profit and charitable organizations who are paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop in revenues.

Application documents are now available through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The program is now open for applications. You can find the forms here.

For the May 25, 2020 News Release, please click here.
For the May 20, 2020 News Release, please click here.

Increased Access To Working Capital And Insurance
Export Development Canada (EDC) is supporting all exporting companies by offering their bank a guarantee on loans of up to $5 million so that companies can access more cash immediately.

Businesses interested in seeking support through this program should contact their financial institution.

If you're new to EDC and looking for more information, please call: 1.800.229.0575 or complete this online form here.

If you're an existing client, please contact: 1.866.716.7201 or support@edc.ca

For more information on this program, please click here.

Income Tax Deferrals:
For The Self Employed:

  • The filing date for the 2019 tax year is June 15, 2020.
  • The payment date for the 2019 tax year is September 1, 2020.

For Corporations:

  • The filing date for the 2019 tax year is June 1, 2020.
  • The payment date for the 2019 tax year is September 1, 2020.

For Individuals:

  • The filing date for the 2019 tax year is June 1, 2020.
  • The payment date for the 2019 tax year is September 1, 2020.

This means that you will not be assessed any penalties or interest if your balance due is paid by September 1, 2020.

For more information on this program, please click here.

GST/HST Remittance Deferrals:
Businesses, including self-employed individuals, can defer GST payments until June 30, 2020.

If you remit monthly: The deferral will apply to remittances for February, March and April 2020.

If you remit quarterly: The deferral will apply to remittances for January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020.

If you remit annually: The deferral will apply to returns due in March, April or May 2020.

For more information, please click here.

Changes To The Canada Summer Jobs Program:

Temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program include:

  • increased wage subsidy, so that employers can receive up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee
  • extend the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
  • adapt projects and job activities
  • hire staff on a part-time basis

Please note that the application period is closed (Deadline was February 28, 2020). Service Canada will update you on the status of your application in May 2020.

The list of NWT employers approved for funding is available here.

For more information, please click here.

Funding For Small And Medium-Sized Indigenous Businesses, And Aboriginal Financial Institutions:

As part of the $305 million distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund announced on March 18, the Government of Canada provided:

  • $215 million for First Nations, allocated to each First Nation based on population, remoteness and community well-being
  • $45 million for Inuit, which flowed to each of the four land claims organizations through an allocation determined by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and regional Inuit land claims organizations
  • $30 million for Métis Nation communities, which flowed through each of the Governing Members
  • $15 million for Indigenous organizations and communities providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve.

The new $75 million, announced on May 21st, will provide additional funding for the many organizations meeting the critical needs of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in urban centres and off reserve.

The funding provides short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Metis businesses. The funding will also support more community-based projects that address the critical needs of Indigenous populations including food security, mental health support services, sanitation, and PPE. 

Businesses who are interested in learning more about these funding opportunities should contact their financial institution.

To view the May 21, 2020 News Release announcing additional funding for these programs, click here.

To view the April 18, 2020 press release announcing this new program, please click here.

Industry Support - Agriculture, Agri-Food, Aquaculture & Fisheries:

Maintaining Workers:

The Government of Canada has exempted temporary foreign workers from travel restrictions to Canada, provided they adhere to a strict 14-day isolation period upon arrival.

Employers are responsible for paying workers during the two weeks when temporary foreign workers are unable to work, in addition to providing workers with transportation, accommodations, and access to food and basic supplies needed to meet the conditions imposed by public health authorities.

The federal government will provide $1,500 to employers for each temporary foreign worker to ensure the isolation requirements are fully met.

The federal government will work with the provinces and territories to determine the details of this funding program.

To view the April 13, 2020 press release announcing this new program, please click here.

Increasing Credit Availability:

Farm Credit Canada will provide:

  • A deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans;
  • A deferral of principal payments up to 12 months

Farm Credit Canada is not providing grants or other interest-free loans.

For more information on this program, including application information, please click here.

Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Programs

The Government of Canada announced on May 14, $469.4 million in new measures to support Canada's fish harvesters, who are economically impacted by the pandemic but cannot access existing federal measures. 

  1. The Fish Harvester Benefit is worth up to $267.6 million to those not who cannot access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and who have experienced fishing income declines of greater than 25% in the 2020 tax year compared to with a reference period to be identified.
  2. The Fish Harvester Grant, a program worth up to 201.8 million, to those who are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Business Account. This will address non-defferable business costs with support of up to $10,000.

More details will be available soon (as of June 1, 2020).

Industry Support - Cultural, Heritage and Sports

The federal government has established a $500 million COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for cultural, heritage, and sports organizations.

The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage with the support of its partners.

For more information about the Emergency Support Fund, please click here.

To view the April 17, 2020 press release announcing this support, please click here.

Check out Canadian Heritage's website, please click here.

Industry Support - Broadcasters

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will not issue letters requesting payment for Part I license fees by broadcasters for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The federal government will provide the CRTC with the amount waived, so CRTC's operations will not be interrupted.

To view the March 30, 2020 press release announcing this support, please click here.

Check out the CRTC's website here.

Industry Support - Tourism

Parks Canada will work with tourism operators in national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas to defer payments on commercial leases and licenses of occupation without interest until September 1, 2020.

Parks Canada is contacting all lease and license holders to provide details.

For view the March 27, 2020 press release announcing this support, please click here.

Check out Parks Canada's website here.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):
Provides $500/week for up to 16 weeks for workers, small business owners and entrepreneurs who are not receiving a paycheque as a result of COVID-19.

To be eligible:

  • You must reside in Canada and be at least 15 years old;
  • You must have stopped working because of COVID-19;
  • You must have employment or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to applying; and,
  • You did not quit your job voluntarily.

When submitting your first claim - you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment or self-employment income for 14 or more days within the 4-week benefit period.

When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment or self-employment income for the entire 4 week benefit of your new claim.

There are two ways to apply:

  • Online with CRA My Account
  • Over the phone: 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041

Applications are now open!

There is no waiting period and direct deposit payments will be delivered into accounts within 3 business days and cheques sent out within 10 days.

For more information on the application process, please click here.

Government of Canada - Support For The NWT

Health And Social Support For Northern Communities:

The Government of Canada announced:

  • $23.4 million for the NWT for health and social services during COVID-19 and up to $8.7 million for air services

View the Government of Canada's April 14, 2020 press release here.

Temporary Salary Top-Up For Low-Income Essential Workers:

The federal government will work with the territorial government to cost-share a temporary top-up to the salaries of low-income workers, who earn less than $2,500 per month on a full-time basis.

In the NWT, businesses are asked to apply for temporary funding to increase the wages of their employees who make less than $18 per hour, for a maximum of 16 weeks between April 1 and July 31, 2020.

The program is available to all workers in the NWT that are currently earning less than $18 per hour and are over 15 years old.

For more information on this program, including application information, please click here.

Support From CanNor:

CanNor

Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF):

The program will provide qualifying SMEs with support for up to 100% of eligible fixed costs, in the form of a non-repayable grant, up to a maximum of $100,000 over a 4 month period, retroactive to April 1, 2020.

The program's eligibility requirements has been expanded to include all Northern businesses with 100 employees or less. Note: Businesses with fewer than 20 employees will be prioritized.

Eligible fixed costs could include:

  • rent / mortgage
  • utilities (heat, electric, water and sewer, phone and internet)
  • subscriptions (software)
  • insurance
  • other fixed costs as deemed reasonable at the sole discretion of CanNor

For information on the application guidelines, please click here.

To access the online form to print and apply, please click here.

Your application must be submitted to the Northwest Territories Regional Office:

Tel: 867.444.0659 or
E-Mail: cannor.ecdevnwt-devecnwt.cannor@canada.ca

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund:

To maximize the benefit of this funding, CanNor will distribute the RRRF funding in 3 ways:

1. Increase the level of funding available through the Northern Business Relief Fund

2. Targeted relief and stabilization measures for key sectors such as tourism, the mining supply chain, fisheries and others. This new stream will also allow CanNor to provide support to not-for-profit organizations that play a key role in the Northern business ecosystem

For more information on this funding, please contact the NWT Regional Office at: 867.444.0659 or cannor.ecdevnwt-devecnwt.cannor@canada.ca

3. Offer a range of financing options through the Community Futures Network. More information on this funding stream will be announced soon (as of May 13, 2020).

For more information about these programs, please click here.

Support For Tourism Operators and SMEs:

If you have received CanNor funding and COVID-19 is impacting your operations, you may be eligible for:

  • Additional funding and/or flexible arrangements
  • Further support that will be determined on a case-by-case basis

If you have not received CanNor funding and are impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy and need pressing assistance, you may be eligible for:

  • Access to federal funding to help you stay in business
  • Advice and pathfinding services to other federal programs and services available

Looking to speak with someone? Call CanNor at: 1-855-897-2667.

For more information on this support, please visit CanNor's website here.

Government Of The Northwest Territories Support For Businesses:

For more information on the Northwest Territories COVID-19 Economic Relief package #1, click here.

For more information on the Northwest Territories COVID-19 Economic Relief package #2, you can access the backgrounder here.

For the GNWT's new unified COVID-19 page, click here.

Fee Reduction:
Provide relief to northern supply chain businesses through a removal of fees until the end of June for:

  • Deh Cho Bridge tolls
  • Truck permits
  • Airport landing fees

The GNWT will waive tourism insurance requirements and licensing fees for the 2020-21 season as another means of short term relief.

Read Minister Nokleby's Minister Statement and Speech from May 28, 2020 here.

BDIC: Working Capital Loans:
Loans of up to $25,000 (or more if need is clearly addressed) are being made available to qualified NWT businesses at a rate of 1.75%. Loans will be amortized for up to five years with options for payment deferment for 3 months upon request.

To be eligible, you must demonstrate financial need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priority will be given to businesses with fewer than 20 employees but the GNWT will consider applications from businesses with up to 50 employees.

Applications can be made at any time and loans will be processed as they are received.

To Apply:

Fill out the application and submit it to your regional ITI office.

Download the application form here.

If you're in the North Slave Region, submit your application to: ITInorthslaveloans@gov.nt.ca

For more information, please visit: https://www.bdic.ca/

View the April 28, 2020 News Release announcing the program's second intake here.

BDIC: Deferred Loan Payments:
Clients of the BDIC can apply to reduce or defer up to 3 months of loan payments without penalty or additional interest charges, between April 1, 2020 and September 24, 2020. Regular interest will still be charged.

Businesses are automatically approved and not required to demonstrate financial hardship or impacts resulting from the COVID-19 crises.

Requests for payment reductions or deferments must be received by the appropriate Department of Industry Tourism and Investment regional office no later than the 24th day of the month prior to the payment date.

To apply, send an email to ITI stating that you want to reduce or suspend your payments. If you're in the North Slave Region, the contact email is: ITInorthslaveloans@gov.nt.ca

Following the payment deferment or reduction period, existing loan payment schedules will resume along with existing terms and conditions.

For more information, please visit: https://www.bdic.ca/

Questions related to this program can be directed to: ITIbusinessinquiries@gov.nt.ca

Community Futures Development Corporations Deferred Loan Payments:
The GNWT is contributing $86,000 to NWT Community Futures Development Corporations to allow them to defer loan payments for their clients in the same way as the BDIC.

The one-time contribution will cover the interest costs that would otherwise be incurred by these organizations.

View the GNWT's May 6, 2020 News Release here.

For more information on the Community Futures program, click here.

SEED Program To Focus On Business Recovery:
The Department of ITI has developed a program guideline for 2020/2021 focused on keeping investment within our communities and supporting local employment. It will work to prioritize applications from NWT businesses who proposals focus on economic recovery

View the GNWT's May 11, 2020 News Release here.

For more information on this funding program, including application information, click here.

Creative Industries Economic Recovery Funding

Up to $3,000 is available to NWT artists or commercial film and media arts producers with lost revenues or whose activities are restricted due to physical distancing requirements. 

Up to $5000 is also being made available to registered NWT arts businesses, not-for-profit organizations and collectives. 

View the GNWT's May 15, 2020 News Release here.

For more information on this funding program, including application information, click here.

Establish Economic Relief and Growth Advisory Group:
Begin work to establish an Advisory Council to help identify the economic impacts of the pandemic; represent the business community; and ensure that the items most critical to local economies and jobs are targeted for medium and long term government support.

Advance Portion of Net Fiscal Benefit Transfer to Indigenous Governments:
Provide advance payments for the 2020 GNWT net fiscal benefit from resource revenues to Indigenous Governments that are signatories to the Devolution Agreement.

Contribution Carryovers:
Allow non-government organizations, Indigenous Governments, and Community Governments with unused contribution amounts in 2019-20 to use these funds in 2020-21.

Payment Terms for Vendors:
Allow small businesses and individuals to access cash flow more quickly by shortening the payment terms on GNWT invoices so that they are paid out as soon as possible.

GNWT Collections Policy:
Provide small businesses and individuals with access to greater cash flow during this crisis, by pausing most collections efforts, including:

  • Outside collection agency activity
  • GNWT set-offs on GNWT payments
  • GNWT set-offs on Canada Revenue Agency tax refunds

Student Financial Assistance:
Defer the payment of student loans to September 30, 2020, including not charging interest for this period.

NTPC Load Limiters/Collections Policy:
Support NWT residents by removing load limiters, ceasing disconnections, and pausing collection efforts.

Income Assistance – Emergency Allowance:
Spend $1.617 million in income assistance (IA) to create a one-time emergency allowance to provide increased support for IA recipients of $500 for single recipient, or $1,000 for households with two or more people to ensure they have a 14 day supply and are prepared for self-isolation.

Income Assistance – Exempting Unearned Income:
Spend $270,000 in additional benefits to Income Assistance clients by excluding “gifts or unearned income” from the calculation of earned income till June 30, 2020.

 Incomes Assistance – Productive Choices and Payrolling: Non-financial support to ensure Income Assistance clients are caring for themselves and their families while physical distancing or self-isolating. Support is also being provided by extending payroll.

NWTHC – Emergency Housing:
Provide up to $5 million dollars to create temporary housing for homeless persons to self-isolate and prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes $1.4 million for the creation of spaces for Yellowknife’s homeless at both Aspen Apartments (36 units) and the Arnica Inn (25 units). $3.6 million will be spent to set up 130 units and provide renovation funding in communities outside of Yellowknife.

Airport Fees:
Waive leases, licenses and concession fees from April 1st until the end of June for all businesses operating at NWT airports. This will provide immediate financial relief valued at almost $1 million for aviation businesses, taxi and rental car businesses, tourism and service businesses, logistics businesses, and other industrial businesses operating at all 27 NWT airports.

Support For NWT Airlines:
The GNWT will be providing $8.7 million in funding to support NWT passenger-based airlines who offer scheduled service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The GNWT will allocate the funding, as follows:

Canadian North: $5,372,000

Air Tindi: $1,565,000

Northwestern Air Lease: $793,000

North Wright Airways: $589,000

Aklak Air: $381,000

Check out the May 8, 2020 news release here.

Interest Relief:
Waive interest charges on all late tax returns between March 15 and June 30, 2020

Hospitality Industry Assistance:
Northwest Territories Liquor and Cannabis Commission will offer all licensed establishments to purchase back unopened inventory.

 Senior Home Heating Subsidy:
Automatically register into the current year all seniors enrolled in this program last year.

Fee Reduction:
Provide support to Health and Social Services workers through waiving professional fees for the year valued at $250,000. Also provide support to businesses by waiving fees for food establishment permits for the year valued at $35,000.

WSCC Relief Measures:
Effective April 1, 2020, the WSCC has suspended late payment interest charges and further extended the assessment payment deadline to August 1, 2020.

This means that employers currently registered with WSCC can make two equal payments in August and October 2020.

To view WSCC's April 8, 2020 press release announcing these measures, please click here.

Rent Relief For Leaseholders:
Rent relief is available to all holders of existing recreational, residential, and commercial and mining surface dispositions on public land. Surface dispositions are usually leases, but may also include easements or licenses of occupation.

Rent relief applies retroactively from April 1, 2020 until March 31, 2021. The rent relief does not apply to new applications received after April 1, 2020.

If you have already paid rent that was due during this period and your account is in good standing, your payment will automatically be refunded.

View the GNWT's May 11, 2020 News Release here.

GNWT Developing Inventory of Northwest Territories Mask Producers and Sellers

The Department of Industry Tourism and Investment wants to know where NWT residents can purchase cotton facemasks in their communities.

Individuals and businesses in the NWT creating non-medical cotton face masks for sale are encouraged to contact masks@gov.nt.ca to be added to an NWT wide list of available sellers.

The GNWT Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is now accepting funding applications from NWT businesses and artists interested in manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as other non-medical products.

Products include:

  • certified medical face masks
  • certified face shields
  • certified hand sanitizer
  • non-medical cloth face masks that can be used by the public

ITI will provide:

  • Up to $1,000 for the purchase of raw materials for manufacturing, and
  • Up to $25,000 for the purchase of raw materials and equipment for manufacturing of medically certified products

Potential applicants are encouraged to submit proposals as soon as possible to the regional ITI office. If you're in the North Slave Region, the contact email is: ITInorthslaveloans@gov.nt.ca

NWT Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola has authorized two Northwest Territories manufacturers, Poison Graphics of Hay River and Artech Engrave of Yellowknife to create reusable face shields meeting Health Canada specifications for use in public settings in the NWT.

Read the June 1, 2020 news release here.

To view the GNWT's April 27, 2020 press release, please click here.

View the GNWT's May 15, 2020 News Release here.

GNWT Public Health Orders

Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency:

The Territorial Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency have been extended until June 9, 2020.

For the May 26, 2020 Public Service Announcement, please click here.
For the May 12, 2020 Public Service Announcement, please click here.

Emerging Wisely - Path To Eased Public Health Restrictions:

The NWT has completed the final essential step by having no community spread for 28 days since the last negative test was collected for the final recovered case. With no community spread, the territory is now implementing an order to ease up on the public health restrictions across the NWT and enter into Phase One of the Emerging Wisely Plan. The order is effective immediately.

To view the GNWT's May 15, 2020 News Release on implementing phase one, please click here.

Phase 1: (begin May 15, 2020)

Interpersonal Interaction Increased:

  • Each household can have up to 5 people they don't live with come over and be inside their house
  • Outdoor get-togethers of 25 or less are now permitted
  • Playgrounds can be used if disinfection protocols are in place

Some businesses that have been ordered closed may open:

  • Personal service establishments, including hair salons, spas, massage therapy, chiropractors and more as defined in the April 11, 2020 public health order here.
  • Tourism operators serving local clients
  • Museums and art galleries, bottle depots
  • Gyms and fitness centres (only for personal training and outdoor classes)

Limited outdoor mass gatherings are permitted:

  • Events being considered are: Farmer's Markets and outdoor theatres and plays

Organized outdoor activities are permitted:

  • Golf courses, beaches, baseball/softball, outdoor summer camps or day programming
  • All outdoor gatherings must be limited to 25 people or less

Elementary, middle and high schools may open:

  • There are class size limits and non-medical mask use is required

Community gathering spaces can begin opening:

  • Spaces being considered are: Territorial day-use areas, indoor fields and community gyms, outdoor faith-based gatherings, libraries

Phase 2: (mid-to-late June, 2020)

Interpersonal Interaction Grows:

  • Outdoor gatherings of 50 people or less are permitted
  • Indoor sports and day programming are allowed, with the exception of gymnastics clubs

Additional Businesses Can Open:

  • Outdoor tourism operators may now accommodate 50 or less people and 25 or less inside of a vehicle
  • Movie theatres and theatres may open with reduced seating
  • Dine-in restaurants can operate at limited capacity, with the exception of nightclubs
  • Fitness centres may offer fitness classes
  • Increased capacity for personal service businesses

Organized Outdoor Activities:

  • Organized outdoor gatherings are permitted with a maximum capacity of 50

Public Events with 50 or less people are permitted:

  • This includes outdoor bingo, small concerts, community feasts and barbecues

Restrictions eased on community gathering spaces and additional spaces open up:

  • Government offices may open to the public
  • Community and youth centres may open to the public
  • Indoor faith-based and spiritual gatherings may resume
  • Campground limitations will be reduced
  • Pools open to prepare facilities for re-opening in the future

Phase 3: (TBD based on the second wave in Canada and the US. The second wave is forecast to happen between August and October 2020)

Interpersonal Interactions Eased Further:

  • Outdoor gatherings have limits removed
  • Choirs and band classes may begin running

Additional businesses and organizations may open:

  • Outdoor tourism operators - all capacity limits removed but physical distancing must be in-place
  • Performance theatres may open with limited capacity
  • Music and community festivals which take place primarily outdoors may run
  • Colleges, adult classes and trade schools will be permitted

Restrictions eased further on community gatherings:

  • Pools and gymnastics clubs may open
  • Common use gyms may open

Final Measures Lifted: (TBD based on how the pandemic unfolds)

All remaining public health measures may be lifted if all requirements are met, and all mass gatherings and indoor visiting returns to normal.

This will not happen until a vaccine has been approved and produced and/or there is an effective treatment that is approved and production capacity reaches the point where it is easily accessible.

Check out the Emerging Wisely document as a PDF here.

View the GNWT's May 12, 2020 News Release here.

View the GNWT's May 15, 2020 News Release here.

Questions on complying with these new requirements should be directed to: protectnwt@gov.nt.ca

Emerging Wisely Assessment Forms and Plans From WSCC

The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) has developed a risk assessment tool to guide employers in determining if a worker can safely be on the worksite.

The tool includes recommendations from the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer in NT and practical tools for conducting a risk assessment and establishing a protocol to prevent the risk of transmission by an essential service worker.

Prior to opening, businesses must complete the following forms. These forms do not need to be submitted to WSCC, but should be easily accessible and available at the place of business:

All WSCC forms, information sheets, guidelines and procedures, relating to Covid-19 in the workplace, can be found here.

For more information about keeping your employee's safe, please visit WSCC's website here.

To access the WSCC's Risk Assessment tools, please click here.

If you would like an OHS Inspector to assist with your risk assessment, please email: Covid-19@wscc.nt.ca

Tools And Templates From The Business Development Bank Of Canada:

"How To Cope With The Impacts Of Covid-19 On Your Business". This webinar will discuss economic perspectives and advice on how to manage your business through the COVID-19 crisis.

Missed the webinar? You can watch the webinar as a YouTube video here.

Creating and maintaining a business continuity plan helps ensure that your business has the resources and information needed to deal with an emergency. A well designed plan will help you minimize the risk that an emergency poses to your employees, clients and suppliers, the continuity of your business operations and your bottom line.

Access the BDC's continuity plan and templates for entrepreneurs here.

Access the BDC's Business Continuity Planning Guide For Influenza Pandemic here.

Access the BDC's 8 stops for planning your emergency and disaster plan, including templates here.

What Employers in the NWT And Nunavut Need To Know - A Resource From Lawson Lundell LLP:

Sandra MacKenzie of Lawson Lundell hosted an On Demand Webinar with us on 'COVID-19 And Managing The Workplace: Employer Obligations, Health and Safety, and Privacy'.

Missed the webinar? You can watch it here.

An Employer’s Responsibility to Ensure a Safe Work Environment - A Resource From Lawson Lundell LLP:

Employers have a responsibility under occupational health and safety legislation in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for their workers:

  • Any worker who has been advised by a health official to self-isolate or be quarantined must be advised by their employer to do so.
  • If the worker is not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and they are considered essential workers the employer should have a plan in place that includes risk assessments and mitigation measures that allow for essential services to continue while minimizing the risk to the public.
  • Anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should be sent home immediately.
  • An employee has the right to refuse to work in an unsafe work environment. Whether it is reasonable for an employee to refuse to work due to concerns about COVID-19 will depend on the nature of the workplace, the suspected safety risk, the individual needs of that employee and individual the circumstances.
  • Public Health officials in the NWT have recommended that non-essential businesses such as tour operators, hair salons, bars should be closed but businesses considered essential services such as grocery stores, gas stations and convenience stores can stay open if they can maintain a two meter separation between individuals within the facility. So far, this is a recommendation not an order.

Due to the seriousness of the threat of COVID-19, employers will need to be flexible when accommodating the safety concerns of their employees. If the employee can work from home, it will likely be in the employer’s best interest to provide this option.

Employee Leave and Compensation:

If an employee has symptoms or is diagnosed with COVID-19 or they cannot work because they are required by health officials to self-isolate or be quarantined the employer is not required to pay the employee. However, the employee may be eligible for:

  • sick leave benefits provided by the employer,
  • banked overtime, paid vacation time or unpaid sick leave for this period.

If an employee cannot access the above benefits, they may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. Canada has announced enhanced eligibility for EI and new emergency benefits for employees even for workers who are otherwise not entitled to EI.

Other Considerations:

Can an employer force someone to self-isolate? Can employees be temporarily laid off? What are the relevant privacy and Human Rights considerations?

For answers to these questions and more, please click here.

For more information or legal advice, please contact: Sandra MacKenzie, Partner, Lawson Lundell at 867.669.5503 or smackenzie@lawsonlundell.com

Lawson Lundell's North of 60 Legal Update:

Lawson Lundell's Yellowknife lawyers will be writing regular North of 60 legal updates, including COVID-19 implications, legal trends and developments, and updates to legislation affecting Northern Canada.

Subscribe to the blog here.

Crowe MacKay's Resource Hub:

Crowe MacKay LLP has developed a COVID-19 webpage with a number of resources that you might find helpful, including a Resource Library.

View their resource hub here.

Field Law's Roadmap For Employers Navigating COVID-19

Have you experienced a decrease in work due to COVID-19? Check out Field Law's comprehensive roadmap to explore the options you have for assistance as well as other frequently asked questions.

View Field Law's roadmap here.

For more information and resources, including "Lay-offs vs. Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: Pros + Cons" and "Navigating Business Interruption Claims Due to COVID-19" please visit their website here.

Resources From McLennan Ross LLP:

McLennan Ross LLP has developed a COVID-19 webpage with a number of resources that you may find helpful, including a section dedicated to Northern Publications and Updates.

Visit their resource webpage here.

McLennan Ross has updated their COVID-19 Small Business Guides with the most up-to-date information to help you and your business understand the path forward.

View the NWT Edition of the COVID-19 Small Business Guide here.

Emergency Preparedness And Emergency Response Services From Arctic Response Canada:

Arctic Response Canada is reaching out to the Yellowknife and NWT Business Communities to offer our services in support of efforts to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

As leaders in OHS, emergency preparedness, and emergency response, Arctic Response has the capacity to perform numerous critical services that will be of great value as part of a coordinated effort to minimize the harm to our employees, businesses, and communities.

Services Include:

  • COVID-19 Screening For Employees
  • Operational Health & Safety Consulting
  • Security Services
  • Education, including PPE, decontamination protocols, risk assessments, oxygen therapy administration, and more
  • Counselling for anxiety management and grief
  • Transportation, and more!

For more information on these services, you can view an informational PDF here.

If you're looking to speak to someone, please contact: Adam Woogh, NT/NU Regional Manager, at 867.873.3205 or info@arcticresponse.ca

Covid-19 Urban Design and Planning Support Services

Dillon is supporting municipalities and business improvement areas (BIAs) by balancing public health measures with economic recovery efforts to support both the quality of life in our communities and business operations.

OUR SERVICES
• Assistance with government-mandated COVID-19 operational plans, forms, and templates which can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. These templates help BIAs ease the burden of complying with local regulations and assist with re-opening and recovery operations.

• Public and stakeholder engagement to help understand how municipalities and BIAs can support economic recovery options including bringing back ‘main street’.

• Public realm enhancements to support physical distancing and other public health measures in urban environments, while contributing to the economic success of local businesses and restaurants and the vitality of urban spaces.

• Wayfinding and signage to support temporary measures, such as physical distancing signage, temporary curbside pick-up parking spaces, and pedestrian, cyclist, and vehicular flows.

For more information on these services, you can view an informational PDF here.

Information, Resources And Advocacy Updates From The Canadian Chamber of Commerce:

Supported by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery.

Check out the Canadian Business Resilience Network website here.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Canadian Business Resilience Network has developed a Reopening toolkit designed to provide guidance, or access to guidance, for business owners and senior managers responsible for re-establishing their operations while ensuring the health and safety of operators, staff, customers and the general public is at the forefront.

The CBRN's Reopening Toolkit can be found here.

Looking for business continuity resources? The CBRN has a number of resources and free templates including:

  • Engaging Your Workforce in a Crisis Context
  • Working From Home Tips
  • The Business Implications of Coronavirus
  • Payroll and COVID-19
  • Cybersecurity
  • Resources for Self-Employed Business Owners

Check out the CBRN's Business Continuity resources here.

#BizResilience

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has developed the Pandemic Preparedness Guide to assist in business planning and continuity efforts.

Access the Pandemic Preparedness Guide here.

The Business Resilience Service (BRS) allows you to connect with experienced business advisors from across Canada for guidance on which government relief programs will be most appropriate to support your small- to medium-sized business, not-for-profit or charity on how to respond and reshape amid uncertainty.

The program, delivered to your organization free of charge, provides:

  • Guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility
  • Direction on accessing the most appropriate support organizations
  • Help to make decisions to support recovery plans
  • Real time insights and feedback to policymakers

To access the BRS call 1-866-989-1080 to connect with a business advisor from the accounting profession. The service is available 7 days/week from 8am – 8pm ET (6am – 6pm MT). For more information, click here.

CBRN Business Relief Fund - Now Accepting Applications

First announced on May 25, the Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund will provide 62 grants, each worth $10,000, to Canadian businesses to help their recovery efforts during these unprecedented times.

Applications will be accepted until June 12, 2020 at 8:00pm ET (6:00pm MT). Applicants must submit a written submission answering the following questions: 

  1. Challenges the business is facing due to Covid-19 and current financial situation.
  2. How being a grant recipient would help your business recover and support its resilience. 
  3. How your business will change or innovate to sustain your business's recovery and allow it to prosper.
  4. The role your business plays in your community.

For complete information, please visit the website here.

Scroll To Top