COVID-19 Response Update 3

From Canadian Chamber of Commerce:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced a stimulus package for Canadian businesses – large and small; Canadian workers and Canadian families. This new set of economic measures will help to stabilize the economy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These measures will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy.

We have  prepared an analysis  of these measures.

News from Yesterday's Provincial Press Conference:
Details of additional measures announced to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 and increase capacity within the health system to respond are outlined below:

Effective immediately:
-- doctors and pharmacists have new options for virtual care, using telephone and secure videoconferencing
-- pharmacists can renew prescriptions for most medications and government will cover the assessment fee
-- employers cannot require a doctor's note if an employee must be off work
-- College of Physicians and Surgeons waiving the fee for retired doctors to renew their licences so they can come back to work
-- retired and other nurses are being brought into the system to assist with 811 staffing
-- all service providers funded through the Department of Community Services' Disability Support Program - including social enterprises, day programs, and supported employment programs for adults with diverse abilities - will close to participants and the public

Effective midnight, Thursday, March 19:
-- personal service and fitness establishments such as hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons, body art establishments and gyms must shut down

HR Webinar
You may be interested in registering for a free webinar offered by BBB Accredited Business Ceridian. This webinar is hosted by HR and employment lawyer Stuart Ducoffe, and will cover important information you need to know about dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak as an employer.

You can register by clicking  here .

Our Press Releases

Today we are issuing this press release regarding relief that we believe the local municipal units could provide to all taxpayers.

You Chamber of Commerce has joined a Business/Employee team created by the Halifax Chamber of Commerce... read the press release.
Atlantic Chamber of Commerce Survey

It is now quite clear that the mitigation efforts to combat spread of the Covid-19 virus are and will have significant effects on all Canadians and the economy in general.

In order for governments to implement effective programs to minimize the personal and commercial impacts, they need to be fully aware of how businesses are working with their employees to safeguard their well-being and maintain operations where possible.

This survey will help us tailor our messages to government in an effort to make sure they are aware of the scope of impacts on Atlantic Canadian businesses and the economy.

Thank you for your participation and assistance. 

Business Impact Survey

Please complete this survey to help us understand the impacts to your business.

Filing Season Deadline Extensions

In order to provide greater flexibility to Canadians who may be experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canada Revenue Agency will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals, including certain trusts.

  • For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. However, the Agency encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.
  • For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020.

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the  Income Tax Act . No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Free online webinar
How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business

March 25, 2020
12:00 p.m. (EDT)

The spread of COVID-19 poses important challenges to Canadian businesses. With the situation constantly evolving, you need to be prepared for any disruptions. Join BDC experts as they share short-term economic perspectives and advice on how to manage through the crisis.


One of our fellow Atlantic Chambers has had members ask for help with signs/posters to use in their business.

Here are three should you need them. If you need help creating others please let us know.
Yesterday's webinar was filled with insight from Dr. Michael Szabo, Chief Medical Officer and Inga Graves, Health Information Specialist at Novus Health. As we come together to support each other through COVID-19, we are doing everything we can to serve our clients and your communities. Our team at my-benefits health® will continue to post up-to-date information and resources on the my-benefits health platform. We have also set up a  COVID-19 page  on all our plan websites, where we are continually updating a Frequently Asked Questions page, along with our most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Our hearts and thoughts go out to all of those affected, and we are thankful to the many essential service providers for all they’re doing to support our global community. Take care and stay safe. 
To help businesses prepare for and manage the COVID-19 escalation in Canada, the Canadian Chamber has developed a brief guide source from a number of best practice documents and designed to assist business planning and continuity efforts.

Please review all of these resources to help you plan.


Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at  .

Anyone who has travelled outside of Canada or has been in close contact with someone who has travelled and are experiencing fever (above 38 C) and/or new cough should complete the online questionnaire before calling 811. The online questionnaire can be found at:

Government of Canada:
Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397 Nova Scotia Public Health offices:

Key Information Tools / Outils: 
Prime Minister announces more support for workers and businesses through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan / Le premier ministre annonce un soutien supplémentaire aux travailleurs et aux entreprises grâce au Plan d'intervention économique du Canada pour répondre à la COVID-19
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan / Plan d'intervention économique du Canada pour répondre à la COVID-19
What Canada’s Regional Development Agencies are doing to help business during the COVID-19 pandemic: HTML  -  PDF version
Ce que font les agences de développement régional (ADR) du Canada pour aider les entreprises pendant la pandémie de COVID-19 :  HTML  -  Version PDF
A dedicated COVID-19 tile has been added to the Canada Business App, providing links to government announcements and information for businesses. More information about the App can be found at  .

Business Supports
Work-Sharing Program - Temporary special measures / Programme de travail partagé - Mesures spéciales temporaires:
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada

Export Development Canada COVID-19:
Business Development Bank of Canada – Support for Entrepreneurs impacted by coronavirus  :

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian businesses / Maladie à coronavirus (COVID-19) : Ressources pour les entreprises canadiennes
COVID-19 subscription for Public Health Updates:
COVID-19 Social Distancing

The recommendations for social distancing from the Chief Public Health Officer, is that people stay at least two (2) meters, or six (6) feet apart and to avoid unnecessary close personal contact.

Ways to practice social distancing include:
  • Avoid shaking hands, and ensure you wash your hands thoroughly, and if you are ill or feeling unwell, stay home;
  • When having conversations with others, observe a two (2) metre, or six (6) foot distance to avoid any transmission;
  • Use instant messaging, or video applications in place of face-to-face conversations;
  • Avoid large gatherings;
  • Sit at least two (2) metres apart in workspaces, where possible;
  • Wipe down shared surfaces, and practice higher frequency cleaning;
  • When working with clients, where possible keep the two-metre distance; and
  • Do not share food, plates or cutlery.