Mid January 2022 News Update
COVID-19: Federal Updates You Should
Know About

CONTINUED RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS
 
Bill C-2 provides targeted measures to provide support where it is needed, in order to create jobs and growth. Here is an overview of the continued COVID-19 funds.

NEW! WAGE SUBSIDY
 
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) ended effective Oct. 23, 2021 and was replaced by 2 new programs. You
may continue to apply for the CEWS claim periods that are still open, but there are no new CEWS periods after claim period 21 ending Oct. 23, 2021.
 
The Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) has been extended to May 7, 2022.
Starting on Oct. 24, 2021, you may qualify for wage support through the:
·    Canada Recovery Hiring Program; or
·    Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP); or
·    Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP)
 
If you are eligible for both the CRHP and one of the other wage subsidies, apply for the subsidy that gives you the higher amount.
If your business activities are significantly affected by a qualifying public health restriction, you may be eligible for support through the THRP even if you are not a qualifying tourism or hospitality entity.
 
Many of the THRP and HHBRP rules about who can apply, which employees you can include, and how to calculate the subsidy are the same as they were for the CEWS. The THRP and the HHBRP also include a rent subsidy, and if you are eligible to apply for both a wage subsidy and a rent subsidy, you must apply for them separately.
 

NEW! CANADA WORKER LOCKDOWN BENEFIT (CWLB)
 
The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) is a continuation of the now-terminated CRB, and gives temporary income support to employed and self-employed individuals who cannot work due to a COVID-19 lockdown. The CWLB is only available when a COVID-19 lockdown order is designated in an employee's region. If eligible for the CWLB, workers can receive $300 ($270 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period, and may apply for any weeks their region is eligible between Oct. 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022.
 
Manitoba is currently designated for the following periods:
·    Period 9: open for applications: Dec. 19 to 25, 2021
·    Period 10: open for applications: Dec. 26, 2021 to Jan. 1, 2022
·    Period 11: open for applications: Jan. 2 to 8, 2022
·    Period 12: open for applications: Jan. 9 to 15, 2022
·    Period 13: not yet open for applications: Jan.16 to 22, 2022

NEW! CEBA loan repayment period extended to Dec. 31/2023 (change also applies to RRRF loan)
 
All applicants who meet CEBA eligibility criteria now have these repayment terms:
 
Interest:
·    0% per annum interest until Dec. 31, 2023
·    5% per annum interest starting on Jan. 1, 2024; interest payment frequency to be determined by your financial institution
 
Repayments & Maturity:
·    No principal repayment required before Dec. 31, 2023
·    If loan remains outstanding after Dec. 31, 2023, only interest payments required until full principal is due on Dec. 31, 2025
 
Debt Forgiveness:
·    If the outstanding principal, other than the amount of potential debt forgiveness, is repaid by Dec. 31, 2023, the remaining principal amount will be forgiven, provided that no default under the Loan has occurred
 
UPDATED: The Canada Caregiving Response Benefit (CCRB) has been extended to allow for a total of 44 weeks of benefits instead of 38 weeks, and is in effect until May 7, 2022. The Canada Sickness Response Benefit (CSRB) has been extended to 6 weeks from 4, and is also available until May 7, 2022.
 

NEW! RAPID TESTS FOR BUSINESSES
 
The Government of Canada, some provincial/territorial governments, and distribution partners are providing free rapid COVID-19 tests to organizations. These tests are to be used for regular workplace screening of employees who are required to be on-site. Businesses and not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply through the link below, but will be directed to the most appropriate distribution partner based on location and size of business. Organizations with 200 or more employees are eligible to order RATs directly from the federal government.
 

NEW! ANTIVIRALS UPDATE
 
On Jan. 17, the federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement announced that the Government of Canada had received an initial shipment of 30,400 treatment courses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment, PAXLOVIDTM, with 120,000 more expected to be delivered between now and the end of March. Distribution to provinces and territories will begin imminently, and the Government of Canada is working closely with the provinces and territories to coordinate distribution of treatment courses across the country.
 
Canada has also secured access to 500,000 courses of Merck’s COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment, molnupiravir, with options for up to 500,000 more, pending Health Canada’s authorization.

ArriveCAN - MANDATORY
 
All travellers, with limited exceptions, whether entering Canada by air, land, rail or marine vessel, must use ArriveCAN unless exempt from this requirement due to an accessibility need. Travellers must submit information within 72 hours before arrival to Canada. To download ArriveCAN and learn about your responsibilities when traveling into Canada, click here.

NEW! REQUIREMENTS FOR TRUCKERS ENTERING CANADA NOW IN EFFECT
 
On Nov. 19, 2021, the Government of Canada announced that as of Jan.15, 2022, certain categories of travellers who were exempt from entry requirements, would only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada.
 
Although a Canadian truck driver who is not fully vaccinated cannot be denied entry into Canada (Canadian citizens, persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act and permanent residents may enter Canada by right), as of Jan.15, unvaccinated Canadian truck drivers entering Canada will need to meet requirements for pre-entry, arrival and Day 8 testing, as well as quarantine requirements.
 


COVID-19: Manitoba Updates You Should Know About

NEW! SECTOR SUPPORT PROGRAM
 
The Sector Support Program is a $22 million grant program that provides assistance to businesses affected by the COVID-19 public health order restrictions released on Dec. 17, 2021, and which are in effect from Dec. 21, 2021 to Jan. 31, 2022. The assistance is income for income tax purposes, and the deadline to apply is Jan. 31, 2022.
 
Eligible recipients include food service facilities that rely primarily on dine-in services, including those in hotels; movie theatres; concert halls; museums and galleries; recreation and sport facilities and centres, including gyms.
 
Total assistance is based on the number of workers (FT or PT) employed for the last pay period that preceded the Dec. 21, 2021 public health orders:
·    $3,000 for up to 9 employees
·    $6,000 for 10 to 19 employees
·    $9,000 for 20 to 49 employees
·    $12,000 for 50 or more employees
 

EXTENDED: MANITOBA PANDEMIC SICK LEAVE
 
This program provides employers with up to $600 per employee for up to five full days of COVID-19 related sick leave, which do not have to be taken consecutively. Eligible sick leave related to COVID-19 includes testing, vaccinations and side effects, self-isolation due to COVID-19 symptoms, or care for a loved one in any of these circumstances.
Private-sector, non-profit and charitable employers with eligible employees are able to qualify to receive the assistance. The eligibility period begins May 7, 2021 and runs until March 31, 2022, to coincide with federal programs. Deadline to apply is Apr.15, 2022.
 

Workplace COVID-19 Case and Cluster Guidance for Employers
Employers play an important role in reducing the potential transmission of COVID-19 in a workplace, particularly when employees self-identify as having a positive COVID-19 lab test result. The Province of Manitoba provides guidelines to outline the steps employers can take after learning about a COVID-19 positive case or cluster in their workplace.
 
Retrain Manitoba will reimburse Manitoba employers for the investments they have made in employees’ professional progress through a variety of interdisciplinary training programs offered by accredited third-party institutions with reimbursements of up to $2,500 per employee, to a cumulative maximum of $75,000.
 
This $12.5 million program can help offset the costs of onboarding or advancing the skills of new employees, so businesses can benefit from the cutting-edge expertise and novel perspectives of job-seeking professionals.

 
Register your organization now: https://www.retrainmanitoba.com/