Coronavirus / COVID-19 Resources

As COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, it is important for the Canadian commercial real estate industry to respond appropriately to this outbreak. REALPAC has been actively monitoring the situation and have compiled a list of resources for the industry.

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 REALPAC COVID-19 & Restarting the Economy Resources

REALPAC Industry Perspectives


Resources from our Partners


Daily Updates

REALPAC has been continuing to minute major Canadian policy briefings daily basis for our members. To access the daily updates, please contact us.


April 23 @ 11:25am: Update by Prime Minister Trudeau 

  • Putting in place $1.1b for national medical and research strategy to address COVID-19 - research into vaccines, clinical trials, and national testing and modelling; this is on top of existing funding
  • $350m to expand national testing and modelling - COVID-19 immunity task force - operate under many of the federal health officials. Look at issues around immunity, how long immunity asks, how many untested people have caught it. Testing over 1m Canadians over 2 years. Roll out of vaccine, what public health measures are effective.
  • Disaggregated data to understand impact on vulnerable populations

April 22 @ 1:45pm: Update by Premier Ford

  • Formal request to bring in CAF members to assist COVID-19 efforts in Long-Term Care homes - 5 priority homes will receive deployed support


April 22 @ 11:15am: Update by Prime Minister Trudeau 

  • Today announcing plan to support students right across country - Canada Emergency Student Benefit + also creating new student jobs and doubling student grants - all measures = $9b for students - applies today, summer, next year
  • CESB - how to make ends meet, can’t work normal job - CESB to help - get $1250/month - May to August - and if a caregiver/disabled - goes up to $1750/month - benefit is designed for post-secondary students or those going to school in September, or if you graduated in December 2019 - Paid through CRA, retroactive to May 1st
  • Why not make CERB universal? PM - we moved forward with support for students. CERB is for those who lost a paycheque - those people are helped by the CERB. CESB is to help students who wouldn’t be able to get summer jobs. On top of that helping students across country by creating new jobs or rewarding them for volunteering. Range of measures for supporting young people to a total of $9b - recognize gaps in different systems
  • Heard from many Canadians falling through gaps - need for UBI? PM - our focus has been on getting help to those who need it. Millions of Canadians need help, millions that don’t - targeting maximum help to those who need it is the right way to get through this crisis. Delivering help to over 8m Canadians already - need to do more (why we announced CESB) - but that’s why we took the approach that we did
  • Comfortable with beginnings of relaxation of COVID-19 rules? Provincial flexibility for border? PM - Recognize pandemic rolling out differently regionally - provinces have to make own decisions for next steps to reopen economy.
  • Working with provinces to ensure principles and approach are similar across country. 
    Support for small businesses? PM - trying to work with finance and other departments to get small businesses the support they need
  • Does this not create an overly complex benefit system? PM - 2 aspects to universal benefit - wouldn’t have been simpler but still just as complex with administration. 2nd we decided first and foremost as much as possible the people who really need help. ALl of these measures we introduced to help people who lost jobs/income due to COVID-19


April 21 @ 11:15am: Update by Prime Minister Trudeau 

  • Supercluster initiative - Digital tech supercluster challenged network of 500 firms to come up with solutions to help Canadians get through this pandemic
  • DNAstack - cloud-based network to help researchers share findings on diagnosing and treating COVID-19
  • New CEWS calculator to help additional businesses coming out on April 27th. Businesses should know that they will be getting that money and should not hesitate to access credit facilities in the meantime


April 20 @ 12pm: Ontario Update

  • The Ontario government released new projections that show community spread may have peaked in Ontario. 
    Outbreaks in LTC and congregate settings continues to be a major concern
  • Ontario overall is trending toward a best case scenario
  • Province and healthcare system have largely avoided a significant surge in cases
  • Hospitals across the province have not been overwhelmed as a result of public health measures implemented 
  • Day-over-day growth is declining
  • More information: 


April 20 @ 11:15am: Update by Prime Minister Trudeau 

  • The Prime Minister’s update has focused on ongoing tragedies and national unity
  • The briefing discussed lives lost over the past weekend in Nova Scotia
  • Additionally re-asserting the need for national unity, comfort, and confidence that we are all in this together and we all need to be there for each other
  • Quebec construction workers have gone back to work? PM - we are coordinating actions across country but decisions for how to re-open economies are very much regional, but ensuring that reduction of the spread of COVID-19 is top of mind when re-opening different sectors of the economy

April 17 @ 11:20am: Update by Prime Minister Trudeau 

  • QC - CAF providing support in LTC facilities - finding other ways to support workers - Red Cross Volunteers - Bell Canada donated 1.5m N95 for frontline workers - added to millions of masks sent to provinces this week
  • Pandemic created anxiety and uncertainty for all Canadians - COVID-19 brought many industries to a halt, goal of govt is to help all Canadians get through these challenging times - we’re here to support you - lend helping hand when you need it most.
  • Across country, Canadians standing shoulder to shoulder - More help today, AB, BC, NFL - more help for small businesses, more help for arts, culture, sports
  • Energy sector - workers struggling due to price-war & pandemic - challenge for companies; slow down or pause operations - to help workers - invest $1.7b to clean up orphan or inactive wells in AB, SK, BC - wells not in use detrimental for environmental health/people’s help - references farmer, indigenous communities. Help landowners who haven’t been able to get well taken care of. This creates immediate jobs in these provinces - support env. targets - in AB maintains 5200 jobs alone
  • Establish $750m emission reduction fund - maintain jobs through pollution reduction efforts. $75m for offshore emissions in NFL - repayable contributions to firms to make them more competitive, protect jobs, reduce waste and pollution - energy firms in cash crunch - don’t have funds to fix leaks, invest in cleaner tech
  • Through Wells & Methane Initiative - maintain 10k jobs across country - just because we’re in a health crisis can’t neglect env. crisis
  • Working with BDC and EDC to mitigate risk for energy companies - maintain operations and keep employees
  • Small businesses - steps taken to protect employers and employees (CEWS, CEBA expansion) - Ministers Bains and others heard businesses are still falling through cracks - providing $962m to regional development agencies and community futures network - funding helps to ensure smaller businesses are getting the support that they need. 
  • $270m to futurepreneur and industrial research assistance program - early stage research firms that don’t qualify for wage subsidy
  • Arts/Culture/Sports - income structures not the same - since beginning of crisis artists provide us with comfort, laughter, athletes continue to make us proud - people who work in these sectors allow us to dream - when we’re all at home they make us feel a little bit less alone - $500m to heritage canada to support artists, creators, and rising stars of sporting associations
  • People will be able to receive wage support and associations have access to funding if facing liquidity problems
  • Continue to support others with CERB - 7.5m payments made so far - releasing data 3 times a week through open data
  • Today is the 38th anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms


April 16 @ 11:15am: Update by Prime Minister Trudeau 

  • Spoke with G7 leaders - need to help other nations to ensure safety and health of people around the world
    Government introduced series of measures to help Canadians get through pandemic - CEWS; even if company they work for has had to slowdown/shut down. 
  • Yesterday announced relaxing eligibility criteria for CERB (seasonal, <$1k/mo, exhausted EI)
  • Working with provinces & territories to top-up wages of essential workers making <$2500/month
  • Tonight discussing with First Ministers - talking about how to better protect seniors/LTC residents
    Minister of Public Safety received assistance request from QC - (Re: military discussion yesterday)
  • CEBA - business owners some don’t qualify - Expanding CEBA by increasing and decreasing eligibility threshold - businesses who spent $20k - $1.5m in payroll in 2019 eligible for CEBA ($7.5b in credit so far)
  • Businesses and commercial property owners facing specific issues
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance - provide support for small businesses - April/May/June rents - announcement soon after working with Provinces

April 15 @ 1:00pm: Update by Premier Ford Update

  • LTC focus - mobilizing new resources - launching all out plan
  • Goal to fortify iron ring of protection around LTC residents and workers - screening/surveillance of outbreaks - ensure staff have tools they need
  • Passed emergency order last night to ensure every employee can only work in one home


April 15 @ 11:15am: Update by Prime Minister Trudeau 

  • New announcements - expanding CERB + topping up pay of emergency workers
  • CERB - top up this receiving some income, also seasonal workers facing no work
  • In Parliament - contributions of largest generation - people who grew up and fought WW2 - across country last members of this generation are in Seniors’ homes and LTCs - worrisome - particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 - want to address this with premiers during tomorrow evening discussion. 
  • Working with governments to increase pay of frontline workers - boosting wages for workers making less than $2500/month
  • Many people were not eligible for CERB but still need help - relaxing criteria. If you earn <$1000/month, you can now receive the CERB - because many people do not work as many hourse as before
  • Workers who have run out of EI benefits recently will be eligible now
  • Seasonal workers who do not have work this year - CERB will be available to them
  • Difficult context for artists/creators - cultural venues are closed. Artists continue to help us reflect on life & dream - bring sunshine into daily lives
  • New government portal for mental health resources through the Canada COVID-19 app or government website - can easily talk to someone (mental health professionals)
  • Business who need help with commercial rent should stay tuned for future announcements
  • Intervention of CAF into LTC homes, is CAF intervening, QC? PM discussion with QC and other provinces - portal where people with special experience can provide their help. Share portal with all of the provinces - work with QC on request for more resources

April 14 @ 2:45pm: Update by Premier Ford

  • 483 new cases today
    dealing with wildfire in LTC homes right now, extremely difficult on families: people are dying.
  • Long-term Care Homes are the frontline of this fight against the virus
  • Tomorrow - action plan to fight COVID-19 in LTC homes - must redeploy every available resource to LTC homes right now
  • Thanks to collective efforts - not seen surge in hospitals - have had capacity in the health sector - redeploying those resources to LTC homes that have serious outbreaks
  • Hospital-based care teams are going to help LTC homes provide hospital-quality care within the homes
  • New Emergency Order will be issued tonight to ensure LTC workers can only work in one home


April 9 @ 1:45pm: Update by Premier Kenney
  • $2b investment in acceleration of maintenance of provincial infrastructure - doubling capital maintenance and renewal funding - resurface roads, restore schools, rebuild bridge
  • HVAC updates in public schools, upgrade IT for enforcement personnel and courtroom staff
  • Making roads better for logistics etc
  • Crews repairing potholes on all provincial highways
  • In addition to existing $12b support already announced - households, job creators
    • emergency isolation payments - paid over $100m 
    • billions in loan deferrals, access to credit through AB treasury 
    • hundreds of millions in tax deferrals for employers and reduction in non-residential property tax rate
    • Deferral on AB student loan payments 
  • Need federal govt to coordinate with US to defend North American energy industry from predatory dumping from foreign powers
  • Construction is an essential service, season is upon us, cannot afford to lose a day when we need this money spent in the economy today


April 9 @ 1:15pm: Update by PM Trudeau Premier Ford 

  • Job numbers this morning were difficult to accept - a punch in the gut - unthinkable is happening - Ontario lost 400k jobs last month due to COVID-19 fallout - 400k paycheques lost - 400k families finding it harder to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads
  • Across the country over a million people - sadly these numbers are the tip of the iceberg
  • Snapshot of what we’re dealing with - not just numbers - these are real people - people who are struggling 
  • Fighting for these people, as a province/people we have had to make unthinkable sacrifices - paid a tremendous price in this fight - matter of life and death
     tens of thousands of lives are at stake
  • Massive economic fallout
  • $52m allocated to OntarioWorks for those who may not qualify for CERB/CEWS or other federal programs
  • Government is here for the people of Ontario - have each others backs - that’s what Ontarians do
  • Launching Ontario Jobs and Economic Recovery committee - when we beat COVID-19 we can bounce back - Ontario to take its rightful place as the economic powerhouse of confederation
  • Might be hard to see light at the end of the tunnel - but we will turn the corner - get back on our feet, be the economic engine of Canada
  • Get every corner of Ontario back on track - light the match that ignites the fire of the economy like we have never seen before
  • Create a wave of economic growth not seen in decades


April 9 @ 11am: Update by PM Trudeau 

  • Stark numbers from this morning not a surprise for many Canadians - promises to bridge to help Canadians to better times - expanding 3pt economic plan
  • Modelling shows COVID arrived in Canada later than other countries, so we’re in early stages of the outbreak - have a chance to determine what our country will look like 
  • First wave expected to end in the some, with smaller outbreaks if we don’t rise to the challenge
  • Its tough to stay home in nice weather - stay inside a little longer, this will work and government will be with you every step of the way
  • Possible smaller waves discussed will be regional over the summer - people less uniformly affected than how things are now with a whole country shutdown
  • Must maintain social distancing - more waves until a vaccine exists
    Important to come through first wave as quickly as possible to get the economy open again
  • Big changes soon - more sophisticated testing - continue to develop contact tracing tools
  • Spending weekend getting legislation through the house - working with opposition parties
  • Looking at virtual ways to gather the House - continuing to work on a democratic and transparent solution
  • Suggests PCs are holding up wage subsidy bill because they want to debate about a virtual sitting of parliament - Scheer agreed then changed stance
  • Still no firm information on when reduced HoC can meet to implement the CEWS program
  • Desire to lift economic restrictions


April 9 @ 9am: Federal Projections Update 

  • Strategy is to control the epidemic while increasing the healthcare capacity (flatten the curve and up the redline)
  • Using two different forecasting models
  • 500-700 deaths by next week (April 16th) due to 22k to 32k total cases by the same date
  • Dynamic model scenarios - Green, blue, red peaks
  • Red 70-80% infected, major peak, ending in Fall 2020
  • Blu 25-50% infected, weaker controls with the model winding down in Winter
  • Green 1-10% infected, strong epidemic control (this is the goal) - peak is spring 2020, winds down by end of summer
  • Hammer & Dance slide - need to reduce duration of first wave - equally critical to keep up control measures to reduce importation and transmission of the disease [1 year timeline]
  • What to do now to determine our future - physical distancing required over time to manage future waves
  • Full slides available: 


April 8 @ 11am: Update by PM Trudeau 

  • Calling on opposition to join Liberals in calling back house to pass legislation - cabinet meeting this afternoon - PM attending meeting in person
  • Many conversations with businesses and employers - adjusting CERB to help more people/CEWS
  • Said businesses had to show -30% YoY - for Non-Profits/Fast-Growth - that could present a problem
  • Relaxing conditions - Businesses have to show -15% in revenue for March - businesses can also use months of January/February
  • Charities/Non-Profits - different reality for funding - choice to include/exclude government subsidy when calculating loss of revenue
  • If business is impacted by COVID-19 the government will give you $847/week/employee
  • Recent weeks - introduced unprecedented measures (CERB/CEWS) - some people are not eligible for these benefits - need additional support - gig workers/students/home-care/10-hrs or less a week
  • Seniors going through difficult period - vulnerable to COVID + concerned about impact of economic decline on their savings - additional measures coming soon
  • Students - preparing to enter job-market - number of measures to help
  • This morning - 1st Step - Changes to Canada Summer Jobs program - subsidy of up to 100% to cover the costs of hiring students - extend time for job placement to winter as some jobs will start later than usual - businesses able to hire students part-time as well
  • Encouraging employers to make adjustments so work can continue (food banks doing deliveries can hire students)
  • Encourage MPs to reach out to critical service providers in communities for how students can help - hard for people of all ages to find work, young people are especially vulnerable - need work experience + money to cover tuition/living expenses
  • Received 500k masks from 3M overnight - being distributed
  • Past weeks haven’t been easy - going to get through this together - please stay home as much as possible
  • Seeing countries around the world looking at steps needed to think about easing physical distancing to get the economies rolling - need to be careful that the work we’ve done doesn’t become for nought as spikes happen when we get back to work - important to do it in a measured / graduated way
  • How to assess the risk of summertime? Whats the risk of physical distancing falling apart? PM - we will be talking about modelling in coming days - what is clear is to avoid spiking cases (hammer & dance) - having to stay in reduced economic activity modes - need to keep very strong in the measures we have now - that’s how we get back to best case scenario. Social distancing Canadians are doing now is exactly what we need - most optimistic models - on the other side of this spike there will be a need for continual surveillance - testing - contact tracing - getting back to normal … won’t be “back to normal” - how we ease off and follow best directions will be how we manage to get through this in best possible way 
  • Explain why govt chose not to make relief payments simple, clear, universal? Why not just give $2k to everyone and claw it back next year? PM - needed to do things quickly and robustly - allow CRA to put in a system that would reach the largest number of Canadians who needed it. Iterated in program designs - CERB established that it was a way of replacing income to largest number of people - any time you put out large measures quickly and solid enough to be certain that it works through the machine - there will be gaps. Worked to fill in those gaps - exceptions & difficult circumstances - people can access the help they need
  • CEWS delays are 3-6 weeks? Too long? PM - aiming for 3 weeks - hoping to deliver it in 3 weeks - have public servants working on the CERB - Businesses making rehiring decisions are stretched thin and need to know support is coming from the government. CERB done, PS turning efforts to CEWS - need to see within 3 weeks - so eager to see parliament pass legislation necessary 

April 7 @ 11am: Update by PM Trudeau 

  • Offering full-time jobs to reservists for communities that need help
  • Health Canada recruiting volunteers for front-line healthcare support
  • More than 5000 Canadian companies got in touch with government to help produce resources
  • Demand for critical supplies is going up - signed LOIs with partners: multiple companies producing 30k made-in-Canada ventilators
  • Working with team of scientists to create easy-to-produce ventilators
  • 20 companies (Arc’teryx, Canada Goose, Tyvek) retooling to create medical gowns and other garments
  • Govt continuing to purchase masks - working around the clock to ensure frontline workers have everything they need - securing resources from Canadian suppliers + 500k masks from 3M and other international produces wanting to sell to Canada
  • Last evening, CEWS legislation shared with opposition parties - working with house leaders to pass legislation
  • 200k claims processed yesterday for CERB
  • Ours is a country where health is a right, not a privilege
  • US granted an exemption for export to Canada or is 3M a one-off? PM - constructive and productive conversations that have assured particular shipment comes through. Continue to highlight to American administration that supplies etc go back and forth over the border. Integrated supply chains. 
  • Credit card interest rate reductions don’t actually help people? Interest still accrues? PM - encouraging banks to do as much as they can. Banks have reduced interest rates but encouraging banks to do more. Working with BoC to give people direct credit at lower rates. More in coming days
  • Bought block mortgages, will you demand more from the banks? PM - Banks in Canada depend on a healthy economy and successful Canadians, they know if we’re facing difficult circumstances they will end up suffering. Encouraging them to do more. Which are focused on their need to more. Every single day seeing that this crisis is a major challenge for everyone. 
April 3 @ 11.15am: Update by PM Trudeau 
  • 2 pieces of news to share - distribution of equipment to provinces & territories
  • We’ve been working closely with industry to produce supplies that are in need
  • Signed agreement with Amazon Canada to manage distribution of equipment (this is good, Amazon is king at logistics and fulfillment, massive move for Amazon to head up a govt initiative)
  • Canadian Armed forces have been deployed for humanitarian operations 
    Companies and employees are having a difficult time - wondering how to pay bills at end of month + groceries
  • Food banks are seeing fewer donations and volunteers as demand rises - staff at food banks getting more and more calls - work being done is essential - they need more support during this crisis - reach out to your local food bank and ask how you can help them
  • Government providing $100m to meet urgent food needs of Canadians including Indigenous communities 
  • Govt working with banks on programs like CERB for direct deposit
  • How much time this will last? When can you see your friends etc.? Had discussion with first ministers about data-sharing and projections - many more people are being tested, there is new data to be analyzed - provinces publishing new data very soon. Working hard to verify latest figures to put them online - this could be weeks, months, wish I could say - the reality depends on us - the best way to defeat this is to follow public health directives 
  • On Sunday Trudeau is doing a video-conference with Dr. Tam on CBC News Kids (great initiative)
  • OPEC: having catastrophic impact, coordinate to make sure our economy doesn’t continue to face same challenges it has been facing - working internationally to have an impact on difficult OPEC decisions over the last weeks
  • Support package for oil sector: continue to work with AB to make sure there is support for workers in particularly distressed industries. CERB/CEWS will be of support but recognize some industries are facing much greater stresses than others. Heard from Premier Kenney about support for Oil Sector

April 2 @ 1pm: Update by Premier Doug Ford 

  • Right now our best defense is to stay home, self-isolate, and don’t go out - its a matter of life and death
  • You deserve the same information I have when I’m making decisions. you deserve to know what I know
  • Asked medical experts to provide full briefing to the public on where this could go - walk through Ontario’s story - Tomorrow: Ontario’s doctors to provide an update - where we are, where we’re going, where we could be
  • First province to close schools & non-essential workplaces; asked you to stay home - limited gatherings to know more than 5 people
  • Limiting tragedy in Italy & Spain will be up to us - do what is necessary
  • All have a part to play combatting COVID-19 - need to have the best information to make the best decisions
  • This is all taking a toll for Ontarians
  • Ontario providing 24/7 mental health supports to frontline workers
  • We know staying home and practicing physical distancing is the right thing to do - but it can’t mean disconnecting entirely from friends/neighbors/loved ones - you’re not alone, we’re listening, we care - if you’re struggling please reach out
  • Restaurants are in dire straits, another month and they’ll go bankrupt (300k jobs in ON)? Ford - 1:10 may not re-open, may be higher, fed - $40k loan, appreciated but that might be two months rent - we appreciate the offer. 
  • We’re allowing companies to defer taxes, payments, encourage working with landlords - very, very difficult - sitting down with Finance Minister but that is a massive amount of businesses (and leases) helping out landlords as well. 1.2 million leases in Ontario - even if you put $1000 in, that’s $1.2b and it would still be a drop in the bucket to cover leases. 


April 2 @ 11.15am: Update by PM Trudeau

  • Seen all levels of govt cooperating on a response, collaboration is important - sharing Cabinet Meeting info with the first ministers
  • Discussion of receiving mask shipments - shipment of over 1 million masks received last night, received 10 million masks over the past couple of days
  • Federal government to be sharing data and modelling publicly - projections & current models
  • Still the plan but not happening quite yet, bit of a pivot on positioning
  • Biggest variable in shaping projections is you - making sure you are respecting physical distancing, many already are but too many still aren’t 
  • Let us save lives together by staying apart


April 1 @ 2.20pm: Update by Minister Morneau Update 

  • Hardest choice is what to do when you don’t have enough money to pay your own employees
  • Non-profits – need for services is going up but donations are going down
  • Wage subsidy matters – makes sure Canadians feel secure in their jobs – sense of hope that life will get better, life will go better
  • Will provide employers who experience a 30% decline or more since this time last year
  • Max $847 /week
  • Decline determined by comparing revenues to same month last year for March, April, May – need to re-apply each month
  • Wage subsidy available to companies, sole proprietors, individuals (corporated)
  • Available to restaurants, hospitality,
  • Govt knows that in order to protect a strong economy
  • Wage Subsidy will make sure families have what they need
  • As an employer- need to attest doing everything you can to provide the remaining 25% of worker’s income – what's most important is Canadians can come back to work.
  • Employers, be ready to rehire people -  Funds available in 6 weeks.
  • As the PM said on Monday, severe consequences for any bad actor who attempts to abuse this system
  • Funds used for fraudulent purposes will face severe penalties
  • Program could cost up to $71b but will reduce CERB by $24b (roughly $95b together)

Update by Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng

  • Restaurants and cafes have had to close their doors, tech & manufacturing have had to shut down,
  • Small biz employs 8.83m hardworking Canadians
  • 75% of small businesses <10 employees – they feel like family
  • Pandemic has taught us anything: we’re all in this together
  • Everything announced to date to respond to thousands of small businesses across country
  • Deferring GST, HST, Customs payments for next 3 months
  • Creating CERB to those who don’t qualify for EI – including small biz and self-employed people
  • $40k interest free loan
  • To help biz keep staff employed 75% wage subsidy
  • We are announcing eligibility criteria for wage subsidy
  • Help can’t come soon enough, we’ve heard you
  • Many companies now able to put staff back on payroll – get ready to reopen doors
April 1 @ 11:30am: Update by PM Trudeau
  • Wage subsidy available to businesses that are not publicly funded, includes bars & restaurants, charities, and non-profits, demonstrate 30% decline in revenues - available through CRA - employers need to show they're doing everything they can to pay the remaining 25% of employee wages
  • Stiff and severe penalties for taking advantage of this system and fellow Canadians
    CERB - April 6th, if you have not yet applied for EI, you can apply online for CERB, that is available to everyone. If you are receiving wage subsidy you cannot receive CERB - apply by visiting - receive by mail or direct deposit - just need to confirm you have no job once a month. If you have already applied for EI you do not need to register. Taking measures to prevent system overload. More details later today. 
  • We're not done yet - largest Economic Program in Canada's history - new measures to help businesses forthcoming
  • Bringing back parliament - team Canada effort - govt of all orders are stepping up to fulfill responsibilities - haven't seen this kind of civic mobilization since WW2. 

April 1 @ 10am: Update by City of Toronto

  • Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto
    • Where we need to go as a city to achieve 3 objectives: 1. Reduce loss of life, 2. preserve & protect capacity of health care system, 3. minimize social and economic impacts of COVID-19
    • Case counts in the last 2 weeks - 500% increase - not a favourable trajectory. As medical officer of health - deeply concerned. 
    • Studying Toronto's circumstances + monitoring other cities/countries and their responses - comparative successes of SK + Singapore
    • 1 month after NYC first case - now almost 42k, 1100 deaths
    • Very stark picture - one that is honest and true, premised on data in front of us. 
    • Use of Orders under Health Protection & Promotion Act to emphasize significance of social isolation
    • Issuing Class Orders under HPPA - for those diagnosed, suspected, or in close contact as identified/contacted by Public Health for COVID-19 // Province is doing the same. 
    • Working with provincial partners to reduce number of workplaces and businesses 
    • Enhanced follow-up for recently arrived travelers to ensure adherence to quarantine measures (this will be police check-ins) 
    • Greater protections for those 70+/vulnerable 
    • Measures will need to be in place for up to 12 weeks
  • John Tory, Mayor of Toronto
    • Enhanced Case & Contact tracing occurring - notify those who have been exposed
    • Actions unprecedented but facing an unprecedented threat
    • Support Dr. de Villa in recommending that everyone only leave home once a week to buy essentials
    • Failure to take actions will lead to health care system being unable to cope
    • These actions will save lives and protect healthcare system
    • Tory had a by-law drafted to enforce social distancing, not yet tabled, but will be proceeded with. It would apply to city property, contains sanctions and enforcement - hopes it is not necessary to bring forward.

March 30 @ 11:20am: Update by PM Trudeau

  • Asking everyone to stay home - have slowed down business activity - concerning for businesses and employees. Introduced plan in 3 points to protect jobs, those who have been laid off, support businesses with cash flow
  • If your business revenues have decreased by 30% - eligible for wage subsidy. # of employees does not determine support
  • Applies to NP, Charities, companies big & small
  • Making sure people are still getting paid regardless of company size
  • Govt will cover up to 75% of salary up to first $58,700 ($847/week)
  • Back dated to March 15th
  • If companies are able to cover the other 25%, please do
  • If you take advantage of this system there will be serious consequences
  • Make every effort to top up wages and hire back post-COVID
  • Military - the Fed Govt has received no request from provinces - armed forces are prepared to answer the call if needed 


March 27 @ 11:15am: Update by PM Trudeau

  • Bank of Canada dropped rates 50bps this morning
  • Most important thing to help people and economy is for govt to take strong fiscal action
  • Speaking directly to SMES - many issues with shutdowns, payrolls, tough decisions in letting people go in their time of need
  • Bringing wage subsidies up to 75% for qualifying businesses, retroactive to March 15th
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit - $40k interest free loans for first year for businesses with $10k forgivable for qualifying businesses
  • CERB will be taxable, but not taking it off at source, so everyone will receive full amount immediately - under progressive tax system those who need it most will receive it
  • $12.5b for Export Dev. Canada - apply for guaranteed loan from financial institutions
  • Announcing GST/HST deferrals, duties & taxes on imports, until June - equivalent of $30b in interest free loans
  • Additional measures to help youth, vulnerable people, those in poverty coming shortly (expecting either weekend or Monday)

March 26 @ 1pm: Update by Ontario Premier Ford

  • We're doing everything within our fiscal capacity to support people - I will not spare a penny. The Federal government has the printing machine. We don't. I will spend every single penny to make sure we spare the people of this province
  • Premier lobbying Federal Govt for changes. Providing $75m for lowest-income seniors + $200 for parents. We have gotten rid of time of use for electricity. A number of areas where we're supporting. Objective to fill in spaces and gaps where Fed. Govt. is not able to do. $50m for emergency payments through OW. Money available through foodbanks and organizations. Well close to $1b for support going directly to individuals. 
  • If you chose between food and rent, you're choosing food. Govt ensuring no one gets evicted. On the other note, if you have a job, do NOT, DO NOT take advantage of this. This is for those MOST in need, who cannot physically pay rent. If you have a job, we expect you to pay rent. I heard about a petition - THAT's WRONG. That's hurting people across the board. Please don't take advantage of it. If you can't pay rent, you don't have to. 
  • Committing to legal action against retailers price gouging - We are coming after you - they're done, they're going to be gone. Period. 

March 26 @ 11:30am: Update by PM Trudeau

  • Bill passed by parliament - $157b for workers, families, businesses
  • CERB to help workers who have lost their income (EI eligible or not, benefit exists to help you)
  • People will start getting help within 14 days of applying - system to be opened early April (are landlords open to a grace period for those who will be able to pay? - GR)
  • There's a CERB text scam going around
  • Bills are piling up, pressure is mounting - working as quickly as possible to put money into pockets
  • People abroad still facing issues coming home
  • Expanding testing & manufacturing capacity - keep supply chains moving to get equipment to those who need it
  • Economy - G20 - significant investments to help people and businesses get through this challenging time - 
  • Global efforts to support global economy - work with allies to protect people 
  • Kirsten Hillman - New ambassador to the United States - Key Role in NAFTA negotiations and border closure
  • Quarantine Act for returning travellers - financial penalties (up to $1m) and prison time (up to 3yrs) on the table
  • Minister Morneau (Finance) - speaking with and encouraging major banks to open up access to consumer credit and reduce interest rates on credit cards

March 25 @ 11:30am: Update by PM Trudeau

  • Early this morning HoC passed emergency bill - now before the senate - more details & further measures to be announced later this week
  • Necessary measures to support Canadians immediately - enhancing Canada Child Benefit - 3 month deferral on student loans + Canada Emergency Response benefit which replaces the Emergency Care & Support benefits, simplify process - as situation evolves adjusting efforts
  • CER Benefit - $2k/month for workers not getting a paycheque due to COVID-19 - lost job, contract, self-employed; sick, quarantined, dependent care; this benefit is for all affected. 
  • Still have a job but not receiving salary due to crisis - also applicable; online portal to put through applications (available soon) people will receive $ within 10 days of applying
  • Collaborating with provinces, territories, and FN, Indigenous, Inuit communities to ensure everyone is supported
  • Testing discussed with officials every day
  • International conversations about addressing economic impact and international coordination 
  • It is essential that Canadians have access to most recent information - media keeping Canadians up to date with facts and reliable information
  • Most important way to work together is to stay apart - there are different graphs and maps showing effectiveness - Latest modelling coming from Public Health - Sharing modelling with public to quell uncertainty - for routine and mental health
  • Facing a one in a generation challenge - can't do many of the things that make us feel good - if you need help: reach out - neighbour/friend/hotline - do it from home. 
  • If people refuse to follow recommendations - healthcare professionals more likely to contract COVID-19; country is facing greatest healthcare crisis in history
  • What about people who need help right now? Great pressure to get help out ASAP, many people who need to be helped - need to develop reliable systems that can quickly work for us. Do hope to be able to put system in place by April 6th 
  • Credit available for businesses to access liquidity. For people at home - loosening rules around credit. Know people are anxious. Final paycheques are starting to come in and they know the next one is coming in. CERB is going to flow to provide relief for 4 months. 


March 24 @ 11:30am: Update by PM Trudeau

  • Briefing delayed because Trudeau can't join HoC this afternoon so was speaking with opposition leaders
  • Today - Emergency measures that our government announced - important step to get Canadians what they deserve
  • Federal assistance announced last week is on its way - continue to reflect on other ways to help Canadians
  • More information + support for Canadians in the coming days - entire civil service working day and night to help
  • How long restrictions will be in place? Duration of this crisis will be decided by decisions we make everyday. If you want a return to normal - do your part, stay home
  • If you returned from abroad - self-isolation is NOT a suggestion - if people do not follow guidelines, more stringent measures in place
  • First Ministers call - collaborate - make sure all regions have what they need - work more closely to do more to keep Canadians safe
  • Prov. Emergency Measures (Fed EMA is a last resort) - if people do not comply with gov guidelines and advice - we will have to take extra steps
  • People still going to work because they HAVE to - many are keeping the country running - more than just their job - please for them, stay home
  • Recognize need to help Canadians quickly and directly; groceries, rent, staying safe without revenue - Put forward measures that will get money out the door quickly. Demand is massive across country - trying to flow money to people rapidly - nothing is off the table. Small business support, direct support. 
  • Maintaining democratic institutions despite unprecedented situation - requires fluid and flexible responses by gov - Opposition parties play critical role in ensuring accountability, being aware of measures brought forward - democracy needs to work properly in extreme situations. We made choices to ensure there could be more recalls of parliament for necessary flexibility. This is a democratic system that is working - continue to defend institutions
  • Agreement we have with US limits all non-essential travel, recognize deeply integrate supply chains. We will continue to ensure essential supplies continue to flow. At the same time we are continuing to base our decisions on science. Recognize need for social distancing, not gathering, going to be in place for many more weeks. Support for Canadians, SMBs, as we get through this, ready to restore economic activity when it is safe to do so. Priority is keeping Canadians alive and healthy - will continue to do so.   

March 23 @ 1:30pm: Update by Ontario Premier Ford

  • Mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces, Tuesday - March 24th at 11:59pm for 14 days
  • Tomorrow - list of businesses permitted to stay open will be issued 
  • Prepared to extend this order - very tough decision, right decision, not the time for half measures
  • Not made lightly, gravity of this order does not escape me (Premier) - we will and must take all steps necessary
  • Health and safety of every Ontarian must come first - therefore we're taking these important steps
  • Food will remain on the shelves, Ontarians will still have access to medications, power will stay on, telcom will continue to run
  • Every Ontarian must do their part. Please stay home, only leave home if absolutely necessary
  • Why, or why now? The answer is clear - we must get ahead of this virus to beat this virus - we must flatten the curve 

March 23 @ 11:15am: Update by PM Trudeau

  • "Listening is your duty and staying home is your way to serve "
  • Physical distancing is the single best way to keep the people around you safe
  • If you choose to ignore that advice - you're putting yourself and others at risk
  • Go home, stay home - we are going to make sure this happens - either by education or enforcement 
  • Launching federal advertising campaigns today - using cultural influencers - not having heard this message won't be an excuse - listening is your duty and staying home is your way to serve
  • Farmers - Opening up $5b in additional lending capacity - Farmers & producers can apply through Farm Credit Canada to keep food growing
  • Last week - industry mobilization plan. Later today - call to discuss continued coordination with first ministers - working to make sure everyone has everything they need
  • Also talking with premiers about supports for families and small businesses
  • $192m to support vaccine development in Canada - agreements with multiple R&D and clinical trial labs - Canada needs capacity to mass produce successful treatments - prepping facility for that rollout
  • Vaccines will take months to develop & test - while that's happening, we need to work to mitigate impacts
  • BlueDot in Toronto - 1st in world to identify spread (9 days ahead of WHO warning) - contract to use software to model disease 
  • Call to Action for every University/College/CEGEP - use labs & equipment - and innovative solutions they can be part of. 
  • Question: personal and business rents, why haven't you done more to help them? PM response - significant pressures on Canadians - bills + caring for families - working extremely quickly to get funds out the door during this extraordinary time. Working through legislative package that allows us to move forward even quicker 

March 22 @ 11:15am: Update by PM Trudeau

  • House of Commons being recalled Tuesday at Noon - put emergency legislation into motion (previously announced changes to EI/funding/taxes etc.)
  • More support coming this week (should be future daily announcements, as per last week)
  • Please stay home - situation where individual Canadians being responsible helps everyone - need to do this together
  • Why not enact the EMA? PM - Many things being done at local/municipal/provincial level, the Federal EMA is an emergency step when all other steps have been exhausted at all other orders of govt or when existing powers of parliament are incapable of addressing the situation at hand.
  • Companies retooling, will govt guarantee purchasing? PM - tremendous response, creating things we need in Canada and globally - goal of keeping Canadians at work, contributing to economic activity. 
  • We've put together a significant package. $27b only initial phase - continuing to talk about next steps - continuing to look around the world at other jurisdictions - keep economy solid if at a stand-still so we can make it through. 
  • Govnt. listening and speaking with business leaders, employers, SMB groups, hearing ideas for how to move forward, listening to oppo leaders - nothing is off the table - there is no one measure sufficient to get us through this situation. All kinds of different challenges and situations. Hold through through this economic stoppage - pick up once through this without losing too much. It is obvious that companies able to keep people on the payroll will find it easier, we're looking at that - with payroll credit - there is more to do and we're looking at it. There is no silver 
  • $27b  to $55b in deferred taxes - all first step . Now looking at what next steps are to ensure our economy can pick up - whether weeks or months - likely months. Supporting directly Canadians, SMBs large businesses, industry, sector-specific. Once we move through this we are able to get back to where we were before as fast as possible. 


March 20 @ 11:15am: Update by PM Trudeau
  • This week businesses stepped in to ask what they can do - New Strategy for companies to help out
  • Canada's Plan to Mobilize Industry - goal of quickly producing things we need in Canada - helps companies already manufacturing goods to scale up
  • Provide support for retooling facilities to help in this fight (very much in line with a war-time effort)
  • Creating Innovative Procurement Streams - help businesses create innovative products to be ready to use ASAP
  • 500,000 applications for government support this week vs 27,000 this week last year
  • Canadian companies are agile and innovative, confident we can work with them to respond to demand with respect to ventilators
  • Canada not enforcing lockdown because we are seeing Canadians take on social distancing and taking on new measures to protect citizens – we are always looking for solutions and new measures to protect Canadians and will announce any measures as they become necessary.

March 19 @ 11am: Update by PM Trudeau

  • Significant changes for what this means for the country
  • Many decisions made to slow down progress of the virus - its a lot to take in
  • Last thing anyone needs is to be worrying about how to make ends meet - people need to know they have support
  • People should be checking for the latest information
  • Continuing to pull out all the stops - vital research on virus spread + vaccine
  • $1b fund - $25m directly to support research teams focusing on detection, management, reduce spread
  • Expedite access to test kits and medical devices - need for test kits is growing
  • Ramping up but also making sure Canada can keep up
  • Heard from businesses from Coast to Coast - New Procurement announcements for how industry can help
  • We still need blood donors - if you're able to donate you are encouraged to do so
  • We are also looking for others ways to help Canadians abroad
  • Working hard to get Canadians home - there is no doubt these are uncertain times

March 18 @ 2pm: Update by Ontario Premier Ford

  • A lot has happened since declaration of a State of Emergency yesterday 
  • Border was the right decision, new supports are the right decision
  • $304m emergency relief package (announced yesterday)
  • Ingenuity from many companies - Dillon's distillery making Isagel instead of gin, providing it for free
  • Sysco Canada - SCM biggest link - altering deliveries
  • Autopart Manu. Assoc. - Ontario factories altering production - tools to make important health equipment
  • Companies putting people of Ontario first - thank you for support, ingenuity, exemplifying Ontario spirit
  • The issues we face today will not be the issues we face tomorrow
  • Remain vigilant, strong, united
  • Take nothing for granted, spare no expense to support Ontarians 

Legislation tomorrow

  • Job protective leave for workers with symptoms of COVID-19 or those asked to self-isolate
  • Job protection for parents that had to take time off
  • Looking forward to sharing next stage of package - as part of fiscal update next week
  • More in the coming days

Minister Rod Phillips - Steps being taken to protect economy

  • Daily contact with Morneau
  • Package - supports for working people, vulnerable people, FI, homeless, timely basis
  • Next Wednesday - fiscal statement 
  • Opportunity to outline further supports - timing was to create opportunity to see what GoC is doing
  • Support for healthcare system 
  • Support for people and jobs - so helpful the GoC has stepped forward with significant package
  • Coordinating with GoC - extension of student loans - working to make sure we make life as easy as possible - aligning some of these initiatives
  • Standing shoulder to shoulder with federal government


March 18 @ 11:30am: Update by Minister of Finance Morneau

Announcing Phase 1 of COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

  • If you need to quarantine - $450/week Emergency Care Benefit, even if you don’t qualify for EI
  • Waiving 1 week waiting period 
  • $5b for Emergency Support Benefit - 14 weeks of support at a comp level to EI
  • Low-income families needing extra financial support - GST credit averaging $400 for adults, $600 for couples, + $300/child, Single parent @ min wage with 2 kids = $1500 in support
  • Seniors - retirement funds - help protect value but reducing minimum withdrawal on RRIF's by 25% (RRSP converts into this) (OAS, GIS payments continue without interruption)
  • 6 month interest free moratorium on student loan payments
  • Distinctions based Indigenous community support fund

We need businesses to keep going to keep employees on staff

  • Provide 10% wage subsidy for 3 months up to $25k/employer

Bank of Canada

  • Air/Oil & Gas need specific help - EDC/BDC tailored set of tools for them and other sectors 
  • Significant investment in orphan well remediation to help companies and workers


  • CMHC - reinstated insured mortgage protection program - banks and mortgage lenders can offer payment deferrals/payment arrangements
  • Compounded with liquidity tools - $500b in credit available to business and households


  • Case-by-case flexibility
  • Support will include 6-month deferral for mortgages
  • Specific opportunities for relief like Skip A Payment on CCs and Auto Loans
  • Encouraged to contact bank to discuss situation

Grocery Stores

  • Supply chains working well - committed to maintain fair prices
  • Canadians - leave goods on shelves for neighbors who may be waiting on money before they can afford groceries

Tabling Emergency Legislation

  • Ensure tools to support Canadians
  • Collective responsibility to ensure we have the tools to respond quickly
  • Tools essential to ensure Canadians govt can rapidly access measures required to support
  • Canadians and economy
  • Canadians are counting on us

Governor of the Bank of Canada Poloz Update:

  • Canadians expect policymakers to do what it takes to support them
  • Situation is all hands-on deck
  • BoC working to ensure financial system has sufficient liquidity so credit is available
  •  Bank broadened eligible collateral for term repo
  • Actions will support lending by banks to consumers and companies
  • Extra support to Canada Mortgage Bond Market - first purchase was yesterday ($50b mentioned earlier)
  • Reduced benchmark by 100bps (M.4th, 2nd time last Friday) - 0.75%
  • BoC launching standing term liquidity facility - focused on individual financial institutions - facing stress but otherwise stable

March 18 @ 10:30am: Update by PM Trudeau

  • Canada and the US will suspend all non-essential travel over the border
  • Measures today to provide $27b in direct support + $55b to meet liquidity needs through tax deferrals ($82b all in, 3% of Canada's GDP)
  • Emergency Care Benefit - $ every 2 weeks to workers staying at home, for 14 weeks - comparable to EI
  • Economic plan to protect jobs - 10% salary wage subsidy for 3 months for small businesses - encourage employers to keep staff on the payroll
  • Tax Season - for those who filed - if you owe money, have until Aug 2020 to pay
  • Expecting more targeted assistance in the coming months for those hit with virus
  • Parents with young kids - temporary boost for the Canada Child Benefit in the coming months
  • Low income families - GST credit increased up to $300 for adults, $150 per child
  • Student Loan payments - 6 month interest free moratorium on student loans
  • Homelessness - doubling Reaching Home program - funding for communities
  • Gender/Domestic violence- boosting shelters if isolating at home is not an option
  • Indigenous communities support fund being announced

Additional Measures for businesses:

  • Export Dev Canada - provide support to companies affected by global situation
  • Boosting Farm Credit Canada for agriculture
  • Looking at ways to support all business - especially through instruments like the Canada Account
  • Minister Morneau has received Canadian bank commitment - also in regular contact with business leaders

March 17 @ 8am: Premier Orders Closure of Bars, Restaurants, and Theatres in Ontario

On March 17th at 8am, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a State of Emergency for Ontario. The State of Emergency order prohibits organized public events over 50 people and orders the immediate closure of: 

  • All bars and restaurants except for takeout/delivery

  • All theaters and cinemas

  • All childcare facilities

REALPAC understands that this will impact our members with retail and entertainment focused assets. Our Government Relations team will continue to advocate on behalf of our members and continue to follow updates from government. The COVID-19 scenario in Ontario is changing hour-by-hour and day-by-day. We will continue to work with government policymakers as the situation evolves. We are presently determining the current status of some of our major advocacy projects and will provide further information to members as we can. 











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