Coronavirus / COVID-19 Resources


As COVID-19 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.

Please click here to read an open message to our industry from our CEO. 

On this page

REALPAC COVID-19 Backgrounder
COVID-19 Resources
Daily updates: major briefings



COVID-19 Backgrounder


REALPAC has developed a COVID-19 Backgrounder with resources that may be helpful to members. Our sources include the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and provincial and local health authorities



COVID-19 Resources

Please click here for a Bibliography of resources on COVID-19. This document is updated on a weekly basis.

General Resources for Members:

Economic Impact

Building-Level

Other resources




Daily Updates

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 

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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)
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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. 
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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
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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. 

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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.   
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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 
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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 
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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. 

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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.
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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 Canada.ca 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
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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

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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

Bills

  • 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

Banks

  • 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
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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
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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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