COVID-19: Ontario economic support programs

Current as of June 26, 2020.

26 June 2020

Ontario economic support programs

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Ontario declared a provincial state of emergency under the province's Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act on March 17th, 2020. On April 11, 2020 the Ontario government announced that all emergency orders that have been put in place to date under s.7.0.4 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act will be extended until April 23, 2020. On May 12, 2020 the Ontario Government announced that the declaration of emergency will be extended further until June 2, 2020. On May 19, 2020, the Ontario Government announced that all emergency orders that are currently in force have been extended until May 29, 2020. On May 27, 2020, the Government announced that all emergency orders that are currently in force under s.7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act have been extended until June 9, 2020. On June 2, 2020, the Ontario Government announced that all emergency orders that are currently in force have been extended until June 30, 2020. On June 6, 2020, the Ontario Government announced that all emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act have been extended until June 19, 2020. Additionally, due to COVI-19's unprecedented impact on the justice system, the province is extending the suspension of limitation periods and time periods in proceedings until September 11, 2020 under s.7.1 of the Emergency and Civil Protection Act. On June 24, 2020, the Ontario Government announced that all emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act have been extended until July 15, 2020.

On March 25, 2020, Ontario's Minister of Finance announced the March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update, "Ontario's Action Plan 2020: Responding to COVID-19.

On April 27, 2020, the Ontario Government released A Framework for Reopening our Province which outlines the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Heath and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of business, services and public spaces. Ontario officially entered stage one of its Framework for Reopening the Province on May 19, 2020.

In this section:

HEALTH CARE

COVID-19 Contingency Fund

DESCRIPTION

Ontario's Minister of Finance announced on March 25, 2020 that the province would dedicate $1 Billion to a COVID-19 contingency fund for emerging needs related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

LINKS

March 26, 2020 news release can be found here.

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

Increased Investment into Healthcare

DESCRIPTION

Ontario's Minister of Finance announced on March 25, 2020 that the provincial government is taking the following measures:

  • Investing $935 million for the hospital sector. The funds will be used to address capacity issues, increase the number of critical and acute care beds, and add additional assessment centers;
  • Increasing public health funding by $160 million to support COVID-19 monitoring, surveillance and laboratory and home testing, while also investing in virtual care and Telehealth Ontario;
  • Investing $243 million for surge capacity in the long-term care sector, funding 24/7 screening, increasing staffing to support infection control, and providing supplies and equipment; and
  • Investing $75 million to supply personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies to front-line staff.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's March 26, 2020 news release can be found here.

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

Measures to Protect First Responders

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario government has made an emergency order that will allow police, firefighters and paramedics to obtain COVID-19 positive status information about individuals with whom they are coming into contact

The information disclosed will be limited to an individual's name, address, date of birth, and whether the individual has had a positive COVID-19 test result.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Once the declaration of emergency is lifted, this data will be made inaccessible to first responders.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's April 6, 2020 news release can be found here.

Creation of Ontario Together

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Ontario has created a new website, Ontario Together, to assist the government and manufacturing sector partners with redirecting resources towards the production of essential medical equipment.

On June 2, 2020, the Ontario Government announced that three companies, Sterling Industries, SRB Technologies, and Southmedic will be receiving support from Ontario together to re-tool their processes and increase their capacity to make personal protective equipment.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's June 2, 2020 news release can be found here.

Visit Ontario Together here.

ECONOMIC SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

Legislative Changes to allow Corporations to Operate Virtually and Electronically

DESCRIPTION

The province is permitting Ontario corporations to conduct virtual meetings and to defer certain annual meetings in specified circumstances and is allowing the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of documents, electronic signatures on documents, and electronic filing of documents. These changes are part of COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020.

Additionally, the COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020 will permanently allow the Ministry to accept copies of documents signed by electronic signature, providing greater flexibility to businesses moving forward.

Legislative amendments to the Corporations Act, the Business Corporations Act, the Co-operative Corporations Act and the Condominium Act, 1998 related to virtual meetings and the deferral of annual meetings in some circumstances, are in force and retroactive to March 17, 2020, the day the Declaration of Emergency came into effect.

To enable businesses to file copies of documents, documents signed by electronic signature and temporary electronic filing to the Ministry, the Alternative Filing Methods for Business Act was introduced along with legislative amendments to the Business Corporations Act, Business Names Act, Corporations Act, Corporations Information Act, Co-operative Corporations Act, Extra-Provincial Corporations Act, Limited Partnerships Act, and the unproclaimed Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 (to take effect upon proclamation).

LINKS

The Ontario Government's May 22, 2020 news release can be found here.

The COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020, SO 2020, c 7 – Bill 190

Flexibility for Corporations Conducting Director and Shareholder Meetings

DESCRIPTION

On March 31, 2020, the Ontario Government issued a temporary order suspending certain provisions of the Ontario Business Corporations Act and the Corporations Act.

The temporary changes permit corporations to conduct shareholder and director meetings through virtual or electronic means, despite conflicting provisions in a corporation's by-laws or constating documents. The order also extends deadlines for director and shareholder meetings.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The temporary changes apply retroactively as of March 17, 2020.

LINKS

See O. Reg 107/20 – Meetings for Corporations here.

Temporary Doubling of the Employer Health Tax Exemption

DESCRIPTION

The government proposes to retroactively raise the EHT exemption from $490,000 to $1 million for 2020. The exemption would return to its current level of $490,000 on January 1, 2021

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Private-sector employers (except registered charities) with total annual Ontario remuneration over $5 million, and public-sector employers are not eligible for the exemption.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

An overview of the exemption in the Annex to the March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update can be found here.

Interest and Penalty Relief from Provincially Administered Taxes

DESCRIPTION

Commencing April 1, 2020 the penalties and interest will not apply to Ontario businesses that miss filing or remittance deadlines under the following provincially administered taxes:

  • Employer Health Tax;
  • Tobacco Tax;
  • Fuel Tax;
  • Gas Tax;
  • Beer, Wine and Spirits Taxes;
  • Mining Tax;
  • Insurance Premium Tax;
  • International Fuel Tax Agreement;
  • Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts and Benefit Plans; and
  • Race Tracks Tax.

The relief period will run for 5 months.

During the relief period, penalties and interest will not apply to late returns or remittances made under these tax programs.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The relief period is available to all Ontario businesses that are required to file returns and make remittances under the listed tax programs.

Businesses will not be required to provide any documentation supporting their reasons for late‑filing or payments and they will not be required to advise the Ontario Ministry of Finance of their inability to meet their deadline(s).

LINKS

An overview of the exemption in the Annex to March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update can be found here.

Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit

DESCRIPTION

The province will be helping to support regions lagging in employment growth with a proposed new Corporate Income Tax Credit, the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit. The credit is a 10 per cent refundable credit for capital investments in regions of the province where employment growth has been significantly below the provincial average; the credit would be available to eligible businesses that construct, renovate or acquire commercial and industrial buildings in designated regions.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Eligible Corporations

- A Canadian-controlled private corporation that makes qualifying investments that become available for use on or after March 25, 2020 in specified regions[1] of Ontario

Qualifying Investments

- Eligible expenditures for capital property included in Class 1 and Class 6 for the purposes of calculating capital cost allowance.

Spending Requirement

- Expenditures in excess of $50,000 and up to a limit of $500,000 in the taxation year.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

An overview of the exemption in the Annex to March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update can be found here.

Information about the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit can be found here.

Postponement of Property Tax Reassessment

DESCRIPTION

Assessments for the 2021 taxation year will continue to be based on the same valuation date that was in effect for the 2020 taxation year.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

All property taxpayers.

LINKS

An overview of the exemption in the Annex to March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update can be found here.

Deferrals on Workplace Insurance Premiums

DESCRIPTION

The province will be making available $1.9 billion in support through deferrals on workplace insurance premiums.

The measure will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) allowing employers to defer premium payments for up to six months. The WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments and will not charge penalties during the six-month period.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

All businesses covered by the WSIB's workplace insurance are automatically eligible.

No action is required from eligible businesses to take advantage of this financial relief package, however participation is optional.

For more information see WSIB's website.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's March 26, 2020 updated news release can be found here.

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

Acceleration of Essential Construction Projects

DESCRIPTION

The government of Ontario is extending construction hours for essential construction projects to 24 hours a day.

The government will temporarily limit local noise bylaws from applying to these types of essential construction activities, beginning April 7, 2020.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The extension of hours will only apply to projects deemed to be essential construction projects such as new hospital builds, expansions, and temporary COVID-19 assessment centres.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's April 8, 2020 news release can be found here

Support for the Agri-food Sector Supply Chain

DESCRIPTION

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1 million in new funding to connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program will be implemented through the Canadian Agriculture Partnership. The program will help primarily agriculture, food processing companies and grocery retailers to recruit and train workers who are important to keeping the essential food supply chain functioning.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Through the Partnership's Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will immediately accept applications and will expedite the approval process to help address sector labour concerns quickly.

LINKS

The Ontario's Governments April 17, 2020 news release can be found here.

See the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovative Initiative webpage here

COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund provides research institutions with funding to contribute to global efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals that:

  • contribute to the global response to the COVID-19 outbreak to mitigate the rapid spread and its potential negative consequences
  • provide evidence to inform the clinical and public health response (including, but not limited to, research in medical, social and policy countermeasures), or inform decision-making and planning at the provincial, national and international levels
  • are highly feasible with immediately achievable and important results
are supported by the vice president of research, CEO or scientific director at the applicant's institution

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Eligible Institutions include:

  • universities and colleges;
  • research hospitals;
  • non-profit research institutions.

The Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund will pay the requested eligible:

  • direct operating costs, including:
    • up to 100% for salaries and benefits
    • up to 10% for facilities and equipment
    • up to 10% for management and administration
  • up to 40% of indirect (overhead) costs

The program's contribution includes both direct and indirect cost support.

There is no maximum funding amount that you can request per grant. All funding requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

This program does not have a match component. However, where applicable, you should outline in your application whether the proposed project is co-funded by any other funding agency.

Applicants can submit an application through the Ontario Together portal here.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's April 18, 2020 news release can be found here

See the Ontario Governments COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund webpage here

Staffing Flexibility for Retirement Homes

DESCRIPTION

A temporary order has been made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to help retirement homes address emergency staffing needs.

The order provides retirement homes with more flexibility to recruit and reassign staff to address the impacts of COVID-19.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's April 3, 2020 news release can be found here.

O. Reg 118/20 – Work Deployment Measures in Retirement Homes can be found here.

Mandatory Management Orders for Long-Term Care Homes

DESCRIPTION

On May 13, 2020, the Ontario government adopted an emergency order allowing the province to issue a mandatory management order for a long-term care home struggling to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak.

The order makes amendments to the Long Term Care Homes Act, 2007.

This measure is in addition to the actions under the mandate of the Incident Management System Long-Term Care Table. This table is composed of health care professionals who make immediate decisions to deal with issues related to staffing levels, infection management and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak. The IMS table also facilitated assistance from the Canadian Armed Forces into five homes and deployed 150 hospital teams to support staff in other long-term care homes.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's May 28, 2020 news release can be found here.

The Ontario Government's May 13, 2020 news release can be found here.

Regulatory Amendments to the Retirement Homes Act, 2010

DESCRIPTION

On May 30, 2020, the Ontario government made amendments to the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 regulation, enabling the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) to better support seniors living in retirement homes during the COVID-19 outbreak. The regulation change increases the emergency payment the RHRA can pay to eligible retirement home residents from $2,000 to $3,500. In the event of an emergency, such as an outbreak, this funding can be used to support residents to cover costs for transportation, alternative accommodation or temporary care. The regulation change also requires retirement homes to report infectious disease outbreaks to the RHRA during COVID-19 and beyond.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's May 30, 2020 news release can be found here.

Staffing Flexibility for Services Providing Supports to Adults with Disabilities

DESCRIPTION

A temporary order has been made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to help services providing supports to adults with disabilities address emergency staffing needs.

LINKS

O. Reg 121/20 – Service Agencies Providing Services and Supports to Adults with Developmental Disabilities can be found here.

Relief for Non-Profit Social Services Organizations and Charities

DESCRIPTION

Ontario's Minister of Finance announced on March 25, 2020 that the province will enhance funding by $148 million for charitable and non-profit social services organizations such as food banks, homeless shelters, churches and emergency services to improve their ability to respond to COVID-19, by providing funding directly to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Service Administration Boards who would allocate this funding based on local needs.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA)

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario Government is partnering with the Canadian Government to provide urgent rent relief to small businesses and landlords. The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The total amount of provincial-federal relief that would be provided is more than $900 million, helping to ensure small businesses are ready to reopen their doors when the emergency measures are lifted.

The OCECRA will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The OCECRA would be administered by the CMHC and would be available until September 30, 2020.

Support would be retroactive to April 1, covering April, May and June 2020.

Eligibility requirements

  • The OCECRA would apply to commercial properties with small business tenants.
  • Commercial properties with a residential component, and residential mixed-use properties with a 30 per cent commercial component, would be equally eligible for support with respect to their commercial tenants.
  • The property owner must be the registered owner and landlord of the residential or commercial real estate property.
  • If a property owner does not have a mortgage secured by a commercial rental property, the property owner should contact CMHC to discuss program options, which may include applying funds against other forms of debt facilities or fixed cost payment obligations (e.g. utilities).

To receive the loan, property owners will be required to reduce the rental costs of small business tenants for April to June 2020 by at least 75 per cent and commit to a moratorium on evictions for three months.

For more information on eligibility, see the Ontario Government's backgrounder on OCECRA here.

Applications for the program opened on May 29, 2020. Applicants can visit the Ontario Government's Website here to determine how much rent support they may be eligible for.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's May 29, 2020 news release can be found here.

The Ontario Government's April 24, 2020 news release can be found here.

See the Ontario Government's backgrounder on OCECRA here.

See the Prime Minister's announcement on April 24, 2020 here.

Agri-Food Open for E-Business Initiative

DESCRIPTION

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $2.5 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help the agri-food sector expand online.

The Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will help food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop online business, providing consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products.

This targeted application intake features two funding streams:

Bring Your Business Online: Eligible organizations and businesses can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence. Funding under this stream will be quick and responsive for those needing immediate solutions.

Develop Online Business Opportunities: Eligible organizations, businesses and collaborations can apply for cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will immediately accept applications and expedite the approval process to help businesses and organizations develop, expand and enhance their current online presence.

See OMAFRA's website here for information on how to apply.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's April 24, 2020 news release can be found here.

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's news release dated April 24, 2020 here.

New Tool to Support Trucking Industry

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario government is offering a new free 511 app which will provide truck drivers immediate access to the information they need to stay safe, fed and rested while delivering essential goods across the province during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Ontario 511 app provides images from over 600 cameras and includes up-to-date highway information on construction, collisions and road closures. It also identifies open rest areas and locations throughout the province that offer food and fuel. The app includes an easy to use map view and features a drive mode that provides hands free audio alerts.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The Ontario 511 pilot app is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's April 30, 2020 news release can be found here.

COVID-19 Tracking the Barriers website

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario government is launching the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the global pandemic. Businesses working to retool their operations to produce health-related products, or those that want to continue their operations in this new environment of physical distancing, can submit any potential roadblocks to the website. The province is prepared to allow temporary changes to provincial rules and regulations in order to remove any barriers that are hindering business and negatively impacting Ontario's supply chain.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's April 28, 2020 news release can be found here.

Visit COVID-19: Tracking the Barriers here.

The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program – Small Businesses

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Ontario has announced that it will provide $8 million in funding to provide support to businesses struggling with bill payments as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Applications for this program will be made available in the coming months.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's June 1, 2020 news release can be found here.

Support for Industrial and Commercial Electricity Consumers

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario Government is taking steps to defer a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan for the period starting April 2020. The initiative will provide companies with temporary immediate relief on their monthly electricity bills in April, May and June, 2020.

The government intends to keep the emergency order in place until May 31, 2020, and subsequent regulatory amendments would, if approved, provide for the deferral of these charges for June 2020 as well.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The GA rate for smaller industrial and commercial consumers (i.e., Class B) has been set at $115 per megawatt-hour, which is roughly in line with the March 2020 value. Large industrial and commercial consumers (i.e., Class A) will receive the same percentage reduction in GA charges as Class B consumers.

Subject to the approval of subsequent amendments, deferred costs would be recovered over a 12-month period beginning in January 2021.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's May 1, 2020 news release can be found here.

Protective Measures in Place for Workers During Tree Planting Season

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario Government is making $3.5 million available to help put protective measures in place for the workers who plant trees this season. Funds will be used for larger camp facilities and additional kitchens to provide more space, as well as extra personal protective equipment, plastic partitions for transporting workers and more wash stations.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's May 7, 2020 news release can be found here.

Agri-food Workplace Protection Program

DESCRIPTION

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing $2.25 million in provincially licensed meat processing plants to better protect employees and ensure the continued supply of healthy products for consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the first stream of the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program will provide funding to implement COVID-19 health and safety measures in provincially licensed meat plants, including purchasing additional personal protective equipment, redesigning workstations, supporting employees who require mandatory isolation, and work-site mobility and transportation.

In addition, the federal and provincial governments are further investing up to $2.25 million to help farmers better protect employees and ensure the continued supply of healthy food products for consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The second intake of the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program aims to help farmers enhance health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus. The funding will be used for initiatives like purchasing personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and redesigning workstations.

Support is also available for farmers who experience unexpected costs for housing and transportation as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak among on-farm employees.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is now accepting applications and will expedite the approval process to help support workplace health and safety in the agri-food sector. Eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.

On June 12, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced that it is expanding the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program and committing up to $15 million to enhance health and safety measures on farms and in food processing facilities. The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection program provides cost-share funding for farmers to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and implement workplace modifications and other measures.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will begin accepting applications on May 12, 2020 and will expedite the approval process to get the necessary support to the agri-food sector faster. Eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.

More details on the program are available on the Ontario Government's website here.

LINKS

The Government of Ontario's May 14, 2020 news release can be found here.

The Government of Ontario's May 8, 2020 news release can be found here.

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's May 14, 2020 news release here.

See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's May 8, 2020 news release here.

Canada-Ontario Job Grant Program

DESCRIPTION

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant provides direct financial support to individual employers or employer consortia who wish to purchase training for their employees. It is available to small, medium and large businesses with a plan to deliver short-term training to existing and new employees.

Employers can get up to $10,000 in government support per person for training costs. The training that is implemented must be delivered by an eligible, third party trainer. Employers with over 100 employees need to contribute ½ of the training costs. Small employers with less than 100 employees need to contribute 1/6 of the training costs.

For employer groups who want to apply for training supports the government offers a COJG Consortium Stream. The Consortium Stream allows a group of employers (two or more employers) to pool their resources to support common training objectives and goals. To apply as a consortium, the intermediary organization needs to ensure all the participating employers and trainees meet COJG requirements, and are able to make their required contribution towards the training cost.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Employer Eligibility Requirements:

  • You are licensed to operate your business in Ontario;
  • You are applying to train an Ontario resident you employ or will employ;
  • You are applying for training that will be delivered in Ontario and is related to a job that is also located in Ontario;
  • You are in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act;
  • You are in compliance with all applicable federal and provincial human rights legislation, regulations, and any other relevant standards;
  • You have adequate third-party liability insurance as advised by your insurance broker;
  • You have Workplace Safety Insurance coverage;
  • You are not a federal, provincial, or municipal government or agency;
  • You are not a designated broader public sector organization, as defined by the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act;
  • You are not a district social services administration board established under the District Social Services Administration Boards Act, notwithstanding their exclusion under the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act;
  • You are not an Employment Service or a Canada-Ontario Job Grant service provider;
  • You are not in receipt of other government funds related to the same skills training for the same individual(s); and
  • You must not use training participants to displace existing staff or replace staff currently on lay-off.

Employers can apply online through the Ontario Government's website here.

For more detailed information on the Canada-Ontario Job Grant Program see the Employer Overview Presentation 2019-2020 Guidelines, Questions and Answers for Employers, and COJG Employer and Training Provider Information Sheet.

LINKS

For more details on the Canada-Ontario Job Grant Program visit the Government of Ontario's website here.

The Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF): Business Stream

DESCRIPTION

Through the Business Stream of the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, the Province of Ontario will provide up to 15% of eligible costs for projects that support business investment and economic development in the region.

All applications made to the EODF – Business Stream will be assessed on the following criteria:

(i) Prospects for the proposed project to help the business grow, move forward or transition to new markets/lines of business

  • Quality of business plan – understanding/assessment of business environment and plan to address it, prospects for ongoing business success
  • Feasibility/viability of project – technical, market-related, degree of innovation
  • Indirect impacts on area/region/sector

Project budget

  • Costs reasonable, within accepted industry norms, within EODF limits
  • Proportion of support consistent with EODF criteria – EODF support will not exceed 15% of eligible costs
  • Financial feasibility/viability of project

Prospects for the proposed project to meet performance measures related to:

  • New investment in the business/local economy
  • Number of jobs created

Risk Assessment

  • Technical, managerial, financial expertise to carry out the project
  • Solvency/stability of business
  • Attestations from corporate officer of correctness and completeness of the application materials
Disclosure of legal or other impediments to successful project implementation

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Businesses that are eligible to apply to the EODF Business- Stream must:

  • be a for profit business registered to carry out business in Ontario;
  • located in Eastern Ontario or will be locating in Eastern Ontario by the time the project starts;
  • have a minimum of three years of operating experience in an eligible industry/sector supported by three years of financial statements;
  • must either:
    • employ at least 10 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees at the time of the application; or
    • Fit the requirements of the Small Community Pilot;
  • be in substantial compliance with all applicable laws, and free of any fees, levies or taxes owed to Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario or her agencies;
  • if previously approved for a project under the EOFD, must have successfully completed this project, and in addition, must not have more than two approved projects within a four-year period;
  • Not be an academic/research institution or a federal or provincial government agency.

Sectors eligible for funding include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing (automotive, aerospace, plastics, clean technologies, etc.)
  • Life Sciences
  • Processing (primary and secondary)
  • Tourism
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Cultural Industries
For the purposes of the EODF program, "Eastern Ontario" is defined as the area comprising the following 15 geographic areas under the Territorial Division Act, 2002: Frontenac; Haliburton; Hastings; Kawartha Lakes; Lanark; Leeds and Grenville; Lennox and Addington; Muskoka; Northumberland; Ottawa; Peterborough; Prescott and Russell; Prince Edward; Renfrew and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

LINKS

For more details on the EODF, visit the Government of Ontario's website here.

Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SODF)

DESCRIPTION

The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund provides support for projects and investments to businesses, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations for economic development in southwestern Ontario.

Business projects can receive up to 15% of eligible project costs through either loans or grants.

Loans:

Those eligible for loans can receive up to 15% funding to a maximum of $5M, interest free during the project period (up to 4 years). If the business achieves their investment and job targets, up to 30% of the loan (to a maximum of $500,000) may be forgiven.

Grants

Grants are available only for specific circumstances, up to 15% to a maximum:

  • Of $500,000 if your company has fewer than 100 employees and is based in rural Ontario (population of your community is less than 100,000 or population density is less than 100 people per square kilometre)
  • Of $1,500,000 for strategic projects that are foreign direct investments or from companies competing against other jurisdictions (in limited circumstances)
SODF is not available in combination with any other provincial programs.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible, businesses need to:

  • have at least 3 years of operations/financial statements
  • employ at least 10 people (or 5 if you are in rural Ontario)
  • commit to creating at least 5 new jobs (or 30% increase for companies with fewer than 15 employees)
  • invest at least $500,000 in their project (or $200,000 if you are in rural Ontario)
  • be located in, or plan to locate in, a community in southwestern Ontario

Southwestern Ontario includes the following 18 geographic areas:

Brant; Bruce; Chatham-Kent; Dufferin; Elgin; Essex; Grey; Haldimand; Huron; Lambton; Middlesex; Niagara; Norfolk; Oxford; Perth; Simcoe; Waterloo; Wellington.

Application period 2 runs from March 5, 2020 to May 29, 2020.

For more details on how to apply, visit the Ontario Governments webpage here.

LINKS

For more details on the SODF visit the Ontario Government's webpage here. .

The Northern Business Opportunity Program – Business Expansion Projects

DESCRIPTION

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) assists existing businesses in Ontario that intend to expand and or retain their operations within Northern Ontario to improve competitiveness, increase productivity, export, grow revenues and create jobs.

NOHFC assistance will generally not exceed 50% of total eligible project costs up to a maximum of $1 million per project. In exceptional circumstances, the NOHFC may consider exceeding the $1 million maximum on a case-by-case basis.

NOHFC assistance under this program can be provided through three funding options:

1. Funding in the form of a conditional grant only to a maximum of 20% of total eligible costs OR $400,000, whichever is less.

2. Funding in the form of a conditional grant to a maximum of 20% of total eligible costs OR $400,000, whichever is less, plus a repayable loan to a maximum of 30% of total eligible costs OR $600,000, whichever is less.

3. Funding in the form of repayable loan only to a maximum of 50% of total eligible costs OR $1,000,000, whichever is less.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility requirements for applicants:

Existing businesses in Ontario that intend to expand and/or retain their operations within Northern Ontario to improve competitiveness, grow revenues and create jobs in the following sectors:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • agriculture, aquaculture and food processing
  • arts, culture and creative industries
  • digital economy
  • forestry and value-added forestry-related industries
  • health sciences
  • minerals sector and mining supply and services
  • renewable energy and services
  • tourism
  • transportation, aviation and aerospace
  • water technologies and services

And other business activities that, in the opinion of the NOHFC Board of Directors, will result in an economic development advantage for Northern Ontario will be considered.

Eligible Projects:

Eligible project costs include but are not limited to:

  • capital construction
  • leasehold improvements
  • new or used equipment
  • training costs incurred with third parties
  • land servicing costs
  • information & communications technology investments including, but not limited to, software

LINKS

Find more details on the Business Expansion Project on NOHFC's website here.

The Northern Business Opportunity Program – Small Business Start-up Projects

DESCRIPTION

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) assists new businesses in Northern Ontario that intend to commence operations in existing and emerging priority economic sectors.

To access this funding, applicants are required to provide a minimum equity contribution in the amount of 15% of eligible project costs. The proposed new business should not unreasonably impact existing Northern Ontario businesses, and should result in net economic benefits for Northern Ontario.

NOHFC assistance through the Small Business Start Up Projects program will be in the form of a conditional contribution and will generally not exceed 50% of eligible project costs up to a maximum of $200,000.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility requirements for applicants:

New businesses in Northern Ontario that intend to commence operations in existing and emerging priority economic sectors:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • agriculture, aquaculture and food processing
  • arts, culture and creative industries
  • digital economy
  • forestry and value-added forestry-related industries
  • health sciences
  • minerals sector and mining supply and services
  • renewable energy and services
  • tourism
  • transportation, aviation and aerospace
  • water technologies and services

And other business activities that, in the opinion of the NOHFC Board of Directors, will result in an economic development advantage for Northern Ontario will be considered.

Eligible Projects:

Eligible project costs related to the start-up of a business that creates jobs in Northern Ontario include, but are not limited to:

  • leasehold improvements
  • new or used equipment
  • training costs incurred with third parties
  • information and communications technology investments including, but not limited to, software marketing costs

LINKS

Find more details on the Small Business Start-Up Projects Program on NOHFC's website here.

The Northern Business Opportunity Program – New Investments Projects program

DESCRIPTION

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) assists competitive businesses that currently do not have a presence in Ontario, expand operations to Northern Ontario and create jobs.

Through the New Investments Projects Program, NOHFC will provide assistance in the form of a conditional grant or a combination of a conditional grant and term loan/incentive term loan on a case-by-case basis.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility requirements for applicants:

Competitive businesses that currently do not have a presence in Ontario that will expand operations to Northern Ontario and create jobs.

Eligible Projects:

Preference is given to those projects that demonstrate the following:

  • creation of new jobs
  • ability to become a new anchor for investments and/or support regional cluster development
  • alignment with the existing and emerging priority economic sectors including:
  • advanced manufacturing
  • agriculture, aquaculture and food processing
  • arts, culture and creative industries
  • digital economy
  • forestry and value-added forestry-related industries
  • health sciences
  • minerals sector and mining supply and services
  • renewable energy and services
  • tourism
  • transportation, aviation and aerospace
  • water technologies and services

And other business activities that, in the opinion of the NOHFC Board of Directors, will result in an economic development advantage for Northern Ontario will be considered.

Applicants are required to have a pre-application consultation session with NOHFC staff prior to submitting an application. Applicants are directed to contact NOHFC at 1-800-461-8329 to schedule their consultation.

LINKS

Find more details on the New Investments Projects Program on NOHFC's website here.

Ontario Eases Restrictions on Professional Sports Training Facilities

DESCRIPTION

As of May 8, 2020 in Ontario, professional sport training facilities will be permitted to reopen, provided their respective sports leagues have established health and safety protocols in response to COVID-19

LINKS

The Ontario Government's May 8, 2020 news release can be found here.

Collaboration with Med-Tech Innovation Hub

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario government is working with Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX), Canada's first industry-led hub for med-tech start-ups, to provide non-medical manufacturing companies free support as they retool to provide essential supplies and equipment to health care facilities during COVID-19.

Non-medical manufacturing companies that have received funding through the Ontario Together Fund, or a Purchase Order with the Province of Ontario, can access MIX members' medical advisory services, including assistance navigating regulatory hurdles and increasing efficiencies. By taking advantage of these opportunities, companies can accelerate the delivery of much needed medical supplies and products to the front lines.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

For more information on the mentorship and facilitation services being offered by MIX, visit their webpage here.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's May 19, 2020 news release can be found here.

$57-million investment in Digital Main Street by Ontario and Canada to help small business go digital

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is helping small businesses reach more customers through the Digital Main Street platform. It is a $57-million program which will help up to 22,900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students.

Through the Digital Main Street platform, businesses will be able to take advantage of three new programs to support their digital transformation:

1. shopHERE powered by Google;

2. Digital Main Street Grant; and

3. Future-Proofing Main Street.

LINKS

See the Ontario Government's June 11, 2020 news release here.

See the Government of Canada's June 11, 2020 backgrounder here.

See the Government of Canada's June 11, 2020 news release here.
Ontario Government pauses commercial evictions

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario government passed the Protecting Small Business Act, which temporarily halts or reverses evictions of commercial tenants and protects them from being locked out or having their assets seized during COVID-19.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The legislation applies to businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance for evictions from May 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020. The changes protect businesses that are eligible for the Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. The legislation reverses evictions that occurred on or after June 3, 2020 and remains in effect until August 31, 2020.

LINKS

See the Ontario Government's June 17, 202 news release here

2020-21 Francophone Community Grants Program

DESCRIPTION

The government of Ontario is launching the 2020-21 edition of the Francophone Community Grants Program. The program supports francophone businesses and community organizations in Ontario. Businesses that serve French-speaking Ontarians are also eligible. Changes have been made to the qualifying criteria for the 2020-21 edition.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Businesses can qualify for funding under two streams: the Community and Culture Stream and the Economic Stream. Under the Community and Culture Stream, the minimum operating budget required has been reduced to $10,000; under the Economic Development Stream, the minimum annual revenue required has been lowered to $50,000. The minimum number of full-time employees (FTEs) has been reduced to one. Not-for-profit organizations are now also eligible through the Economic Development stream. Applicants under both streams can request funding of up to $50,000.

LINKS

Find information about the 2020-21 Program here

Seniors Community Grant Program

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario Government is providing up to $4 million for the Seniors Community Grant Program. This funding will help non-profit organizations, local services boards, or Indigenous groups develop programs for seniors that focus on combatting social isolation, promoting seniors' safety and well-being, improving financial security and making communities age-friendly.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The application period for the Seniors Community Grant Program is now open until August 7, 2020. Unincorporated and incorporated not-for-profit organizations, local services boards, or Indigenous groups must submit applications to Transfer Payment Ontario. Grants through the program will range from $1,000 to $100,000.

LINKS

See the Ontario Government's June 26 news release here

ECONOMIC SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUALS

Support for Indigenous-owned small and medium sized businesses

DESCRIPTION

The government of Ontario is providing up to $10 million to Indigenous-owned small and medium sized businesses as the province begins to reopen.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Loans of up to $50,000 will be available to businesses that are ineligible for, or unable to access federal and provincial COVID-19 response initiatives for small businesses. The funding is being delivered through the Support for People and Jobs Fund.

LINKS

See the Ontario Government's June 19 news release here

Expansion of the Ontario Works program

DESCRIPTION

Ontario's Minister of Finance announced on March 25, 2020 that the province will expand access to the emergency assistance program administered by Ontario Works to provide financial support to people facing economic hardship. The program will be used to help people meet basic needs such as food and rent.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

Emergency Leave for Declared Emergencies

DESCRIPTION

Ontario provides employees with an unpaid, job-protected leave of absence for reasons related to designated infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

An employer may require an employee to provide evidence that is reasonable in the circumstances that the employee is entitled to leave, but shall not require an employee to provide a medical certificate.

The leave is retroactive to January 25, 2020. Leave entitlement ends on the day that the declared emergency is terminated.

On June 1, 2020, the government announced that it has enacted a new regulatory amendment that will put non-unionized employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave during the COVID-19 outbreak any time their hours of work are temporarily reduced by their employer due to COVID-19. This will ensure businesses aren't forced to terminate employees after their ESA temporary layoff periods have expired.

Terminations triggered when temporary layoffs exceed the permitted length under the Employment Standards Act can result in costly payouts. Under the new regulatory change to the Employment Standards Act, non-unionized employees who have had their hours reduced or eliminated because of the pandemic will be deemed to be on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave. Workers will remain employed with legal protections and be eligible for federal emergency income support programs.

The regulatory amendment applies retroactively to March 1, 2020 and will expire six weeks after the declared emergency ends. The regulatory amendments do not include employees represented by a trade union.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Employees are entitled to this leave if:

  • The employee is under individual medical investigation, supervision or treatment related to the designated infectious disease;
  • The employee is acting in accordance with an order under section 22 or 35 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act that relates to the designated infectious disease;
  • The employee is in quarantine or isolation or is subject to a control measure (which may include, but is not limited to, self-isolation), and the quarantine, isolation or control measure was implemented as a result of information or directions related to the designated infectious disease issued to the public, in whole or in part, or to one or more individuals, by a public health official, a qualified health practitioner, Telehealth Ontario, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Canada, a municipal council or a board of health, whether through print, electronic, broadcast or other means;
  • The employee is under a direction given by his or her employer in response to a concern of the employer that the employee may expose other individuals in the workplace to the designated infectious disease;
  • The employee is providing care or support to a specified individual (as defined in the legislation) because of a matter related to the designated infectious disease that concerns that individual, including, but not limited to, school or day care closures; or
  • The employee is directly affected by travel restrictions related to the designated infectious disease and, under the circumstances, cannot reasonably be expected to travel back to Ontario.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's June 1, 2020 news release can be found here.

See Ontario's Employment Standards Act, Section 50.1 here.

Suspension on the Enforcement of Residential Evictions

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General has been granted an order suspending the enforcement of all residential evictions until ordered otherwise by the court. Furthermore, Tribunals Ontario will not issue any new eviction orders until further notice, and Sheriff's offices across the province were asked to postpone any scheduled enforcement of eviction orders occurring the week of March 19th, 2020.

LINKS

See the Ontario Government's statement dated March 19, 2020 here.

Introduction of Online Portal to Connect Workers with Employers looking to fill positions in the Agri-Food Sector

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Ontario has announced that a new web portal will be launched, making it easier to match people to essential jobs and training resources throughout the provincial food supply chain.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Individuals can visit the Agriculture and Food Jobs in Ontario website for links to openings.

LINKS

The Government of Ontario's news release dated April 4, 2020 can be found here.

The COVID-19 Residential Relief Fund

DESCRIPTION

The Province of Ontario is investing up to $40 million to support organizations that provide residential services for children and youth, people with developmental disabilities and emergency shelters for women and families fleeing domestic violence.

The Residential Relief Fund will cover costs such as additional staffing, residential respite for caregivers; personal protective equipment and supplies; initiatives to support physical distancing and transportation to minimize client exposure.

LINKS

The Government of Ontario's news release dated April 4, 2020 can be found here.

Relief for Remote Northern Property Tax Payers

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario government is deferring $15 million in property taxes for people and businesses in parts of Northern Ontario located outside of municipal boundaries.

Taxpayers in unincorporated areas will have an extra 90 days to pay property taxes without incurring interest or penalties.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

This action is complementary to the various municipal property tax relief programs that have been announced.

Eligible taxpayers who would be required to pay the April 7th property tax installment will have until July 6th to pay without interest or penalties.

LINKS

The Government of Ontario's news release dated April 6, 2020 can be found here.

Enabling Auto Insurance Companies to Provide Driver Rebates

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario Government has amended a regulation under the Insurance Act to allow insurance companies to provide auto insurance premium rebates to consumers for up to 12 months after the declared emergency has ended.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The Government of Ontario and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FRSA) are working together to monitor how the auto insurance sector responds to the amendment.

LINKS

The Government of Ontario's news release dated April 16, 2020 can be found here

Pandemic Pay for Frontline Staff

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario Government is providing frontline staff with a temporary increase in payment. The increase will provide $4 per hour worked on top of existing hourly wages, regardless of the qualified employee's hourly wage.

In addition, employees working over 100 hours per month would receive lump sum payments of $250 per month.

The Pandemic Pay will be effective for 16 weeks, from April 24, 2020 until August 13, 2020.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Those eligible to receive the payment will be staff working in long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, social services congregate care settings, corrections institutions and youth justice facilities, as well as those providing home and community care and some staff in hospitals.

For more information on eligibility see the Government of Ontario's backgrounder here.

The additional compensation started on April 24, 2020 and will continue for 16 weeks.

LINKS

The Government of Ontario's April 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

Ontario Tools Grant

DESCRIPTION

The government is providing an Ontario Tools Grant of $2.5 million in 2020-21 and $7.5 million in 2021-22 and ongoing. This will help new eligible apprentices purchase the equipment they need to start their careers. The funding amounts will be distributed as follows:

  • $1,000 for those in motive power sector trades;
  • $600 for those in construction and industrial sector trades;
  • $400 for those in service sector trades.
The government is also forgiving more than $10 million in outstanding loans owed by apprentices for tool purchases made at the beginning of their careers. The Loans for Tools Program allowed thousands of new apprentices to buy tools, equipment, clothing, manuals and code books required for their trade. About 19,000 apprentices who participated in the program owed, on average, $495.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for the new grant, apprentices must have:

  • completed level 1 training on or after April 1, 2020;
  • an active registered training agreement; and
been registered as an apprentice for at least 12 months.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's May 22, 2020 news release can be found here.

Virtual Action Centre

DESCRIPTION

The government is investing nearly $2 million to open a Virtual Action Centre in partnership with UNITE HERE Local 75. This virtual job training resource will provide up to 7,000 unemployed workers in the hospitality sector with access to a wide range of services and supports online and over the phone, including:

  • Stress management and mental health resources through video conferencing;
  • Immediate health and safety online training for workers who return to work at designated quarantined sites;
  • Technical skills online training;
  • Online training to upgrade English language and digital skills;
Peer group facilitation and employment preparation through videoconferencing.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

UNITE HERE will operate the Virtual Action Centre. UNITE HERE is a union that represents workers in hotels, restaurants, racetracks and casinos, laundry and food service companies, airport concessions and apparel, textile and general manufacturing and distribution centers.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's May 22, 2020 news release can be found here.

Seniors

DESCRIPTION

Ontario's Minister of Finance announced on March 25, 2020 that the province is proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

Students

DESCRIPTION

Ontario's Minister of Finance announced on March 25, 2020 that the province will provide six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief for students, leaving more money in people's pockets.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Applications for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for the 2020-21 school year opened May 20, 2020.

Visit the OSAP page to learn more and to apply.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

Indigenous Peoples

DESCRIPTION

As part of Ontario's Action Plan, the Ontario government is investing over $37 million to support outbreak planning, prevention and mitigation efforts to ensure the heath and well-being of Indigenous peoples and communities.

The total of $37.8 million includes:

  • $16.4 million from the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs to provide emergency funds for food, household goods, critical supplies, transportation, and support and care, responsive services and supports for urban Indigenous people, self-isolation facilities in remote and northern communities, prevention and awareness efforts, and pandemic planning;
  • $10 million from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to support Indigenous communities and agencies in responding to the needs of vulnerable children, families and elders during the outbreak;
  • $7.4 million from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to help social service providers, charities and non-profits delivering critical housing services to Indigenous people living off-reserve; and
$4 million from the Ministry of Transportation to ensure continued service to remote and northern airports, enabling essential goods and services to continue reaching isolated communities.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's April 7, 2020 news release can be found here

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

Electricity Cost Relief and Response to Concerns Regarding Time of Use Metering

DESCRIPTION

The province will temporarily reduce Time-of-Use pricing to the lowest rate (off-peak pricing) for residential, farm and small business electricity consumers

The government recently announced that it will continue the suspension of time-of-use electricity rates and, starting on June 1, 2020, customers will be billed based on a new fixed COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour

Starting June 1, 2020, the new COVID-19 Recovery Rate comes into effect for electricity customers who pay TOU rates. This fixed rate will apply to TOU customer bills 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing stability and certainty for consumers as the government restarts the economy and supports individuals and families who continue to spend more time at home.

The COVID-19 Recovery Rate will be in place until October 31, 2020, followed by a new customer choice initiative. Starting November 1, 2020, customers will be able to choose a plan that best suits their household and lifestyle with the option of either TOU electricity rates or tiered pricing, which will provide a set rate for electricity up to a certain level of consumption.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Only small business consumers, farmers, and residential consumers are eligible for this program.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

See Hydro One's statement here.

See Ontario Energy Board's statement here.

The COVID-19 Recovery Rate

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Ontario has introduced a fixed electricity price, known as the COVID-19 Recovery Rate, of 12.8 cents per kWh, which will be automatically applied to all time-of-use customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This fixed electricity price will be in place from June 1 - October 31, 2020.

The COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8¢/kWh is based on the average cost of electricity, set by the Ontario Energy Board. This fixed rate will continue to suspend time-of-use prices in a fiscally responsible manner. By introducing this new fixed rate, consumers will have greater flexibility to use electricity when they need it without paying on-peak and mid-peak prices.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's May 30, 2020 news release can be found here.

The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)

DESCRIPTION

The province announced that it will provide $9 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program to support consumers struggling to pay their energy bills during the pandemic. CEAP will provide one-time payments to consumers to help pay down any electricity bill debt incurred over the COVID‑19 period.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Applications will be available through local utilities in the upcoming months.

More information will be made available through the Ontario Energy Board website.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's June 1, 2020 news release can be found here.

Expanded Eligibility for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program

DESCRIPTION

The province announced that it will expand eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID-19 outbreak.

LINKS

The Ontario Government's April 6, 2020 news release can be found here.

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

At the time of writing, the LEAP webpage has not yet been updated.

Supports for Children and Youth

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario Government is investing $1 million to improve access to healthy meals and snacks for school-age children and youth during the COVID-19 outbreak.

LINKS

See the Ontario Government's June 12, 2020 news release here.

ECONOMIC SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES / CHILD CARE

Childcare Support

DESCRIPTION

The province will provide a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Families can complete an online application at Ontario's Support for Families webpage

LINKS

The Ontario Government's March 25, 2020 news release can be found here.

Preventing Child Care Operators from Charging Fees while Child Cares are Closed

DESCRIPTION

The Ontario government issued an emergency order that immediately prevents any child care operator from charging parents fees where care is not being provided. The order also means that parents cannot lose their child care space because they are not paying fees during this period.

LINKS

The Ontario Governments April 10, 2020 news release can be found here

Health Care Workers

DESCRIPTION

The province will provide emergency child care options to support parents working in occupations such as health care workers, police officers, firefighters and correctional officers.

SUPPORT MEASURES OFFERED BY OTHER ONTARIO ORGANIZATIONS

Ontario Centres of Excellence: Voucher for Innovation and Productivity Program (VIP)

DESCRIPTION

The Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP) program helps companies develop, implement and commercialize technical innovations by supporting partnerships between Ontario's industry and publicly funded post-secondary institutions. VIP projects are intended to generate economic benefit for companies in Ontario (including job creation/retention, new revenue generation, investment attraction, cost savings, value chain development), in the short-to-medium term (e.g. within three years of project completion).

The VIP offers between $20,000 and $150,000 to the post-secondary institution (minimum $20,000 per year) for projects with a duration of 6-24 months.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The basic eligibility requirements for VIP are:

  • Research Partner:
    • Principal investigator at Ontario publicly funded university/research hospital, or applied research officer at Ontario publicly funded college
  • Industry Partner:
    • For-profit company
    • Incorporated in Ontario for a minimum of two years, and five full-time equivalent (FTE) employees in Ontario
    • Operations and/or R&D in Ontario with capacity to commercialize results of the project
  • Project:
    • Utilizes unique skills/resources of post-secondary institution to meet industry innovation and commercialization needs

For detailed information on how to apply for VIP visit the OCE's website here.

The program is currently open for expedited COVID-19 applications, due by Thursday, May 28, 2020.

LINKS

See the Ontario Centres for Excellence VIP webpage here.

Ontario Centres of Excellence: TalentEdge Fellowship Program (TFP)

DESCRIPTION

The TalentEdge Fellowship Program (TFP) stream of the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) program provides support for PhD graduates and post-doctoral fellows, to work on industry-driven research and development projects related to Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technologies. Companies can tap into world-class talent coming out of Ontario's publicly-funded post-secondary institutions and strengthen their capacity to develop new products, services and processes, while fellows receive hands-on industry experience and mentorship opportunities in areas such as software and hardware development, artificial intelligence and data analytics.

TFP offers $35,000 per 12-month unit, to the applicant (institution or company), up to a maximum of $70,000 (two units) per application.

The Projects duration is 12 months per unit, up to 24 months total per project.

TFP's matching requirement is $25,000 cash plus $25,000 in-kind from the company per 12-month unit.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The basic eligibility requirements for TFP are as follows:

  • Fellow:
    • Received PhD within the last five years from an accredited, publicly-funded Ontario university
  • Applicant/Industry Partner:
    • Institution-based Fellowship:
      • Applicant: principal investigator at an accredited, publicly-funded Ontario university
      • Industry Partner: for-profit company with operations in Ontario
    • Company-based Fellowship:
      • Applicant: for-profit company with operations in Ontario
  • Project:
    • Project-based, with clearly defined R&D activities, milestones and outcomes to be completed within the fellowship duration
For detailed information on how to apply for TFP visit the OCE's website here.

LINKS

See the Ontario Centres for Excellence TFP webpage here.

Ontario Centres of Excellence: TalentEdge Internship Program (TIP)

DESCRIPTION

The TalentEdge Internship Program (TIP) provides support for current college and university students and recent undergraduate or Masters graduates, to work on industry-driven research and development projects. Companies can tap into world-class talent coming out of Ontario's publicly-funded post-secondary institutions and strengthen their capacity to develop new products, services and processes while interns receive hands-on industry experience and mentorship opportunities.

The TalentEdge Internship Program is open to students and recent graduates from across all disciplines, and all areas of specialization. The TalentEdge Internship Program also has the following sector-specific streams: Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN), ENCQOR 5G and Next Generation Network Program.

OCE, through TIP will offer $10,000 per four-month unit to the applicant (institution or company) to a maximum of $60,000 (six units) per application. The project duration is our months per unit, up to 24 months total per project. TIP has a matching requirement of $5,000 cash plus $5,000 in-kind from the company per four-month unit.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The basic eligibility requirements for TIP are as follows:

  • Intern:
    • Final-year undergraduate student; Masters or PhD student; or within three years of graduation from an undergraduate or Masters program from an Ontario college, university or research hospital
  • Applicant/Industry Partner:
    • Institution-based Internship:
      • Applicant: principal investigator at an Ontario-accredited, publicly-funded college, university or research hospital
      • Industry partner: for-profit company with operations in Ontario
    • Company-based Internship:
      • Applicant: for-profit company with operations in Ontario
  • Project:
    • Project-based, with clearly defined R&D activities, milestones and outcomes to be completed within the internship duration
For detailed information on how to apply for TIP visit the OCE's website here.

LINKS

See the Ontario Centres for Excellence TIP webpage here.

Ontario Centres for Excellence ENCQOR 5G SME Technology Development Program

DESCRIPTION

The ENCQOR 5G SME Technology Development Program (5G SDP) partners Ontario-based small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with ENCQOR 5G Anchor Firms on 5G technology development projects. Areas of technology interest are defined in Challenge Statements submitted to OCE by the ENCQOR 5G Anchor Firms and posted to the OCE website on a rolling basis.

The maximum funding per project is defined by posted Challenge Statements. Funding available for Challenges ranges from $50,000 to $500,000 for SME based projects. Funding is available for projects with a duration of up to 24 months.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

The basic eligibility requirements for 5G SDP are:

  • Applicant:
    • The applicant company must be an Ontario-based for-profit company (More than 50% of employees based in Ontario)
    • The applicant company must be SME scale (less than 500 employees in Ontario)
    • Additional eligibility criteria may be applied by Challenge Statement

Project Partner:

  • Partners are defined in the posted Challenge Statement
  • Applicants must partner with an ENCQOR 5G Anchor Firm (Ciena, Ericsson, Thales)
  • The ENCQOR 5G anchor firm must use the results of the project for the economic, environmental or social benefit of Ontario

Project:

  • Projects must be developed in response to the posted Challenge Statement
  • Areas of technology interest and expected project outcomes will be defined in posted Challenge Statements
  • Projects must drive the development, integration, testing or validation of pre-commercial technologies that form the Innovation Platform as a Service (iPaaS) testbed and must be within TRL level 1-7
  • Projects must show the potential for commercial impact for the applicant, ENCQOR 5G Anchor Firm and economic benefit for Ontario

Intern (Optional)

  • Applicants may select to apply for funding to support an intern as part of the project.
  • Full detail about OCE's TalentEdge Program and Intern Eligibility can be found in the program guidelines

The list of current Challenge Statements can be found here.

For detailed information on how to apply for 5G SDP visit the OCE's website here.

LINKS

See the Ontario Centres for Excellence 5G SDP webpage here.

Ontario Centres for Excellence Market Readiness (MR) Program

DESCRIPTION

Market Readiness is a competitive co-investment fund. On behalf of the Government of Ontario, OCE supports early-stage companies that are raising pre-seed and seed investments (total round sizes range from $500,000 to $2 million).

ACCESS ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility requirements:

  • Companies that have raised less than $1 million in third-party capital (excludes friends and family).
  • Companies incorporated for no more than five years (Ontario or Canadian for-profit incorporation) and have principal operations in Ontario
  • Companies currently or previously affiliated with a university, college or research hospital campus linked accelerator or incubator, in Ontario
Companies with their team/IP origin at a university ("university spin-out"), college or research hospital are also eligible, even if not campus affiliated.

LINKS

See the Market Readiness website here for more information.

[1] Areas of the province where investments would be eligible are:

  • City of Kawartha Lakes
  • County of Bruce
  • County of Elgin together with the City of St. Thomas
  • County of Essex together with the City of Windsor and Township of Pelee
  • County of Frontenac together with the City of Kingston
  • County of Grey
  • County of Haliburton
  • County of Hastings together with the City of Belleville and City of Quinte West
  • County of Huron
  • County of Lambton
  • County of Lanark together with the Town of Smiths Falls
  • County of Lennox and Addington
  • County of Middlesex together with the City of London
  • County of Northumberland
  • County of Oxford
  • County of Perth together with the City of Stratford and the Town of St. Marys
  • County of Peterborough together with the City of Peterborough
  • County of Prince Edward
  • County of Renfrew together with the City of Pembroke
  • District of Algoma
  • District of Cochrane
  • District of Kenora
  • District of Manitoulin
  • District of Muskoka
  • District of Nipissing
  • District of Parry Sound
  • District of Rainy River
  • District of Sudbury together with the City of Greater Sudbury
  • District of Thunder Bay
  • District of Timiskaming
  • Municipality of Chatham-Kent
  • United Counties of Leeds and Grenville together with the City of Brockville, the Town of Gananoque and the Town of Prescott
  • United Counties of Prescott and Russell
  • United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry together with the City of Cornwall

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