COVID-19 Government and International Response: May 15, 2020

WHAT TO KNOW

Global COVID-19 cases have reached 4,600,243, up from 4,494,873 at 3:30 p.m. yesterday. Canada now reports 74,532 cases, up from 73,331 cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Ontario reports 21,922 cases, up from 21,494 cases yesterday.

The growth rate of new cases in the province continues to remain under 2%, with 428 (2%) new cases reported since yesterday (see Provincial section for more information about yesterday’s reporting glitch). Of the province’s total cases, 16,641 have been resolved (75.9%) and there have been 1,825 deaths (8.3%). The province has now tested 510,841 individuals and reports 14,373 tests are currently under investigation. More information here.

A province-by-province breakdown of Canada’s COVID-19 case count can be found here.

FEDERAL

Finance Minister Bill Morneau today announced that the Government of Canada will extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020. The Government will consult with key business and labour representatives over the next month on potential adjustments to the program to incent jobs and growth, including the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold. Any potential changes following the consultation will have as key objectives to maximize employment, ensure the CEWS reflects the immediate needs of businesses, and support the post-crisis economic recovery.

In addition, Minister Morneau also announced the approval of regulations to extend eligibility for the CEWS to ensure that it continues to support those employers and workers hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and protects the jobs Canadians depend on. These regulations extend eligibility for the CEWS to the following groups:

  • Partnerships that are up to 50-per-cent owned by non-eligible members;
  • Indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business, as well as partnerships where the partners are Indigenous governments and eligible employers;
  • Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations;
  • Registered Journalism Organizations; and
  • Non-public colleges and schools, including institutions that offer specialized services, such as arts schools, driving schools, language schools or flight schools.

The Government also intends to propose legislative amendments to ensure that the CEWS continues to meet its objectives. These proposed amendments would:

  • Provide flexibility for employers of existing employees who were not regularly employed in early 2020, such as seasonal employees;
  • Ensure that the CEWS applies appropriately to corporations formed on the amalgamation of two predecessor corporations and
  • Better align the treatment of trusts and corporations for the purpose of determining CEWS eligibility.

More information here and here.

Today, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough kicked off the hiring period for Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) 2020. Starting today, thousands of opportunities are being posted to the Job Bank website for jobs available across the country. Thousands more will be posted over the coming weeks and months, with a target of approximately 70,000 placements. More information here.

Today, Prime Minister Trudeau announced $450 million in funding to help Canada’s academic research community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The investment will:

  • Provide wage supports to universities and health research institutes, so they can retain research staff who are funded from industry or philanthropic sources and are unable to access some of the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures. This would apply even if their work has been temporarily suspended. The government will provide up to 75 per cent per individual, with a maximum of $847 per week.
  • Support universities and health research institutes to maintain essential research-related activities during the crisis, and to ramp back up to full research operations once physical distancing measures are lifted. This will cover up to 75 per cent of total eligible costs, and will support activities such as the safe storage of dangerous substances, and restarting data sets that were interrupted during the pandemic.

More information here.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland held their ninth First Ministers’ call with the premiers about the COVID-19 pandemic yesterday. The leaders spoke about coordinated actions being taken by federal, provincial, and territorial partners to protect the health and safety of all Canadians and to support workers and businesses. Full readout of the call here.

Yesterday, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng met virtually with her G20 international trade counterparts. During the meeting, they committed to a collective action plan to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on jobs, trade, and the global economy, while ensuring the health and safety of their citizens. Full readout of the call here.

PROVINCIAL

Ontario’s Health Minister Christine Elliott confirmed for reporters this morning a glitch in the Province’s reporting on new COVID-19 cases yesterday. As a result, today’s numbers include yesterday’s missed cases.

Global News reports the actual number should have been 345 cases on Thursday, instead of the 258 that was previously reported. Friday’s true number would then be 341 new cases, however the official report says there are 428 new cases. More information here.

In a tweet this morning, Minister Elliott said: That means Ontario’s new daily cases continue to trend downward as we expand our #COVID19 testing guidelines to ensure we keep a close eye on any shifts in community spread and identify and contain new cases.

TORONTO

Yesterday, Mayor Tory announced the ActiveTO program developed by Toronto Public Health and Transportation Services will start to be rolled out across the city to provide more space for people to be physically active and improve physical distancing as part of the City’s restart and recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

The City is installing 57 kilometres of Quiet Streets across Toronto. These are neighbourhood streets where traffic calming measures, such as signage and temporary barricades, will be put in place at intersections to encourage slow, local vehicle access only so that the roadway can be a shared space that also welcomes people who walk, run and bike. Parking and drop off areas will not be impacted, and City services, such as waste collection and emergency access, will continue as normal. More information here.

As well, the City of Toronto announced it is extending the cancellation of City-led and City-permitted major festivals and events with attendance of more than 250 people through July 31, and those with attendance of 25,000 or more through August 31. The resumption or cancellation of professional sporting events is not included in this decision. More information here.

INTERNATIONAL

Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases yesterday at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 4,600,243 4,494,873 105,370 590 1,739,148 306,987
United States 1,472,312 1,443,946 28,366 4,451 317,727 87,835
Spain 274,367 272,646 1,721 5,868 188,967 27,459
Russia 262,843 252,245 10,598 1,801 58,226 2,418
United Kingdom 236,711 233,151 3,560 3,489 33,998
Italy 223,885 223,096 789 3,702 120,205 31,610
Brazil 212,198 196,375 15,823 999 79,479 14,455
Germany 175,223 174,636 587 2,092 151,700 7,933
Iran 116,635 114,533 2,102 1,391 91,836 6,902
India 85,784 81,990 3,794 62 30,234 2,753
Peru 84,495 76,306 8,189 2,567 27,147 2,392
China 82,933 82,929 4 58 78,209 4,633
Canada 74,532 73,331 1,201 1,977 36,747 5,553
Chile 39,542 37,040 2,502 2,071 16,614 394
Australia 7,019 6,989 30 276 6,337 98