COVID-19 Government and International Response: May 29, 2020

WHAT TO KNOW

Global COVID-19 cases have reached 5,978,968, up from 5,860,138 at 3:30 p.m. yesterday. Canada now reports 89,386 cases, up from 88,473 cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Ontario reports 27,210 cases, up from 26,866 cases yesterday.

The growth rate of new cases in the province continues to remain under 2%, with 344 (1.3%) new cases reported since yesterday. Of the province’s total cases, 20,983 have been resolved (77.1%) and there have been 2,230 deaths (8.2%). The province has now completed 680,687 tests and reports 13,351 tests are currently under investigation. More information here.

The City of Toronto has shared a breakdown by postal code of all COVID-19 cases here.

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

FEDERAL

Due to the pandemic’s effects on the economy, some federally regulated pension plan sponsors are facing significant financial constraints. To provide temporary relief to sponsors of federally regulated, defined benefit pension plans, on April 15, 2020 the government announced a moratorium on solvency special payments.

Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the coming into force, on May 27, of the government’s Solvency Special Payment Relief Regulations, 2020, which establish the moratorium.

This relief will help ensure that employers have the financial resources they need to maintain their operations and their pension plans, and to protect the retirement security of their workers and retirees.

Under the regulations, from today until December 30, 2020, federally regulated defined benefit pension plan sponsors are not required to make solvency special payments. The regulations also provide accommodations for solvency special payments made since April 1, 2020. More information here and here.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau, announced updated measures pertaining to cruise ships and passenger vessels in Canadian waters.

  • Cruise ships with overnight accommodations allowed to carry more than 100 persons are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020.
  • As of July 1, 2020, all other passenger vessels must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority requirements for timelines and processes to resume operations.

Passenger vessels with the capacity to carry more than 12 persons continue to be prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast) until October 31, 2020.

Beginning July 1, 2020, passenger vessels will be allowed to operate in inland rivers and lakes in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.

Essential passenger vessels, such as ferries and water taxis, should continue to operate using mitigation measures. These could include reducing the number of passengers or using alternative practices such as keeping people in their vehicles, when safe to do so, or enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. More information here.

PROVINCIAL

All commercial landlords in Ontario can now apply for rental assistance to help their small business tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative will keep more small businesses in operation and more people employed as the province gradually and safely restarts the economy.

The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, has launched the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The province is committing $241 million to the program, which will provide more than $900 million in support for small businesses across Ontario during this difficult time. To find out how much rent support you may be eligible for, visit Ontario.ca/rentassistance. More information here.

As the province carefully and gradually reopens the economy, the Ontario government is implementing the next phase of its COVID-19 testing strategy to detect and quickly stop the spread of the virus. Testing will now be available to more people in more locations across the province.

Today, Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, released the next phase of the province’s COVID-19 testing plan, Protecting Ontarians Through Enhanced Testing, which includes three branches of testing. More information here.

TORONTO

Yesterday, Toronto City Council approved recommendations to help address the unprecedented challenges threatening live music venues in Toronto. Council expanded the Creative Co-Location Facilities Property Tax Subclasses to provide property tax relief for live music venues. More information here.

Toronto City Council also approved expanding and accelerating a total of 40 kilometres of the city’s cycling network as part of Toronto’s ActiveTO program.

This initiative includes approximately 25 kilometres of new bikeways along with the final approval and acceleration of 15-kilomtres of cycling routes previously planned for this year, for a total of approximately 40 kilometres of new on-street cycling lanes in 2020 to be installed. More information here.

The City of Toronto is continuing to follow guidance from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health to safely and gradually open services and amenities for residents to enjoy this weekend.

Residents are encouraged to head outside in their local neighbourhood for fresh air and exercise, but are reminded to follow public health advice to practise physical distancing or wear a face covering or non-medical mask to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

More information here on which City services and amenities are open and which remain closed this weekend.

INTERNATIONAL

Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases yesterday at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Active Cases (Increase decrease) Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 5,978,968 5,860,138 118,830 2,982,806 767 2,631,586 364,576
United States 1,782,885 1,758,821 24,064 1,176,619 5,389 502,263 104,003
Brazil 443,876 418,608 25,268 223,794 2,090 193,181 26,901
Russia 387,623 379,051 8,572 223,992 2,656 159,257 4,374
Spain 285,644 284,986 658 61,565 6,110 196,958 27,121
United Kingdom 271,222 269,127 2,095 3,997 38,161
Italy 232,248 231,732 516 46,175 3,841 152,844 33,229
Germany 182,917 182,385 532 10,237 2,184 164,100 8,580
India 173,458 165,386 8,072 86,010 126 82,468 4,980
Iran 146,668 143,849 2,819 24,060 1,748 114,931 7,677
Peru 141,779 135,905 5,874 78,238 4,306 59,442 4,099
Chile 90,638 86,943 3,695 51,096 4,745 38,598 944
Canada 89,386 88,473 913 34,966 2,370 47,441 6,979
China 82,995 82,995               70 58 78,291 4,634
Saudi Arabia 81,766 80,185 1,581 24,295 2,352 57,013 458
Australia 7,173 7,150 23 488 282 6,582 103