Further to our FTR Now of July 15, 2020 in which we outlined the changes proposed by Bill 195, Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2000, it has come to our attention that by motion in the Legislature on July 13, 2020, the Ontario government extended the declared emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) to July 24, 2020.
Premier Ford recently signaled that he is hopeful another extension of the declared emergency made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) will not be needed. Presumably to this end, on July 7, 2020, the government introduced Bill 195, Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2000 (Bill 195) which, if passed, will enable it to continue Orders made under sections 7.0.2 or 7.1 of the EMCPA even after the declared emergency comes to an end.
On July 13, 2020, the Ontario government filed two Orders made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act regarding Stage 3 of the reopening of the province. The first Order, Stages of Reopening, is a new regulation that identifies which regions of the province are at Stage 1, 2 or 3 of the reopening plan.
On Monday, July 13, the Ontario government announced that 24 regions in Ontario are moving to the Stage 3 of the provincial re-opening plans effective Friday, July 17, 2020. The Orders made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act giving effect to this announcement have not yet been published and we will provide further updates on the Stage 3 reopening as may be necessary. In order that you may continue your Return to Work planning, however, here is what we know as of today.
Participating employers in the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) should be aware of five amendments to the OMERS Primary Pension Plan (Primary Plan) approved by the OMERS Sponsors Corporation Board (SC Board) on June 24, 2020. The changes will be of interest to employers in the municipal and school board sectors with employees who participate in OMERS and include several amendments to address COVID-19-related issues. In addition, two non-COVID-19-related amendments were adopted, including a major change to eligibility for non-full-time employees.
On June 10, 2020, the federal government introduced Bill C-17, An Act respecting additional COVID-19 measures (Bill C-17). Among other changes, if passed in its current form, Bill C-17 would amend the Income Tax Act to revise the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
The Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities (CAPSA) has announced the adoption of the 2020 Agreement Respecting Multi-Jurisdictional Pension Plans (2020 Agreement), which will become effective on July 1, 2020.
In a series of announcements and regulatory changes from last week, the Ontario government provided guidance on the reopening of postsecondary education in the province. The developments reviewed in this FTR Now apply to universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, private career colleges and other postsecondary institutions.
On April 25, 2019, the Ontario government announced that it would be providing temporary pandemic pay to frontline workers fighting COVID-19. At the time, we observed that there were some key unknown elements about pandemic pay that required further direction from the government.
On Friday, May 29, 2020, the Ontario government published a new regulation under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) that is intended to provide temporary relief from the ESA’s termination and severance provisions for employers whose operations have been shut down or otherwise curtailed by COVID-19 – O. Reg. 228/20, Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL Regulation).