April 8 COVID-19 Update


Today Justin Trudeau announced important changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy as well as changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program. Applications are open today for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit to those with birth months July through September. The Provincial Government’s online Healthcare Matching portal is open for registration.
This week we are striving to only send you new information not found in previous emails, with member updates and further links at the bottom. We hope this will make it easier to stay up-to-date with the most recent information.

Federal Government

This morning Justin Trudeau announced changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy in response to feedback provided by businesses. Businesses will now be able to use the months of January and February to show a 30% drop in revenue, and for March businesses will now only be required to demonstrate a 15% drop in revenue vs. the previously announced 30% for that month. To further assist charities and not-for-profits, these organizations will be given the choice to include or exclude government funding when calculating their revenue loss. The Prime Minister said he has called a cabinet meeting to discuss the next steps required to get the Wage Subsidy legislation passed so applications can begin. Trudeau said: “If our economy is to get through this we need businesses to survive and employees to get paid.”
Also this morning, the Prime Minister announced changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program. CSJ employers will be eligible to receive a 100% wage subsidy for hiring students. The Government will also extend the program’s season to include the coming winter and employers will now be able to hire students on as part-time workers under the program. Trudeau urged businesses to consider ways in which they might be able to hire students during this difficult time.
Today Canadians born July through September can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. $500 per week is available for citizens who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for regular EI or sickness benefits. Dates for applications for the rest of the week are: Thursday October-December and Friday through Sunday all birth months can apply. Applications can be made online on the CERB benefit page or by calling 1-800-959-2041.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford expressed his dismay over the limited number of COVID-19 testing currently being done in the Province. He said provincial health experts have said they have the ability to conduct 13,000 tests per day, but only 2,000 to 3,000 tests are being performed. Ford said: No more excuses. We have the testing capabilities. We need to be conducting 13,000 tests per day.”
Yesterday Doug Ford announced the creation of a new Healthcare Matching online portal designed to connect institutions needing healthcare support to healthcare professionals looking for opportunities to help the province. Starting today healthcare institutions and individuals can access and register using the online portal.

Local News

The Town of Huntsville and the Township of Lake of Bays have issued a letter to the building industry to provide clarity on what services will still be available following the April 3 Provincial update of essential services. The letter also contains an updated list of essential services for the building industry.
Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare has issued new updates for the community. They have provided a status update on safety measures being taken at the hospital. CEO Natalie Bubela has released a second video message for the community as well as a new CEO blog.
Yesterday the Town of Huntsville posted a news release regarding updated levels of service after the April 6 Council meeting. See the official news release for services affected, including street sweeping, dust suppression and the King William Street project.
The Ontario Provincial Police wants communities to know that they have the authority to assist with the enforcement of the Quarantine Act. To report gatherings of more than 5 people or the operation of a non-essential business call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. You can find more details in their official post.

Tourism Report

Regional Tourism Operator, RTO-12/Explorers’ Edge is offering 2 webinars Friday April 10. Intro to Social Media Marketing will take place from 10am-11am and Marketing During COVID-19 will take place 11am-12pm.

Member Updates

Muskoka Seniors is pleased to advise that the Frozen Meals on Wheels service is now available. There will be a staff member in their office on Mondays and Tuesdays only to support this program. Call the office at 705-789-6676 to register or for more details.
Fourth Pig Green and Natural Construction have ceased work for the time being but are working remotely and actively providing pre-construction services such as design consulting, estimating and other planning. Visit their website or email [email protected] for more details.
That Little Place by the Lights is taking orders for each week until Tuesday at noon to be delivered to Huntsville and surrounding area Thursdays and Fridays. They have added menu options on Facebook and Instagram.
Whimsical Bakery is currently taking regular online orders as well as orders for Easter. You can pick up your order at the store or they are delivering within the town of Huntsville. They will be closed Good Friday but adding Saturday pick up or delivery this week.
MHO Adventures is an outdoor adventure company with a full on-site commercial kitchen. Beginning this week, as a way to serve the community and keep staff employed, they are offering a healthy, prepared meal delivery service. The service has no commitment or contract. Shop online for delivery to Huntsville, Bracebridge, Port Sydney, Baysville and Dwight with free delivery and no minimum order. Order online through their web portal.
Pet Valu will be closed on Sundays. Tuesday this week they will only be open 12-5 and they will be closed Good Friday. The store is only offering curbside service. Please call your order in ahead at 705-789-0031.
Provide us with your business updates so we can feature them daily and get your information out to other members. Other important updates can be found on our COVID-19 Information page. Send us your information to this email address: [email protected] or call us directly at 705-789-4771.

Further Resources

Moving Forward

In this time we need to work together as much as possible to enable Huntsville and Lake of Bays to weather this situation and to position ourselves as the tourism leader once we are able to re-open our businesses and services to the public. If you have questions or need help finding the appropriate resources to assist you or your business, please reach out to us at the following address: [email protected]
From all of us at the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce team we urge you to stay safe and promise to do everything in our power to assist you in this difficult time.

Chamber of Commerce members can expect the best!

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