May 1 COVID-19 Update


Today Doug Ford announced a list of businesses that will be allowed to reopen starting Monday, so long as they meet proper health and safety guidelines. The Government of Canada appointed a new head of the Bank of Canada and Justin Trudeau announced new gun control measures.
As we head into what looks like a beautiful spring weekend, please remember that Provincial emergency orders are still in place. Please try to stay home except for essential trips, do not gather in groups or try to make use of public infrastructure such as parks or playgrounds. Practice safe physical distancing and wash your hands regularly. In order for our economy to begin to recover, we must all do our part to ensure that the virus does not spread.

Federal Government

Today Justin Trudeau took a break from COVID-19 updates to discuss the issue of gun control. In the wake of the terrible tragedy in Nova Scotia, the Government of Canada has placed a ban, effective immediately, on military grade assault-style weapons. It is now illegal to buy, sell, transport, import or use over 1,5000 types and variants of assault weapons. Trudeau acknowledged that the majority of people use guns responsibly and safety, but he said there is no place in Canada for assault-style weapons. He also announced a 2 year amnesty program and compensation legislation as part of this new ban.
Also today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that Tiff Macklem will be appointed Governor of the Bank of Canada, effective June 3, 2020. The government says that, “With Mr. Macklem’s appointment, the Bank of Canada will be well positioned to continue to lead its significant domestic and international contributions to the economic response, and eventual recovery, from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.” You can read the full news release of this appointment online.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford and Provincial Ministers announced that, thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of all Ontarians, the Province is prepared to open a small list of very specific businesses. Beginning Monday May 4 the government is “allowing certain businesses to reopen under strict guidelines because we are confident they can operate safely and adapt to the current environment.” By following the proper health and safety guidelines, the following businesses will be permitted to begin operations Monday:
  • Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only;
  • Lawn care and landscaping;
  • Additional essential construction projects that include:
  • shipping and logistics;
  • broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
  • any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
  • municipal projects;
  • colleges and universities;
  • child care centres;
  • schools; and
  • site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
  • Automatic and self-serve car washes;
  • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
  • Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and
  • Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.
You can read the full news release online for further details.
Yesterday the Ontario government released a series of safety guidelines to provide direction to those working in the manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service and the agricultural sector. The new sector-specific guidelines feature recommended actions employers can begin to plan for as they prepare to adapt to the new business reality during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has created a new webpage with guidelines and posters to inform both employers and employees.

Local News

Check out our Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce website for a listing of Virtual Events taking place in May. With social distancing still in place, virtual events are a great way to be entertained and to feel connected with the community. You can read the full list on the Huntsville Adventures website.
The Township of Lake of Bays has published the newest edition of their Public Notice Board. You can read the notice online to keep up-to-date on local news.
The Town of Huntsville Public Works Department would like to inform residents that half load restrictions will be lifted from all Town of Huntsville roads on Friday May 8, 2020.
The Township of Lake of Bays has developed an interactive Lake of Bays open for business map. The map provides information on businesses in the region including hours of operation and changes to services such as curbside delivery and products being currently offered. You can find the interactive map online to research your favourite Lake of Bays business.
On May 2 a Stay At Home Gala will be hosted online for Muskoka. This virtual gala will be part of a national program with participants being entertained by both national and local guest entertainers and musicians. The purchase and delivery of a four course dinner option is available as part of the event. The gala will raise money for the Huntsville Hospital Foundation, South Muskoka Hospital Foundation, Muskoka Women’s Shelters and Services and Muskoka Food Security Programs. You can find out more and sign up for the gala on their official gala webpage.

Business & Tourism Report

This week the results of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions were released. The survey was a joint effort between Statistics Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The Canadian Chamber has created a resource page on their website where you can read and watch media reactions to these results. You can also read the survey report online.
The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) is offering free 2020 memberships to all tourism businesses and stakeholders. Those seeking new membership are asked to email them at the following address: [email protected]

Member Updates

ProActive Rehab is now offering its services through a virtual, video-based tele-rehab platform. They are able to meet with clients and complete assessments and treatments while clients remain at home. You can call them at 705-788-1480 or visit their website for more info and to book appointments.
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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