May 15 COVID-19 Update


Today students are be able to apply for emergency funds through the Canada Revenue Agency and Justin Trudeau announced more funding for Canada’s research community. Yesterday Doug Ford announced that the Province is ready to enter Stage 1 of the reopening framework, with more businesses allowed to open Saturday and Tuesday.
As we head into the Victoria Day long weekend, please remember to continue to follow public health advice. While provincial parks have reopened for day use and many businesses have begun reopening, it is still best to stay at home when possible and always practice physical distancing. You can view the government’s safety guidelines at the bottom of this email.
You can still access the latest up-to-date information on our COVID-19 Update Page on our website.

Federal Government

Today students and recent graduates can apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. Applications can be made through a Canada Revenue Agency “My Account” or toll free by phone to 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. You can find details about the benefit and how to apply on the Canada Revenue Agency’s CESB webpage.
Also today, Justin Trudeau announced $450 million in funding for Canada’s academic research community. The funding will be used to ensure researchers can keep their jobs, safeguard their research and continue their important work after the crisis. You can read more details in the news release online.
Yesterday the Prime Minister announced up to $469 million in new measures to support Canada’s fish harvesters. This money builds upon the $62.5 million already announced for the new Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund. The funding is to support workers and families across the country who provide high-quality fish and seafood. You can read the full news release online.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford talked about the Province’s supply chain and consumer goods industries. The Premier said that after a talk with business owners and stakeholders he is confident that there is more than enough goods, such as flour, yeast, sugar and toilet paper, to go around if everyone “only buys what they need.” Ahead of the Victoria Day long weekend Ford urged Ontarians to use common sense and follow public health guidelines.
Yesterday the Ontario government announced that the Province is ready to enter Stage 1 of its reopening framework. Workplaces that have the ability to put strict safety measures in place will be allowed to open their doors provided they adhere to safety guidelines. Starting Saturday May 16 the following businesses will be able to open:
  • Golf courses, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.
  • Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches for recreational use.
  • Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.
  • Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.
Beginning Tuesday May 19 the following businesses will be allowed to reopen:
  • Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot.
  • Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization.
  • Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
  • Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
  • Construction will have essential workplace limits lifted.
  • Certain health and medical services can resume, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries.
In the government’s official news release you can find resources on safety guidance documents, the Stage 1 Reopening Framework and a new Workplace PPE Supplier Directory.

Local News

The Town of Huntsville has issued a news release ahead of the Victoria Day long weekend. The release includes updates as the Province prepares to enter Stage 1 of reopening. There is also information on the status of infrastructure such as playgrounds, parks, public washrooms and garage sales. You can read the full news release online.
Our Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Scott Aitchison has written a column urging residents to stay safe and be kind to one another this weekend. You can read the full column on the Huntsville Doppler website.
The Township of Lake of Bays has published a media release ahead of the long weekend. Titled “May Long Weekend Reminders”, you can read the media release online. The Township has also released their latest Public Notice Board online.
United Way Simcoe Muskoka has launched the Local Business, Local Love campaign. Local businesses can sign up to sell gift cards and for each gift card sold through the campaign a small percentage will go directly to COVID-19 relief for Simcoe Muskoka residents. You can sign up or purchase gift cards through the United Way website.
The District of Muskoka has posted a news release regarding temporary parking and lane restictions on Main Street in Huntsville Wednesday and Thursday May 20-21. Parking will be restricted and traffic will be reduced to one lane beinning Wednesday at 3:00pm until Thursday morning. You can see a map of the affected area and read the full release online.
The Huntsville BIA is holding a Share Your Love for Huntsville contest. Between now and May 25 you can email them a review (100 words or more) on your favourite Downtown Huntsville business to be entered in a draw for a $200 gift card to your favourite BIA business. Email your review to [email protected] to enter. Your review will be posted with your first name only on social media. Go to to find a listing of all the Huntsville BIA businesses.

Business & Tourism Report

The Canadian Business Resilience Network has posted a recording of a webinar titled “How to Navigate Government Programs.” Presenters from KPMG, a Canadian tax and advisory services company, will give advice on navigating the federal and provincial programs available now to help businesses survive and grow. You can view the complete webinar online.
Workplace Safety and Prevention Services has posted a Post-Pandemic Business Playbook designed to help businesses prepare to reopen safely. Topics covered include employer responsibilities, personal protective equipment and worker wellness. You can download the playbook online.

Member Updates

NOVELTYMANN is now open for curbside pickup. Customers can contact them by phone at 705-787-0148 or by email at [email protected]. Noveltymann has mask suppliers available.
Soapstones Natural Skincare will be open for curbside pickup as well as online ordering starting today. Curbside pickup orders will be received by phone between 10:00am and 4:00pm Monday to Friday. Pickup will be at the Main Street entrance only.
In advance of more businesses being able to open in the future, Staples has launched a line of decals for social distancing markers, doors, floors, walls etc. These decals can be purchased online through the Staples website.
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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