May 27 COVID-19 Update


Today Justin Trudeau and Doug Ford addressed the state of Ontario and Quebec’s long-term care facilities, and the Province of Ontario extended all emergency orders until June 9.

Even though businesses are beginning to reopen, we ask that people use common sense and continue to follow public health guidelines. It is still best to stay at home except for short trips outdoors, remember to always practice physical distancing and try to wear a face covering when distancing is difficult.

You can still access the latest up-to-date information on our COVID-19 Update Page on our website.




Federal Government

Today Justin Trudeau reacted to the military reports from Ontario and Quebec that document appalling conditions and extreme shortages in some of the provinces’ long-term care homes. Trudeau said that the Federal government is working alongside the provinces to provide the help and support they need, but that these homes are under provincial jurisdiction. He also assured that the Canadian military will continue to provide support as long as is necessary.

This week commercial property owners can apply for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. To manage volume, property owners are being asked to register on the following days:

  • Monday – Property owners who are located in Atlantic Canada, BC, Alberta and Quebec, with up to 10 eligible tenants.
  • Tuesday – Property owners who are located in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Territories, with up to 10 eligible tenants.
  • Wednesday – All other property owners in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and the Territories.
  • Thursday – All other property owners in Atlantic Canada, BC, Alberta and Quebec.
  • Friday – All can apply.

Registration can be done on the CMHC website which also provides resources on eligibility and frequently asked questions.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford also spoke about the conditions in the five Ontario long-term care homes discussed in the military report released this week. Ford thanked the Armed Forces and announced that they have agreed to stay on in their current role until at least June 12. Ford says the Province has launched a full investigation with results to be made public and “turned over to police.” He revealed that the Province will be taking over the management of five long-term care homes they feel are in the most serious condition, in addition to two they have already begun to manage. He also promised additional scrutiny of the homes implicated in the report as well as random spot checks at other homes throughout the province. Ford said: “We are fully prepared to pull licenses and shut down facilities if necessary.”

This morning the Ontario government announced that it is extending all emergency orders until June 9, 2020. These emergency orders include the closure of outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, public swimming pools and outdoor water facilities, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery. Additionally, there continues to be restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules remain in place for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters. You can read the full list of emergency orders in the official news release posted online.

Local News

The Town of Huntsville has posted resources to help businesses with reopening. The resources can be found online and include Guidelines for Opening Safely, a Fire Safety Checklist for Reopening Buildings and a link to Safety Guidelines for business sectors. Follow the links to read these important resources.

Beginning today the following King William Street road closures will be in effect until Friday May 29:

  • Eastbound traffic will be detoured off of Cliff Ave onto Meadow Park Drive, Scott Street, and back onto King William Street
  • Local traffic will be available on Chaffey St from Cann St to King William Street intersection
  • Left turns onto Chaffey Street from King William Street will not be available
  • No access onto King William Street from Cliff Avenue, Hanes Street and Fairy Street

Although sidewalk work will be taking place, a fully accessible sidewalk will be provided on one side of the road at all times. Signage will be provided at adjacent intersections to direct pedestrians. More information about this project can be found on the District of Muskoka’s Construction Page.

With more retail businesses opening up, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has posted a How to Shop Safely section on their website. You can read this and other safety guidelines on their website.

Huntsville Doppler has an Open for Business page that is updated daily. You can find a listing of businesses that are currently open listed by category. You can read the entire list on their website.

Business & Tourism Report

RTO-12/Explorers’ Edge has revealed that Porter Airlines has cancelled their planned summer flights to the Muskoka Airport due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the full news release online.

The Government of Canada is reviewing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program, and the Canada Business Resilience Network is urging businesses to fill out a short survey to contribute to the consultation process. You can access the survey online. The deadline to participate is June 5, 2020.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is hosting a webinar on June 2 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm with the Business Development Bank of Canada. BDC’s Chief Economist Pierre Cléroux and Executive Vice President Peter Lawler will be discussing current business trends and what business owners should be doing now as they ramp up operations. Registration for the webinar is now open.

Member Updates

NOVELTYMANN is happy to announce that they have all appropriate safety protocols in place and have opened their doors to customers. Curbside service is still available if requested. They have the following message to customers: “We appreciate everyone’s support as we get back up and running and a reminder that all our companies are doing the same and some things are taking a little longer to come in.” NOVELTYMANN has suppliers of safety masks and safety clothing and is open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm. You can reach them at [email protected] or at 705-787-0148.

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.


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