May 4 COVID-19 Update


Today Doug Ford announced that the Ontario government has exceeded their COVID-19 testing goals and Justin Trudeau announced spending for the global fight against the virus. Beginning today more businesses are allowed to open providing they meet provincial safety standards.
This week we will be sending you emails on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the latest federal, provincial and local news as well as updates from member businesses. You can access the latest up-to-date information on our COVID-19 Update Page on our website.

Federal Government

Today Justin Trudeau talked about Canada’s place in the global COVID-19 fight. Coming from a meeting with European Union Ministers, Trudeau said Canada will be spending $850 million on Canadian and international research and funding for vaccines. He said that COVID-19 “is a global challenge that requires a global solution,” and that “the more we cooperate the more likely we find a cure and find it quickly.”
The Government of Canada has created the COVID-19 Supply Council. Bringing together a diverse group of government and business leaders, the council will provide advice on the procurement of critical goods and services and the building of innovative and agile supply chains for goods in wide use such as masks, gloves and disinfectants. You can read both the news release and background document online.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford announced that the Province has met and exceeded its COVID-19 testing goals set April 10. Ontario is now performing over 17,000 tests per day, which is the highest number in Canada. Ford said the results are promising, giving the government the confidence to say that “we are close to opening parks and retail for curbside pick-up,” so long as we continue taking Provincial health advice seriously.
Starting today 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 are now permitted to begin operations:
  • 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.
On Friday the Ontario government passed an emergency order to defer a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity customers who do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan. The initiative is intended to provide companies with temporary, immediate relief on their electricity bills in April, May and June 2020. You can read the full news release online.

Local News

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.
Township of Lake of Bays Mayor Terry Glover posted a video update last week. Topics discussed include the provincial framework for re-opening businesses. You can watch the full video online.
The Town of Huntsville has postponed Summer Day Camp registration scheduled to commence Tuesday May 5. Town recreation staff will continue to monitor Provincial recommendations and provide updates as they become available.
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 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.

Business & Tourism Report

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is administering the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. They have posted a page on their website with details on the program including who will be eligible. While the application process has not currently opened, you can get more details on the COVID-19: CECRA for Small Businesses webpage.
The results of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions have been 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.

Member Updates

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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