May 8 COVID-19 Update


Today Doug Ford tried to instill hope in the face of massive job losses and Justin Trudeau announced the extension of the wage subsidy “beyond June.”
We would like to take this time to say Happy Mother’s Day to all our community’s mothers. We know it will be hard to not see your loved ones on this day, but we continue to urge everyone to follow the recommendations of public health officials. Please stay home when possible and practice distancing and hand washing when you do need to go out.
You can access the latest up-to-date information on our COVID-19 Update Page on our website.

Federal Government

Today Justin Trudeau responded to the Statistics Canada report that Canada lost nearly 2 million jobs in April and that the unemployment rate is now at 13%. Trudeau announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be extended “beyond June,” with more details to be released next week.
Yesterday Justin Trudeau announced that the government will be providing up to $3 billion to “top up” or increase the wages of low-income essential workers. He said that it will be up to each individual province or territory to determine which workers will be eligible for support and how much support they will receive. The plan will see the federal government contributing 75% of the increase, with provinces and territories providing the remaining 25%.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford tried to give hope to businesses and employees in the face of Statistics Canada’s job loss figures. He said that the Province has a solid foundation and the right framework in place to get Ontario working again with a gradual, safe plan. Starting today, garden centres and nurseries are able to open for in-store purchases and payments. Starting Saturday May 9 hardware and safety supply stores will be able to open. Monday May 11 retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery.
Yesterday the Ontario government announced that is has developed “a comprehensive framework” to help hospitals assess their readiness and begin planning for the gradual resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures. The framework contains clear criteria that must be met before hospitals can resume scheduled surgeries, including a stable supply of PPE and medications. You can read both the official framework and the full news release online.

Local News

The Township of Lake of Bays has partnered with a local sign company to produce no-charge physical distancing signage for Lake of Bays businesses. 12″x12″ floor graphics and 24″x16″ outdoor signage is available. You can view the signs by clicking here. Please email your request ASAP to [email protected].
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 Retail Council of Canada has put together a webpage dedicated to recovery planning. They provide resources, including playbooks and checklists, for businesses to begin planning how they will reopen. There are sections covering curbside pickup rules as well as health and safety resources. You can access all of these resources on their COVID-19 Recovery Planning webpage.
On Tuesday May 12 the Canadian Business Resilience Network is hosting a webinar about the recovery and resilience of Canada’s food service sector. The presidents of Molson Coors Canada, Boston Pizza and Firkin Group Pubs will join a special roundtable discussion about the particular challenges facing the food services sector. The webinar takes place at 2:30pm and those interested must pre-register online.

Member Updates

East Side Mario’s restaurant in Huntsville we be open for curbside takeout starting tomorrow, Thursday May 7, from 12:00pm – 8:00pm. The restaurant has an app you can download or you can choose to order online. After Thursday their regular hours will be Wednesday to Sunday 12:00pm – 8:00pm.
Soapstones Natural Skincare will be open for curbside pickup as well as online ordering starting Monday May 11. 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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