COVID-19 Legislation Update
Nov 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update
Published on November 25, 2021

By Terrance S. Carter and Adriel N. Clayton

   
 

Bill C-2 Introduced to Provide Further COVID-19 Financial Support

After the resumption of Parliament, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance tabled Bill C-2, An Act to provide further support in response to COVID-19 (“Bill C-2”), which underwent First Reading on November 24, 2021. Bill C-2 amends the Income Tax Act and Income Tax Regulations to extend COVID-19 relief subsidies provided through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”), the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (“CERS”), as well as the Canada Recovery Hiring Program (“CRHP”) until May 7, 2022.

As reported in the October 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update, the CEWS and CERS had terminated and the federal government had announced that they would not be renewed as of October 23, 2021, instead to be replaced with a proposed replacement program, the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (the “Hardest-Hit Program”). However, Bill C-2 instead proposes an extension of subsidies under the CEWS and CERS, made available to certain organizations including “the hardest-hit organizations that face significant revenue declines”.

To be eligible for CEWS and CERS subsidies through the Hardest-Hit Program, eligible entities would need to demonstrate a revenue loss of at least 50% over the past 12 months, as well as a current-month revenue decline of at least 50%. Subsidies would be available at a rate of up to 50%.

Bill C-2 will also extended the CRHP until May 7, 2022 for “eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10% and increase the subsidy rate to 50%”, according to the federal government’s news release. As also discussed in the October 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update, the CRHP provides eligible employers who have experienced “qualifying revenue declines” with a subsidy based on eligible salary or wages to help hire new workers or increase their current workers’ hours or wages, with a subsidy rate of 50%.

Ontario Extends Powers to Amend and Extend Emergency Orders

The Government of Ontario has extended its powers to keep emergency orders under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (the “Reopening Act”) in place until March 28, 2022. The government’s powers to amend and extend orders was previously set to expire on December 1, 2021, but were extended when Government motion 8 was carried on division on November 23, 2021.

Orders under the Reopening Act are set out in the regulations under the acts, and generally concern the following subject matter:

1. Closing or regulating any place, whether public or private, including any business, office, school, hospital or other establishment or institution.

2. Providing for rules or practices that relate to workplaces or the management of workplaces, or authorizing the person responsible for a workplace to identify staffing priorities or to develop, modify and implement redeployment plans or rules or practices that relate to the workplace or the management of the workplace, including credentialing processes in a health care facility.

3. Prohibiting or regulating gatherings or organized public events.

Of particular note, Ontario Regulation 364/20, Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step, which sets out the general rules and regulations regarding how businesses may open and operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, including social distancing, masking, and vaccine passport requirements, has been frequently amended in response to the rapidly evolving pandemic, and will now continue to be able to be amended through to March 28, 2022.

   
 

Read the November 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update