As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we know that these are times of uncertainty and that every day brings new challenges and new concerns. We’re here to reassure you that we’re available to help our Downtown business community and we’ll play a key role in keeping you up to date with the latest information – in whatever way we can.
Government of Canada
• The federal government’s Resources for Canadian Business page provides one-stop info for business and employees. Read more here.
Emergency Isolation Support
• The Alberta government has committed $50 million for emergency isolation support for people who need to isolate and will not have another source of pay or compensation while isolated. Read more here.
Job Protected Leave
Alberta’s Employment Standards Code has been changed to allow:
• Full and part-time employees can take 14 days of job-protected leave if they are required to self-isolate.
• Full and part-time employees can take 14 days of job-protected leave they are caring for a child or dependent adult that is required to self-isolate. Read more here.
Vacation Pay, Leave or Banked Overtime
• The Alberta government has stated that employees can request using their vacation pay or banked overtime, but employers are not required to grant the request. Provincial employment rules only require employers to provide vacation pay, vacation leave or pay banked overtime within a year of it being earned.
• The Alberta government has stated that employers can request employees voluntarily take vacation leave and/or use their vacation pay or banked overtime, but employers cannot force them to do so under provincial employment rules.
• The one-week waiting period for Employment Insurance benefits has been waived by the federal government.
• Employees can apply for up to 15 weeks of assistance if a person cannot work due to medical reasons such as self-isolation or self-quarantine. You could receive 55% of your earning, up to a maximum of $573 a week. Read more here.
• The City is recommending to the Alberta Utility Commissions and utility partners a deferral period to defer payments up to 90 days, from March 18 to June 18. No interest, penalties or service cut-offs will occur during this period. Read more here.
• Please note, deferrals are not automatic. Contact your utility directly for more information.
• The Alberta government is implementing a six-month, interest free, moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans in the process of repaying these loans. Alberta Student Loan repayments will be paused for 6 months, beginning March 30, 2020. You do not need to apply for repayment pause.
• The Canada Revenue Agency will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals, including certain trusts.
• The City is delaying penalties to property tax payments for Edmontonians experiencing major financial difficulties due to the health emergency. Tax notices will be mailed in May and no late fees will be charged to tax payments made by August 31. Edmontonians who are able to pay their property taxes on schedule are encouraged to do so to help keep the City of Edmonton running during these challenging times.
• During a pandemic, Alberta households should not need to worry about paying additional property taxes.
The government will immediately cancel the decision made in Budget 2020 and will freeze education property taxes at last year’s level.
• Reversing the 3.4 per cent population and inflation adjustment will save Alberta households and businesses about $87 million in 2020-21, which means $55 million for households and $32 million for employers.
• The government expects that Albertans and Alberta businesses will fully realize these savings and that municipal property tax levels will not be increased as a result of the lower provincial education property tax levels.
• Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to 6 months.
Alberta Credit Unions
• Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow.
• Both individual and business members are encouraged to proactively contact their credit union directly to work out a plan for their personal situation.
• Effective March 21, The City of Edmonton will temporarily suspend fare collection on all Edmonton Transit Service buses, LRT and DATS service. In addition, all entry (unless otherwise required) will be through the rear doors only. For more information go to ETS Fares and Passes.
• Effective March 21, parking fees for City of Edmonton curbside and EPark zones are temporarily suspended. This includes City-owned EPark covered, indoor and underground parking facilities. Please note, privately owned parking lots are not included.