Thank you to our MLA from Calgary – Foothills for passing this information on, that I share with you.
Alberta’s Re-Launch Strategy
- Aggressive system of mass testing, pushing quick turnaround with a goal of 20,000 tests per day
- An expanded effort at precise tracing of close contacts
- Strong border screening, with Alberta deploying a much more rigorous approach than the federal government has in screening and quarantining international arrivals
- Strict enforcement of quarantine orders to ensure compliance, including using technology like smart phone apps when appropriate
- Encourage and facilitate safe use of masks in crowded spaces
You can stay up to date with all the information you need on COVID-19 at www.alberta.ca/covid19
Emergency Management Act amended for further clarity
Government is taking immediate action to address the need to provide greater clarity and improved coordination between local and provincial response efforts by amending the Emergency Management Act.
Proposed amendments to the Emergency Management Act include:
- Allowing states of local emergency to last for 90 days.
- Providing clear language that it is an offence to be non-compliant with orders made under states of local or provincial emergency.
- Clarifying that the minister has the power to modify a state of emergency without terminating it.
- Clarifying that a provincially declared state of emergency can be for a pandemic in general, and not just for pandemic influenza.
“Our province is facing a truly unprecedented situation. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, so does the need to strengthen our response efforts. This includes listening to our municipal partners and making amendments to the Emergency Management Act that work for both local and provincial governments. We are all in this together, and we must work together to protect Albertans.” Kaycee Madu, Minister of Municipal Affairs
Health Care Facilities
The Chief Medical Officer of Health has ordered a provincewide ban on visitors to long-term Care Centres, licensed group homes and other facilities as part of the ongoing work to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect Albertans.
Under an amended Public Health order, no visitors will be allowed unless a resident is dying or the visitor is essential for delivering care that cannot be delivered by staff.
“Residents of all continuing care sites are at extreme risk if exposed to COVID-19, and we are doing everything possible to ensure their safety. I know this will have a profound impact on the lives of those residents and their families; this is not a step that we take lightly. I’m asking all Albertans to reach out and support their loved ones through the phone, video and any other means possible.” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health
Online Or Phone Scams
Cyber security incidents involving malware and fraudulent activities, including identity theft, are being reported across Alberta in the wake of COVID-19.
- Anyone who receives a call asking for credit card information should hang up immediately and call the non-emergency line for local law enforcement.
Albertans are encouraged to continue to exercise caution when clicking on links or providing personal information to people and organizations requesting that information unsolicited.
Driver Road Tests Suspended
Effective immediately, driver road tests are suspended until April 20.
- Albertans who already have a road test booked will be able to rebook online using the same test permit at no additional charge.
- We are working with the commercial carrier industry to deliver emergency Class 1 road tests as necessary.
Alberta Corporate Registry Annual Returns Suspended
In keeping with public gathering restrictions, deadlines are suspended for businesses, corporations and non-profits that require holding annual general meetings in order to file their annual returns with Alberta Corporate Registry.
Alberta Emergency Management Agency Unsolicited Offers Program
Thank you for your interest in supporting the Government of Alberta. There are two distinct ways in which you can offer your support. Please follow the link provided below:
Federal Minister of Seniors Deb Schulte released the government’s updated guidelines for long-term care homes. Even though these facilities fall under provincial and territorial jurisdiction, the new recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada will help ensure consistent guidance across Canada.
The guidelines were drafted in consultation with the provinces and territories, and based on the experience in other countries. Among the key recommendations:
- Restricting visitors and volunteers;
- Screenings before shift for staff and before any essential visitor enters;
- Prohibiting staff with symptoms from coming to work;
- Mandating masks and other personal protective equipment;
- Limiting employees to working in a single facility;
- Cancelling any non-essential outings; and
- Maintaining physical distance during meals.
You can find the complete list of recommendations here.
Spartan Test Kit Approval
Health Canada has approved a new rapid test for the coronavirus by Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience. The test can show results in less than an hour and uses a portable hand-held device, which means there is no need to send samples to a lab. The government will prioritize distribution of these tests for remote areas that have less access to more centralized laboratories – specifically northern and Indigenous communities.
Ontario has ordered nearly one million testing kits, while Alberta’s contract is for 100,000 kits.Health Canada greenlit the device on Saturday and Spartan says it will begin shipments “immediately.”
Spartan says the test can be operated by non-laboratory personnel in a variety of locales such as airports, border crossings, doctors’ offices, pharmacies and clinics.
$50 million for Farmers and Food Processors
Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau announced a $50 million program to help farmers and food processors implement measures to manage the mandatory 14-day quarantine required for all temporary foreign workers arriving from abroad.
This program will help employers cover the costs of accommodations and other costs associated with the waiting period. In addition, the federal government is offering a $1,500 subsidy to employers for each temporary foreign worker to further help cover these costs.
Each year nearly 60,000 temporary foreign workers come to work in Canada’s food production supply chain. Minister Bibeau reiterated that all workers coming from abroad must self-isolate for 14 days and employers or workers that do not comply will face severe sanctions.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Legislation
The House of Commons sat this afternoon to pass the $73-billion Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy legislation. Minister of Finance Bill Morneau introduced the government’s revised legislation, titled Bill C-14, A Second Act Respecting Certain Measures in Response to COVID-19.
Opposition parties confirmed this morning that they approved of the bill and will facilitate its passage. There were 32 Parliamentarians in attendance, comprised of 14 Liberals, 11 Conservatives, 3 Bloc Quebecois, 3 NDP and 1 Green. The Senate is still expected to sit around 4 p.m. today to pass the legislation and it should receive Royal Assent by the end of the day.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The Prime Minister announced that the CEBA is now available. The measure provides small and medium-size businesses with a $40,000 interest-free loan. If repaid within two years, up to $10,000 will be forgivable. The Prime Minister said that it will only take a few days for employers to receive the amount and encouraged employers to visit their local bank or credit union for more details.
Bank of Canada
The Prime Minister was asked about rumours that the mandate of Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will not be extended. The Prime Minister confirmed that the selection process is ongoing but that a final decision has not yet been made.