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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: September 1st, 2020

The federal government has reached agreements with Novavax and Johnson & Johnson to secure millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
Information on government grants, resources, and programs, and how to apply for them, is available here.
The Government of Canada has a support page with summaries of current programs and application portals.

Vital updates:

  • Alectra Utilities suspended service disconnections from March until September 1st. Alectra customers who are past due and have not made payment arrangements will now begin to receive collection notices. Customers who were in good standing before the pandemic can access the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Plan for Small Business (CEAP-SB) on the Alectra website here. This new program from the provincial government will be administered by Alectra on an application basis and will provide one-time on-bill credits of up to $850. Residential customers can access other programs here. Residential and business customers can also contact Alectra to arrange a payment plan.
  • Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, announced the coming into force of changes to federal labour standards. The changes strengthen protections and regulations for internships in federally regulated workplaces and build on other efforts to protect young workers, including anti-harassment and violence legislation such as Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1. As of today, interns in federally regulated workplaces are recognized in two ways and entitled to new protections:
    • Interns: individuals seeking to obtain knowledge or experience through a temporary placement in a workplace that is not part of an educational program. They will have the same labour standards protections as employees, including the right to be paid at least the minimum wage.
    • Student interns: students undertaking a temporary placement in a workplace that fulfills the requirements of an educational program. They may be unpaid and will be entitled to certain labour standards protections set out in the new regulations.
  • Employers in federally regulated workplaces, educational institutions and associations—as well as interns—can consult the following resources to understand the new requirements and their rights and obligations:
  • The federal government has reached agreements with Novavax and Johnson & Johnson to secure millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. The deals hinge on Health Canada approval but if trials proceed as planned, deliveries in Canada would begin at the start of 2021. The government has also inked deals with pharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Moderna for access to millions of doses of their unique candidates.
  • In case you missed the August 27 edition of GNCC Espresso Live on cybersecurity with guests Danny Pehar, Cyber Security Expert, Bestselling Author and Professional Speaker and Graeme Barrie, President and Founder, Netmechanics Inc, the episode is now available for streaming.

Reading recommendations:


If you are showing symptoms, contact your health care provider, call the Public Health Info-Line at 905-688-8248, or chat to Public Health online. For testing, call 905-378-4647 ext. 42819 (4-CV19) for information on test centres in Niagara and to book an appointment.

Remember that a COVID-19 test is only a snapshot of your health on the specific date and time the swab was taken. No testing is perfect and a negative result doesn’t mean you haven’t been exposed to COVID-19. You can still develop symptoms days after your test was taken.

It is important that everyone practice physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Maintain a 2-metre distance from other people. When maintaining distance is impossible, wear a mask or face covering. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid touching the face. If you have recently traveled outside the country, you are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Previous updates can be accessed here.

Stay safe and be vigilant. The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.