Weekly Digest – 6 April 2022

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Change in Travel Rules

As of April 1, eligible travellers no longer need a pre-entry PCR or antigen COVID-19 test to enter Canada. However, anyone entering Canada must still complete a questionnaire on the ArriveCAN app or on the government’s website within 72 hours before entering the country. You can learn more about the travel rules here.

Economy Likely Gains Momentum

The economy likely gathered momentum in February, growing for a ninth consecutive month, according to Statistics Canada. This prompted economists to revise up their first quarter projections.

$2.66 Billion Goods Trade Surplus in February

Canada recorded goods-trade surplus of $2.66 billion in February, as imports rebounded after a sharp decline in the previous month, partly due to the geopolitical turmoil in Europe. Statistics Canada reported that exports rose 2.8% in February to a record $58.75 billion, while imports climbed 3.9% to $56.08 billion.

Government Invests in Digitization of Farming

The government invested up to $419,000 to Mojow Autonomous Solutions Inc., through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, to ensure Canada remains a global leader in agricultural innovation and technological development. The funding will be used to develop an AI Data Recording Kit called Eye-Box. It is a sensor suite that contains multiple cameras, GPS, and a powerful compute unit for real-time processing of collected data to help farm operators make informed decisions.

Bank of Canada Survey: Ongoing Supply Issues to Drive Prices Higher

The Bank of Canada’s Business Outlook Survey for the first quarter of 2022 showed a “record high” number of companies are now reporting “capacity pressures” tied to supply chain and labour-related concerns. Roughly half of the respondents in the supplemental survey also said they expect to be affected by the war, through increasing energy costs and commodity prices. While firms continue to forecast strong sales growth, they expect it to be at a more moderate pace than the past year.

Pandemic Support for Commercial Tenants

Businesses, non-profit organisations, and charities who have seen a drop in revenue during the pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses through one of the following:

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) – Rent (Effective: Until 7 May 2022)
Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP) – Rent (Effective: Until 7 May 2022)

You can learn more about these subsidies here.

COVID-Business Aid Loan Repayment Extended to 2023

Originally, if claimants repaid the balance of their Canada Emergency Business Account loan on or before the end of 2022, the government planned to forgive up to one-third of their loan. Now, eligible businesses “in good standing,” will have until 31 December 2023 to repay and be eligible for up to $20,000 of debt forgiveness.

Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit Open for Applications

The federal government announced that the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit is open for applications. It gives temporary income support of $300 a week to employed and self-employed people who can’t work due to a COVID-19 lockdown. Payments will be retroactive to 19 December.

COVID-19 Recovery Programs

The government is taking immediate action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will find support for individuals, businesses, sectors, communities, and other measures here.

Ontario Extends Paid Sick Leave Program Into 2022

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton is extending the pandemic paid sick leave to 31 July. Originally, the provincial program was supposed to wrap up on 31 December. However, with the more contagious Omicron variant, the Labour Minister announced that it would continue.

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