Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
Standardized COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination for Travel
The Prime Minister announced last week that a standardized Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination for travel is now available to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.
Although no specific date was given, this proof of vaccination will be available in other provinces soon. This provides Canadians a reliable way to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccination history within the country and abroad.
2.9 Million COVID-19 Shots for Kids Shortly After Approval
Canadian kids will be able to get their first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine soon after the shots are approved by Health Canada, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the government is set to receive 2.9 million pediatric doses as quickly as possible after it is approved by Health Canada.
Pediatric doses for those between the ages of five and 11 will be about one-third the size of the doses given to adults and teens.
Shift in COVID-19 Support Programs
Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says the shift in the government’s COVID-19 support programs from passive ones to those that incentivize work reflects Canada’s success in fighting the pandemic.
The new measures are aimed at replacing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). which expired on Saturday.
It was announced last week that the federal government is spending $7.4 billion to extend and create new COVID-19 support schemes for hard-hit businesses and workers that will carry into the spring.
Financial Literacy Resources to Help Canadians Bounce Back
November marks Financial Literacy Month— an initiative launched by community groups, non-profits, and government bodies to help improve financial literacy among Canadians.
Through Financial Literacy Month, Canadians can leverage information and support from various nonprofits and government agencies to better understand their finances. This will in turn help them become more confident, make better money decisions, and ultimately bounce back from the pandemic.
ABC Life Literacy Canada offers a number of free financial literacy resources from its Money Matters financial literacy program. You can learn more about Money Matters here.
Skilled Trades Training
The government has announced funding of nearly $890,000 for the College of Carpenters and Allied Trades in order to support the implementation of online learning. This investment is intended to help develop a highly qualified skilled trades workforce, and prepare Canadians to fill available jobs as our economy restarts.
Alberta Expands Financial Support Program to SMEs
Alberta is expanding its Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant to include another payment of up to $10,000 for eligible businesses. This marks the third time the $10,000 payment has been made available to Alberta organizations. It will also be available to businesses that started operating between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.
The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses that experienced at least a 30% decline in revenue because they were ordered to shut down or limit operations due to COVID-19.
HASCAP Loan Applications
Loan applications from the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) opened February 1.
Loans start at between $25,000 and $1 million for a single business depending on the size of the operation, and run up to $6.25 million for companies with multiple locations like a chain of hotels or restaurants. Interest rates are set at 4% across the board, terms will be up to 10 years, with up to a 12-month postponement of principal payments at the start of the loan.
To be eligible, companies will have to show a year-over-year revenue drop of at least 50% over three months, not necessarily consecutive, in the eight months before the application.
Further details can be found here.
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