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In this news alert, you will find the latest updates and insights from KPMG legal specialists related to Business Law, Employee and Labour Law, Estates and Trusts, Immigration Law, Tax Law, and Tax Litigation.

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August 2020

August 10 - COVID-19 Employer Update: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL)
As a result of a recent enactment in Ontario, the “deemed” Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) that kept employees off temporary layoffs will end on September 4, 2020. Read more in this article.

July 2020

July 17 - Waksdale v. Swegon North America Inc. [PDF 145 KB]
In Waksdale v. Swegon North America Inc., 2020 ONCA 391, the employer terminated the employee’s employment without cause, relying on the without cause termination provision in the employee’s employment contract to limit his entitlements on termination. The employee sued for wrongful dismissal. Read more in this article.

July 6 - Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller [PDF 75 KB]
On June 26, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its much-anticipated decision in Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller. In its decision, the Supreme Court dismissed Uber’s appeal, finding the mandatory arbitration clause in its services agreement to be unconscionable and therefore unenforceable heightening the susceptibility of standard form contracts to the doctrine of unconscionability. Read more in this article.

July 6 - Rent relief and eviction: considerations for the commercial landlord in the age of COVID-19 [PDF 220 KB]
The government’s Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, allows commercial landlords of eligible small businesses experiencing financial difficulties to apply for forgivable loans to cover up to 50% of monthly gross rent owed by their impacted tenants for the months of April, May and June 2020 (with an extension to also cover July 2020 recently announced).  Read more in this article.

June 2020

June 3 - New employment regulations offer relief to employers [PDF 346 KB]
On May 29, 2020, the Ontario Government released a new regulation to the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the ESA): Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (Reg. 228/20) (the New ESA Regulations). The New ESA Regulations offer welcomed relief for employers who have placed non-unionized employees on temporary lay-off, or reduced hours or wages, as a result of COVID-19. This article provides the details.

May 2020

May 29 - The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA): Overview [PDF 336 KB]

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) is a joint program between the Federal government and Provincial/Territorial governments which is intended to provide rent relief for eligible small businesses experiencing financial difficulties arising from the impact of COVID-19. This article provides the details.

May 19 - COVID-19 federal bridge financing for large employers [PDF 292 KB]
On May 11, 2020, the Canadian federal government announced that it will establish a Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide bridge financing to large Canadian employers, whose needs during the COVID pandemic are not met through conventional financing. This article provides the details.

May 6 - The new face of the workplace [PDF 443 KB]
As we emerge from the peak of the pandemic and discussions begin about reopening the economy, plans will need to be made for returning employees back to the workplace. However, bringing employees back to the workplace will not be as simple as unlocking the doors and letting everyone back in. This article reviews the areas employers will want to consider.

May 6 -  Rent relief for commercial landlords under the Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program [PDF 256 KB]
The Federal Government has introduced a program to try to assist commercial landlords throughout Canada to mitigate against the effects of this current downturn. This article shares the details now available.  

May 5 - Virtual witnessing of wills and powers of attorney [PDF 266 KB]
On April 22, 2020, the Ontario government amended Ontario Regulation 129/20 made pursuant to an Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act regarding signatures in Wills and Powers of Attorney. This article shares the key areas on needs to consider.

May 5 - Public company disclosure and extension for periodic filings [PDF 284 KB]
Earlier in April, the Canadian Securities Regulators (CSA), a group comprised of the securities regulators from each of the provinces and territories, published CSA Staff Notice 51-360 - Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Filing Extension Relief Granted by Way of a Blanket Order in Response to COVID-19 (Staff Notice). This article reviews the details.

May 5 - Public disclosure and the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy [PDF 278 KB]
Canadian reporting issuers who have experienced significant revenue loss as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). However, issuers considering applying for CEWS should consider their continuous disclosure obligations under Canadian securities laws. This article reviews the considerations.

April 2020

April 24 - Enhanced scrutiny for foreign investment in Canada during COVID-19 [PDF 288 KB] Recently, the Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry issued a new policy statement relating to foreign investment screening in the circumstances ofCOVID-19. This article reviews the new policy.  

April 24 - COVID-19 and commercial tenants in distress [PDF 174KB]
This article looks at the protective measures and strategies available to commercial landlords in Ontario to try and mitigate against the economic consequences of the COVID-10 driven economic downturn.

April 20 - Updates on Requirements to Pay (RTP) for wage garnishments [PDF 89 KB]
Revenue Canada had previously suspended collections on new debts until further notice, and flexible payment arrangement will be available. This issuance was placed on new garnishee orders and did not freeze pre-existing debt or garnishee that had been issued prior to March 15th. This article provides the highlights.

April 20 - The re-freeze [PDF 117 KB]
An estate freeze allows you to transfer future growth in the value of your business to future generations. This article provides the key details.

April 9 - Updates to Ontario’s COVID-19 response plan [PDF 139 KB]
This article reviews the Ontario Together Fun to support businesses in the development of essential equipment and suppliers for the COIVD- response, the City of Toronto’s social distancing fines and construction work and adjusted listing of “essential” industries in Ontario.

April 9 - Frustration of employment contracts amid COVID-19 [PDF 119 KB]
Where business premises are closed and without any options for partial closure or to continue the business via alternative means, or where employees are under quarantine orders and unable to attend work, can employers terminate contracts with their employees without any penalty? This article reviews “frustration” which only applies where the event or circumstance was unforeseeable and where it occurred through no fault of either party and caused a permanent result.

April 9 - COVID-19 and temperature screening of employees [PDF 136 KB]
On April 1, 2020, Toronto’s medical Officer of Health implemented new measures that will take effect immediately for up to 12 weeks.  These measures include the issuing of class orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, in order to emphasize the significance of self-isolation for those who are diagnosed with COVID-19, those who are suspected of having COVID-19 and those who are close contacts. This article reviews screening measures and employee rights.

April 6 - Governments tightening foreign investment rules in light of COVID-19 [PDF 150 KB]
COVID-19 has caused governments to responds with higher barriers for foreign investment. Read this article to find out more.

April 6 - COVID-19 and real estate GST/HST measures [PDF 162 KB]
On March 27, 2020, the Minister of National Revenue made announcements about GST/HST extension. Read this article to find out more.

April 6 - Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board announcements [PDF 121 KB]
The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is introducing additional relief measures for employers who are unable to pay their WCB premium payments. Effective April 1 until June 30, 2020, the WCB will waive penalties and interest charges for late premium payments.

April 1 - COVID-19 Canada Labour Code amendments [PDF 154 KB]
The NWMMA provides for a number of amendments to the Canada Laour Code, which is the governing statute for federally regulated employers in Canada.  In particular, the amendments added a new section ‘Division XIII.01 Leave Related to COVID-19’, as well as amended current sections of the Code relating to vacation and parental leave entitlements. This article provides an overview of the new additions as well as amendments.

April 1 - COVID-19 Emergency Response Act – Summary [PDF 149 KB]
On March 25, 2020, Parliament enacted Bill C-13, an act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19 (the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, the “Act”). The Act creates and amends several statutes that are intended to assist the government as they respond to the various issues which are facing businesses and households across Canada due to COVID-19.  This article provides a summary of a number of these changes.

April 1 -  COVID-19 Emergency Response Act – EDC mandate could include domestic Canadian businesses [PDF 146 KB]
On March 25, 2020, Parliament enacted Bill C-13, the Notice of Ways and Means Motion to introduce an act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19, known as the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act (the “Act”), which amended various statutes.  The Export Development Act is one of the statutes that was amended by the Act, and this article briefly summarizes these changes.

March 2020

March 26 - Ontario Noise By-law Amendment – Municipal Emergency [PDF 134 KB]
On March 19, 2020, the Ontario government passed Bill 187, Municipal Emergency Act, 2020.

March 26 - Temporary order for hospitals to violate collective agreements Ontario [PDF 122 KB]
To help combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government issued a new order under its March 17, 2020, declaration of emergency to help ensure adequate health care resources are available.

March 26 - COVID-19 and private mergers & acquisitions [PDF 73 KB]
COVID-19 has introduced significant uncertainty into the private M&A market. While some deals are being delayed or canceled, others have been placed on the agenda.

March 23 - COVID-19 and contractual obligations [PDF 278 KB]
The contractual issues you need to be aware of in the context of COVID-19.

March 23 - COVID-19 - employee & HR considerations [PDF 321 KB]
An exploration of the employee and human resources implications in the context of COVID-19.

March 23 - Navigating credit distress in difficult times [PDF 324 KB]
An overview of key considerations from the perspective of the banks and the borrowers during this challenging time.

March 23 - COVID-19 and real estate [PDF 259 KB]
Considerations relating to leases and other real property related agreements that should be taken into account.

March 23 - Restricted entry to Canada – Immigration [PDF 228 KB]
An update on the restrictions on travel to Canada to prevent the spread of COVID-19.