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COVID-19 Daily Bulletin: April 24

Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) Shares Payroll Resources for Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) members 

To help businesses access, understand and navigate recent changes, The Canadian Payroll Association has compiled a summary of the most frequently asked questions related to COVID-19 legislation from their Payroll InfoLine. Once again, Canadian Payroll Association is generously sharing free access with the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) to their important FAQ resource. This is available to CTA members regardless of whether they are CPA members or not.

Once you complete a very short form and press download, you will gain instant access to both the FAQ document, as well as supplementary resources. The CEWS summary and calculator is one of these supplementary resources and can be found under the Payroll Tools, Checklists & Calculators tab, where there is a specific COVID-19 Related Resources tab.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance thanks the CPA for sharing this resource with our members.

Simply click on these link for FAQ English and French.


 

CBP Extends Temporary Closure of Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment Centers

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will extend the temporary closure of Trusted Traveler Program enrollment centers until at least June 1, 2020. CBP is taking this precautionary measure to minimize the exposure of CBP personnel and the public to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

More information can be found here:


 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Opens Monday

Applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) open Monday, April 27th through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has also launched an online calculator to help businesses determine what amount they may be able to claim through the wage subsidy program. Carriers interested in the CEWS are encourage to check out the calculator in advance of applying. When you apply for the CEWS, you will be asked to enter amounts such as the number of eligible employees and gross payroll. This tool will help you get ready for this and will allow you to preview your subsidy claim now, based on information you enter.

For more information, including information on the calculator, see here.


 

Commercial Rent Assistance Announced

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

The government is also providing further details on the program:

The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.

The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.

Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.


 

MTO Opens Up new Truck Parking; Online CVOR Renewal; New 511 Features

To support truck drivers who are working hard to deliver food, equipment and other essential supplies to Ontario families during the COVID-19 outbreak, Ontario is providing more safe places to stop and rest across the province. These rest areas, along with truck-friendly restaurants, can now be easily found on Ontario 511’s interactive map and text reports.

More truck parking and rest areas:

The Ministry of Transportation has expanded the truck rest area network by:

  • Opening rest areas earlier than normal, including portable washrooms. 45 rest areas are now open.
  • Providing truck parking at 32 Truck Inspection Stations, and 14 truck lay-bys with portable washrooms available at most stations.
  • In partnership with Metrolinx and the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) we have opened one GO station parking lot, five Park ‘n Ride lots and one commuter car pool lot in the GTHA. All sites are equipped with toilets and hand washing stations.
  • Keeping all 23 ONroute travel plazas open for take-out, and drive-through services, including washrooms with enhanced cleaning.

Find rest area information with new Ontario 511 features:

We are making it easier for truck drivers to find traveller information with improvements to Ontario 511:

  • The new Ontario 511 “Trucker Mode” makes it easier for truck drivers to access rest area information.
  • We now provide Truck Rest Areas as a layer on the interactive map and text report that includes locations and details about rest areas.
  • We now list privately owned Truck Friendly Stops, including available washrooms, take-out, vegetarian options and more, courtesy of the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA).

Online Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) renewals now available

We have also launched the new online CVOR renewal service, as part of our commitment to provide simpler, faster and better services. You can now renew 24/7, 365 days a year in 3 easy steps in 15 minutes or less.

Traveling outside Ontario:

To assist truck drivers traveling outside provincial jurisdictions, the ministry recommends having access to your proof of validity extension letter, either electronically or by carrying a hard copy with your government issued document(s).

Ontario will continue to monitor emerging developments and will provide updates as they become available.

At this time, we would like to thank drivers and carriers for their continued efforts to help keep Ontarians safe and healthy.

Questions can be directed  Ministry of Transportation by contacting 511Feedback@ontario.ca.

Please visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians and stop the spread of COVID-19 and what you should do if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.


 

FMCSA Streamlines Access to Online Carrier Systems

The  Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) was contacted by the United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announcing that they will be simplifying access to various online carrier systems by removing the need for multiple Personal Identification Numbers (PINs). Accordingly, FMCSA will be consolidating the USDOT, MC & MX PINs into a single USDOT PIN, thereby eliminating the need for the separate MC and MX PINs.

Effective Monday April 27th, all FMCSA systems will be accessed using the USDOT PIN only. Once the changeover has been taken effect, users who log into systems such as the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) will receive an error if they do not utilize their USDOT PIN. Motor carriers who do not have USDOT PIN, or needed to reset it, can do so via the PIN Request website (https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/request-pin-number).

Further information is available here – FMCSA PIN Consolidation FAQ_public – FMCSA Customer Update or by contacting the FMCSA Customer Contact Center at 1-800-832-5660.


 

Transport Canada Revises TDG Certificate to Address Sanitizers

In light of the declaration of a pandemic outbreak of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020, Transport Canada is aware that Canadian industry has been asked to reorganize its operations to manufacture essential medical supplies, such as hand sanitizer. We understand that many new producers of hand sanitizers do not necessarily have the required transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) training or the appropriate resources to handle, offer for transport, or transport this dangerous goods in compliance with the TDG Act.

Given these challenges, Transport Canada has revised temporary certificate TU 0752 to address hand sanitizer enclosed in an overpack. Please find it attache: 0752.1-eng-TDG_public


 

IHG Offers Special Hotel Rates to CTA Members

IHG, which controls a string of hotel brands, wants you to support hard-working men and women while on the road with special hotel rates at its 16 brands, including Holiday Inn & Holiday Inn Express.

Participating IHG hotels are extending a special rate to all essential workers.

click here to make reservations. 

Click here for. flyer with more info: Transportation Booking Link_public


 

MTA Updates Workers Comp; Govt Small Biz Support 

The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba is returning a $37-million surplus to provide financial relief to eligible employers in the province.  In May, eligible employers will receive a credit to their account based on 20 per cent of their 2019 premium. To be eligible to receive the surplus, employers must have fulfilled their payroll reporting responsibilities for 2019 and paid a WCB premium in 2019. Employers can still report their 2019 payroll to receive the surplus distribution. This will result in an estimated $3,000,000 in savings for Manitoba’s trucking industry.  Learn More

3 – The Manitoba government is providing up to $120 million to support Manitoba’s small and medium-sized businesses that are facing significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The province will advance each eligible business the non-interest bearing forgivable MGPP loan of $6,000, with a total of $120 million being made available in the fund. The loan will be forgiven on Dec. 31, 2020, if the recipient attests at that time the business has not received any major non-repayable COVID-19 federal supports such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Business Account, as well as sector-specific grant federal programs specifically developed in response to the pandemic. If the applicant has received benefits under a federal COVID program, then the loan will be added to the recipient’s 2020 tax bill.  Learn More


 

AMTA Rest Area-PPE and Carrier Connection Database

The AMTA continues to update both its rest area, and PPE procurement databases. If you have suggestions or information to share on PPE procurement or rest area, hotel and restaurant updates, please email covid19@amta.ca.

Also, in an effort to connect carriers in need with carriers that have, AMTA  has created the Carrier Connection industry resource database. The database currently contains 20 Carriers. To learn more, fill out an intake form or view the database, click here.


 

Score Promotions Donates PPE to OTA

The Ontario Trucking Association thanks Score Promotions for donating PPE items and sanitary kits  to the OTA such as hand sanitizer, 3 ply masks, latex gloves, alcohol wipes, and granola bars.

Score is proud to help during these unprecedented times and act as a trusted partner of the OTA. “Score Promotions are incredibly thankful for all truckers during this time and the vital role they play in the world’s supply chain.”

OTA say sit will distribute the kits to Husky and Pilot Flying J at their Dixie Road area location so they can hand out to the drivers.


 

ATRI Data Shows See-Saw Activity

There was a spike in truck activity from early February into March in six U.S. states, but understandably demand has since fallen, the American Transportation Research Institute said this week.

The rise was due to high consumer demand for items such as non-perishable food and paper products as well as the much-needed emergency medical supplies, ATRI said.

The survey looked at the impact of Covid-19 on the trucking industry in California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Washington, Illinois and New York from Feb. 9 through April 18.

ATRI said it converted its real-time GPS data into a truck activity index.

“The GPS data we use is a valuable tool into what is going on in the economy and the trucking industry right now,” said ATRI president and COO Rebecca Brewster.

“We knew from talking to drivers and carrier executives that there were significant impacts on operations as a result of Covid-19, but now, by analyzing this data we are able to put numbers and data to feelings and anecdotes.”

  • Of the six states analyzed, California had the earliest stay-at-home order issued on March 19. California also experienced the earliest upward spike in truck activity, occurring during the week of March 1. However, truck activity in California is now down 8.3% from early February.
  • In Florida, Illinois and New York, truck activity spiked the week of March 8 but is now down on average by over 10% from Feb. 9.
  • In Pennsylvania and Washington, truck activity spiked during the week of March 15, but is now down by an average of nearly 9% from Feb. 9.

“There are initial signs of a return to normal, however,” ATRI said.

“In New York, one of the earliest states to experience high numbers of cases, truck activity started a positive uptick during the week of April 12.”

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