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COVID-19 Daily Bulletins: April 15

Details on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. To qualify for the subsidy, eligible entities must have a decline in revenues of at least 15 per cent in March 2020, and at least 30 per cent in April 2020 and May 2020.

The final revenue test is a change from previous announcements. The earlier test required a 30 per cent drop in revenues for March 2020, which was ultimately seen as inappropriate because the pandemic’s impact did not begin to significantly affect businesses until the middle of that month. An employer’s revenue for the subsidy includes its revenue earned in Canada from arm’s length sources, calculated using the employer’s normal accounting method. Employers can choose to compute their revenues using either the accrual method or cash method of accounting but not the two methods combined. Employers must use the method they select when they first apply for the CEWS for the duration of the program.

Employers can use one of two benchmarks for the revenue test. They can choose to compare their revenue for March, April, and May 2020 to either:

  • The same months in 2019
  • Or to an average of their revenue in January and February of 2020

The second option listed above is also a change from earlier announcement which only included the first option. Now, both are available for employers to use as benchmarks. Again, once an employer has selected the benchmark they want to use, they must use it for the program’s duration. You should note, when measuring the revenue loss, the CEWS amount received by the eligible entity in a month is excluded from calculations.

Many businesses have complex business arrangements where the method of revenue recognition is not straightforward. Using revenue per month as a yardstick may not accurately capture a severe downturn in business. The ability to use either the accrual method or the cash method for the revenue test, as described above, has been said is a partial remedy to this.

Changes have also been made to automatically qualify companies for the next period. To provide greater certainty and simplicity to employers, once an employer is found to be eligible for a specific period, the employer will automatically qualify for the next period. This is a change from the initial proposals where employers were originally being asked to apply for the subsidy each period.

How to Apply:

Eligible employers will be able to apply for the CEWS through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal. Employers will need to keep records demonstrating their reduction in arm’s-length revenues and remuneration paid to employees. More details about the application process will be made available shortly.

For more information, see: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/04/additional-details-on-the-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy.html


 

No Impacts to Trucking as New Quarantine Rules Take Effect

The Government of Canada released new quarantine rules taking effect on April 15 requiring travellers that are returning to the country to have an acceptable self-quarantine/isolation plan (along with other requirements) in place to help mitigate against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

CTA has again confirmed with government officials that these new requirements will have no impact on truck drivers crossing the border for the purpose of carrying out their trucking duties, with these actions being implemented as an additional layer of protection by the Federal government for travellers returning from abroad.

As clarified by the Government of Canada, an exemption to the request to self-isolate for 14 days should be provided to workers – including truck drivers – who are essential to the movement of goods and people. For example, this exemption would apply to:

  • Healthy workers in the trade and transportation sector who are important for the movement of goods and people across the border, such as truck drivers and crew on any plane, train or marine vessel crossing the border;
  • Healthy people who have to cross the border to go to work, including health care providers and critical infrastructure workers;

Workers in these sectors should:

  • practice social distancing (maintain a distance of 2 metres from others)
  • closely self-monitor
  • self-isolate should they exhibit any symptoms

CTA expects the current border restrictions to be in place for several more weeks. Any new developments will be shared with members as they become available.


 

CBSA Reduces Border Crossing Hours at 27 Ports

The Canada Border Services Agency is temporarily scaling back hours at several low traffic crossings along the border with the United States. These COVID-19 related measures are temporary and will come into effect as of April 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT. These hours will remain in effect until further notice.

In all, 27 ports are affected; three in British Columbia, two in Alberta, eight in Saskatchewan, six in Manitoba and eight in Quebec.

The western crossings and two in Quebec will open later and close earlier while six other Quebec ports usually open around the clock will operate between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Further details can be found at CBSA’s website: https://www.canada.ca/en/border-services-agency/news/2020/04/covid-19–temporary-reduction-of-service-at-canadian-land-border-crossings.html


 

Reduced IRP Office Hours

OTA today was made aware of modified service options available for the International Registration Program (IRP) from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). Effective immediately, all IRP Offices will be reducing their hours of operation (from 8:30 to 3:00 pm) and eliminating access to the public. Services and support will continue to be provided by mail, email and phone while in-person services are unavailable.

MTO acknowledges there are several services still required that are important for the movement of trucks and our industry, and IRP offices will continue to deliver these services.  This includes: registration of a new vehicle, replace vehicle, change registered gross weight of vehicle and replace any lost, missing, stolen plate, permit, valtag or cab card. Payment methods will be adjusted as in-person cash payments will be temporarily unavailable. Arrangements can be made for plates, permits, valtags and cab cards to be delivered via courier.  Please contact your local office to make these arrangements.   For complete details of the notice from MTO, click here: Important Notice to IRP Carriers_public.pdf


 

Ontario 511 adds ‘Trucker Mode’ feature

Ontario 511 updated its platform to help truck drivers easily find all parking and washrooms on our interactive map. Ontario is providing truck drivers with more places to safely stop and rest while moving essential goods during COVID-19. This includes parking at all 23 ONroutes as well as seasonal rest areas, Truck Inspection Stations and truck lay-bys. Check out the Truck Rest Area and Truck Friendly Stops  interactive map for more information.


 

Alberta Government extends select vehicle inspection certificate expiry dates

Effective April 9, 2020, the Government of Alberta is extending the expiry dates of select vehicle inspection certificates until May 15, 2020, if the certificate expires between March 17 and May 15, 2020. This includes all:

  • Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program certificates and decals;
  • Out of Province Motor Vehicle Inspection certificates; and
  • Salvage Motor Vehicle Inspection certificates.

Click here fo amor info: https://amta.ca/alberta-government-extends-select-vehicle-inspection-certificate-expiry-dates/


 

TSA Exemption to Extend the Expiration Date of Certain TWICs

On April 15, 2020, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) granted a temporary regulatory exemption regarding the expiration of certain Transportation Workers Identification Credentials (TWICs).  TSA’s action extends, for 180 days, the expiration date of TWICs that expired on or after March 1, 2020.  In granting this exemption, TSA listed a number of reasons why this action poses little to no risk to transportation security.

*Courtesy of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting, LLC, Arlington Virginia.


 

New Jersey Requiring Face Masks

Effective April 10, New Jersey is requiring workers and customers to wear cloth face covering while on the premises of the essential retail businesses, warehouses, and construction sites that are still allowed to be open during the COVID-19 pandemic.Gov. Philip Murphy’s Executive Order #122, issued April 8, implemented a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus at essential businesses, including occupancy and social distancing measures, among others. The order also requires non-essential construction projects to cease and put in place restrictions for essential projects.

The order states that “businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees. If a customer refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the business at the point of entry, then the business must decline entry to the individual.”


 

 Trucker-Friendly Offerings-Promos

  • Shell has launched a #ThankATrucker promotion offering a free sandwich and beverage to all commercial drivers at participating sites to show appreciation. For more info visit: https://go.shell.com/34Dn0vv
  • ONroute‘s is extending their “Keep ON Trucking” initiative and will be offering free coffee to truck drivers every Wednesday from April 15 to May 13, 2020. On Wednesdays from April 15 to May 13 truck drivers can get a FREE coffee at all ONroute plazas across Ontario to say thank you for maintaining our provincial and national supply chain throughout COVID-19. #keepONtrucking.
  • Participating Ultramar/Pipeline locations are offering 25% off of food, drinks and snacks until May 31. Drivers are asked to show their Pipeland card to receive the discount. (valid for one per customer per day). The discount has no cash value and cannot be applied to lottery, tobacco, alcoholic beverages and non-food items. The maximum discount of $5 cannot be combined with any other promotion or discount. The company is also reminding drivers that it remains to have showers and washrooms  available at participating locations.
  • Denny’s, which is prominent in Flying J Truck Stops, is giving FREE Food to truck drivers on Tuesdays. Click here for more info: https://www.dennys.ca/promotions/trucker-tuesday/

 

COVID-19 Mental Health Program

Startling minds has launched a mental health program aimed at truck drivers to help them combat their stress, anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The free, confidential program offers workers with a smartphone or computer strategies and tools to help them with their day-to-day routines.

“As a leading digital mental health platform, Starling has already helped thousands of individuals improve their mental health by providing cost-effective, on-demand access to digitally-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) through an employer, union, or insurance provider.

The COVID-19 Mental Health Program will help people:

  • Understand how uncertainty and disruption can increase stress and anxiety
  • Set healthy boundaries to manage the constant stream of COVID-19 information
  • Create realistic goals to keep their lives on track during this pandemic
  • Learn about strategies and tools to manage COVID-19 anxiety and worrisome thoughts
  • Connect with a supportive, confidential online community for ongoing peer support

To access Starling’s free Digital Mental Health Program for COVID-19 stress and anxiety, go to https://info.starlingminds.com/covid19-free-mental-health.


 

Media 


Today’s Pickup: Will Canada deploy rapid COVID-19 test kits to US border?

FreightWaves –


Ontario’s trucking industry keeps life-saving cargo moving amid COVID-19 pandemic

CTV News – The Ontario Trucking Association told CTV News Toronto Tuesday that … saying that there is today,” Don Andrews, Trailcon’s director of operations

Trucking was never easy’: Manitoba drivers logging ’empty miles’ during pandemic

Globalnews.ca –  “Load ‘A’ that used to get me to ‘B’ that used to get me to ‘C’ just isn’t there anymore,” explains Terry Shaw of the Manitoba Trucking Association

Truckers taking precautions to fight COVID-19 amid spreading concerns

National Post –  Truckers taking precautions to fight COVID-19 amid spreading concerns … said Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.


Safer Roads Canada concerned with rollback of trucking regulations

Edmonton Sun – Regulations are being relaxed for truck drivers and railway operators in … has decided to roll back safety regulations imposed on commercial truck drivers by … We don’t know why he and Transport Canada federally have pulled the

Corbella: Gratitude to truckers long overdue

Calgary Herald – Brad Picklyk and Rukman Sri with Continental Commercial Vehicle Tires poses with homemade lunches, that include sanitization kits, to truck drivers


Coronavirus: BC effort to support transport drivers takes on national interest

Globalnews.ca – An effort to feed B.C. transport drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic is picking up speed. … Walk-ups to drive-thrus have not been allowed, according to Munden, who said truckers associations are working with restaurants and

Coronavirus: Truck drivers working non-stop to deliver essential goods, but it’s tough

Globalnews.ca – “We’re talking about an economic slowdown,” explained Veronique Proulx, president of Quebec’s Manufacturers and Exporters Association


 

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