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Covid-19 IBAA Updates

March 31, 2020

Federal Supply Contracts -

The Federal government has announced new measures with the intent of broadening the manufacturing and distribution of key medical supplies. Read below:

  • 3,000 companies have offered their help to retool their industry to produce supplies to fight COVID-19
    • Supply contracts being signed to provide respirators, masks and test kits (Thornhill Medical, MediCom, and Spartan Bioscience)
    • Signed letters of intent with five other companies to provide supplies

  • Existing next generation manufacturing super-cluster will develop new technologies to treat and test Canadians

  • $2 billion to purchase personal protective equipment including for bulk purchases with provinces (gowns, ventilators, masks, etc) to protect medical workers
March 30, 2020

Small Federal Update -

Trudeau announced early on Friday a series of new measures and amended policies to help small businesses. Read below for some of these updates:

  • The Bank of Canada has dropped interest rate to 0.25% this morning

  • Canada is increasing its wage-subsidy program to 75% from the previously announced 10%. This will be backdated to March 15, 2020. No word yet on if the cap will increase as well.

  • Launching the Canada Emergency Business Account
    • $40,000 loans guaranteed by the government to qualifying businesses. Interest free for the first year. In exceptional circumstances, up to $10,000 of that will be forgivable

  • Additional $12.5 billion Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank. Companies can apply for a guaranteed loan.

  • Defer GST/HST payments and duties/taxes owed until June
March 27, 2020

Provincial Update -

A fairly substantial list of announcements was made by the Alberta Government today. Please read below to stay informed, as this will likely impact your day-to-day. The announcement is as follows:

  • Maximum size of group gatherings is reduced to 15 people total

  • Closing vehicle access to provincial parks only for recreational purposes.
    • Horseback and off highway vehicle use permitted where already legally permitted
    • Provincial park services remain closed
    • Parks and Environment officers can issue fines for non-compliance

  • Immediate closure of non-essential services and non-emergency and non-critical health services including dentistry, physiotherapy, massage, podiatry, chiropractic, and optometry services.
    • All dine in restaurants must close for dine in services (but can remain open for takeout)
    • Non-essential retail – clothing, computer, hobby, furniture, etc.
    • Subject to enhanced penalties introduced earlier this week.

  • 16,000 applications processed for self-isolation payments to date

  • No one will be evicted April 1 for non-payment of rent. Civil enforcement of evictions currently underway will be suspended until April 30.
    • No rent increases while State of Public Health Emergency is in effect
    • No late fees for missing rent payments for the next three months
    • Landlords are obliged to negotiate payment plans as long as the State of Public Health Emergency is in effect
    • All protections will be voided for any criminal acts or property damage

  • Hotels and other lodging can delay tourism levy payments until August 31
    • For outstanding amounts due on or after March 27, 2020.
    • Estimated to free up $5 million for employers

  • Government House Leader, Jason Nixon, will be calling MLAs back to the Legislature on March 31, 2020 to table legislation related to the pandemic and our economy.

  • All non-urgent diagnostic imaging procedures are postponed

Stay safe everyone!

City of Edmonton Update -

The City of Edmonton has made a statement in regards to it's effort to contain the COVID-19 virus. If this is applicable to you, please read below:

  • Renewed state of local emergency. Committee will meet weekly to consider renewal

  • Personal service shops are now closed indefinitely (massage parlors, salons, tattoo shops, body rub centres, etc.) per By-Law 13138 effective immediately

  • Kinsmen opened as additional overflow shelter space

  • Have not had the provincial response needed to extend greater property tax relief yet. Mayor Don Iveson will be speaking with federal government to seek that relief.

  • 3 orders advanced: self-isolation and physical distancing (2 metres at all times) is now mandatory in Edmonton. The third is the aforementioned personal service shop closure.
March 26, 2020

Federal Quarantine Act now being Enforced -

In response to many individuals failing to self quarantine the Federal Government has decided to begin enforcing the Quarantine Act. This means:

  • A 14-day quarantine is now mandatory for all Canadians returning from abroad.
    • Failure to comply will result in fines or jail time per the Quarantine Act
      • Maximum fine of $750,000 and/or up to 6 months jail time (for those returning from international travel)
      • For more serious contraventions, fines can total up to $1,000,000 and/or up to 3 years
    • Exemptions exist for those who cross the border for transport of goods and services (essential travel)

These updates alongside the ones being enforced by the province of Alberta (laid out below) can lead to some fairly substantial fines or even jail time. It's best to familiarize yourself with the processes as much as possible.

Also discussed:

  • $107 billion in total benefits in Bill C-13 passed on Wednesday (increased from $82)

  • Boosting Canada Child Benefit in May

  • Be aware of current text scams related to the Canada Emergency Benefit

  • Appointment of Kirsten Hillman as Ambassador to the USA

Stay safe everyone!

Further Provincial Updates -

The Alberta government updated some of the legal tools available to help limit the spread of Covid-19. Read below for a summary of those changes.

  • Amendments made to the Procedures Regulation Provincial Offences Procedures Act - Peace Officers and Police are now able to enforce public health orders (through ticketing) for breaching the following
    • Limit of 50 people at mass gatherings
    • Mandatory self-isolation for:
    • Binding on daycares (with exceptions), public recreational facilities, bars and night clubs, and non-essential visits to long term or continuing care facilities.
    • Fine of up to $1,000 per violation
    • Courts can administer fines of up to $100,000 for first time offences, and up to $500,000 for repeat or more serious violations.
    • Made by Ministerial Order under Public Health Act.
    • Facilities under this order include all nursing homes, designated supportive living and long-term care facilities, seniors lodges and any facility in which residential addiction treatment services are offered under the Mental Health Services Protection Act.
    • Considering including a sunset clause on these new enforcement measures

A few additions from Agriculture Minister, Devin Dreeshen. Highlights below:

  • Official request to federal government to deem food supply chain as an essential service
    • Would not be affected by a government order for non-essential services to close    
  • Maintaining rail and trucking services 
  • Coordinating with federal government to ensure Indigenous communities have equal opportunity for health and safety
  • Working with retailers for high-demand items
  • 50% increase in total sales for grocers
  • “Do not hoard food or daily essentials”. No need to panic as our food supply is secure
  • Retailers are implementing item limits, new business hours, seniors only hours, and pick-up and delivery services
  • Increase in demand for food bank services but decline in donations
  • Some food processors are operating 24/7.
  • Working with federal government to ensure food is entering the supply chain safely
  • Alberta distribution systems have increased their capacity to we are equipped to keep up with increasing demand
  • CN has assured they have capacity to handle the spike in demand
  • Trucking supply chain is moving well
  • Daily trade access across the Canada/USA border has been maintained
  • Working with farmers and ranchers to ensure no barriers to primary production exist during the pandemic
  • Provincial Operations Centre (POC) actively engaged in ensuring goods move across the country well
    • Representatives from all ministries are working with the POC
  • Additional $74 million for Agriculture from disaster contingency fund
    • The minister would not expand on that question
  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program will continue despite pandemic
    • Must still self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival
    • Looking at an Alberta job-matching program
BC - Insurance is Essential -

Positive news! Alongside Ontario and Quebec, BC has made the announcement that insurance is being deemed an essential service. This helps lend itself in efforts made by the IBAA in both the federal and provincial sphere in allowing insurance to be deemed essential for Albertans.

Read the BC announcement here.

Read our own Alberta letter to Legislature here.

March 25, 2020

Insurance is Essential -

A joint letter from the IBAA and IBC to Provincial Legislature went out yesterday detailing the essential nature of insurance. We hope to see insurance recognized by the province in this manner so that in the event of any major lockdown effort the insurance industry will still be allowed to operate unhindered.

Please read the full letter here.

New Federal Update -

The House of Commons sat early this morning to pass emergency legislation with the intent of mitigating some of the losses to households and businesses in relation to Covid-19. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau laid out some of the highlights, relayed below:

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit
    • $2,000/month for 4 months (dispersed 10 days after application)
    • Replaces the Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit
    • For laid off staff, quarantined persons and employed without salary
    • 143,000 Employment Insurance claims processed already (nearly 1,000,000 claims made in the past week)
    • Should be up and running by April 6th, 2020
AIC's Response -

A number of announcements have been made by the AIC over the past week in reaction to Covid-19. They will still be in operation, but much like the IBAA, are working remotely to assist in the quarantine effort. All licensing management can still be done online. This does mean that all licensing examinations are temporarily put on-hold.

Something positive however, an announcement made on Monday in relation to the pandemic is that they are going to be applying 5 credits toward all current license holders toward all license types. What this means is that all currently licensed brokers will only need 10 credits for their renewal this June. Read the full notice here.

Another piece of good news. To get these credits we are currently running a promotion for all member brokers. We're only charging $99 for all single session webinars between April 1st and June 30th. Just make sure you use coupon code 2020WEBDISC at checkout. See our full list of webinars here.

March 24, 2020

Resources from our Partners -

A few updates from partners of the IBAA:

The Alberta counsel has put together an infographic to lay out some of the federal and provincial measures being taken throughout the pandemic. Click here to read the document.

On-Side Restoration has laid out their personal protocols for public health and safety based on recommendations by the CDC and the WHO. Click here to read up on their procedures.

Updates from Jason Kenney -

Read below for a number of announcements made by Jason Kenney in regards to the current pandemic and measures the province is taking to protect Alberta citizens and businesses.

  • Effective immediately, reversing increase to Education Property Tax
    • $87 million in savings for residential and non-residential properties

  • Government to defer its portion of 6 months’ worth of non-residential property tax (October 2020). Deferred payment plans are being developed
    • $458 million will remain with businesses
    • Strongly encourage commercial landlords to pass on savings to employers. Same goes for residential landlords who receive deferrals on mortgages

  • Deferring WCB premiums for private sector employers
    • Will not effect benefits for injured workers
    • Small/medium private employers will only pay half of 2020 premiums (government to pay remaining half)
    • Employers will be refunded or credited upon request (for those who have already paid)

  • All international returners must self-isolate immediately
    • Willing to use stronger enforcement mechanisms if it continues to be a problem

  • Albertans must exercise caution about COVID-19 related scams

  • 80% increase in use of homeless shelters, but having difficult time getting supplies due to hoarding.
    • Hoarding will be subject to penalties

  • Will save some stimulative spending for post-pandemic
March 23, 2020

Updates from the PM -

Over the past few days Justin Trudeau has made a number of national address to lay out some of the tactics being employed in combating the current Covid-19 situation. Read some of the highlights of these addresses below.

March 20, 2020
  • Canada is working with airlines to bring Canadians home
    • First flight leaving Morocco this weekend

  • Canada-USA border closes at midnight Friday, March 20th

  • Mutual accord with USA to send back irregular migrants crossing the border. This effectively suspends the Safe Third Country Agreement with the USA on a temporary basis.

  • Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to Combat COVID-19
    • Scale up medical supply production capacity
    • Auto parts companies are shifting to producing medical equipment
    • New procurement streams to help more companies to be innovative and produce products to fight COVID-19
March 23, 2020
  • Federal advertising campaigns coming to get out recommendations from health care workers

  • House of Commons to reconvene Tuesday to pass emergency legislation
    • 32 MPs present: 14 Liberals, 11 Conservatives, 3 Bloc Quebecois, 3 NDP, and 1 NDP

  • $5B in additional lending capacity through Farm Credit Canada

  • Air Canada and Air Transat to provide repatriation flights from numerous countries

  • $192 million to support creation and production of a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada
    • Vaccines will take months to develop and test. Social distancing should be maintained until further notice

  • Asking all post-secondary research institutions to provide masks and respirators
Thank you and stay safe.

March 19, 2020

Coronavirus Courses - Industry Partners -

VuBiz, one of our education partners has developed a free online and on-demand Coronavirus course available to all members of the IBAA. Should you have any questions about what this virus is, how it was developed and what you can do to limit exposure feel free to login to our VuBiz portal. The course should be available to all members under the "My Courses" tab and will have no cost associated with it.

IBC has also developed a free online Coronavirus course, this time in webinar format. This course will run on the morning of Thursday March 26, 2020 at 9am Alberta time. In this session two experts in the field, Andrea Lekushoff and Kieran Rigby, will be discussing a number of topics including the business impacts of a lock-down situation, how to best utilize software and systems to support remote work environments, developing a comprehensive communication strategy for your insureds, and what services insurers have available to help get you through. You'll also get the chance to ask your questions directly to the experts. Click here to register for this webinar.

Updates from the Provincial and Federal Governments -

Over the past few days our Federal and Provincial governments have laid out a series of health guidelines, expectations as well as a robust economic framework to help support Canadians and Albertans through this period. Please click below for links to each of these.

Federal Economic Response

Federal Health Info

Provincial Economic Response

Provincial Health Info

A few key highlights are that all non-essential travel to any other country, including the USA, is now prohibited, gatherings larger than 50 people within Alberta are no longer allowed, and financial support from both the Provincial and Federal government will be incoming for individuals and businesses.

Lets hope this thing clears up quickly. Stay safe everyone!

March 18, 2020

Message from the CEO's Desk -

The COVID-19 crisis is one that none of us could have anticipated, but we can take measures to ensure we protect ourselves. IBAA wishes to ensure the health of those around us, our members, our clients, our employees, families and loved ones are safeguarded at this time of uncertainty.

We urge all of you to take appropriate measures to distance yourself from the danger of the coronavirus. This includes potentially closing your offices to incoming traffic, allowing your staff to work from home, cancelling any unnecessary face-to face contact or travel for meetings.

IBAA is doing its part to protect our members by cancelling this year’s Convention in Banff May 3-6, 2020. We are holding conference calls instead of face to face meetings, and allowing our staff to work from home. We have also made the decision to have the IBAA staff work from home starting Tuesday, March 17 with a tentative return to the office date of April 1, 2020. We will, however, re-assess this date on March 27 in the event we must extend it in order to protect everyone’s health. Our staff will be available via email should you have any questions.

For those of you concerned about obtaining enough CE credit hours, our webinars are proceeding as scheduled. We are also offering a special price to members – all our webinars will be provided to members at $99 each for any webinars booked between April 1-30, 2020. Just use Promo code 2020WEBDISC when you register. We have licensing Level 2 online available starting March 30, 2020 and Level 1 online starting April 13, 2020. For more information, click on the link below.

Members are encouraged to use their social media sites, their email and to post messaging notifying staff and clients of any preventive measures being taken, or measures they can take to protect themselves. Brokers have an opportunity to connect with customers and provide them with where to find appropriate loss prevention resources, which is what they count on us for.

We encourage all our stakeholders to consult the Alberta government website several times a day for the most up to date information. For your reference, we have provided it below.

March 16, 2020

IBAA is Working from Home -

To limit exposure to the virus and assist in preventing its spread we have decided to lock up our office and work from home starting March 17th, with a tentative date to return on April 1st. We will re-assess this on March 27th and make an informed decision based on expert opinion as to whether our return date needs to be pushed back. We will be unreachable by phone for the duration, but will be happy to assist you via email. Our full list of emails can be found on our staff page.

This also means our physical classes and exams for the immediate future have either been postponed, cancelled or converted to an online format. You will have either been contacted already regarding this change or contacted very soon to discuss moving forward or potential refunds. Periodic trips to the office will be made to keep up with shipping.

Thank you for being patient with us through this process. Stay safe everyone.

March 13, 2020

Convention Postponed -

This morning the IBAA Executive and Management Team made the difficult decision to postpone the IBAA 2020 Convention from May 3-6 until the Fall of 2020. This decision was precipitated not only to protect the health of our members and partners but also to honour the Alberta Health Minister’s recommendation that events with groups over 250 people be cancelled. We are working on potential dates for the fall of this year and will advise when a new date is confirmed. For those broker looking for the extra CE hours, we will be looking to add additional webinars in order for you to qualify for your license renewals.

We will be refunding all monies to those who have already paid for their registrations. We ask for your patience as we work to complete the refund process and request that you do not call us about your refunds. We will get them out as quickly as possible. No cancellations necessitated by this situation will be subject to a cancellation fee. As for the Convention Golf Tournament, it has been cancelled in its entirety but will be included in the IBAA Convention 2021.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you in the Fall!

more IBAA Courses and Events

2020-03-28 » 2020-04-25
CAIB 2 Fast Track - Online (Previously Grande Prairie)

2020-04-13 » 2020-04-24
Licensing Level 1 Immersion - Instructed Online

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