Canada is funding more than $19 billion through the Safe Restart Agreement (SRA) to help the country's provinces and territories safely restart their economies and recover from the impacts of COVID-19, and make the country more resilient in the event of possible future waves of the virus.
Paid Sick Leave, Child Care, Other Priorities
The funding addresses key priorities identified by Canada's First Ministers needed for the safe restart of Canada's economy during the next six to eight months. Among the priorities funded by the SRA is a new temporary income support program to provide workers who do not have paid sick leave with access to 10 days of paid sick leave related to COVID-19. The SRA also provides support to ensure that safe and sufficient child care spaces are available to support parents' gradual return to work.
The federal money will also support measures to increase testing and contact tracing of COVID-19 to protect Canadians from a future outbreak, and support the capacity of the country's health care systems. It will also assist with the procurement of personal protective equipment to help essential workers and protect seniors. The SRA is also designed to quickly provide money to municipalities to help them deliver essential services like public transit.
To access the funding, each province and territory will need to outline how they will invest these funds. The SRA funding is in addition to funding previously provided to the provinces and territories.
Edward Kowalski, Esq., is Manager, Payroll Information Resources, for the American Payroll Association