Government of Canada’s response to COVID-19

The Government of Canada is acting to minimize the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadians.

This webpage was created to provide the latest information on legislative and other measures adopted to protect Canadians in response to the pandemic.  

Legislation

 

The following federal legislation has been enacted to date to protect the health and well-being of Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Charter Statements

 

Many Canadians may not know that since December 13, 2019, a Charter Statement is tabled in Parliament for all Government legislation. These are tabled in Parliament by the Minister of Justice once legislation is introduced.

Charter Statements are a transparency measure intended to inform parliamentary and public debate on a bill and help increase awareness and understanding of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter).

The following list provides links to the Charter Statements related to federal legislation enacted to date in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Orders and Regulations

 

Along with legislation, the Government of Canada also has the authority, under existing laws, such as the Quarantine Act and the Aeronautics Act, to issue orders and regulations to address COVID-19 to ensure the public safety of Canadians.

Note: this table and the links to each order or regulation are updated on a regular basis.
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Order or Regulation Responsible Department or Agency Description Date order made Effective date Effective until
Interim Order No. 4 Amending the Employment Insurance Act (Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit) Employment and Social Development Canada The objective of this interim order is to expand eligibility for the Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit to self-employed fishers who recently exhausted EI fishing benefits and are unable to start working for reasons related to COVID-19. April 23, 2020 March 15, 2020 This measure would be effective until March 20, 2021 (the Saturday after the first anniversary of the day on which the interim order takes effect), or the day on which the interim order is repealed, whichever is earlier.
Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States) Public Health Agency of Canada This order was made to broaden the scope of persons who are not prohibited from entering Canada while supporting Canada’s continued focus on reducing the introduction and further spread of COVID-19. April 20, 2020 April 22, 2020 May 21, 2020
Regulations amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Quarantine Act and Emergencies Act) Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

These regulatory amendments establish that a foreign national authorized to enter Canada temporarily can be found inadmissible, issued a removal order and be banned from re-entering Canada for 1 year if they fail to adhere to an order made under the Quarantine Act or Emergencies Act.

They also create new responsibilities related to public health that employers using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and International Mobility Program must adhere to under the existing employer compliance regime.

April 20, 2020 April 20, 2020 Indeterminate
Interim Order No. 2 Respecting Passenger Vessel Restrictions Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Transport Canada The interim order was issued to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 on-board passenger vessels certified to carry more than 12 passengers, prohibiting operations that are discretionary in nature, such as activities related to tourism and recreation, from operating in Canadian waters. April 20, 2020 April 20, 2020 October 31, 2020, for passenger vessels in arctic waters; and June 30, 2020, for passenger vessels in any other Canadian waters
Income Support Payment (Excluded Nominal Income) Regulations Employment and Social Development Canada The objective of this regulation is to allow workers who cease work due to COVID-19 to continue to receive nominal amounts of income, up to $1000 over a four-week period, without affecting their eligibility for income support payments under the Act. April 15, 2020 April 16, 2020 December 2, 2020
Interim Order No. 3 Amending the Employment Insurance Act (Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit) Employment and Social Development Canada The objective of this interim order is to expand eligibility for the Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit to EI claimants who recently exhausted regular benefits and are unable to find work for reasons related to COVID-19. April 15, 2020 March 15, 2020 This measure is effective until March 20, 2021 (the Saturday after the first anniversary of the day on which the interim order takes effect), or the day on which the interim order is repealed, whichever is earlier.
Interim Order No. 2 Amending the Employment Insurance Act (Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit) Employment and Social Development Canada The objective of this interim order is to ensure that these groups of claimants must meet the same income restrictions. It also specifies that claimants can receive nominal income from employment or self-employment, while still being eligible to receive the benefit. April 15, 2020 March 15, 2020 This measure is effective until March 20, 2021 (the Saturday after the first anniversary of the day on which the interim order takes effect), or the day on which the interim order is repealed, whichever is earlier.
Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation) Public Health Agency of Canada This order was made to support Canada’s continued focus on reducing the introduction and further spread of COVID-19 by decreasing the risk of importing cases from outside the country by addressing newly emerging public health science on COVID-19 that indicates that even asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic individuals can spread the disease. April 14, 2020 April 15, 2020 June 30, 2020
Regulations amending the Contraventions Regulations (Quarantine Act) Department of Justice Designate ten (10) offences under the Quarantine Act as contraventions. April 11, 2020 April 11, 2020 N/A
Regulations amending the Application of Provincial Laws Regulations Department of Justice Incorporate by reference the provincial ticketing schemes of Alberta and Saskatchewan, in order to allow for the implementation of the federal Contraventions Regime in those jurisdictions, should they want to sign an agreement under the Contraventions Act. April 11, 2020 April 11, 2020 N/A
Income Support Payment Amount Regulations Employment and Social Development Canada

This regulation is being put in place by the Minister of Employment and Social Development, with the consent of the Minister of Finance, fixing the income support payment amount as $500 per week.

This regulation will allow the income support payment to be made to individuals who cease working due to reasons related to COVID-19 and meet other eligibility requirements.

March 31, 2020 April 1, 2020 December 2, 2020
Interim Order No. 1 Amending the Employment Insurance Act (Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit) Employment and Social Development Canada

The objective of this interim order is to manage the extraordinary volume of claims in these exceptional circumstances by temporarily simplifying the Employment Insurance program.

Notably, this interim order provides for a new Emergency Response Benefit that is closely aligned with income support payments under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act. For EI claims established between March 15, 2020 and October 3, 2020, the interim order describes that claims for EI regular benefits and EI sickness benefits are considered as applications for the Emergency Response Benefit. These changes will allow for many claims to be processed quickly by simplifying the eligibility criteria and facilitating automation.

This interim order is not making changes to EI maternity, parental, compassionate care, family caregiving or fishing benefits.

March 31, 2020 March 15, 2020 This measure is effective until March 20, 2021 (the Saturday after the first anniversary of the day on which the interim order takes effect), or the day on which the interim order is repealed, whichever is earlier.
Order directing Export Development Canada Global Affairs Canada This Order provides support for working capital and liquidity for micro enterprises in order to cover non-deferrable costs during the current economic crisis related to COVID-19. March 30, 2020 March 30, 2020 This Directive will remain in place for the duration of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.
Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any country other than the United States) Public Health Agency of Canada This order was made to broaden the list of foreign nationals who are permitted entry to Canada by any mode of travel by supporting Canada’s continued focus on reducing the introduction and further spread of COVID-19. March 26, 2020 March 26, 2020 June 30, 2020
Regulations Maintaining the Safety of Persons in Ports and the Seaway Transport Canada These Regulations temporarily restrict the number of persons arriving by cruise ship at ports managed by port authorities, at public ports, at public port facilities and in the Seaway to reduce the risk of persons in those areas contracting infectious diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, also known as SARS-CoV-2. March 18, 2020 March 18, 2020 June 30, 2020
Interim Order Respecting the Importation and Sale of Medical Devices for Use in Relation to COVID-19 Health Canada This order was made to allow expedited access to COVID-19-related medical devices for use by healthcare providers, including diagnostic test kits. March 18, 2020 March 18, 2020 March 18, 2021
Measures no longer in effect
Order or Regulation Responsible Department or Agency Description Date order made Effective date Effective until
First Nations Election Cancellation and Postponement Regulations (Prevention of Diseases) Indigenous Services Canada These regulations were put in place to provide First Nations councils whose mandates are to expire in the coming months with the possibility to extend their mandate for a limited period of time in order to avoid the spreading of disease. April 7, 2020 April 7, 2020 April 7, 2021
Order pursuant to Section 32.1 of the Railway Safety Act Due to COVID-19 Transport Canada This Ministerial Order requires intercity passenger rail carriers outlined in this order to implement mandatory health checks for COVID-19 and to refuse boarding of symptomatic passengers. March 27, 2020

March 30, 2020

(at noon Eastern Daylight Time)

April 30, 2020
Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights in Canada due to COVID-19 Transport Canada This order establishes the requirement for mandatory health checks and refusal of boarding for all domestic and outbound travel in Canada. March 27, 2020

March 30, 2020

(at noon Eastern Daylight Time)

April 9, 2020
Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights to Canada due to COVID-19, No. 3 Transport Canada This order was made to deal with a significant risk, direct or indirect, to aviation safety or the safety of the public. March 24, 2020

March 24, 2020

(at noon Eastern Daylight Time, with the exception of sections 6 to 8 which come into force on March 27, 2020, at noon Eastern Daylight Time)

April 6, 2020
Interim Order Respecting Passenger Vessel Restrictions Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Transport Canada This interim order outlines restrictions for ferries and commercial passenger vessels. April 4, 2020 April 6, 2020 October 31, 2020, in the case of vessels in arctic waters, and June 30, 2020, in the case of vessels in any other Canadian waters.
Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States) Public Health Agency of Canada This order was made to broaden the scope of persons who are not prohibited from entering Canada while supporting Canada’s continued focus on reducing the introduction and further spread of COVID-19. March 26, 2020 March 26, 2020 April 21, 2020
Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation) Public Health Agency of Canada This order was made to manage all persons who enter Canada whether by air, land rail and sea, to minimize the travel related risk of introduction and spread of COVID-19 coronavirus disease by requiring all persons who enter Canada to isolate for 14 days from the day upon which they entered Canada. March 24, 2020 March 25, 2020 June 30, 2020
Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any country other than the United States) Public Health Agency of Canada This order was made to enhance recent border measures to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 coronavirus disease from being transmitted by travellers entering Canada from foreign countries. March 22, 2020 March 22, 2020 Replaced by Emergency Order of the same name
Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States) Public Health Agency of Canada This order was made to protect the health of the public from the introduction or spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease transmitted via travellers from foreign countries by prohibiting entry into Canada by foreign nationals for optional or discretionary purposes. March 20, 2020 March 21, 2020 Replaced by Emergency Order of the same name
Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights to Canada due to COVID-19, No. 2 Transport Canada This order was made to deal with a significant risk, direct or indirect, to aviation safety or the safety of the public. March 20, 2020

March 21, 2020

(at noon, with the exception of section 6 which comes into force on March 27, 2020)

Replaced by Interim Order No.3 of the same name
Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada) Public Health Agency of Canada This order was made to protect the health and safety of the public from the COVID-19 coronavirus disease outbreak by banning entry of certain foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air from all countries with the exception of persons travelling from the United States. March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

(at noon Eastern Daylight Time)

Replaced by Emergency Order of the same name
Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights to Canada due to COVID-19 Transport Canada This order was made to deal with a significant risk, direct or indirect, to aviation safety or the safety of the public. March 17, 2020

March 18, 2020

(at noon Eastern Daylight Time, except Sections 6 to 10 which come into force on March 19, 2020)

Replaced by interim Order No. 2 of the same name
Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order Public Health Agency of Canada This order was made to protect the health of exposed travellers as well as the health and safety of the general public from the COVID-19 coronavirus disease outbreak through heightened oversight of all individuals arriving to Canada from areas with a high contagion risk, as part of the Government of Canada’s action to bring Canadians home. February 17, 2020 February 17, 2020 April 30, 2020
Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to 2019-nCoV Acute Respiratory Disease in Canada Order Public Health Agency of Canada This order was made to protect the health of exposed travellers as well as the health and safety of the general public from the 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease outbreak through heightened oversight of all individuals arriving to Canada from Hubei Province, China as part of the Government of Canada’s action to bring Canadians home. February 3, 2020 February 3, 2020 March 31, 2020
Draft Legislative Proposals

 

The Government of Canada publishes draft legislative proposals, outlining potential solutions that the Government could implement to address important issues related to COVID-19. Read the draft legislative proposals below:

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