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Your Weekly Roundup of News 

February 8-12, 2021
In This Issue:

Resources and Funding Opportunities

Intake Open for Projects under the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative
The federal government has announced it will be funding eligible projects that fall under three main themes: creating safe and vibrant public spaces, improving mobility options, and digital solutions. The goal is to fund projects that can quickly help communities adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19 as they continue to navigate the pandemic. Applicants can apply for funding ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 for eligible projects, within an overall envelope of $31 million in federal government funding. Local governments and a variety of community organizations are eligible to apply, including charities, Indigenous communities, and registered non-profit organizations. Visit to learn more about the program, eligibility criteria and how to apply. Organizations can also register to attend information sessions on the program. The application period for the first round of funding will close on March 9, 2021 at 5:00PM PST.

Canada United Grants for Small Business Relief Re-Opening 
Canada United grants up to $5,000 are still available for small businesses through the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund to cover expenses related to personal protective equipment (PPE), renovations to accommodate re-opening guidelines and developing or improving website and e-commerce capabilities. Applications will be accepted again starting next week on February 16, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST. Click here to learn more.

Province Launches Renewed Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Programs
The Ontario government is launching new and improved Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) programs to help increase economic development and promote job creation in the North. The following new programs are now live and replace the NOHFC's existing programs:

  • The Community Enhancement Program will facilitate upgrades and repairs to vital community assets, such as recreational facilities, community centres and broadband infrastructure that contribute to improved quality of life and support strategic economic development initiatives
  • The Cultural Supports Program will promote and showcase Northern Ontario's culture, geography, and talent through the production of films and television series and by supporting events, such as conferences and festivals that elevate the profile of communities
  • The Invest North Program will boost economic growth and attract more investment to the North by supporting business development and expansion, as well as research and commercialization of new technologies
  • The People and Talent Program will attract, develop, and retain a strong northern workforce by supporting a broader range of internships and apprenticeships and providing more opportunities for Indigenous people to gain job experience
Energy and Property Tax Rebates
This program provides energy and property tax rebates for businesses that were required to shut down or restrict services due to provincial public health measures in areas categorized as Provincewide Shutdown, Red-Control, Grey-Lockdown, or previously modified Stage 2. The rebate will fully offset energy costs for electricity and natural gas for eligible businesses as well as property tax. Propane or heating oil costs are also eligible for businesses without natural gas service. Funding is available to cover the entire length of time that regionally targeted provincial public health restrictions are in place. Click here to apply. 

Do you…

  • Need assistance navigating the abundance of supports available?
  • Have questions about any of the support programs?
  • Need help filling out an application form to receive support?
  • Have a product or innovative solution you want to pitch to government?
  • Need assistance in connecting with the Ontario or federal government about a specific issue?
Whether you represent a business, organization, non-profit, or need help navigating COVID-19 related supports as an individual, Pathway Group is here to help

And don't forget to check out Pathway Group's COVID-19 Resource Hub - Updated regularly, this hub connects individuals, businesses, organizations and non-profits to Ontario and Federal Government supports and additional resources. 

Ontario Government News


Release of Ontario's Third Quarter Finances
This week the Ontario government released the province's 2020-21 Third Quarter Finances. The report shows that the government is projecting to spend $25 billion more than last year, including an additional $2.6 billion since the 2020 Budget. These investments are being used to deliver the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, to provide more hospital supplies and PPE, and to better protect long-term care homes and child care settings.

Ontario to Ease Restrictions in 27 more Public Health Units Next Week
Friday afternoon the Ontario government announced that 27 more regions will be moving into the province's colour-coded COVID-19 framework on February 16 and will no longer be under a stay-at-home order. Here is a list of the 27 public health units and the colour category they'll be moving into:

Grey "lockdown"

  • Niagara Region Public Health

Red "control"

  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • City of Hamilton Public Health Services
  • Durham Region Health Department
  • Halton Region Public Health
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public Health
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

Orange "restrict"

  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Lambton Public Health
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts

Yellow "protect"

  • Algoma Public Health
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Peterborough Public Health

Green "prevent"

  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit

Meanwhile, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit will join Toronto, Peel and York and will remain under a stay-at-home order and shutdown measures "until at least" February 22nd.

Federal Government News


Federal Budget Consultations 
The Government of Canada has been holding a series of virtual roundtables across the country with diverse groups of people from a range of regions, sectors and industries, including those hardest hit by the pandemic. All Canadians are invited to share their ideas through an online questionnaire at, which will be available until February 19, 2021.

CERB Repayments for Self-Employed Individuals
The federal government announced this week that self-employed people who made errors when they applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) won’t be forced to repay. According to a government press release, people who accessed CERB based on their gross self-employed income instead of net will not have to return those payments, as long as they meet the benefit’s other criteria. And those in that category who already repaid the benefit will get the money back. 

Gov't of Canada Invests to Address Labour Needs of Northeastern Ontario Businesses
The Government of Canada has announced it will be investing $95,000 to help the Northern Policy Institute to attract newcomers to the region and connect them with workplaces in need of their skills. This strategic project is engaging multiple stakeholders, communities and businesses across Northeastern Ontario to implement a plan to address challenges such as labour shortages, outmigration and an aging population that affect economic development in the region. Specifically, the funding is enabling the Northern Policy Institute to engage the services of two community matchmakers, based in Sudbury, to serve Northeastern Ontario, one focused on the francophone and allophone community (including international students), and the other on the anglophone community. The project, which is underway and progressing well, assists businesses in navigating and participating in immigrant and migrant settlement and attraction services, programs and administration. In addition, the project is helping to raise awareness of and facilitating access to job matching, payroll subsidy programs, and other employment supports.

Expansion of International Travel Restrictions by Land and Air
The Government of Canada announced on Friday further testing and quarantine requirements for international travellers arriving to Canada’s air and land ports of entry. These new measures will help prevent variants of concern from reaccelerating the pandemic and making it more difficult to contain.

Upcoming Events

February Events

Canada 360 Economic Summit
February 17 - 9:00 a.m. (ET)
Hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

The Canada 360 Economic Summit will feature panel discussions, one-on-one conversations and keynote addresses that will harness the creativity of Canadian businesses to incite the innovative public policies needed to foster a business-led recovery. More information and registration details available on the Summit website

Talent Opportunities Program Webinar
February 17- 9:30 a.m. (ET)
Hosted by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and University of Waterloo

A webinar to learn how your company can tap into post-secondary talent and apply for a valuable wage subsidy. The Talent Opportunities Program (TOP) is an initiative of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce designed to help employers located anywhere in Canada hire college and university students on work placements. This webinar will provide an overview of the TOP student work placement program wage subsidy, strategies for attracting, recruiting and hiring the right co-op students for your organization, funding process and tips for employers and a Q&A. Click here to register.  

C2C2C Corridors and Infrastructure Webinar
February 22 - 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Canada is a resource-rich, interconnected country united by complex and stable trade-enabling and transportation infrastructure networks. Whether it’s providing clean water to communities, exporting hydroelectricity or moving Canadians across the country across our rail and highway systems, Canada’s trade corridors are highly integrated. But the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted vulnerabilities not only in our corridor system, but also in our communities, particularly in Indigenous groups. We can and must come together to form a long-term national economic strategy that helps our post-COVID economic recovery while still respecting the key objective of addressing climate change and reconciliation. With such a strategy, Canada can become a more open country as it removes trade barriers at home and abroad.

This webinar features insights from:

  • Hon. Perrin Beatty, PC, OC, President & CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce,
  • Jessica Vandenberghe, PEng, MSc, Industry Professor - Indigenous Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Alberta,
  • John McDougall, Chairperson of the C2C2C Unity Corridor Foundation
March Events

Municipalities on the Frontlines: New Realities and Mandates in a Post-Pandemic World
March 3 - 9:00 a.m. (ET)

Hosted by the York University School of Public Policy and Administration 

The theme of the 4th annual Municipalities of the Future Symposium is Municipalities on the frontlines: new realities and mandates in a post-pandemic world. Keynote speaker and panelists to be announced. Small group networking will be available. Please note that this event is free, but technical capacity may be limited and we recommend to register early.

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