COVID-19 Daily Bulletins: April 17

CBSA Provides Additional Guidance on Use of Non-Medical Masks for Border Crossing

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has provided the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) additional guidance on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) directive that CBSA implement a policy, effective immediately, requiring all essential workers crossing the border to wear a non-medical mask or face covering.

CBSA has indicated that any face mask that demonstrates a reasonable “good-faith” effort to adhere to the requirement will be accepted, as they understand there is a limited supply of medical grade masks available. This could include the use of scarfs, bandanas or other materials. As per yesterday’s CTA newsflash, CBSA will be distributing masks at ports of entry free of charge when they are available to drivers who are not in possession of their own mask or face covering. At this time, CBSA has indicated no driver will be denied entry into Canada or be directed to secondary.

In addition, PHAC has stated that persons that are exempt from mandatory quarantine are still required to wear an appropriate mask or face covering upon entry into Canada, and that all travellers arriving in Canada will be required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering to proceed to their final destination within Canada to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19.

For additional information, Transport Canada has developed guidelines and instructions on non-medical face masks in partnership with PHAC which can be found here


Face Masks Become Mandatory in New York and Pennsylvania

The Governor of New York has issued an Executive Order requiring face masks to be worn in public, coming into effect at 8 p.m. on Friday April 17. The Order applies to anyone over the age of 2 who can “medically tolerate” wearing a mask when they are in public and are unable to be socially distant (six feet apart) when in public, such as on public transportation or a crowded street.

The face covering can be a medical mask, or another type of cloth face covering such as a bandana, according to interviews with the Governor. The Order does not provide any exemptions based on industry.

The Governor of Pennsylvania has also ordered that all workers and customers at essential businesses are required to wear masks starting Sunday, April 19, at 8 p.m.  Order states that all drivers delivering goods in Pennsylvania will need to have a mask on when outside their vehicle. For the full details please review the attached information.


Port of Detroit Implements new Measures to Assist with Physical Distancing

CBP officials at the Port of Detroit have implemented new protocols to mitigate the interactions between officers and drivers, and between drivers themselves in an effort to promote physical and social distancing at the port of entry.

CBP officials are offering truck drivers the option of staying in their cabs at secondary and offering the ability for truck drivers to give their phone number to officers, allowing them to have discussions and conduct examinations over the phone if desired.

If there are multiple people in the waiting room at secondary to see an officer, drivers have the option to leave their number with an officer and be called in to speak with an officer when it is practical from a social and physical distancing perspective.

The Port of Detroit has offered to continue to work with the trucking industry should other concerns or issues arise during the pandemic.


Reminder: 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.

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:


Whitby Turns Sports Centre into Temp Truck Stop

The Town of Whitby has opened a temporary truck driver rest stop at Iroquois Park Sports Centre (500 Victoria Street West) in an effort to support drivers who have been impacted by the closure of facilities due to COVID-19. The facility is located just off of Highway 401, providing a quick place for short- and long-haul drivers to stop as they travel across Ontario.

The rest stop will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., starting today, providing drivers with a place to shower, change and use washroom facilities. Drivers can enter the building through the main doors. Please note that the facility is not open to the public. The south portion of the main parking lot will be available for temporary parking (of up to 12 hours) to allow drivers to rest.

“Truck drivers across Canada are doing an extraordinary job of keeping our shelves stocked during this public health crisis,” said Mayor Don Mitchell. “The opening of this rest stop at Iroquois Park Sports Centre is our small way of thanking them for keeping the supply chain moving; making sure people have the goods they need, when they need them.”

The rest stop will remain open until further notice.

For more information on how the Town is supporting those being impacted by COVID-19


Manitoba COVID News Updates

  • The Manitoba Trucking Association reports it raised concerns with Bill 62, which will amend the Fuel Tax Act to eliminate the need for out-of-province carriers from having to obtain a single trip permit during the state of emergency. It also waives the tax payment of $18 when acquiring the permit.  MTA spoke with government and, while no commitments or specifics have been provided, we are hopeful that more relief will be forthcoming specifically relief for Manitoba-based carriers, not only those coming in from out-of-province.  We also continue to seek answers on fuel tax relief and vehicle registrations for Manitoba companies.
  • MTA raised the issue concerning delays for commercial vehicles at roadside check-stops coming into Manitoba.  We have been advised that, when there’s room and it is safe to do so, commercial trucks will no longer be stopped at these points.  Other traffic will continue to be stopped upon entry into Manitoba.
  • Winnipeg has put together a resource page for COVID-19 government support programs, as well as COVID-19 toolkit for business with up-to-date information on government programs, economic insights and professional resources.
  •  The Manitoba Human Rights Commission has released a guideline on how the Province’s Human Rights Code applies to COVID-19.  The document includes useful guidance on the employer-employee relationship that employers may find helpful.  This document includes key items to consider absenteeism policies, care-giving responsibilities, and flexible work options, among many others.

Flying J Travel Centers Lists Open On Facilities

All of these locations are offering food, showers and washrooms.

The following Flying J locations are open 24/7:

Wyoming, ON – 906 Oil Heritage Road, Wyoming, ON, N0N 1T0

Pickering, ON – 000 Clements Road, Pickering, ON, L1W 4A1

Inglewood, ON – 13947 Hurontario Street, Inglewood, ON, L7C 2C9

Tilbury, ON – 19325 Essex County Road 42, Tilbury, ON, N0P 2L0

London, ON – 3700 Highbury Ave South, London, ON, N6N 1P3

Napanee, ON – 628 County Road 41 RR 6, Napanee, ON, K7R 3L2

Mississauga, ON – 1400 Britannia Road East, Mississauga, ON, L4W 1C8

Lancaster, ON – 20382 Old Highway #2, Lancaster, ON, K0C 1N0

Sault Ste. Marie, ON – 996 Great Northern Road, Sault Ste Marie, ON, P6B 0B6

Fort Erie, ON – 1637 Pettit Road, Fort Erie, ON, L2A 5M4

Ayr, ON – 2492 Cedar Creek Road, Ayr, ON, N0B 1E0

Shuniah, ON – 3200 Highway 11/17, Shuniah, ON, P0T 2M0

The location in Kapuskasing, ON at 410 Government Road East is currently open 6am-10pm every day.

In Etobicoke, ON at 1765 Albion Road, the Flying J convenience store is open M-F (5:30am-10pm), Sat (6am-10pm) and Sun (7am-10pm), with open washrooms and food service.

Additionally, two Flying J cardlock locations that offer fuel only and are open 24/7:

Brantford, ON – 11 Sinclair Blvd, Brantford, ON, N3S 7X6

Sudbury, ON – 17 Duhamel Road, Sudbury, ON, P3E 4N1


NYC Temporary COVID-19 Response Truck Rest Stops Open on April 15 

To help truckers safely meet Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMSCA) mandatory rest periods, the City has established temporary rest areas at two strategic freight hubs as part of its COVID-19 response. Each area will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for rest periods during the day or overnight, with bathrooms, mobile lights, trash cans, and security patrol. Drivers should keep their vehicles secure, as the City is not responsible for any stolen items. MORE 


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