Helpful Resources for Land Trusts during COVID-19

OLTA has collated the resources below to support our members during the current outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). These are posted on our website for reference but the most current versions of all public, public health, and health care guidance can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website.

Content will be added and updated on this page as the situation evolves. If you come across any resources you believe would be worth sharing to the wider community, please contact Phyllis Lee (admin@olta.ca).

Positive Messaging to Reinforce in Communications About Nature

Oct 23, 2020

Nature Conservancy of Canada has developed a guidance document for reinforcing positive messaging of the Once Health concept – that the well-being of nature and people are deeply interconnected.

Exploring Natural Areas Safely & Responsibly with Physical Distancing

Oct 23, 2020

Nature Conservancy of Canada created a helpful infographic to provide physical distancing guidelines to keep in mind when visiting natural areas:

Government Announces Extension of the Canada Emergency Retn Assistance (CECRA) and Simplified Application Process

July 27, 2020

On June 30th, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) will be extended by one month to cover eligible small business rents for July, and simplify the application process. Read the full news release here.

Significant Amendments Proposed to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy ("CEWS")

July 27, 2020

Carters recently released a bulletin that provides an overview of Bill C-20 for charities and not-for-profits. Bill C-20, an act that respects further COVID-19 measures was passed at the House of Commons, and will introduce a variety of changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) program. Click here to read the full text of the Bulletin from Carters.

Fieldwork Safety Procedures for COVID-19

July 20, 2020

As more communities move into Phase 2 of re-opening, many organizations are able to get back outside! However, due to COVID-19, there are still many precautions that we need to take to keep our staff and volunteers safe. We’ve compiled some resources to help provide guidance on creating protocols for prepping for fieldwork and mobilization, personal hygiene, pre-cleaning and maintaining clean field vehicles and housing, and how to respond if a staff member or volunteer displays symptoms.

Mental Health & Physical Well-being Resources

June 18, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many changes to our daily lives, with many of us working from home, facing temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends or colleagues. This can result in us feeling like we may no longer have control of a lot of things. It is normal during these unprecedented times to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or worried. We’ve compiled some resources to help provide some tips and advise on what we can do to look after our own mental health and to help others who may need some extra support and care:

Webinars

Helping Your NFP Organization Weather the Economic Storm

May 28, 2020

The global health crisis has placed world markets in a precarious position with no end in sight. In this time of uncertainty, we’ve seen many not-for-profit organizations across Canada struggle to retain donors and stay afloat. So, what can you do to keep your organization financially and operationally strong during these challenging times? In this webinar hosted by Charity Village, common issues that NPOs tend to face during a recession were addressed, as well as immediate measures and long term strategies that organizations can put in place to weather the economic storm.

You can access the recording of this webinar here.


Communicating climate change during the COVID-19 crisis

May 21, 2020

How do we talk about climate during the pandemic? This webinar hosted by Climate Outreach, shared practical, evidence-based recommendations from Climate Outreach’s recently developed guide. Through examples and case studies they drew out frames, narratives and imagery that can help ensure communication initiatives are sensitive effective and impactful.

Access the full recording of the webinar, and Climate Outreach’s new guide here.


Webinar for Charities on Announcements Related to the Crisis

Drache Aptowitzer LLP hosted a webinar on April 3, 2020 for charities on government announcements relevant to charities during this time of crisis including new details on the:

Emergency Wage Subsidy Program,

Conducting meetings, and

Accessing restricted funds.

A recording of this webinar will be available soon, but in the meantime here are the slides. They are very informative, we’d recommend you take a look.


Leadership in Uncertain Times (Canada Helps)

Canada Helps convened a panel to discuss leadership tips, organizational health considerations, and HR best practices for leaders to lead successfully through these uncertain times.  Access the webinar recording and slides here.


Legal Issues for Charities and NFPs

Carters presented a special webinar ‘COVID-19: Legal Issues for Charities and NFPs’ on April 9, 2020. Webinar Materials and On Demand/Replay available.

Ontario government extends all COVID-19 emergency orders

June 2, 2020

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario is extending the
provincial Declaration of Emergency to June 30. The decision supports the government’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and protect the health and safety of Ontarians as the province reopens in a measured and responsible way.

For more information on this extension click here.


March 25, 2020

The Ontario government has outlined it’s first steps in responding to COVID-19 in the Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‐19, which includes resources for health professionals on the front lines to fight the COVID‐19 outbreak, and new measures to support businesses, seniors, parents, students, workers, Indigenous communities and vulnerable populations.

For more information on Ontario’s Action Plan, click here.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) - Charities Directorate Update (April 21)

The Charities Directorate call centre has resumed its operations in order to address any questions you may have. The hours of operation are Monday to Friday (except statutory holidays) between 9 am and 5 pm, local time at 1-800-267-2384. We are working towards a gradual resumption of other services, such as online registrations, while audit activities continue to be suspended until further notice.

To find out more about operating a charity, you can also review the Charities and Giving webpages.

As part of government actions taken in dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charities Directorate is extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2020, for all charities with a Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020. This will allow charities more time to complete and submit their T3010, recognizing that charities will be focused on deploying their resources to address the effects of the COVID-19 situation.

Charities are also encouraged to register for CRA’s secure online services. Through My Business Account, you and your representatives can access the new digital services for charities, which provide you with the ability to complete and file online Form T3010.

Applying for CERB with CRA
June 17, 2020
The CERB has been extended. It is now available to those who are eligible for a maximum of 6 eligibility periods (or 24 weeks total).

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) gives financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19.

If you are eligible, you can receive $2,000 for a 4-week period (the same as $500 a week).

If your situation continues past 4 weeks, you will need to apply for the CERB again. You may re-apply for up to a total of 16 weeks.

To find more information on tax and benefits measures to help support Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a reminder, you can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in CRA’s My Account or over the phone.

COVID-19: Rent assistance for small businesses

Updated June 2, 2020

Ontario has partnered with the Government of Canada to deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses and commercial landlords experiencing financial difficulties during the coronavirus (COVID‑19) pandemic.

The CECRA for small businesses provides forgivable loans to eligible landlords. This allows them to reduce rent for their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June 2020, so they can stay in business as we safely and gradually reopen Ontario’s economy. Find more information here.

 

 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (Updated May 15, 2020)

Update: May 15, 2020

The Government announced on May 15, 2020 that the CEWS would be extended by an additional 12 weeks, to August 29, 2020. The eligibility criteria will apply for the current period (period 4). Any potential changes would commence as of periods 5 (July 5 to August 1) and/or 6 (August 2 to August 29).

More information about the announced CEWS extension to August 29 will be coming soon.


Source: CRA Bulletin on Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Resources for the CEWS:

CEWS Communications of Interest to Charities
Infographics

The CRA will open the application process on April 27, 2020. CEWS claims will be subject to verification by the CRA, therefore the CRA will begin to release funds for approved applications on May 5,

Corporations Canada Filing Change

Corporations Canada has announced that the deadline for filing annual returns in accordance with applicable federal corporate statutes ordinarily due between February 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 has now been extended until September 30, 2020. Normally, these corporations are required to file their annual returns as a federally incorporated organization within 60 days of their anniversary date. Click here to read the full text of the notice from the Corporations Canada, provided by Carters Professional Corporation.

Federal Corporations and Annual General Meetings in Light of COVID-19 (Carters Professional Corporation)

In recognition that in-person annual general meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic would be contrary to public health advice regarding social distancing, Corporations Canada posted a notice on March 26, 2020 concerning annual general meetings for federally incorporated not-for-profits and business corporations. The notice outlines various options that may be available to federal corporations in order for them to comply with their obligations under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act or the Canada Business Corporations Act, including possibly holding virtual meetings, partial virtual meetings, or delaying calling the annual general meeting through a written application to Corporations Canada. Click here to read the full text of the notice from Corporations Canada.

Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (Ontario) – Statement on Accessing Funds During COVID-19 Crisis (Drache Aptowitzer LLP)

The Ontario Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (“PGT”) within the Ministry of the Attorney General issued a special statement on March 30, 2020 titled Accessing Restricted Purpose Trust Funds Prior to Obtaining a Court Order During the COVID19 Pandemic (the “Statement”).  The Statement indicates that the PGT has developed temporary guidelines to allow charities that are in danger of closing to access the income and capital of restricted purpose trust funds when necessary to enable them to continue their day-to-day operations without having to immediately obtain a Court order. Read the full article here.

How to Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event

As more of us are turning to on-line meetings, there are those who are crashing Zoom events. There are ways to secure your meeting space. Read how to keep uninvited guests out here.

A Charity's Guide to Canada's COVID-19 Governmental Supports and Programs (Canada Helps) (updated June 16 2020)

Updated: June 16, 2020

This article outlines the measures undertaken by the Federal and Provincial governments in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the employment supports available to Canada’s charitable sector. It will be updated as new information on these measures emerge, and if any new supports for charities are provided by our governments. Read the article here.

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Updated: June 17, 2020

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak. For the latest information please click here.

Fraud and Financial Management

How a global pandemic can provide a breeding ground for wire fraud

April 17, 2020

BDO Canada released an article discussing fraud tactics, how your organization can protect itself against wire fraud during the pandemic, and how BDO can help. Click here for more information.


Financial and funding considerations for NPOS during COVID-19

April 15, 2020

BDO Canada released an article discussing how to approach fundraising amidst the pandemic, ways to find financial relief, and approaches to understand where your organization stands and its current cash flow. Find more information here.