All Canadian provinces have adopted emergency measures requiring the closure of non-essential businesses, and today the Ontario government revised its list of “essential businesses”. To help you keep up with these changes, we have provided a chart below that includes a hyperlink to the current essential service list in each province, and lists the potential penalties for failure to comply in each jurisdiction.
The federal and provincial governments across Canada have all taken a slightly different approach, but all share the common goal of taking the necessary steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 without unduly restricting economic activity.
Businesses are generally permitted to continue telemarketing and e-commerce, and the following services are generally designated as “essential”:
- Emergency response personnel
- Public utilities and telecommunications
- Essential healthcare services
- Grocery stores and food retailers
- Restaurants (but not dine-in)
- Certain manufacturers
- Members of essential supply chains
- Childcare for healthcare workers
We strongly encourage all businesses to seek legal advice if there is any uncertainty as to whether their operations can continue (and to what extent). This is important because the penalties for failure to comply could be very significant.
|Alberta||Click Here||$1,000 fine per offence. Courts may increase fine to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for subsequent offences|
|British Columbia||Click Here||Up to $25,000 in fines and 6 month imprisonment|
First offence, individual: $50,000 fine
First office, corporation: $500,000 fine
Subsequent offences, corporation: $1,000,000 fine
|New Brunswick||Click Here||Fines ranging from $240 and $10,200|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Click Here||
First offence, individual: $500 to $2,500, imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both
First offence, corporation: $5,000 to $50,000.
Subsequent offence, individual: $500 to $5,000, imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both
Subsequent offence, corporation: $5,000 to $100,000.
|Nova Scotia||Click Here||
First offence, individual: Up to $2,000 fine, and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months
First offence, corporation: up to $10,000 fine.
Subsequent offence, individual: up to $10,000, and/or imprisonment of up to 1 year
Subsequent offence, corporation: up to $50,000
|Ontario||Click Here||1-year imprisonment, a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual, $500,000 for a director of a corporation, or $10,000,000 for a corporation.|
First offence: fine of $1,000
Second offence: fine of $2,000; third and subsequent: fine of $10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months.
First offence, individual: Up to $75,000 + $100 per day if the offence continues
First offence, corporation: Up to $100,000 + $1000 per day if the offence continues.
Subsequent offence, individual: Up to $100,000 + $1000 per day if the offence continues;
Subsequent offence, corporation: Up to $250,000 + $5000 per day if the offence continues.
|Quebec||Click Here||Fine of up to $6,000, doubles per subsequent offence.|
Many thanks to Jan Nato for his assistance with this article.