As COVID-19 transmissions increase, extraordinary and escalating measures (and unexpected impacts) are now rapidly coming into effect across all levels of society, business, industry, and leisure, in Canada and worldwide.
While the Public Health Agency of Canada is still assessing the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada for now, new developments related to the spread of the coronavirus worldwide and in Canada, beyond the rapid increase in the number of infections, include:
- additional restriction on all non-essential travel by many organizations (including Sun Life, Manulife, PwC)
- the cancellation of numerous events in all sectors of the economy
- the recommendation by the Canadian Public Health Agency, some provincial governments and health agencies/chief medical officers of health to:
- restrict out-of-province and out-of-country travel
- self-isolate for two weeks after out-of-country travel, and
- cancel large indoor events over 250 people (Canada, Ontario, Quebec and Alberta to date)
- Parliament has adjourned until April 20 and the federal Budget scheduled for March 30 has been postpone).
Almost all insurance companies have initiated changes to work practices – including remote work wherever appropriate, postponing conferences and educational events, restricting meetings or gatherings of more than 25 people, and encouraging the use of virtual technologies to ensure business is moving as usual.
As you may know, I am currently on the Board of Directors for CALU, the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting, which represents the interests of the financial and insurance planning community to Members of Parliament and officials of key federal government departments, in particular, Canada Revenue Agency and the Department of Finance. We have decided to cancel the 2020 Annual General Meeting planned for Ottawa May 3-6 in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
For more information about COVID-19 impacts in Canada, you are encouraged to visit the following sites: The Public Health Agency of Canada; Infection Prevention and Control Canada and the WHO. You may also find of interest this article by our 2020 CALU AGM speaker and health columnist with The Globe and Mail, André Picard.
Our office is well equipped to continue working on your behalf. My staff will be working remotely from home until further notice. We will also be postponing any face-to-face appointments for the next two weeks.
As a reminder, let’s stay healthy and do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 by following the recommended precautions when out in public places. If you have travelled outside of Canada, please self-isolate for at least 14 days from the day you arrived back. If you feel sick, please stay home. If you have an underlying health condition or feel you are in an at risk population, please stay home. Here is an infographic to print and post in your offices as a visual prompt.
These are complicated times, things are changing quickly and we’re committed to keeping you informed.
Cindy David, CFP, CLU, FEA, TEP
President & Estate Planning Advisor
Cindy David Financial Group Ltd.