COVID-19-- Ministry Townhall April 9 & Ontario Recovery Plans

Apr 09, 2020

Thursday, April 9 Update
COVID-19 and Ontario Museums

In this eNews Alert you will find:
  1. Minister MacLeod: Highlights from today's townhall
  2. Ontario Plans for Economic Recovery
  3. Increased Eligibility for 75% Federal Wage Subsidy
  4. Key Findings from the OMA Survey on the Impacts of COVID-19
  5. New Resources on the OMA dedicated COVID-19 webpage
Highlights from Ministry Townhall

Earlier today Minister Lisa MacLeod (Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries) held a 3rd sector stakeholder tele-townhall with more than 1000 people from across the province. We understand that technical difficulties may have hindered participation for some, and would like to share notes from the call below. We will share a recording of the call when it is made available. 

A brief statement recording from the Minister is available HERE
In addition to the 10-point Action Plan announced March 26 (HERE), Minister MacLeod mentioned:

  • Premier Ford and Ministers are participating in daily briefings as the pandemic continues to take a huge economic toll
  • there will be regional engagement with MPPs at the local level [See Ontario Plans for Economic Recovery announced today]
  • MHSTCI is working to support the province into recovery and through to reemergence
  • Minister MacLeod announced the development of an incremental recovery plan, looking at: 3 months, 12 months, 3 years and 5 years to 2025, looking at a number of scenarios
  • the Ministry will be developing metrics to assess progress
  • the Minister announced nearly $100million in funding for funds like Celebrate Ontario, Ontario Music Fund & ⁦the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which support heritage, sport, tourism & culture [we are seeking confirmation if this is new funding]
  • Ontario Arts Council looking to release operating grants
  • the Ministry is working with the Department of Canadian Heritage; Canadian Heritage is expected to release a culture plan to address COVID-19

The Minister refers to community museums' important work in their communities. Nothing has yet been announced regarding support for museums that are not current recipients of operating grants. We know many non-profit museums are particularly affected, as they generate a majority of their revenue. 

The OMA is continuing to advocate for recognition of the need to support and approach Ontario museums as an integral part of the MHSTCI plans for a successful recovery, investing now and post pandemic.

We know some museums were participating in the townhall and hoping to ask a question: Minister MacLeod invites all questions to be sent to her at We ask that you cc the OMA ( so we can monitor issues arising and help find a response.

Ontario Plans for Economic Recovery
Announced today at 1:20pm, the government of Ontario has prepared Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, a "$17 billion package with funding targeted to help families and a variety of sectors across the province."
This funding includes:
  • Deferrals of WSIB and the education portion of property taxes
  • Support for individuals and families in financial crisis through social assistance
Read more HERE.
Federal 75% Wage Subsidy
Increased Eligibility for Wage Subsidies and Clarifications for Non-Profits

In announcements on April 8, the federal government increased eligibility for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, including eligible employers that see a drop of at least 15 per cent of their revenue in March 2020 and 30 per cent for the following months. 

For non-profits and charities:
  • organizations would be allowed to choose whether or not to include revenue from government sources as part of the calculation. Once chosen, the same approach would have to apply throughout the program period.
Read more HERE. 
Key findings from OMA Survey
OMA COVID-19 Impact Survey
Key Findings
The OMA's COVID-19 Impact Survey collected essential information from March 20 to April 1 on the effects of the global pandemic, presenting a snapshot in time. 

Some key findings include:
  • 68% have delayed or cancelled seasonal hiring
  • 63% of respondents will lose all revenue for April 2020
  • 67% report potential for further job losses
Read a message from OMA Executive Director Marie Lalonde HERE. 

Read the full Key Findings HERE. 

Download an infographic HERE. 

COVID Resources and Responses from Other Associations

  • Imagine Canada -Helpful Chart of Federal Government Covid-19 Measures – Implications for Sector Organizations HERE

Digital Outreach During Closures:

  • Webinar Recording: Cuseum: How to Craft Meaningful and Mindful Digital Content in the Age of Coronavirus  HERE
    • Featuring Ryan Dodge, Head of Digital Experiences at Canadian Museum of History

The OMA has a dedicated webpage of resources, events, and information HERE.

The health and safety of our visitors, communities, and staff are a priority for our institutions. The OMA encourages all to exercise caution and act in alignment with the recommendations of public health and government authorities. 

The OMA is in touch with stakeholders to support our members, and will provide updates regularly as the situation progresses.

Please contact us with questions at
Government Resources regarding
  • Ontario Ministry of Health dedicated website (updated twice daily): HERE 
    • General COVID-19 Information Sheets (available in multiple languages)HERE
  • Public Health OntarioHERE 
  • Health CanadaHERE
Your local or regional government or health unit websites can also provide credible local information. 
The OMA has prepared a dedicated webpage of COVID-19 communications and resources, updated as new information and resources become available.

Read more HERE.

Please also consult the Resources section of the OMA website HERE.