COVID-19

The Arbutus Law Group LLP team recognizes that COVID-19 is rapidly changing the reality faced by Indigenous communities across the country.

We would like to extend our thanks to all those who are on the front lines of this public health emergency and those who are working tirelessly to keep their communities safe.

These are scary times and remote, closely-knit communities can face heightened threats from this pandemic.

We are here to help. We remain open and ready to respond to your COVID-19 legal questions, including:

  • restricting entry onto reserve lands;
  • declaring a State of Emergency and issuing emergency orders, including:
    • physical distancing measures,
    • restricted access to services, and
    • curfews;
  • changes to Council meeting procedures to allow for remote participation;
  • implications on budgets and timelines, and modifications to existing requirements under Financial Administration Laws;
  • changes to budgets and deadlines under property taxation laws, and options for providing relief to taxpayers;
  • accessing new federal funding opportunities, such as:
    • for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and organizations, through the Indigenous Community Support Fund,
    • for individuals or businesses though the Economic Response Plan, and
    • for delivery of services to off-reserve and urban populations;
  • employment-related matters such as employee safety measures, layoffs, terminations, and reduced hours;
  • contracting for emergency services; and
  • managing existing contracts, programs and governance processes in this time of upheaval

We cannot know all of the ways that COVID-19 will disrupt your lands, communities, families and workplaces. But if there is some way we can help to alleviate some of the uncertainty or stress, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

COVID-19 Resources

We have gathered a list of resources and links that may be helpful to you and we will update it regularly.

Assembly of First Nations: News on COVID-19 Pandemic
https://www.afn.ca/category/news-media/

Federal Government Support for Businesses:
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/additional-support-for-canadian-businesses-from-the-economic-impact-of-covid-19.html
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/wage-subsidy.html

Federal Government Support for Individuals:
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#individuals

Federal Government Support for Industries:
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#industry

First Nation Health Authority (British Columbia): Covid-19 information
https://www.fnha.ca/what-we-do/communicable-disease-control/coronavirus

First Nations Leadership Council COVID-19 Resource Site:
https://www.fnlcemergency.ca/

First Nations Leadership Council Resources Document:
https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/ubcic/pages/4160/attachments/original/1590441790/FNLC_COVID19_ReSources_V3_It14_Pages.pdf?1590441790

Métis Nation: Covid-19 information
https://metisnation.ca/covid19/#1

Métis Nation of Alberta: Interim COVID-19 Support Plan
http://albertametis.com/covid-19-information/

Indigenous Community Support Fund:
https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1585189335380/1585189357198

Indigenous Services Canada: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Indigenous communities
https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1581964230816/1581964277298

British Columbia: COVID-19 Information for First Nations and Indigenous Peoples in B.C.
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/indigenous-people/covid19

British Columbia Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation: First Nations, Emergency Program Act orders for COVID-19 response
https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/first-nations-emergency-program-act-orders-for-covid-19-response

British Columbia COVID Resources:
www.gov.bc.ca/covid19

Saskatchewan: Covid-19 Resources
https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/resources

Manitoba Indigenous and Northern Relations: Covid-19 Resources
https://www.gov.mb.ca/inr/

Ontario: Action Plan Responding to Covid-19 (including funding for Indigenous communities)
https://budget.ontario.ca/2020/marchupdate/action-plan.html

Quebec: Coronavirus COVID19 – Information for Indigenous communities
https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/instructions-directives/indigenous-communities/

FNHA Virtual Doctor of the Day:
https://www.fnha.ca/what-we-do/ehealth/virtual-doctor-of-the-day

Mental Health and Anxiety Supports:
www.bouncebackbc.ca

BC Emergency Benefit for Workers:
www.gov.bc.ca/workerbenefit