What you should know if your project is affected by COVID-19

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1. How does the current COVID-19 situation affect projects or funding agreements

To help organizations during the COVID-19 situation, we will work with organizations to apply flexibilities whenever possible. Organizations may face disruption to activities, delays in submitting required documents, or changes in what activities can proceed and timelines associated with these activities.

Please contact your funding representative if your project is affected by COVID-19. They can discuss what options and flexibilities may be available.

2. Submission of reports and claims and changes to agreement monitoring

We have moved to a resumption of regular business processes. Prior to a payment being issued, all required reports and claims must be submitted. Should any assistance be required, contact should be made with your ESDC representative to advise them of your situation.

3. Organizations subject to monitoring at this time

Monitoring requirements for agreements will still be expected. In light of the current COVID-19 situation, at this time, ESDC representatives will be conducting all monitors using a virtual process. This may include email, telephone and videoconferencing via acceptable platforms. All in person monitoring by ESDC representatives is currently suspended.

4. Changing project activities in the context of COVID-19 and what to do if the activities of the project are affected or cancelled

The current COVID-19 situation may affect the activities and timelines set out in your funding agreement. In many cases, alternate activities such as virtual conferences or teleconferences may be implemented to reduce travel, group-based activities and personal contact.

If your activities need to be adapted or cancelled due to the current COVID-19 situation, or if you require an extension of your funding agreement, please contact your funding representative to discuss your options. Currently, these flexibilities are available until September 30, 2021.

5. Changes to participant-based activities set out in agreements disrupted due to COVID-19

Additional flexibility will be given for participants to accommodate situations such as delayed orientation activities or registrations, group activities or interrupted workshops and training. Many organizations are exploring how activities can be continued in a virtual manner or how activities can be shifted to support COVID-19 response.

Please contact your funding representative to discuss your options. Currently, these flexibilities are available until September 30, 2021.

6. Changing or cancelling activities set out in agreements

You do not need to reimburse us for the funds that you have already received to cover the expenses incurred for these activities. Project activities may be disrupted, postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19. We will exercise flexibility on all reasonable costs associated with the event and its cancellation. These costs can be covered through the contribution agreement. In these cases, please contact your funding representative to discuss your options.

7. Meeting the results set out in an agreement

We will provide flexibility in terms of expected results. In cases where an amendment to your agreement is required, for instance to substitute or withdraw certain activities, we will need to revise the expected results to reflect the current situation. Please contact your funding representative to discuss your options.

8. Applications for funding are still being accepted, but may be delayed or postponed

Programs currently accepting applications will continue to operate although there may be delays in processing. Programs accepting applications may also delay or postpone the intake process.

Please refer to the ESDC funding programs page for more information. We will post updates as soon they become available.

9. Other ways of submitting a signature if you cannot access your emails or documents to provide a signature

In the current COVID-19 context, we will apply flexibility, until September 30, 2021, regarding the signing of documents and funding agreements.

We recommend that a copy of the signature page of the signed documents or funding agreement be scanned or digitally photographed, for example, using a cell phone. If you do not have access to such devices, we will accept a supporting e-mail confirming the signing of the documents.

10. Verifying the identity of an ESDC representative who contacts you for information on your application for funding or funding agreement

ESDC representatives will always confirm your application confirmation number or project/agreement number prior to asking for further information and discussing your file with you. You should never give personal information, banking information or details on an application if the ESDC representative cannot confirm one of these numbers.

If you suspect that you have been contacted by an individual who may not be an ESDC agent, contact your funding representative directly.

11. What to do if a funded organization’s employee is in quarantine or is diagnosed with COVID-19 and they do not have sick leave

If one of your employees has to be in quarantine or is diagnosed with COVID-19 and they do not have sick leave either because that benefit is not available or because the employee does not have any sick leave left, the employee will need to seek Employment Insurance.

You are encouraged to familiarize yourself with new economic supports introduced in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The Plan will help you determine if you are eligible for any additional assistance.

12. Further information on the situation surrounding COVID-19 and Employment Insurance

To keep up-to-date on COVID-19, please refer to your local or regional public health authorities.

You can also consult the following resources offered by the Government of Canada:

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