How the Canadian private sector is responding to COVID-19

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern early this year and currently sits at 1.3 million cases worldwide. The alarm that grew from an epidemic to a pandemic has caused businesses worldwide to restrategize and take action to ensure the health and safety of their communities.

Provincial health authorities have advised all Canadian citizens and residents to go into self-isolation and practice social distancing. Canadian companies are doing their part by developing procedures and protocols for their business operations to accommodate the change, and critically focus on their operations and well being.

While the federal and provincial governments are taking all necessary steps to flatten the curve, Canadian businesses are also positively responding to the crisis by contributing their resources for both employee and public safety through restructuring and donations.

Here are some inspirations for your company:

Assent Compliance

Assent Compliance has deployed its unique capabilities as a business to help companies manage the impacts of COVID-19 on their supply chains. These efforts include:

  • The COVID-19 Supply Chain Impact Map is a free tool that helps companies visualize the pandemic’s impact on their supply chains, enabling them to make informed decisions about temporary alternative sourcing.

Blackberry is using the same emergency notifications and situation management solutions to the state and local governments so they can coordinate their responses and communicate with citizens. They have made the same software available to organizations free of cost for 60 days.

Read more:  A Letter to Our Customers

Canadian Global Information (CGI)

CGI has quickly responded to the Montreal Heart Institute to put in place a research process.  The COLCORONA study, coordinated by the Montreal Clinical Trials Coordination Center, plans to test a potential coronavirus treatment on 6,000 Canadians carrying the novel virus.

Read more: New clinical study: Potential treatment for coronavirus will be tested in Canada as of today


Cupanion is making their contribution by making their Fill-it-forward tag virtual and free. They want to encourage the simple act of generosity that shows love for the planet and the people on it. Their effort is to bring their communities together while practicing social distancing.

To participate, simply download their app for free and scan the virtual tag every time you refill your reusable at home — even a glass counts!

Read more: Cupanion | Fill it Forward

Export Development Canada (EDC)

EDC is offering businesses access to loans of up to $40,000 to cover non-deferrable costs such as rent, utilities, payroll, and insurance. EDC is supporting the charitable sector by matching all employee donations to organizations helping the most vulnerable people in their communities.

Link to their latest media release, which explains EDC’s expanded domestic powers:

COVID-19: New domestic mandate enhances EDC’s role supporting all Canadian businesses

EDC’s President and CEO Mairead Lavery, on BNN Bloomberg discussing EDC’ support at this uncertain time: Banks and EDC working closely so companies get loans quickly, says EDC CEO


At Enbridge, they have taken steps to help prevent their employees’ exposure and are doing their part in helping prevent the spread of the virus including:

  • Enacted work-at-home plans across the organization starting Tuesday, March 17
  • Implemented procedures to ensure the integrity of our operations and the health of employees in our Control and Call Centers. We have employed our back-up center and are sanitizing after every shift change

Read more: Enbridge’s Response to COVID-19


Gowling has set up protocols to ensure confidentiality is maintained, all relevant laws and ethical rules are adhered to, and client service is optimized. They are working through their HR team to support the engagement and mental health of their workforce through weekly check in phone calls and the development of online resources. Externally, they are providing a great deal of service to their clients to respond to the current crisis. They are providing webinars and online newsletters to clients.

Read more:  Gowling WLG: International Law Firm & Legal Firm | Business Solicitors & Lawyers


Hydro-Québec has launched an excellent initiative by their colleagues which is worthy of note: the manufacture of disinfectant product in our laboratories:

  • More than twenty technicians, researchers, health and safety advisers and administrative staff involved
  • Over 3,500 bottles of surface disinfectant (sprays) were produced in 4 days. These are one-liter bottles, so it represents more than 3,500 liters of disinfectant produced.
  • These bottles were distributed in HQ buildings across the province.

By making the product for their needs, they leave the commercial versions available for others who also need it.

Read more:


OpenText has launched two new initiatives: first, a $2 million Employee Relief Fund to support their employees who may be directly affected by COVID-19 and second, a global campaign called 100 Acts of Kindness to reflect their 100 global offices. OpenText has committed to matching donations made by employees up to $1 million, for a potential $2 million contribution.

Read more:

Power Corporation of Canada

Power Corporation, together with its subsidiaries Canada Life and IGM Financial, have contributed $1 million to address some of the community challenges as a result of COVID-19

Read more: IGM Financial & Power Corporation of Canada contribute $1 million to address COVID-19 community challenges


Telus is providing flexible payment plans and offers to their clients. They have closed many physical stores nationwide but only select stores will remain open to provide essential services. Telus technologies are at the ready to connect and secure the health of Canadians from coast to coast. They have undertaken preparations to support the increased capacity they expect as more Canadians work from home.

Read more: Updates from TELUS on COVID-19


Valard COVID-19 Subcommittee has put procedures in place for all Valard camps and reports to Shilo Neveu EVP HSEQ. Their subcommittee includes Health and safety representatives, project leads, operational leads, and cleaning contractors. They have also put a dedicated employee-only page with updates that provide their employees and their families access to the information sheets they have available.

Read more: April 1st Update

How is your company or organization taking action? We encourage you to submit any COVID-19 related updates or initiatives to