At Curling Québec, we continue to work for you, our members, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are on the lookout for any information that can be of use to you (as of October 5th, 2020).

Here you will find the latest news and links to guide you through your curling club’s reopening, as well as financial aid and subsidy funding available for clubs, employers and workers.

If you are not already registered for Curling Québec email updates, please sign up below to ensure you receive all timely information during this time.

Support for Businesses

Below are the aid programs available to-date to businesses and individuals. Please click on the headings of the categories that apply to you.

Avoiding Layoffs and Re-Hiring Employees
NEW PROGRAM: Regional Relief and Recovery Fund – Quebec (RRRF)

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

As a complement to Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the Government of Canada has established a Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), an initiative with an envelope of $211 million for Quebec.

The RRRF aims to help Quebec businesses and organizations that need immediate assistance with their cash flow. It is intended for all of Quebec’s economic sectors (aviation, cultural and sporting events, food production, manufacturing, retail, technology, tourism, etc.). Community organizations or social not-for-profit organizations are not eligible for funding. Certain eligibility restrictions apply to self-employed workers and sole proprietorships.

Check out the program details and Frequently asked questions to find out more about the terms of the RRRF.

 

THESE PROGRAMS REMAIN IN EFFECT⇓
CEWS – Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (75% of salaries)

We are covering a portion of an employee’s wages for eligible employers. The CEWS will allow you to re-hire your employees and avoid layoffs as the economy continues to safely reopen.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

 

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (10 %)

The Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy is a three-month measure that allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/temporary-wage-subsidy.html

 

Extended to March 14th, 2021 – Work-Sharing Program

Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers.

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing/notice-covid-19.html

Access to Credit and Loans
Valid until October 31st, 2020 – Canada Emergency Business Account (loan of $40 000)

The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. For additional information on how to apply, please follow the link below; you can also contact your preferred banking institution for details.

https://ceba-cuec.ca/

Available Until June 20201 – Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program

The Federal Government established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide $40 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

  • Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
  • Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#enterprises

Liquidity and Borrowing Rates
NEW PROGRAM: AERAM – Aide aux Entreprises en Régions en Alerte Maximale (Assistance to Businesses in High Alert Regions)

On October 1st, the government announced the launch of the AERAM program, which is specifically developed for organizations that have to forcibly shut down their operations in the context of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through AERAM, eligible organizations may request a non-reimbursable loan of up to $15,000 to help them pay for fixed expenses. To qualify for the AERAM, you must first request and obtain a loan from the PACTE or PAUPME programs (both follow below in this same section).

https://www.quebec.ca/en/premier/actualites/detail/une-nouvelle-aide-pour-les-entreprises-des-regions-en-alerte-maximale/

Concerted temporary action program for businesses (aka PACTE)

This emergency funding measure provides ad hoc and exceptional support for businesses from industries (exceptions exist) affected by the repercussions of COVID-19. A loan guarantee is the preferred form of financing. Financing can also take the form of a loan from Investissement Québec. The minimum funding amount starts at $50,000.

https://www.investquebec.com/quebec/en/financial-products/all-our-solutions/Concerted-temporary-action-program-for-businesses.html

Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (aka PAUPME)

The Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses program is designed to offer temporary support to businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and who need $50,000 cash or less. To submit your application, contact your local MRC (information available at link below).

https://www.quebec.ca/en/businesses-and-self-employed-workers/emergency-assistance-for-small-and-medium-sized-businesses-covid-19/

Moratorium on loans

A six-month moratorium period on capital and interest reibursements to private and social economy organizations that currently have loans. This measure, in partnership with the FTQ, adds to the financial support provided by the provincial and federal governments, and may last up to twelve months.

https://www.economie.gouv.qc.ca/fr/bibliotheques/programmes/aide-financiere/fonds-local-dinvestissement-fli/ (French only)

Support for Individuals

People Facing Unemployment and/or Who Are Unable to Work
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) ($2,000 a month)

The government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month.

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

Even though CERB has officially ended, you may still apply retroactively here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html

NEW PROGRAM: CRB – Canada Recovery Benefit, starting October 12th, 2020

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.

If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit.html

Support to Workers
Government Assistance Programs COVID-19

There are a number of government assistance programs available for workers, residents of Québec, who have lost their income because of COVID-19, whether they are wage, independent or contract workers.

The questionnaire tool at the link below will help you determine what type of assistance is available in your situation.

https://www.quebec.ca/en/government-assistance-programs-covid19/

Resources for Bar Management and Operations

We are waiting to receive additional information in English. Please check back again soon.

Pour ce qui est titulaires de permis de bar, des nouvelles mesures ont entré en vigueur le 10 juillet dernier et ne sont pas inclus dans notre guide :
  • Le dernier service d’alcool doit se terminer à minuit et les clients doivent avoir quitter à 1 heure. Vous pouvez continuer le service d’alcool jusqu’à 3 heures seulement si les clients commandent et prennent un repas avec leur consommation d’alcool;
  • Les gens ne peuvent consommer debout;
  • Aucune danse n’est autorisée;
  • Un registre des clients est recommandée.

Directives for Curling in a Red Alert Zone

September 29th, 2020

 

Yesterday, the Quebec Government announced new measures to deal with the pandemic. All of the regions of Quebec are now in yellow, orange or red zones with varying degrees of restrictions for each coloured zone. Curling Quebec intends to comply with the recommendations from the government, and we invite all of our members to do the same.

 

The coloured zones can be seen on the following map

 

 

Curling and sports, in general, are authorized in all coloured zones, which is excellent news! However, the rules concerning bars and restaurants in red zones will cause several challenges for the affected clubs. Generally speaking, all curling clubs in Quebec can operate if they follow the rules as described in the Return to play guidelines and if they respect all regulations put in place by the government authorities, particularly the social distancing rules.

 

Travel between regions is not forbidden, but it should be limited to essential travel for the residents in orange and red zones. Although we are all curling enthusiasts and we would like to curl without any restrictions, the reality is that travelling between regions for a curling game or tournament is not considered essential given the current situation. Therefore, Curling Quebec will not authorize any curlers or teams to travel from an orange or red zone into a different region. For now, the affected teams and curlers may only play “locally.” Anyone living in a green or yellow zone cannot travel to an orange or red zone for curling. However, travel between green and yellow zones is not prohibited for curling events.

 

To be fair to all curlers in the province, Curling Quebec has decided to suspend all official events and sanctioned events until October 28th, 2020, as per the government’s recommendations. Scheduled provincial circuit tournaments may still be played if they can respect the rules mentioned above; however these events will not be sanctioned by CQ (no points will be awarded, no provincial rankings, etc.). All events scheduled in red zones will automatically be cancelled or rescheduled, and all other CQ activities (clinics, certifications, etc.) will also be suspended for October. We are already working in collaboration with the members of the competition committee to find alternative solutions to qualify teams for the various provincial championships, which we are still hoping to be able to present starting in January 2021. Further details will be published as soon as possible.

 

The board of directors, as well as the staff at CQ, are very aware of the numerous difficulties that lie ahead of us in this bizarre season. Our affiliated clubs and all of the curlers are our highest priority. We have already planned to increase the number of meetings over the next few weeks to be able to assess the situation weekly and, above all, to be able to inform you all of any changes as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

 

We thank you for your precious collaboration, and of course, we wish you all good curling!

 

Curling Québec

Directives for Curling in an Orange Alert Zone

September 25, 2020 Update

Curling Québec has repeatedly communicated with provincial authorities since the deployment of the “regional alert system (colour-coded zones)” to provide you, our members, with detailed guidelines for your operations. We want to remind you, however, that we are facing a worldwide pandemic and that, therefore, the practice of any sport will require some adjustments and compromise.

 

The directives affecting different sectors of activity may vary from one another, and we urge you first and foremost, to consider your curling club as two separate entities. The shed/ice sheets and the bar/lounge area should be viewed as two independent activity sectors, instead of a whole. This is a crucial shift in perspective that will help accommodate the reality that the official directives and guidelines will not necessarily harmonize between the two sectors.

 

Concerning the practice of curling, we recommend yet again the application of the Curling Canada Return-to-Play Guidelines in their entirety. Physical distancing is paramount and must remain at the core of all your planning; the “one-sweeper” protocol, in particular, in be rigorously followed. Gathering in groups should be avoided to reduce any risk of spreading the virus, as the Santé Publique du Québec officials have repeatedly made clear is key to their strategy. We strongly recommend that curling clubs adapt their daily schedules by staggering the start time of league games (for example: in a four-sheet club, game time on sheets 1 and 3 at 6 p.m. while game time on sheets 2 and 4 is at 6:30 p.m., etc.).

 

With respect to the number of people allowed in the playing area (shed), the overall sporting activity guidelines in Québec are based on the number of activity “areas,” the number of access (doors) available to these areas, and upon the official recommendations for the zone (green, yellow, orange or red) within which your club is located. For curling clubs specifically, the number of individual access points (doors) to the ice sheets determines the total capacity limit. Within a green or yellow zone, the maximum capacity allowed is 50 participants per door/access point/area. In comparison, the maximum capacity within an orange zone is 25 participants per door/access point/area. In a curling-specific context, however, the number of participants should not exceed 8 per ice sheet. Please see the table below for a few concrete examples of these directives:

 

 

You may also wish to refer to the Ministry of Education’s general guidelines document, Mesures applicables en fonction des différents paliers d’alerte dans le contexte de la pandémie de la COVID-19 (French only).

 

Concerning the bar/lounge area of your club, please note that it will be subject to currently enforced provincial regulations based on the type of permit or license held. Please consult this page regularly to validate that you comply with provincial requirements and remain informed of any changes throughout the season.

Directives for Mandatory Masks at Indoor Facilities

July 17, 2020 Update

As you know, the Provincial Government and the Direction de la santé publique announced earlier this week that masks will become mandatory in all public, indoor spaces as of July 18, 2020, including sports centres such as curling clubs.

Please see below details we received that apply directly to our environment:

  • Masks must be worn at all times (upon arrival at the club, during transfers, in the changing rooms, etc.), with the following exceptions:
    • During physical activity or exercise;
    • While seated as a spectator (such as on the stands) and while ensuring that the minimum 1.5 meters of physical distancing are observed;
    • While the person is seated in a lounge area (bar) and the minimum 1.5 meters of physical distancing is adhered to.
  • It is recommended for coaches, equipment managers and medical personnel to wear a mask should physical distancing not be possible at all times.
  • Wearing a mask is strongly recommended, but not mandatory for children between the ages of 2 and 12.

Disinfectant Products for Clubs

Curling Québec identified potential suppliers of disinfectant products on behalf of our curling clubs, listed in the document at the end of this article. These suppliers offer a variety of products beyond those displayed in the document and we encourage you to peruse their websites to find out which solutions are best suited to your needs.

 

There is no obligation for you to purchase from any of these companies; this list is for informational purposes only. Please note, however, that the intent of this list is to assist our curling clubs in their preparations for this season: the suppliers identified in this list are not in partnership with Curling Québec and any order placed will be under the sole responsibility of the curling club.

 

You can download the list of suppliers here. (French only)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Return-to-Play

Below you will find a collection of the most frequently asked questions during two virtual town hall meetings following the publication of Return-to-Play guidelines. The answers are guidelines and general recommendations. Each curling club is responsible for the health and safety of its community and of its members while ensuring that public health guidelines specific to their region/municipality are carefully followed.

The questions and answers detailed below should serve as informational guidelines. Should you have queries or concerns that are not addressed, we encourage you to contact us directly for a more personal follow-up.

You may also download the entire collection as a pdf document by clicking here.

How can we ensure physical distancing during sweeping?

The primary recommendation is to designate one sweeper for each throw; this team member will be the only person allowed to sweep the active rock and any other stone affected by the play. Members of the opposing team are not permitted to sweep any rock crossing the hog line, whether it is their own or the adversary’s.

 

Should junior programs be suspended in light of the pandemic?

As long as schools remain open, Curling Québec believes that junior programs can go ahead as planned. Curling clubs should, however, plan to dedicate more time to prepare for the season, and, in particular, to educate participants and their parents about physical distancing directives on the ice and in the building.

 

Will physical distancing rules apply to official championships?

Yes. All Curling Québec events will strictly apply all directives mandated by the Public Health authorities, the Québec government and the Return-to-Play document published by Curling Canada.

 

I play at a curling club with three ice sheets. Will it be necessary to close one sheet and use only two of them (sheets 1 and 3) simultaneously to abide by physical distancing requirements?

No. Based on recent studies and as demonstrated in the diagram below (from Curling Canada’s Return-to-Play guide), it is possible to follow physical distancing requirements while using all available ice sheets.

Together with Curling Canada and its member federations, Curling Québec is currently working towards identifying a supplier who can provide ice markings for curling clubs. We will notify our members as soon as these tools become available.

 

Our curling club was planning to launch group programs such as Curling 101 and Igloo in the fall of 2020. Should we hold off?

Curling 101 and Igloo are group programs, which can require additional logistics considerations to ensure physical distancing compliance.

Nonetheless, Curling Québec believes the programs may go ahead with adaptations to the instruction approach. For example, you may use multiple hacks to separate participants into smaller groups while ensuring excellent instruction and adhering to physical distancing. To do so, you will likely have to plan for a higher number of instructors on the ice.

Will we be able to open our changing rooms?

Yes, as long as physical distancing is applicable (2 metres/6 ft.) and, following the government’s announcement on July 13th, as long as all persons in the building wear a mask at all times, including in dressing rooms.

 

How many people can gather inside a curling club at the same time?

The Public Health Ministry recently announced that as of August 3rd, indoor gatherings of up to 250 people will be allowed. For curling clubs, this means that the directive may apply to the shed and the lounge/bar area, separately (as long as building capacity limits are respected). You will, therefore, be able to host a maximum of 250 persons in the club AND 250 persons on the ice at the same time IF you can ensure all directives and mandates about physical distancing and public health and safety.

 

How will bars and bartenders need to adapt? Are there specific directives for them?

Regulation for the service industry is paramount to confront the pandemic and to ensure curling clubs offer a safe environment for everyone. To support our members, Curling Québec contacted the Association de Restauration du Québec (ARQ) and the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) to provide you with tools and guides specific to the service sector. You can access these resources by scrolling down this webpage to the section Resources for Bar Management and Operations.

 

What sort of hygiene protocols will clubs be required to set up? 

The Curling Canada Return-to-Play guidelines are an exhaustive source of information on this topic.

Curling Québec encourages you to require hand disinfection upon arrival to the curling club and ask your members to bring their complete set of equipment each time they visit the club. We also strongly encourage you to remove club brooms from public access areas.

No matter how your curling club decides to implement disinfection and hygiene protocols, these must be communicated to all members and all volunteers and employees who use equipment at the club. 

 

What are the public health requirements concerning masks in curling clubs? What about during games? 

As you know, the Provincial Government and the Direction de la santé publique announced earlier this month that masks will become mandatory in all public, indoor spaces as of July 18, 2020, including sports centres such as curling clubs.

Please see below details we received that apply directly to our environment:

  • Masks must be worn at all times (upon arrival at the club, during transfers, in the changing rooms, etc.), with the following exceptions:
    • During physical activity or exercise;
    • While seated as a spectator (such as on the stands) and while ensuring that the minimum 1.5 meters of physical distancing are observed;
    • While the person is seated in a lounge area (bar) and the minimum 1.5 meters of physical distancing is adhered to.
  • It is recommended for coaches, equipment managers and medical personnel to wear a mask should physical distancing not be possible at all times.
  • Wearing a mask is strongly recommended, but not mandatory for children between 2 and 12 years of age.

Are the Return-to-Play guidelines binding for curling clubs?

No, they are not. The reference document, developed by Curling Canada and its member provincial federations, does not require any obligation from curling clubs. The guidelines serve as a compilation of recommendations and best-practices for the return to curling. It is each curling club’s responsibility to lean on the scenarios that best address its needs. More importantly, each club must ensure the public health and safety directives of its region and municipality are adhered to thoroughly.

 

Is it necessary for clubs to get a waiver signed by all their members and any other person who enters the premises?

Curling Québec has uploaded various waiver, declaration and consent forms developed by Curling Canada and the Réseau des Loisirs et du Sport du Québec (RLSQ). These forms are compliant to Québec regulation and have been validated by legal teams. Curling clubs are under no obligation to use these documents, should they choose not to.

However, Curling Québec strongly recommends the use of these waiver and declaration forms to keep duly signed assumption of risk forms, as well as a daily registry of all persons that enter your club’s premises (members, rental groups, guest teams, etc.). In the eventuality of a COVID-19 flare-up in your community, these documents will provide a trace for health authorities to follow up.

We also strongly encourage you to submit these forms for review to your liability insurance provider to ensure that you are protected and compliant with the insurer’s requirements. 

The forms are available on this page, under the section “Return-to-Play Information”.

 

Regarding rentals, can we have only the group’s contact person sign the waiver and consent forms?

We recommend that all participants of a rental sign the same documents. This will allow you to present a track record to health authorities, should the need arise.

 

Has Curling Québec elaborated a member affiliation reimbursement policy in light of a possibly shorter season during the pandemic? 

Curling Québec’s Board will discuss the matter the next time it convenes; we expect to have an answer for you mid-August.

 

Where can we access Curling Québec’s virtual town halls addressing return-to-play? Does Curling Québec plan on having more of these meetings?

The virtual town halls are available on our Facebook page, as well as on our YouTube channel. We would be more than happy to organize additional virtual sessions, private or otherwise, to answer your questions and concerns, should the need arise. Please do not hesitate to contact us and let us know your needs. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CurlingQuebec/videos/

YouTube: http://bit.ly/YouTubeCQ

 

Who should I contact at Curling Québec to ask my questions concerning the pandemic?

 

Monica Dedich

Director of Communications and Fundraising

514 252 3088 ext. 3645

mdedich@curling-quebec.qc.ca

Marc-André Robitaille

Executive Director

514 252 3088 ext. 3586

marobitaille@curling-quebec.qc.ca

Will there be return-to-play guidelines specific to Wheelchair curling?

No, there are no wheelchair-specific rules, but there might be at individual curling clubs. Should physical distancing become unsustainable, particularly during anchoring (standing or wheelchair) to facilitate stone delivery, we recommend wearing a mask at all times on the ice.

 

Is there a new procedure for the volunteer rock placers?

The rock handles must be disinfected prior to the beginning of each game. The volunteer rock placers must be the only persons coming into contact with the stone handles during the game. If physical distancing cannot be adhered to, the rock placers will also be required to wear a mask on the ice.

 

Parasports Québec recommends the use of face masks at all times on the ice during any wheelchair curling activity.

  • It is recommended for players to disinfect the wheels of their chairs before getting on the ice, as well as after each game.
  • Physical distancing will not be possible during the rock throws if the thrower’s chair is held in place by another player. Parasports strongly recommends wearing a face mask for this specific scenario.
  • It is recommended for rock placers to clean the rock handles at the beginning and at the end of the game.
  • It is recommended for rock placers, as well as all other personnel members on the ice, to wear a face mask.

For more information on wheelchair curling during the pandemic, we invite you to contact Joelle Rivard, Athletic Coordinator at Parasports Québec: jrivard@parasportsquebec.com . You may also visit the Parasports Québec website for more details (French only).

Return-to-Play Information

Below you can download the Return-to-Play Guidelines, as published on July 6th, 2020.