April 27, 2021

Your CFA Update on COVID-19

Donate to Support CFA’s Advocacy


Ontario and federal government toss paid sick leave 'hot potato'

Both levels of government are asking the other to take the lead.

In an April 22 letter to federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland from Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said the province is prepared to immediately double the Canada recovery sickness benefit for every Ontario resident, instead of launching its own paid sick day initiative or making businesses provide paid sick days to employees.

The federal government said its wage subsidy program is already in place to help employers pay workers who are on sick leave. And the Canada recovery sickness benefit is designed to support workers who don't have a regular employer, or as a stop gap until their province mandates paid sick days. The federal government has said that when “Ontario is ready to mandate sick leave in provincially regulated businesses, as we have done for federally regulated businesses, we will be there to help”.

In a press scrum Tuesday, Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton confirmed reports that the Ford government wrote to the federal government offering to top up the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), doubling the maximum amount from $500 to $1,000 a week, before tax.

The way Ontario sees it, the federal government would continue to administer the program with Ontario chipping in the cost of boosting the benefit. "$12.50 an hour is pitiful," McNaughton said, referring to the hourly breakdown of a CRSB payment for a lost week of work. "It is an injustice to workers across the province. We're stepping up with hundreds of millions of dollars to double this program make it retroactive for 60 days to ensure that workers across the province have one month of paid sick days at $1,000 per week."

It appears the federal government isn't willing to embrace the province's plan. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the media Tuesday that the deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland is working with the province on the issue. Meanwhile, her office issued a statement suggesting that cooperation has strings attached: "When Ontario is ready to mandate sick leave in provincially-regulated businesses, as we have done for federally-regulated businesses, we will be there to help."

Trudeau also emphasized that he wants the province to mandate paid leave, something that falls under its jurisdiction. "As we've said, we are there to help Canadians, we have people's backs and we need to work together. Provinces need to look at the way to deliver it simply, directly through employers, which the federal government can't do."

The prime minister's comments touch on one of the main complaints about the CRSB. There is low uptake of the federal benefit because it is not automatic — employees must apply and wait for payment, whereas an employer-based program could see employees simply call in sick and continue to receive their usual paycheque. The Ford government's request would not fix that flaw.

Ontario Chamber of Commerce Letter on the Issue

B.C. government is adding more than $75 million to the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant

The B.C. government is adding more than $75 million to the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant. The grant remains open to the 14,000 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness facilities impacted by the March 31, 2021, provincial health officer’s orders. The orders remain in place until May 25. The grant has also been clarified to include high-intensity fitness facilities that were partially or fully closed as a result of the provincial health officer’s orders issued in November 2020 and updated on March 31, 2021.

For more information on the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant, including the application process and eligibility, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/business-relief

For more information on the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program, including the application process and eligibility, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/business-recovery-grant

Manitoba restrictions will come into effect Wednesday 

Premier Pallister announced that starting Wednesday new COVID-19 restrictions will come into effect and they will extend beyond the May long weekend.

Under the restrictions most Manitobans will no longer be allowed to have visitors at their homes — indoors or outdoors — for at least four weeks as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, officials say.

Outdoor gatherings in public places will also be capped at 10, and changes are coming to the retail, restaurant and recreational sectors and faith-based gatherings, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said at a news conference Monday.

The restrictions will come into effect Wednesday to "dampen the third wave," Premier Brian Pallister said, and extend beyond the May long weekend.

Outdoor patio dining at restaurants will be restricted to four people, with no household restrictions, and shopping mall food courts will be closed. 

There's been no change for indoor dining at restaurants, which can operate at 50 per cent capacity, with patrons only allowed to dine in with members of the same household.

Faith-based gatherings are also being reduced, with capacity limited to 10 people or 25 per cent, whichever is lower. Indoor mask use is mandatory at all times. Previously worshippers could take off their masks as long as they were seated and distanced from people outside their household.

People who live alone may still have one designated visitor.

The CFA's 2021 Annual Accomplishments Report is available now

Focusing on each of the four pillars of the CFA’s strategic plan, this report outlines our Association accomplishments over the past year, including many exciting “firsts,” in the key areas of community, education, advocacy, and lead generation. Read it here! 

Beware of fraudsters targeting Rogers customers hit by last week's outage with bogus refund scam

Scam artists have been using last week's wireless outage at Rogers Communications Inc. as a way to trick people into clicking on fraudulent links. One fake claim that's made its way to social media falsely says that "R0GERS WIRELESS INC." is offering a $50 credit to make up for the inconvenience if people click on a link. One clue that it's a fake is that the message spells Rogers with a zero instead of an O, although that's harder to detect because the company name is spelled in capital letters.

Rogers real credit will automatically be applied to your May bill

Rogers is offering credits to customers. The credit will go automatically to bills in May. The real credit is equal to one day's service, so the amount depends on the customer and their plan.

The COVID-19 Vaccine and Its Implications in the Workplace 

In mid March the CFA hosted a webinar on ‘The COVID-19 Vaccine and Its Implications in the Workplace’.

As more people are vaccinated we thought we would reshare the Webinar Video along with a Q&A Sheet put together by Matthew Badrov at Sherrard Kuzz.

Business Recovery Summits On-Demand Videos Now Available for Purchase!

Session recordings from the Business Recovery Summit Series are now available for purchase! Choose from the Franchisee Recovery Summit, Franchise Recruitment Summit, Operations & Franchisee Support Summit, and Franchise Marketing Summit! View On-Demand Library


COVID-19's impact on the world is creating waves across all sectors and industries.

Every member of the CFA community is dealing with an issue that is affecting the world, our industries, our communities, our businesses, and our people.

We would like to hear from you if you have any topics, issues or questions to navigate turbulent times in order to support you further: 


Subscribe to the COVID Update

If you would like to subscribe all your franchisees to receive our COVID Update, please contact Alex Mann at amann@cfa.ca