July 9, 2020
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July 9, 2020

Your CFA Daily Update on COVID-19



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Deeper dive into yesterday’s federal fiscal ‘snapshot’

By Temple Scott Associates

The Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan includes more than $230 billion in measures to support Canadians and businesses. The snapshot is formatted to give the Government flexibility to scale those programs up or down in the coming months, stating that the Government will announce measures to support economic recovery as needed – though no details were offered about what those measures could be.

Most notably for businesses, the snapshot indicates that changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy are forthcoming, to “stimulate rehiring, provide support to businesses during reopening and help them adapt to the new normal”. In anticipation of that, the Government set aside additional funding for the program, perhaps indicating that it will be extended beyond August 29th, when it is currently set to end. Notably, no additional funding was set aside for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which is also due to end that day.

The impact of COVID-19 on employment has been significant, with approximately 30% of the workforce either losing their jobs or having their hours reduced at the start of the pandemic. However, the Government believes that its response to COVID-19 prevented greater economic damage, arguing that federal programs replaced more than $40 billion in lost income, prevented the real GDP contraction from reaching over 10% in 2020, and stopped the unemployment rate from rising a further 2% over the course of the year.

The snapshot accounts for the $14 billion Safe Restart Agreement that is currently being negotiated with the Provinces, but it does not provide greater detail on how that money will be spent, beyond making broad commitments to prioritize healthcare capacity, testing and tracing, personal protective equipment, childcare, and support for municipalities. Minister Morneau promised to announce details of the Agreement as they are decided.

Opposition Reaction

Although no Parliamentary vote is required to pass the “snapshot”, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh stated that his support for the Government could be contingent on its contents, and the other Opposition leaders were also vocal in setting criteria for the fiscal update.

The NDP gave the snapshot a “C+”, primarily criticizing the lack of support for persons living with disabilities and absence of action to increase taxes on the wealthy and eliminate tax havens.

The Conservatives argued that the Government lacks a plan to stimulate growth, attract business investment, and get Canadians back to work and they also sounded alarm over the size of the Federal debt. The Bloc Quebecois also called for more measures to get Canadians back to work.

What’s Next

Marked by both the fiscal snapshot and the virtual Cabinet retreat this week, it is clear that the Government is attempting to transition from crisis management of the pandemic to charting a pathway to a new normal. However, judging by the tone of the snapshot, that transition will be cautious and the Government remains open to further spending in response to COVID-19.

Minister Morneau did not fix a date for Budget 2020 today, or even commit to tabling one before Budget 2021. He did commit to providing further details on Federal finances in the Fall, and indicated that the tabling of a full budget at that time will depend on how successfully the pandemic and its economic fallout are limited.

Meanwhile, the House of Commons Finance Committee is authorized to continue a virtual meeting schedule over the summer, and it could, in theory, choose to study today’s snapshot, which could result in an appearance by the Finance Minister before the Committee.

Ontario set to end cannabis delivery, curbside pickup 

Ontario has announced that delivery and curbside pickup services will no longer be allowed at weed stores in the province's state of emergency ends. Since April, the province has allowed privately-owned cannabis stores across Ontario to better cater to customers staying at home during the pandemic with delivery and curbside pickup. 

The announcement has sparked major concern for some of the province's retailers, many who hastily shifted their business models to provide delivery or curbside pickup to compete with illegal delivery services, which still make up more than 80 per cent of Ontario's cannabis sales. 

Real estate open houses coming back to B.C. with new guidelines

The British Columbia Real Estate Association, the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate and WorkSafeBC announced new guidelines Wednesday to resume physical home showings by realtors.

Sherrard Kuzz LLP Legal Support Program
To help navigate the recovery of COVID-19, CFA members have the opportunity to contact Sherrard Kuzz LLP for one free phone-consultation, once per calendar year, to a maximum of 15 minutes. A member may use their 15 minutes to seek information about any employment, labour or human resources issue related to the User (subject to Sherrard Kuzz LLP successfully completing a conflict check to ensure it may advise on the matter).

To take advantage of this CFA member benefit, contact Michael Sherrard at msherrard@sherrardkuzz.com or 416-603-6240.

Regina city council considering $2M grant program for struggling businesses

Regina's executive committee is considering a plan that could provide relief for businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. If approved, the city would set aside a $2 million pot of money that could be divvied out to businesses through grants. Businesses could apply for grants of between $1,000 to $25,000, as long as they agree to match whatever money they receive. Regina's chamber of commerce would help oversee the grant program.

Mayor Michael Fougere said he supports the idea for the most part, but said council will need to narrow down which businesses will be allowed to apply. The executive committee approved the plan, which will go before city council for further discussion on July 29.

Quebec to crack down on bars with 1 a.m. closing time, reduced capacity

Starting Friday, bars in Quebec will have to close by 1 a.m., operate at no more than half capacity and ensure clients are seated while they're drinking, following a flare-up of COVID-19 infections linked to a bar and two house parties on Montreal's South Shore.

Speaking at a news conference Thursday afternoon, Health Minister Christian Dubé said last call for alcoholic beverages will be midnight instead of 3 a.m., and bars must be cleared of customers an hour later.

Customers must remain seated at tables and no dancing is allowed.

The new regulations will also include an increased police presence around bars and surrounding streets, to make sure clients and owners are respecting the guidelines. 

N.S. home sales spike in June

After a brief dip in real estate transactions because of COVID-19, listings in Nova Scotia rebounded last month and sales spiked. In April, there were 60 per cent fewer new listings than in April 2019, making for the slowest April in more than 30 years. Sales for that month dropped about 47 per cent from the previous year. In May, there were about 42 per cent fewer new listings than in May 2019, a 15-year low, and about 42 per cent fewer sales.

But June numbers show the market bucking the downward trend. Listings returned to within 10 per cent of last year's levels, and sales spiked by 30 per cent from the previous year. In June 2019, there were 1,427 real estate sales in Nova Scotia. In June 2020, there were 1,862.

Webinar Series On Demand


JULY 13, 2020
AT 2:00 PM ET

Business Resilience Planning: Preparing your business for long term success

SPEAKER: Phil Racco, Senior Manager, Enterprise Risk Services, MNP LLP

COVID-19 caused a wave of disruption to business and life in Canada.In this interactive discussion, gain practical insights on how to prepare your business to respond to disruption now and in the future.

We encourage you to submit your questions ahead of time.


JULY 21, 2020
AT 2:00 PM ET

Marketing your franchise system on-line through COViD-19 and beyond

Getting consistent, measurable return on investment (ROI) for your marketing efforts has always been hard. Running a business is even harder. In this session, Luke Aulin will untangle the changes you can make in your digital marketing strategy and execution to put your franchise system on the path to measurable, repeatable and scalable results for head office and for your franchisees.



 JULY 22, 2020
AT 2:00 PM ET

Diversity and Inclusion in Franchising

MODERATOR: Jennifer Dolman, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
SPEAKERS: Dani Bazely, Driverseat; Joel Friedman, Inspiration Learning Center 

Members of the franchise community know that everything else aside, franchising is about people - and successful franchise owners are ones who take this to heart. Join this session to gain insight into diversity and inclusion practices that will foster growth and innovation in your workplace, giving your company an extra edge as you grow your business.


 JULY 28, 2020
AT 2:00 PM ET

Navigating the digital world and digitizing your business

SPEAKERS: Ayham Aldajane, Nown POS; Marta Rzezkowska, Moneris; additional speakers TBC

Join this panel discussion for an in-depth conversation about business in the digital world including: digital payments and cyber security, managing the customer experience in a digital world, choosing the right solution(s) for your business and where to find them, moving business processes online (e.g. accounting, payroll, etc.), and managing your data.






Feedback from our Members

“I would like to take this moment to express how amazing the CFA webinar series has been for myself and my stores. I am regularly sharing the information and enjoy the daily "break" around lunch time, basically having a nearly daily lunch and learn.”

 - Suzanne Howie, Franchise Support, Print Three Franchising Corp.

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: 


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