August 14, 2020
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August 14, 2020

Your CFA Update on COVID-19



Canada-U.S. border will remain closed until Sept. 21

The federal government will extend the Canada-U.S. land border closure for another 30 days until Sept. 21, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said Friday. The closure to non-essential travel has been in place for months, but with caseloads still high in many U.S. states, the two governments have mutually agreed to continue restricting movement across the world's longest international border.

The federal government has also moved to curb the movement of Americans through Canada who are ostensibly on their way to Alaska. U.S. travellers destined for the northern state have been limited to five crossings in Western Canada and they must commit to taking a direct route.

Canada's Competition Bureau investigates

Canada's Competition Bureau has launched an investigation into online selling powerhouse to examine whether the website's U.S. owners are "impacting competition to the detriment of consumers and companies that do business in Canada." The competition watchdog said in a release Friday that while its probe is ongoing and stressed that "there is no conclusion of wrongdoing at this time," the bureau is looking into whether or not the site may be engaging in anti-competitive practices, including:

• Any past or existing Amazon policies that may impact third-party sellers' willingness to offer their products for sale at a lower price on other retail channels, such as their own websites or other online marketplaces;

• The ability of third-party sellers to succeed on Amazon's marketplace without using its "Fulfilment By Amazon" service or advertising on

• Any efforts or strategies by Amazon that may influence consumers to purchase products it offers for sale over those offered by competing sellers.

In a statement to CBC News, a spokesperson for Amazon said "we are co-operating with the Competition Bureau's review and continue to work hard to support small and medium sized businesses who sell in our Canadian store — and help them grow."

The bureau is asking any person or business that has conducted sales via to contact them if they have any insights into the issues it is investigating. While personal information must be disclosed, the bureau is promising confidentiality.

Ontario: Premier announces increase in gym capacity limits

Beginning August 15, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., these facilities can have up to 50 patrons for each indoor sport or fitness room, while ensuring physical distancing of at least two metres. The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford and Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

The revised capacity limits are on a per room basis. They will apply to the gymnasiums, health clubs, community centres, multi-purpose facilities, arenas, exercise studios, yoga and dance studios and other fitness facilities that are able to follow the new guidance. The change was enabled by amendments to the Stage 3 regulation and a new plan and guidance document to apply a per room limit for sport and recreational fitness activities at facilities with the necessary space or layout.

More Information

BC: Residential Rent Hikes are frozen, but landlords can evict

Residential Tenancy Board released details of its plan, which gives renters until July 2021 to repay. Renters in arrears between March 18 and Aug. 17 will have until at least next July to pay back the money owed to landlords. The government says landlords and renters need to work out a payment plan with the extra payment due with the monthly rent. A payment plan has been set out for renters in British Columbia who haven't been able to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic as a government moratorium on evictions ends on Sept. 1.

The province has also extended its prohibition on rent increases, stopping landlords from raising rents until December. It says anyone who was issued an increase should continue to pay the current amount.

The rental supplement remains available until the end of August at $500 a month for families and $300 for renters without dependents. The government says it has helped more than 86,000 households with rent payments during the pandemic.

BC: Health, bylaw officers to target large parties, banquet hall events

On Thursday, B.C.'s Health Minister Adrian Dix said public health officers are going to be checking banquet halls and large parties this weekend to make sure health protocols to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus are being followed. 

City of Regina recommends mask use indoors, in public vehicles

Regina's mayor and some city councillors came together Thursday to recommend mask use. Mayor Michael Fougere said the city would look at a mandatory mask policy in the coming days, weeks or months. He wouldn't commit to timelines on a decision. Fougere said the province was not opposed to municipalities creating their own bylaws around mask use.

Quebec invests in 30,000 laptops and tablets for students in need

Quebec is investing $18.9 million to create a reserve of computer equipment for students as they return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Education Minister Jean-François Roberge announced Wednesday the government is purchasing about 30,000 laptops and tablets for use by students most in need. The devices will be reserved for children who don't have computers or exclusive access to them, as well as for Grade 10 and 11 students who will be on alternating schedules of in-person and remote learning.

Majority of Atlantic Canadians oppose opening up bubble in next month

The majority of Atlantic Canadians oppose opening up the region to the rest of the country within the next month and dropping the 14-day quarantine for incoming travellers, according to a new survey. More than three-quarters of Atlantic Canadian respondents (77 per cent) are against the idea, with four in 10 (42 per cent) completely opposed, and 35 per cent mostly opposed, the figures from Halifax-based Narrative Research show.

New Brunswick Liberals reject Tory power-sharing deal

New Brunswick's Opposition Liberals have rejected a proposal from Tory Premier Blaine Higgs for an agreement aimed at avoiding an election until 2022. Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers said Friday Higgs wielded the threat of a snap election in a bid to have his minority government remain in power for another two years. The Liberals have left the talks, setting the stage for a possible election call by Higgs.

On Monday, Higgs asked the opposition leaders to sign a formal agreement not to trigger an election until September 2022, or no earlier than 30 days after public health officials declare the COVID-19 pandemic over.

The Progressive Conservatives and Liberals each have 20 seats in the legislature, while the Greens and the People's Alliance each have three. There are two vacant seats and one Independent.

Negotiations between the Progressive Conservatives, Liberals, Greens and the People's Alliance on the proposal that the opposition support Higgs' minority government began Wednesday and continued through Friday.

Additional Resources

MNP – Decoding Changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

• Watch the Video to find out what it means for your business

Webinar Series On Demand

Did you know our COVID-19 webinars are available on-demand?

Since the start of August, we have hosted three webinars providing critical information on the topics our members have asked about: the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) extension, management of employment related risks, and a safe return to the workplace. Each webinar provides valuable insights into these crucial topics and are targeted towards BOTH franchisors and franchisees.

We encourage franchisors to share these webinars with your franchisees, to help your team better navigate towards recovery and growth.

Update on Government Programs: Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy


Speaker: Justin Mastrangelo, BDO Canada LLP

In this webinar, learn from an expert from BDO Canada about the recent changes to the CEWS and understand how they will affect your business as you recover.


Back to Basics: What Covid-19 has taught us about employment essentials


Speakers: Matthew Badrov and Allyson Lee, Sherrard Kuzz LLP

Covid-19 brought about a significant amount of change for Canadian employers that had to be dealt with in very short period of time. In this webinar, experts Matthew Badrov and Allyson Lee from Sherrard Kuzz gives practical advice on what you need to consider in best practices in management your employment related risks.


Returning to the workplace: What employers need to know


Speakers: Michael Sherrard and Matthew Badrov, Sherrard Kuzz LLP

In this webinar, experts Michael Sherrard and Matthew Badrov from Sherrard Kuzz LLP give practical advice on what you need to consider in developing policies and procedures to keep your employees safe and satisfy your legal obligations.



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Feedback from our Members

“My husband, Jim and I would like to thank everyone at the CFA who has worked so hard and tirelessly to provide us with updated information on the Covid-19 crisis, for the webinars, lobbying for change and for all of the support you provide to members on a regular basis. We are sincerely grateful. To everyone at the CFA, take care and stay healthy.”

 - Nadine Cartman, CEO, Chicken Delight of Canada Ltd

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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