August 25, 2020
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August 25, 2020

Your CFA Update on COVID-19



Erin O'Toole wins Conservative leadership race

By Scott Munnoch, Temple Scott Associates

After hours of delays due to a voting count malfunction, early this morning the Official Opposition Conservatives elected Ontario MP and former Cabinet Minister Erin O’Toole as their new Leader.  O’Toole won the leadership on the third ballot, beating his former Cabinet colleague Peter MacKay on the last ballot.  Toronto lawyer Leslyn Lewis finished in third place, followed by Ontario MP Derek Sloan who was a distant fourth.

O’Toole’s election produces two firsts for the Conservative Party: its first Leader from outside Western Canada and its first Leader from the Progressive Conservative wing of the Party.  That said, O’Toole’s campaign made a direct appeal to the Reform/Canadian Alliance wing of the Party.  

O’Toole must now unite the Party under his leadership following a quite bruising campaign between himself and MacKay.  That uniting will have to come quickly as the Conservatives need to get ready for an election widely expected within the next year.  That will require staffing his Leader’s Office, building a campaign team, recruiting candidates and developing a platform. 

A New Look Conservative Party?

It is no secret that in the last two elections the Conservatives have struggled to win seats in urban Ontario, much of Quebec, Atlantic Canada and the Vancouver area.  To win an election – and most certainly for a majority – the Conservatives have to make inroads in these regions, and O’Toole frequently highlighted the fact he is an MP from the Greater Toronto Area during the campaign, a region that has not been kind to the Conservatives in the last two elections.

O’Toole positioned himself as a “true blue conservative” during the leadership race, appealing to the core base of Conservative Party support.  However, to win a general election, O’Toole will need to expand his appeal to people who voted for other parties in the past two elections.

To that end, the O’Toole platform, which was a comprehensive document, is very much a mainstream conservative pitch: reducing and simplifying taxes, cutting red tape, balancing the budget, negotiating trade agreements, eliminating interprovincial trade barriers, and so on.  That platform also had detailed sections on the environment, climate change, law and order, innovation, agriculture, foreign policy, and defence, to name just a few.  The “true blue” pledge that seemed to get the most attention was to cut funding to the CBC and end the Government’s $600 million media support fund.      

O’Toole is fortunate to have crafted such a detailed platform as defining himself on policy matters will be critical given the Liberal Government’s plan for a Throne Speech on September 23 outlining a vision for a post-pandemic Canada.

Next Steps

O’Toole’s immediate priority is to reunite the Party and the caucus following a divisive race, particularly with runner-up Peter MacKay and his supporters.  For example, MacKay had the highest number of supporters from the Conservative caucus, and Lewis also had a number of MPs backing her.  The need to unite caucus will influence decisions on Critics and other Caucus roles, and O’Toole will want to have these sorted out before the House returns on September 23. 

Given the minority government situation and the likelihood of an election in the next twelve months, O’Toole will have to immediately undertake election readiness preparations, including the selection of a campaign manager, candidate recruitment and platform development.

New Staff in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition

  • Tausha Michaud - Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Official Opposition. Michaud is a political veteran with over 10 years of experience working in municipal, provincial, and federal government.  She formerly served as Senior Advisor to Mr. O'Toole when he was Canada's Minister of Veteran Affairs.
  • Fred DeLorey - National Campaign Manager. DeLorey most recently served as National Campaign Manager for the Erin O'Toole Leadership Campaign.
  • Alupa Clarke - Senior Advisor to the Leader. Clarke is a former Conservative MP for Beauport-Limoilou (2015-2019) and was Erin O’Toole’s leadership Campaign Chair in Québec.
  • Janet Fryday Dorey - Executive Director, Conservative Party of Canada. Fryday Dorey is the former president of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party and is the current Atlantic Organizer for the Conservative Party of Canada.

Who is Erin O’Toole?

O’Toole has an impressive resume, having enrolled in the Royal Canadian Air Force when he was 18 and eventually serving out of Halifax, participating in search and rescue missions as a tactical navigator.  O’Toole served in the Canadian Forces for 12 years.

Upon retiring from the military, O’Toole spent the next decade working in the private sector as a corporate lawyer.  He is also a founding member of the Board of Directors for the True Patriot Love Foundation, a charity that serves veterans and military families.

O’Toole comes from a political family as his father John was an MPP in the Ontario Legislature from 1995 until 2014.  Erin entered the political world in 2012, winning a by-election in the Toronto-area riding of Durham.  Shortly thereafter, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and in January 2015 became Minister of Veterans Affairs. 

Though the Conservatives lost the 2015 and 2019 elections, O’Toole was re-elected easily both times.  He ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2015 following the resignation of Stephen Harper, finishing in third place.  Prior to announcing his most recently leadership run, O’Toole was serving as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs.

O’Toole is married and has two children.

Ontario Expands Indoor Capacity for Meeting and Event Facilities

The Ontario government is safely reopening more of the economy by easing restrictions for facilities that rent out professional meeting and event spaces. Beginning August 21, 2020, facilities can have up to 50 guests for each indoor meeting room or event space within the facility. The facility would have to adhere to a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The current indoor gathering limit will now apply on a per meeting room or event space basis at professional meeting and event facilities, including convention centres, hotels, motels, resorts, banquet halls and conference centres. Outdoor meeting and event facilities remain subject to the 100-person gathering limit for the entire outdoor area. Capacity limits exclude employees or event personnel. Safely allowing these facilities to host more meetings and events is an important step in Ontario's economic recovery.

In addition, new regulatory amendments have come into force requiring contact information for only one person in a party entering indoor or outdoor dining areas starting today, with exceptions. This will reduce the administrative burden on businesses such as restaurants, bars and other food and drink

Guidance for professional meeting and event facilities during COVID-19

Changes coming to CEBA program?

On August 17, EEDC posted the following tweet which many are interpreting as a precurser to changes in the CEBA loan program.

“In response to important applicant feedback, a new #CEBA call centre is in the works. Applicants will be able to get status updates and support with document requirements. Stay tuned for more details in the coming days.”

Former Foodora workers reach $3.46M settlement with app's parent company

Foodora Inc.'s parent company has reached a $3.46-million settlement with its former Canadian couriers after shutting down its delivery service in the country. Under the settlement, Berlin-based Delivery Hero SE and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers will end recent disputes stemming from couriers winning the right to unionize in February and Foodora filing for bankruptcy in April and exiting the market in May.

The union alleged in an unfair labour practices complaint filed in April that Foodora pulled out of Canada because couriers and drivers in Toronto and Mississauga, Ont., were granted the right to unionize and be seen as dependent contractors by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Metropolitan Housing Starts: Long-term expectations remain negative

The monthly Metropolitan housing starts publication provides the recent trends in housing starts for 29 metropolitan areas and expectations for starts over both the short and long term. In the August 2020 report it found the following:

  • There are six census metropolitan areas (CMAs) with positive short- and long-term expectations. That's two more than last month (Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Oshawa, Toronto, Regina, Edmonton)
  • Negative expectations still prevail for the long term.
  • The CMAs with the biggest year-over-year percentage decreases in housing starts in July were Abbotsford–Mission, Windsor, Kitchener–Waterloo, Edmonton, and Greater Sudbury.
  • Saskatoon had the biggest year-over-year percentage increase in housing starts last month.

Metropolitan Housing Starts, August 2020

Conference Board: Working Through COVID-19 – Workforce Impacts

The Conference Board of Canada asked organizations across the country about how COVID-19 is affecting their turnover, attraction, and retention rates—and the strategies they’ve put in place to manage.

Read the Findings

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shuffles cabinet

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced a minor cabinet shuffle on Tuesday that changes the portfolios of two current ministers and adds a new face to his front bench. It is the first cabinet shuffle since Kenney led his United Conservative Party to a majority win over the province's first NDP government in April 2019, on a platform of jobs, economy and pipelines

Doug Schweitzer has moved from Justice to the new ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, which replaces the ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism. Tanya Fir, the former minister, has been dropped from cabinet and moved to the backbench where she will continue to serve as the MLA for Calgary-Peigan. 

Kaycee Madu moves to Justice, while Tracy Allard, the MLA for Grande Prairie, takes over his former spot in Municipal Affairs. 

CFA Note: We will be reaching out to Minister Schweitzer to start to highlight the importance of franchising and franchised businesses in Alberta.

Peaches recalled in Canada after salmonella outbreak in U.S.

Canadians are being warned to avoid some fresh peaches from a California company after a salmonella outbreak in the United States. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued the Class 1 recall on Saturday.

Prima Wawona, located in Fresno, Calif., has recalled fresh peaches with various brand names due to possible salmonella contamination. The recall report lists 11 different products with various labels, including Prima Sweet Value Wawona, Sweet 2 Eat, Sweet O, Wegmans and Extrafresh. The recall affects these specific products, mostly sold from June 1-Aug. 22.

As of Sunday, there were 68 reported cases in nine states, with 14 hospitalizations and zero deaths.

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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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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