September 3, 2020
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September 3, 2020

Your CFA Update on COVID-19



Ontario Announces Extension of the COVID-19 Period

Today, the Ontario government made a regulation that changed certain Employment Standards Act (ESA) rules during the “COVID-19 period.” This regulation has been amended, extending the COVID-19 period to January 2, 2021.

During the COVID-19 period (March 1, 2020 to January 2, 2021):

  • A non-unionized employee whose employer has temporarily reduced or eliminated their hours of work for reasons related to COVID-19 is deemed to be on a job-protected Infectious Disease Emergency Leave,
  • A non-unionized employee is not considered to be laid off under the ESA if their employer temporarily reduces or eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19, and
  • A non-unionized employee is not considered to be constructively dismissed under the ESA if their employer temporarily reduces or eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19.

Beginning on January 3, 2021:

  • Employees will no longer be deemed to be on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave
  • The ESA’s regular rules around constructive dismissal This means a significant reduction or elimination of an employee’s hours of work or wages may constitute a constructive dismissal, even if it was done for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • The ESA’s regular rules around temporary layoff For practical purposes, an employee’s temporary layoff clock resets on January 3, 2021.

If you need help understanding your employment standards rights and responsibilities see the Ontario Employment Standards Act Guide at

BC confirms tax measure implementation dates, deferral deadlines for businesses

BC is delaying implementation dates to April 2021 for changes to provincial sales tax (PST) and B.C.’s carbon tax.

Carbon Tax: The scheduled increase in April 2020 from $40 to $45 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) had been paused until at least October as part of the COVID-19 Action Plan. Upon review, the B.C. government has decided the carbon tax rate will remain at its current level of $40 per tCO2e until April 2021, when it will increase from $40 to $45 per tCO2e. The carbon tax will increase to $50 per tCO2e in April 2022.

PST: The implementation of two other planned tax changes is also being delayed until April 2021. This includes the elimination of the PST exemption for carbonated beverages that contain sugar, natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners, and the addition of new PST registration and collection requirements for e-commerce businesses located outside B.C.

EHT: To further support businesses, the employer health tax (EHT) 2020 quarterly instalment dates are being extended as follows:

• 31, 2020 (original instalment date was June 15, 2020)

31, 2021 (original instalment date was Sept. 15, 2020)

• 28, 2021 (original instalment date was Dec. 15, 2020)

The 2020 EHT filing and balance due date will remain March 31, 2021.

Payment Due Dates: The filing and payment due dates for the following sales taxes were extended to Sept. 30, 2020, along with the 2019 EHT filing and balance due date.:


• hotel tax, also known as municipal and regional district tax

• tobacco tax

• motor fuel tax

• carbon tax

These administrative deferrals are not being extended further.

Tax Information for Businesses

CRA Increases Amounts For Meal Claims And Benefits

The Canada Revenue Agency, with immediate effect and retroactive to January 1, 2020, has increased the amount employers can use to determine whether an overtime meal or allowance or the meal portion of a travel allowance is taxable from $17 to $23.

More Information

Canada United Small Business Relief Fund Application Window Is Open 

The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund was launched in support of other chambers and partners to help small Canadian businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19. If awarded, a relief grant can be used for any of the following activities: 

  • Purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, face shields and latex gloves. 
  • Renovating physical spaces to adhere to local, provincial or federal reopening guidelines. 
  • Developing or improving e-commerce capabilities for your business. 

A limited number of grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded. We intend to support local businesses of all kinds from across the country (from retailers to barbershops to farmers). 

CFA launches September renewal incentives

Learn More About the September Early Bird Incentives

CRA says CERB payments will be deposited by the weekend

Recipients express frustration, worry on social media after payments was not deposited as quickly as it was in past months. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says claimants can expect to see their Canada emergency response benefits (CERB) deposited before the weekend, after many people online reported not receiving their payments earlier this week as expected.

Equifax: Consumer debt increased 2.8 per cent in Q2

Credit rating agency Equifax Canada says total consumer debt increased 2.8 per cent to $1.99 trillion in the second quarter amid a strong recovery in the housing market. Rising mortgage balances pushed average debt per person to $73,532, up 2.2 per cent from a year ago, despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Mortgage activity has withstood the headwinds from COVID and showed the earliest signs of recovery," said Rebecca Oakes, assistant vice-president of advanced analytics. However, non-mortgage debt decreased three per cent nationally to $23,035 as credit cards, auto loans and lines of credit were impacted by shutdowns in most regions of the country.

Per capita non-mortgage debt was highest in Alberta at $28,261 and lowest in Manitoba at $18,243, but it dropped the most in Alberta and least in New Brunswick.

About three million consumers used COVID-related payment deferrals at some point since February, with the 35- to 44-year-old age group having the largest percentage relying on the help at 15.1 per cent and seniors least likely to pursue deferrals at 5.7 per cent.

The delinquency rate — the percentage of balances where credit users have missed at least three payments — was 1.24 per cent nationally, up 10.6 per cent from a year ago. The rate was highest in New Brunswick at 1.8 per cent and lowest in British Columbia at 1.02 per cent.

"One in five people utilizing deferred payments were already financially stressed prior to the start of the pandemic. Some of these consumers may find it harder to recover as support mechanisms start to reduce."

Canadian exports and imports jumped by more than 10% in July

Canada shipped 11.1 per cent more to the rest of the world in July than it did in June, and brought in 12.7 per cent more, too. Statistics Canada said Thursday that cars and car parts flowing across the Canada and U.S. border was the biggest factor in the trade increase.

The data agency said Canada imported $8.1 billion worth of cars and car parts in July, a 50 per cent increase from June's level. The summer months are typically slower for trade in that sector as factory shutdowns in the summer occur. But COVID-19 lockdowns in March, April and May have led to a surge in June and July as car companies catch up to the delayed demand.

U.S. trade deficit soars to $64B, highest in 12 years

The gap between what the United States buys from the rest of the world and what it sells widened to its highest level since 2008, as imports jumped by a record amount in July.

Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce released Thursday showed that the American trade gap reached $63.6 billion US during the month. That's the highest figure since the same month 12 years ago, during the depths of the financial crisis.

The U.S. economy imported $231.7 billion worth of goods from the rest of the world during the month, the highest amount ever and a 10.9 per cent increase from June's level.

American exports also rose 8.1 per cent to $168.1 billion.

New Brunswick Election – Poll Tracker

The Progressive Conservatives are leading in the polls and are in a strong position to win a majority government. While their margin over the Liberals isn't enormous, the PCs would likely win more seats even if they trailed the Liberals in province-wide support, as they did in 2018. The Greens have more support than they did in the last election while the People's Alliance has taken a big hit.

Election Day is Monday September 14.

Poll averages

  • PC: 39.6% (-2.4)
  • LIB: 32.3% (-0.2)
  • GRN: 15.8% (+2.3)
  • PA: 6.3% (+1.8)
  • NDP: 5.2% (-1.3)
  • OTH: 0.8% (-0.2)

Seat projections (25 seats needed for a Majority)

  • PC: 30
  • LIB: 16
  • GRN: 3
  • PA: 0
  • NDP: 0
Webinar Series On Demand


September 10, 2020
AT 2:00 PM ET

Impact of COVID-19 on Banks & Lenders: Now how do you approach the bank

SPEAKERS: Paul daSilva, RBC; Joseph Pisani, BMO Bank of Montreal; Tom de Larzac, HSBC Bank Canada; and, Mohammed Jehangir, CIBC

In this webinar, learn how COVID-19 has impacted how Canadian banks are looking at business loans and what additional information they need. What programs and services have banks introduced to serve SMEs and how can they be accessed? What is the impact of the pandemic on  a bank's risk tolerances? Have banks changed how they will lend and for what they will lend? Are loan losses as government support programs taper off expected to tighten loan approval requirements? How do I take advantage of changes in the marketplace? How do i grow my franchise?

More Info & Register


Access Recordings
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Articles of Interest from CFA Members

• Cassels Brock - A Wishart Act Come True? Amendments to the Arthur Wishart Act and Regulations come into effect on September 1, 2020

• Fasken: Signing the Franchise Agreement Before Finding the Location: the Pros, Cons, Challenges and...Risks! Ontario





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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