September 22, 2020
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September 22, 2020

Your CFA Update on COVID-19

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Wednesday’s Throne speech: Here is what to expect

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government will, on Wednesday, unveil its plans for the country's pandemic response and recovery. The last time Mr Trudeau's government held a Throne Speech - where a government outlines its policies and programmes as a parliamentary session begins - was less than a year ago.

The speech will be read by Governor General Julie Payette in the Senate chamber. Traditionally the speech includes plenty of pomp and ceremony and is attended by senators, members of parliament, Supreme Court justices and various dignitaries. This time numbers will be restricted, according to senate officials, and most parliamentarians are being asked to view the speech off-site.

The Liberal government is expected to announce plans to tackle both the immediate crisis - a new surge in Covid-19 cases as the country enters the colder months - and a roadmap for a longer term recovery. More specifically, Reuters reports that the immediate to-do list will include investments in childcare, an expanded employment insurance programme, and funds for long-term care homes, which were particularly hard-hit early in the pandemic. The speech likely won’t establish budget targets, which will be left for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to detail later this year in a fiscal update.

Business groups, like the CFA, have been asking for wage subsidies to be extended and for long-term rent relief.

There is also election talk and a new opposition leader in Erin O’Toole. The Throne Speech has led to plenty of speculation about Canadians heading to the polls this fall. The speech does trigger a confidence vote in the House of Commons which will be a key test for the minority government.

Canada has already budgeted $380 billion (US$289 billion) in new debt this year as a response to the downturn, spending that will likely drive the federal government’s debt to about 50 per cent of economic output, from 31 per cent last year. That’s triggered a backlash from business groups and economists, who are calling on Trudeau to commit to specific new debt targets to impose discipline on the budgeting process.

The speech will begin at 2:10p. CFA will provide members an update on the content following the speech with reaction from the Opposition and other stakeholders.

British Columbians heading to the polls on October 24

After weeks of public speculation, B.C. Premier John Horgan is calling a fall election during COVID-19 pandemic. Horgan has asked for the B.C. Legislature to be dissolved and Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin has accepted his request. Election day will be October 24– ahead of the next scheduled election on October 2021.

A recent poll from the Angus Reid Institute suggests if an election were held right now, the NDP would win a massive victory. The survey suggests 48 per cent of decided voters would choose the NDP, 29 per cent would vote Liberal, and 14 per cent would opt for the Greens.

Today’s announcement comes days after the Horgan Government released a sweeping $1.5 billion B.C. Economic Recovery Plan. The plan offers broad assistance to support the healthcare system, encourage employment, strengthen businesses, and promote stronger communities.
British Columbia will be the second province in Canada to hold an election during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Canada-U.S. border closure extended to Oct. 21

The partial closure of Canada's border with the United States is being extended another month, to Oct. 21.

Ontario Limits the Size of Unmonitored and Private Social Gatherings across Entire Province

 The Ontario government is reducing limits on the number of people permitted to attend unmonitored and private social gatherings across the entire province. Unmonitored and private social gatherings include functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas.

The new limit on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored private social gathering across the province is:

• 10 people at an indoor event or gathering (previous limit of 50); or

• 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering (previous limit of 100).

• Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together. Gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted.

The new limits will not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, recreational sporting or performing art events. Existing rules, including public health and workplace safety measures for these businesses and facilities, continue to be in effect.

These new limits are effective immediately.

The Ontario government is also creating a $10,000 minimum fine for the organizers of these gatherings.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Resumes Additional Activities This Month

The Government temporarily suspended some programs and services, including many collection and compliance activities. The CRA will be resuming these collection and enforcement activities. As a result, you may receive a call or letter from the CRA, with a specific call to action.

To protect against fraud, remember “the CRA will never use aggressive language, threaten you with jail time, or demand payment by gift cards.”

Learn how to recognize a scam and protect yourself from fraud.

Programs that are returning


  • Appeals
  • Audits
  • Charity revocations
  • Collections
  • Compliance activities


  • Audits
  • Benefits validation
  • Collections

For more information please see the CRA website

Conservative and BQ party leaders test positive for COVID-19

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet both tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. While Blanchet's wife tested positive earlier in the week, O'Toole's wife and children tested negative.

City of Ottawa invokes self-isolation order - $5K per day if you don’t comply

Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, announced that anyone who has “reasonable grounds to believe they have COVID-19” must self-isolate immediately, including those who have symptoms or are awaiting test results.

Anyone who doesn't observe the order could be fined up to $5,000 for each day they fail to self-isolate. 

B.C. announces expanded list of COVID-19 violations for restaurants and bars

B.C.'s minister of public safety has announced a string of new COVID-19 violations that can be enforced with a fine, as well as an expanded group of officials who can hand out tickets. The expanded list of violations centres on the restaurant and bar industry and comes after B.C. ordered the closure of banquet halls and nightclubs and banned the sale of liquor past 10 p.m.

Businesses can now be ticketed for violating the following provincial health orders:

  • Background music or sounds must be no louder than normal conversations.
  • An establishment must close by 11 p.m. unless full meal service is being provided.
  • Premises offering full meal service are allowed to stay open past 11 p.m., but liquor is not allowed to be served until 11 a.m. the next day.
  • Liquor can no longer be consumed onsite by owners, operators or staff past 11 p.m.
  • The 10 p.m. cut-off for liquor sales also applies to private events.
  • If food- or liquor-serving premises hold private events, such as wedding receptions, they must follow the same rules as hotels and other venues. 

If these orders are not followed, operators and organizers will be fined $2,000, while patrons could be fined $200, the announcement said. The fines will also apply to banquet halls and nightclubs that continue to operate.

Liberals pledge $1 billion for cities to buy motels, hotels for rapid-housing program

The federal Liberals plan to spend $1 billion over the next six months so cities and housing providers can buy properties being sold because of the COVID-19 pandemic and use them to keep people from becoming homeless.

The details of the program unveiled Monday fill what was seen as a gap in the Liberals' decade-long national housing strategy.

The Liberals say the program will create 3,000 new affordable housing units across Canada, and want all the funds committed by the end of March 2021, when the federal fiscal year finishes.

Municipalities, provinces, territories, Indigenous governing bodies and agencies as well as non-profit organizations can tap into the money that for now appears to be a one-time program.

Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen said the program will only take applications for projects to quickly build or buy units that would also serve vulnerable populations like women fleeing domestic violence, or people at immediate risk of becoming homeless. 

Webinar Series On Demand


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?


CFA’s Business Recovery Summit Series

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and developments with Canada’s financial institutions at CFA’s Business Recovery Summit Series throughout the month of October, where today’s speakers will present updates on financing and lending. Stay tuned for more information!


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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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