October 6, 2020
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October 6, 2020

Your CFA Update on COVID-19

October Early Bird Incentives Launched!

Learn More About the October Early-Bird Renewal Incentives

Remembering Tony O’Brien

The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) was saddened to learn that Anthony (Tony) O’Brien, Executive Vice President, TruShield Insurance, and a longstanding member of the Board, passed away suddenly over the weekend.

Tony served on the Board for the past 5 years. He also served as the Chair of the Franchise Support Services/Supplier (FSS) Committee and was recognized in 2019 with the CFA’s Volunteer Leadership Excellence Award for his tireless dedication to the CFA and its members.

“Tony was a true gentleman who dedicated his time and resources to advancing the CFA community for many years,” says Sherry McNeil, CFA President & CEO. “In fact, Tony has played a key role in numerous CFA events and programs and has helped a range of franchise professionals, offering best practices and sharing his knowledge and expertise whenever possible. His deep involvement, commitment, and continuous support of our community has helped shape the CFA and has positively impacted our businesses and our lives. He will always be remembered and honoured for his extraordinary warmth and genuine care for others, and his significant and lasting contributions to the CFA community.”

Tony will be greatly missed. He has been a true friend to the CFA and to the franchise community in Canada.

Remembering Tony O’Brien

CFA files for Intervenor Status in the BC LRB case on common-employer

On Friday, the CFA filed an application for reconsideration and request for intervenor status in the BC Labour Relations Board (LRB) case where the Board declared Sobey’s and 7 of its franchisees to be common employer under the BC Labour Code.

In the decision the Labour Board used many of the common practices of franchisors to reach its conclusion such as the franchisor’s Operating Manual, training, sub-leasing arrangements, and merchandising standards.

While the CFA was not party to the original application, the declaration of common employer concerns us greatly, which is why we have asked for standing in this case so we can defend the franchised business model.

Why CFA members should be concerned

Common employer allows a court to treat separate legal entities, in certain circumstances, as a single employer for the purposes of attaching liability for such things as wages, overtime, vacation pay, benefits, termination notice, severance pay, wrongful and constructive dismissal, etc.

Common employer or Joint employer hits at the heart of the franchised business model. It can leave franchisors exposed to claims by franchisee employees for unpaid wages, overtime, vacation pay, benefits, termination notice, pay in lieu of notice, severance pay, wrongful and constructive dismissal, human rights violations, and payroll taxes.

Help us protect franchising in Canada


Commercial rent relief – we are working on it

I know many CFA members are very concerned that the federal government did not extend the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program into October. While the CECRA program was a very flawed program it was better than no program at all.

Over the weekend I spoke with staff within Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s Office about how the program could be modified or replaced to help many more franchised businesses across Canada.

A new commercial rent program and expanded business supports should be announced shortly.

In the meantime, CFA will be sending another letter to Minister Freeland, Small Business Minister, Mary Ng and all provincial Premiers shortly demanding a new commercial rent relief program.

CFA Business Recovery Summit Series

The CFA Business Recovery Summit Series in October 2020 is a month of virtual conferences and events to help franchisors and franchisees manage, adapt, and grow their business in the "next normal" during COVID-19 recovery. REGISTER NOW

Nova Scotia's plastic bag ban to go ahead, premier confirms

Nova Scotia's plastic bag ban will go ahead as planned at the end of the month, Premier Stephen McNeil confirmed Tuesday in a media briefing. Prior to the onset of COVID-19, Nova Scotia was set to ban single-use plastic bags at the end of October. That would mean businesses would no longer be able to provide single-use plastic shopping bags at the checkout. 

Last month, the Department of Environment said it was considering pushing the date back due to concerns about the use of reusable bags during a pandemic. The department said it was consulting with public health officials on the matter.

Speaking at Tuesday's briefing, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said he's told the department "there's nothing from a COVID reason that would require them to delay that." However, he added the retail sector does not want another burden as it deals with the impacts of COVID-19. Strang said he did not know when a public announcement on the ban would happen.

McNeil then chimed in: "It will proceed as scheduled." He did not elaborate on the plan.

Retail Council OK with ban

Jim Cormier, Atlantic director for the Retail Council of Canada, said in an interview that the council is "somewhat agnostic" when it comes to phasing out plastic bags, but he said that Nova Scotia's retailers have had plenty of time to prepare.

If you have a comment on the ban please email the CFA at covid@cfa.ca

Health Canada approves first rapid antigen COVID-19 test

Health Canada regulators today approved another rapid COVID-19 test — the first antigen device to receive the necessary approvals for use in this country. U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories can now sell and distribute the Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device, which can produce results in less than 20 minutes. The test is advertised as a solution for mass testing in "decentralized settings." Health Canada has authorized it as a point of care test, meaning it can be used by trained professionals in pharmacies, walk-in clinics or doctors' offices. The Panbio is designed to give "preliminary test results," and, according to Abbott, a negative result "doesn't preclude SARS-CoV-2 infection." 

Health Canada approved another Abbott rapid test last week, the ID NOW, which is the molecular test that has been used at U.S. President Donald Trump's White House to screen staff since April.

BC Election: NDP leading by 18 points

Three weeks into the provincial election campaign the B.C. NDP continues to hold a sizable lead of 18 points, according to the latest poll by the Angus Reid Institute. Data shows John Horgan's NDP with 49 per cent support of the electorate, compared to Andrew Wilkinson's B.C. Liberals with 31 per cent, and Sonia Furstenau's B.C. Greens with 14 per cent. 

In age and gender categories, the NDP leads across the board and enjoys especially strong support from women. The party also holds the advantage in all regions of the province except for the Interior, where the Liberals have an 11 per cent lead with 46 per cent support compared to 35 per cent for the NDP. 

On the issues front, the Liberals were judged to be best on the economy by 64 per cent of voters. The NDP was favoured in COVID-19 response, health care and housing affordability. On climate change and the environment, B.C. Greens came out on top with 72 per cent support.

Three out of five voters told pollsters the election is unnecessary and should have been held next year, including 28 per cent of those who support the NDP.

Applications Now Available for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit 

The programs, both part of the package replacing the CERB, may now be applied for. Applications for both programs are available through the Canada Revenue Agency. Applications for the Canada Recovery Benefit will be available starting October 12. CRA’s new CRSB, CRCB and CRB web pages provide extensive information about these benefits including eligibility requirements, how to apply and eligibility period dates.

Apply For CRSB

Apply For CRCB

Annamie Paul elected leader of the federal Green Party

Green Party members have picked Toronto lawyer Annamie Paul as their next leader, bringing to a close the year-long race to replace Elizabeth May. Paul was the perceived frontrunner heading into the final vote because she had raised the most money — $206,000 — and racked up a number of endorsements from former Green Party candidates.

Paul, who is the first Black permanent leader of a major federal political party in Canada, assumes the leadership of a party that has been closely tied to May for the better part of the last 14 years. Before handing the job to Paul, May delivered an impassioned plea to Canadians to do more to address the climate crisis, saying the ongoing fight against COVID-19 can't distract from pressing environmental concerns.

Paul claimed victory with 12,090 votes against her closest competitor, Dimitri Lascaris, another lawyer and a self-described radical and "eco-socialist," who had 10,081 votes after eight rounds of voting. A party official said 23,877 Green voters cast a ballot in this race — a 69 per cent turnout.

Paul, one of the more moderate candidates who contested this leadership election, ran on a robust environmental agenda that she says will help Canada fight climate change, which she has called "an existential threat to human life."

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 speakers will present updates on financing and lending. Register here


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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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