October 20, 2020
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October 20, 2020

Your CFA Update on COVID-19

October Early Bird Incentives Launched!

Learn More About the October Early-Bird Renewal Incentives

Single Use Plastics: Are you affected?

The end is coming for plastic grocery bags, straws and cutlery after the federal government announced today which single-use plastics will be covered by a national ban coming into effect next year. Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson recently unveiled the list of soon-to-be-banned items such as

  • Grocery checkout bags
  • Straws
  • Stir sticks
  • Six-pack rings
  • Plastic cutlery 
  • Food takeout containers made from hard-to-recycle plastics (like black plastic packaging)

The regulations to introduce the ban will be finalized by the end of 2021, said Wilkinson.

Are you concerned? Email covid@cfa.ca to let us know how you feel about the upcoming plastics ban.

Ontario's new blue box plan will recycle more, but it'll cost you more

With the Ontario government proposing a new recycling system that relieves municipal governments of running blue box programs, experts are expecting to see the cost passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for packaged goods.

The proposed regulations revealed by the government of Premier Doug Ford Monday shift responsibility for recycling onto the companies that produce packaging. If passed, the government estimates the proposed regulatory changes will see municipalities save $135 million annually as producers take over the blue box program.

The proposed new Blue Box regulation will:

  • Standardize and increase the list of materials accepted in the blue box including paper and plastic cups, wraps, foils, trays, and bags and other single use items such as stir sticks, straws, cutlery and plates.
  • Transition the costs of the program away from municipal taxpayers by making the producers of products and packaging fully responsible for costs, resulting in an estimated savings of $135 million annually for municipalities.
  • Expand blue box services to more communities, such as smaller, rural and remote communities, including those under 5,000 people.
  • Set the highest diversion targets in North America for the various categories of waste producers are expected to recycle such as paper and plastic cups, wraps, foils, trays, as well as single-use bags, stir sticks, straws, cutlery and plates.

The province will also expand blue box services to facilities such as apartment buildings, long-term care homes, schools and municipal parks in 2026 to provide the people of Ontario with more opportunities to recycle and keep their communities clean.

The draft Blue Box regulation will be posted for 45 days for public feedback, ending December 2, 2020.

Reducing plastic waste and litter and making producers responsible for managing the full life-cycle of their products is a key part of the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan commitment to balance a healthy economy, a healthy environment and keep Ontario clean and beautiful.

Ontario to provide COVID-19 liability protection to businesses, workers and some organizations

Ontario will provide liability protection to some workers, businesses and non-profits against COVID-19 exposure-related lawsuits. Health-care workers and institutions, front line retail workers, and charities and non-profits would be covered by the bill. The legislation would also cover coaches, volunteers and minor sports associations.

Attorney General Doug Downey introduced the new bill Tuesday at the provincial legislature. Downey said the bill, if passed, would ensure anyone making an "honest effort" to follow public health guidelines while working or volunteering not be exposed to liability in civil proceedings. He said the bill will not prevent lawsuits against those who willfully, or through "gross negligence", endanger others.

The legislation is retroactive to March 17, 2020, when Ontario first implemented emergency measures as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Back in the spring Premier Doug Ford and his government were considering drafting such legislation. By then, a number of lawsuits had already been filed against long-term care providers in the province over the deaths of seniors from COVID-19.The legislation was only tabled Tuesday because the consultation process included a wide range of stakeholders from various sectors of Ontario's economy and health-care system.

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

After complaints, CRA encourages some failed CRB applicants to reapply 

After dozens of Canadians complained to CBC News about problems getting the new Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Revenue Agency is now recommending that some applicants reapply for the benefit on Monday.

Media reported that a number of Canadians who appeared to be eligible for the CRB but had their applications rejected. The benefit is supposed to replace the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for those who are not eligible for employment insurance.

Anyone who applied for the CRB before Oct. 16 and received [error] code 026 should try reapplying.  


Sobeys and Franchisees found to be a Common Employer

Common-employer or joint-employer… these words should send a shiver down the back of every franchisor and franchisee across Canada. Common-employer allows a court to treat separate legal entities (like franchisors and franchisees) 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.

The BC Labour Relations Board decision in Sobeys v UFCWI may signal an expansion of the reach of a common employer determination to cover situations where the putative third-party employer has enough control (either real control or the right to control) over the essential employment terms of employees to enable the objectives of the labour relation legislation (e.g., collective bargaining) to be fulfilled.

For all franchisors, there is a delicate balance to strike when placing controls on franchisees to protect their business interests. Franchisors would be well advised to consider the lessons emerging from this decision when evaluating their legal and business decisions moving forward.

To read the full article: Taking Control: Sobeys and Franchisees found to be a Common Employer

Are you concerned? Please email covid@cfa.ca to learn more about what the CFA is doing on the issue.

Manitoba reverses course, allows Winnipeg-area beverage rooms to remain open

Manitoba has reversed a decision to close Winnipeg-area beverage rooms for two weeks as part of tougher new pandemic restrictions. New public health orders that take effect Monday evening no longer require beverage rooms in the Winnipeg metropolitan region to close for two weeks, as the chief provincial public officer said they would on Friday.

Beverage rooms, which are bars within licensed hotels, were to close for two weeks as part of a package of new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the Winnipeg area. Hotel owners complained, saying they were being unfairly targeted while licensed restaurants and lounges were able to remain open for the two-week period, albeit at half capacity.

The Manitoba Hotel Association told its members Monday evening the province had a change of heart.


Borden Ladner Gervais: Launches “What’s Next @ BLG.com

A new program to guide businesses through their decision-making. The new program from BLG will help businesses navigate the over 100 federal and provincial funding measures. Questions submitted to whatsnext@blg.com.

Virtual Franchise Awareness Day - November 2

Don't miss an opportunity to connect with elected officials to help raise awareness about the importance of franchising. Ask politicians to consult with the CFA as the voice of franchising in Canada and on any policy issues that affect businesses like yours. RSVP

U.S. Justice Department files antitrust lawsuit against Google

The United States Justice Department on Tuesday sued Google for antitrust violations, alleging that it abused its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and harm consumers.

The lawsuit marks the government's most significant act to protect competition since its groundbreaking case against Microsoft more than 20 years ago. It could be an opening salvo ahead of other major government antitrust actions, given ongoing investigations of major tech companies including Apple, Amazon and Facebook at both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

"Google is the gateway to the internet and a search advertising behemoth," U.S. Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen told reporters. "But as the antitrust complaint filed today explains, it has maintained its monopoly power through exclusionary practices that are harmful to competition."

Lawmakers and consumer advocates have long accused Google, whose corporate parent Alphabet Inc. has a market value just over $1 trillion, of abusing its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost its profits. Critics contend that multibillion-dollar fines and mandated changes in Google's practices imposed by European regulators in recent years weren't severe enough and that structural changes are needed for Google to change its conduct.

Google responded immediately via tweet: "Today's lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to — not because they're forced to or because they can't find alternatives."

The case was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. It alleges that Google uses billions of dollars collected from advertisers to pay phone manufacturers to ensure Google is the default search engine on browsers. Eleven states will join the federal government in the lawsuit.


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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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