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January 12, 2021

Your CFA Update on COVID-19

Ontario issues Stay-at-Home Order and Introduces Enhanced Enforcement Measures

The Ontario government has issued a stay-at-home order for the province beginning on Jan. 14 and has immediately declared a second state of emergency.

New Stay-At-Home Order: The new stay-at-home order, which will only allow Ontarians to leave their home to pick up groceries, purchase essential goods, exercise, travel to an essential workplace or attend medical appointments, effective at 12:01am on Thursday January 14, 2021. All non-essential businesses must now ensure any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

Education Measures: Schools in Hamilton, Peel, Toronto Windsor-Essex and York region will remain closed for in-person learning until February 10. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will provide recommendations for the rest of the province by January 20.

Enhanced Enforcement Measures: Under the state of emergency, all provincial offences officers, which includes police officers, will have the authority to enforce limits or disperse gatherings when a group of more than five people who are not from the same household. Additionally, provincial offences officers will now have the authority to issue tickets to individuals and corporations in retail settings that are found not complying with government orders. 

Groceries and Retail: Stores that primarily sell food, which include supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets and pharmacies will remain at a 50 per cent capacity, while discount and big box stores that sell food will remain at 25 per cent capacity. The following businesses will be required to closed by 8:00 pm:

  • Safety supply stores;
  • Stores that sell assistive and mobility devices;
  • Optical stores;
  • Retail open for curbside pick-up or delivery;
  • Cannabis stores for curbside pick-up or delivery;
  • Stores that sell alcohol;
  • Shopping malls open only for access to designated pick-up points;
  • Stores that deal with motorized vehicles, trailers and other recreational vehicles (by appointment only);
  • Outdoor markets; and
  • Restaurants, bars and other establishments (takeout and delivery only).

Essential Construction: The construction projects that will be allowed to remain in operation and have deemed essential are as follows:

  • Construction projects associated with the healthcare and long-term care sector;
  • Projects that provide additional capacity for schools, colleges/universities, and child care centres;
  • Construction projects and services that pertain to provincial and municipal infrastructure;
  • Projects under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program; and
  • Construction projects that support the operations of Broadband internet and cellular technologies and services.

Residential construction, including condominiums, single family homes, townhomes, and semi-detached, can continue if a permit has been issued. Residential renovations and construction work can continue if work started before January 12.

For more information click here

B.C. extends ban on social gatherings until Feb. 5

Dr. Bonnie Henry said the current orders, including a ban on gatherings with people outside of one's immediate household, will continue to apply until at least Feb. 5 at midnight.

The extended order, which covers two COVID-19 incubation periods, applies to all in-person events and gatherings, including religious gatherings, musical performances and screenings at movie theatres. High-intensity fitness classes, and adult indoor and outdoor team sports also remain banned. People who live alone can continue to see one or two people in their bubble. 

The province's non-essential travel advisory remains in place, including travel into and out of B.C., and between regions.

Manitoba extends funding for businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions

Manitoba is expanding its bridge grant program for businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, extending the application period to Jan. 31 and doubling the amount for first-time applicants. 

New applicants will receive a one-time payment of $10,000.

The province is also expanding the criteria to allow more businesses to apply for funding, says a news release from the province. Hotels, resorts, lodges, outfitters, travel agencies, janitorial service companies and owner/operators of licensed passenger transportation businesses that have seen demand for their services impacted by the public health orders will now be eligible for the program under the updated criteria.

The program was first announced on Nov. 10, 2020, offering businesses impacted by the restrictions $5,000 in support up front. 

It was intended to help businesses get through to the end of the year, but the province committed to releasing a second, equal payment if restrictions extended past Jan. 1. Payments went out on Jan. 8 and Jan. 10, to businesses that applied from Nov. 16 to Dec. 31, 2020, the province says.

Federal Cabinet Shuffle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has conducted a small shuffle of his ministers. The shuffle is due to the departure of Navdeep Bains, who stepped down as innovation minister Tuesday and is not intending to run again in the next election.

The shakeup sees the following changes

  • Francois-Philippe Champagne becomes the new Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (formerly Minister of Foreign Affairs)
  • Marc Garneau becomes the new Minister of Foreign Affairs (formerly Minister of Transport)
  • Omar Alghabra becomes the new Minister of Transport
  • Jim Carr returns to Cabinet as a special representative for the Prairies. He previously stepped down in 2019 after being diagnosed with cancer.

CRA sends out paperwork telling Canadians how much they've received in pandemic benefits

The Canada Revenue Agency began sending out T4A slips today to Canadians who have received COVID-19 benefits because the money is taxable income and must be recorded on their tax returns. Residents of Quebec will get both T4A and RL-1 slips.

The T4A forms list how much money a person received from one or more of the following benefits: the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB).

While tax was taken off at source for the CRB, CRSB and CRCB, it was not deducted for the CERB or CESB.

Canada-U.S. border to remain closed until at least Feb. 21

The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Feb. 21. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair today announced the latest extension to international travel restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Canada-U.S. agreement bars entry to most travellers who are not Canadian citizens, permanent residents or people entering from the U.S. for "essential" reasons. It took effect in late March.

Government secures another 20M vaccine doses from Pfizer

Canada has reached an agreement to purchase another 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today.

The agreement brings total number of doses scheduled to arrive in 2021 to 80 million from the two approved vaccine makers (Moderna and Pfizer) — enough to vaccinate the entire Canadian population according to the required two-dose regimen.

According to the Prime Minister there will be enough doses for every Canadian who wants a vaccine to receive one by September 2021.

Mental Health Commission of Canada releases Mini-guide to help employee’s mental health through winter

Last week the Mental Health Commission of Canada released a Mini-guide to help employee’s mental health through winter.

With the challenges brought on by cold weather and the holidays, winter can often be a difficult time. But with COVID-19, this year’s winter may be even more demanding on our mental health and well-being. 

The Mental Health Commission of Canada has prepared a mini-guide designed to help employers provide workers with specific tools and resources during the winter months. 

Canada Summer Jobs Program Applications Open

Canada Summer Jobs is an initiative of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which aims to provide flexible and holistic services to help all young Canadians develop the skills and gain paid work experience to successfully transition into the labour market. Applications for funding are open until Jan. 29.

More Information


CASSELS: Limitations on Landlord Remedies During the Pandemic - Ontario's Moratorium on Eviction and Distress Rights


Joint/Common Employer: How to Protect Your Business in 2021 and Beyond
Monday, January 25, 2021 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET
Free for CFA Members | $25 for Non-Members
Speakers: David Druker, President, The UPS Store Canada; Andraya Frith, Partner, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP; Sundeep Gokhale, Management Side Labour and Employment Lawyer, Sherrard Kuzz LLP; Ken Otto, CEO, Redberry Restaurants
Did you know that Joint/Common Employer could hurt your business as much as COVID-19? It is the biggest threat facing franchisors and franchisees in Canada and around the world. Joint employer has recently popped up in B.C.!
Join us on January 25 for this special webinar as we learn from CFA member experts about what common employer is, what it means for franchisors, what it means for franchisees, how to avoid common employer status, unionization and franchise law, the implications of recent Labour Relations Board (LRB) and Court decisions, COVID-19 implications on common employer, and how to protect your business and your investment.

Business Recovery Summits On-Demand Videos Now Available for Purchase!

Session recordings from the Business Recovery Summit Series are now available for purchase! Choose from the Franchisee Recovery Summit, Franchise Recruitment Summit, Operations & Franchisee Support Summit, and Franchise Marketing Summit! View On-Demand Library

Purchase Access to On-Demand Videos Now!


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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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