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February 2, 2021

Your CFA Update on COVID-19

Quebec to open businesses, hair salons on Feb. 8, keep curfew in place

Premier François Legault says Quebec businesses, museums and hair salons will be allowed to open on Feb. 8, but the curfew will remain in place across the province.

The ban on visiting others in their homes remains in effect as does the mandatory work-from-home order for those who are able. The curfew will stay in effect, banning non-essential travel between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., in 11 regions, including Montreal.

Gyms will not be allowed to open in the 11 red zones, nor will movie theatres.

Legault did not indicate when the curfew will be lifted, though he said a news conference will be held on Feb. 22 to reassess the situation and adjust public health restrictions as needed. 

DoorDash to provide over $1 million in grants to help Canadian restaurants

DoorDash announced it will be providing $1,125,000 in local COVID-19 relief grants to help restaurants in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver. Restaurants will be able to apply to receive a $3,000 grant to be used to offset costs associated with the ongoing pandemic. The grant program is part of the company's Main Street Strong Pledge, a grant program to help restaurants in select cities. Learn more and apply

Employer application period for 2021 Canada Summer Jobs program is February 3

The Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, announced that the employer application period for the 2021 Canada Summer Jobs program is being extended until February 3 to allow more employers to apply for funding to hire young people. Not-for-profit organizations and private and public sector employers who have not already applied for funding are encouraged to do so today. The program strives to give young Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30 paid work opportunities. 

Ontario extends off-peak electricity rates to provide relief for small businesses

The Ontario government is extending electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms. The government will continue to hold electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour until February 9. This lower rate is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for Time-Of-Use and tiered customers. Businesses can apply for Energy and Property Tax Rebates through the COVID-19 Business Support Grants, if required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial health measures.

Sask. extends small business relief program through January

The Saskatchewan government has extended its temporary relief program for small businesses affected by pandemic restrictions through January.

The Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment (SSBEP) program was launched in April and renewed in December for the period of Dec. 1 to Dec. 31. It aims to provide support to small businesses that temporarily closed or were forced to substantially curtail their operations due to COVID-19. 

Enhanced restrictions introduced in December mean businesses can now apply for December and/or January payment until March 2, 2021.

Businesses that qualified for December do not have to reapply and will be contacted. All applicants are eligible for $5,000 per month in support.

Eligible applicants must prove the following:

  • They are a small or medium business that employs less than 500 people.
  • They are permanently established in Saskatchewan and allocate a portion of their income to the province.
  • They were operating as of Oct. 31, 2020, or were eligible to operate if it were a seasonal business.
  • They are subject to public health orders that affect operations between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31.
  • They experienced a loss of sales revenue.
  • They plan to reopen when public health restrictions are lifted.

Businesses that have received fines for breaking public health orders are not eligible for any relief or support programs.

Laurentian University files for creditor protection

Laurentian University has filed for creditor protection amid what its president calls "unprecedented financial challenges." Laurentian's financial health "is currently amongst the weakest in the province compared to other universities," Robert Haché, president and vice-chancellor of the Sudbury, Ont.-based school, said in a statement on Monday 

Laurentian, in Sudbury has seen declining demographics in the region, "recurring deficits" and the domestic tuition reduction and freeze of 2019 — the same year it closed its Barrie campus. The pandemic also brought "various costs and revenue impacts.

The school says filing under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act will allow it to restructure.

Novavax deal, Canada could be producing COVID-19 vaccine domestically by the fall

The federal government has signed a “memorandum of understanding” with Novavax to pursue options to produce its COVID-19 vaccine at a new Montreal facility that is under construction. The new National Research Council biomanufacturing facility where the production will happen.

Construction of the facility isn’t set to be completed until July and it will also take “a couple” of months before the facility is Health Canada certified for production and vials begin to be filled, according to Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne.

Once the new facility is up and running, it’s designed to produce around two million doses a month and, should the Novavax vaccine be deemed safe and effective, Trudeau says “tens of millions” of doses will be made domestically.

Those doses won’t be available until late 2021.

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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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