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March 30, 2021

Your CFA Update on COVID-19

Ontario Minimum Wage will increase October 1, 2021

Minimum wage rates in Ontario will increase on October 1, 2021. Under the Making Ontario Open for Business Act this increase is tied to the Ontario Consumer Price Index for 2020.

The increase to the general minimum wage is 10 cents, which brings the new rate to $14.35 an hour.

The general and specialized minimum wage rates that also take effect on October 1, 2021 are detailed here.

The increases which come into effect on October 1 must be published on or before April 1 of every year. This year’s announcement of the increase came on March 29.

Liberals claim slim majority in Newfoundland and Labrador

The Liberal Party will form government of Newfoundland and Labrador, winning 22 of the legislature's 40 seats. Election results come 2½ months after the election call.

The election was triggered by a provincial law that required new Premier Andrew Furey to trigger an election within 12 months of his swearing-in, legitimizing his leadership through approval from the general population. At the time of the election call, in mid-January, the province had five active cases of COVID-19. Two days before provincial polls were scheduled to open — public health officials announced 100 new cases in a single day, a staggering jump in a province that had seen 500 cases total in the 11 preceding months.

The chief electoral officer cancelled the Feb. 13 election, moving the goalposts for voters and sending residents scrambling to submit requests for mail-in voting kits. It took the elections agency weeks to prepare, post, receive, sort and count those ballots.

The long-overdue results due to released all at once after weeks of ballot counting, hand the reins back to incumbent Premier Andrew Furey. The Liberals claimed 48.2 per cent of the total vote and added two seats, in a chaotic election that saw both opposition party leaders fail to reclaim their status as elected officials.

Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie was not re-elected to the district of Windsor Lake, losing to the Liberals' John Hogan by more than 500 votes. The PCs now have 13 seats, down two of their members since the House of Assembly dissolved in January. They won 38.8 per cent of the total vote.

NDP Leader Alison Coffin also lost her seat in St. John's East-Quidi Vidi by just over 50 votes to John Abbott of the Liberals. The New Democrats have two seats, re-electing Jim Dinn of St. John's Centre and Jordan Brown of Labrador West. The party walked away with eight per cent of the vote.

Three Independents have also been re-elected.

BC Lockdown until April 19

B.C. is implementing a three-week "circuit breaker"-style lockdown, introducing sweeping new restrictions on indoor dining in restaurants, group fitness and worship services.

All new public health orders go into effect at midnight on March 30 and will be in place until April 19.

The province recorded 2,518 new cases of COVID-19 over the last three days, including a record high 936 on Saturday. Six more people have died.

The province announced on Monday that all food and liquor-serving premises must pivot to takeout or delivery service. Indoor dining is suspended, though patios will remain open. People dining on patios should do so with their immediate household or core bubble only.

Indoor, adult group fitness activities of any kind are paused. Gyms and fitness centres are restricted to individual or one-on-one activities.

A previous announcement allowing for limited indoor worship services has been suspended. 

Public health guidance for schools has also been amended and now encourages students down to Grade 4 to wear masks while at school.

Ontario Premier “Don't make plans for Easter”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said his government is considering additional restrictions to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases and urged people not to gather over the upcoming long weekend. Ford said he is "extremely concerned" about rising infections and stressed that residents must follow public health rules.

"Don't make plans for Easter," he said. "I won't hesitate to lock things down if we have to."

Ford would not specify what measures are being considered, but he said he will consult Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams before making a decision. Ontario has seen rising COVID-19 rates for weeks, fuelled by the spread of more transmissible variants of the virus. Ontario reported 2,336 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 additional deaths on Tuesday.

How Are Canadian Businesses Adapting to the Pandemic?

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship to bring you an analysis of business trends throughout the pandemic, based on Statistics Canada’s Canadian Survey on Business Conditions. The reports are a deep-dive into a number of topics including remote work, online sales and employment and skills demands.

Read the Reports Here

Retail sales fall in January: Conference Board analysis of the latest retail trade data

Retail sales fell in January due to new limits on economic activity. The drop was almost entirely due to lower retail activity in Ontario and Quebec; in both provinces, January brought curfews and stay-at-home orders.


Restaurants Canada Releases 2021-2025 Long Term Forecast

Commercial foodservice sales in Canada are forecast to improve to $61.4 billion in 2021. This represents an 11.8% increase compared to 2020 but still remains 20% below pre-COVID-19 levels. 

In the first quarter of 2021, sales were expected to remain weak due to containment measures across the country. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, sales are forecast to be $13.0 billion in Q1 2021, relatively unchanged from Q4 2020. In terms of percentage change, Q1 2021 sales would remain 31% lower than Q1 2019.

Commercial foodservice sales in Canada are forecast to improve modestly in Q2 2021, up to $14.6 billion. Although this represents a 45% increase over Q2 2020, sales would still be 24% below Q2 2019 levels. As more people are vaccinated and containment measures are lifted, foodservice sales are forecast to climb in Q3 2021 to $16.2 billion.  With most Canadians vaccinated and as life slowly returns to normal, commercial foodservice sales are forecast to climb to $17.1 billion in Q4.

In 2022, commercial foodservice sales in Canada are forecast to grow to $74.6 billion. This will represent a 21% increase over 2021 but will remain 3% below 2019 levels. 

In 2023, the commercial foodservice industry is forecast to grow by 5% to $78.6 billion. This will be the first year that foodservice sales will be higher than 2019 levels, as we will see improved spending at restaurants, caterers and drinking places by households, businesses and tourists.  

By 2025, commercial foodservice sales are forecast to grow to $84.6 billion. 

In order to forecast foodservice sales, Restaurants Canada relies on a series of econometric models. Based on historical and projected data from the Conference Board of Canada, these models include real GDP, total consumer spending, population growth and other economic indicators. In addition to economic factors, foodservice sales are strongly influenced by historical spending habits. While economic conditions remain a vital influence on foodservice spending, Restaurants Canada’s forecasting models have been updated to factor in the repercussions of COVID-19. 

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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