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June 15, 2021

Your CFA Update on COVID-19

CFA Member Survey – We want to hear from you

We need your help and your input to help the CFA advocate for the supports that franchise businesses need to grow and prosper as we come out of COVID-19.

This advocacy survey is intended to give you, our members, a way to provide input into the policy decisions and policy directions that the CFA will be lobbying government on as we move from crisis to recovery.

The survey is designed to give us valuable information about your business and the challenges you're facing as we come out of COVID-19. We need your help by filling out the survey so we can use the results to push government to make the changes in investments to help franchise businesses grow and prosper.

Take the Survey

Thank you to those who have donated to Advocacy in the past week

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CFA joins 30 Chambers and Associations in Call for Vaccination Paid Time Off Support 

The CFA joined more than 30 chambers and business associations from across Canada in writing to the federal government asking for its support to help businesses give employees paid time off to get vaccinated. The faster we're vaccinated, the faster we can return to normal.

Read the Letter

Ontario extends temporary pay bump for personal support workers 

Ontario is extending a temporary wage increase for personal support workers, while facing calls from all corners to make it permanent.

The province has been boosting personal support worker wages since October, which it began doing after a joint federal-provincial pandemic pay program ended in August. The most recent extension came in March, with the pay increases set to expire at the end of this month.

The pay bump adds an additional $3 per hour for approximately 38,000 workers in the home and community care sector, 50,000 workers in long-term care and 60,000 workers in the children, community and social services, as well as $2 an hour for PSWs in the hospital sector, according to government figures.

The current extension is set to expire on Aug. 23 and is meant to "stabilize, attract and retain the workforce needed to provide a high level of care during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Ontario to launch integrated employment services system

Ontario is launching a new integrated system of employment services it says will make it easier for residents to restart their careers.

The province says it will be combining the employment services offered under various social assistance programs, such as Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program, in order to make the process easier to navigate.

It says the program will include online self-serve options as well as phone and in-person services.

The new system, called Employment Ontario, is set to take effect in nine new areas next year, and in additional areas after that.

Ontario's unemployment rate has risen to 9.3 per cent as of last month, up from the pre-pandemic rate of 5.5 per cent, according to the province.

Average Canadian house price up 38% compared to last year, but down from March

The average selling price of a Canadian home was $688,000 last month, a figure that has risen by more than 38 per cent in the past year.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), which represents real estate agents across the country, said in a news release Tuesday that while prices are still up sharply from a year ago, the gains appear to be moderating.

The $688,000 figure is down from $696,000 in April and just over $716,000 in March, which suggests that while comparisons to the early days of COVID show a red-hot market, it is in fact cooling.

Aside from prices, the volume of homes sold also seems to be cooling compared to the peak it hit in March 2021.

More than 56,000 homes were sold last month, which was more than twice as many as sold in the same month a year earlier. But last May was the slowest May for home sales on record, as sales were drastically curbed by the nascent COVID-19 pandemic.

B.C. enters Phase 2 of its restart plan on June 15

On Monday morning the province announced details of the next steps in its restart plan, which will take place on June 15:

  • Restrictions on travel within B.C. will be lifted.
  • Liquor services at bars and restaurants will be extended to midnight.
  • Children's play dates can resume.
  • Outdoor social gatherings will be allowed to include as many as 50 people, but indoor personal social gatherings will still be limited to five.
  • Seated indoor organized gatherings will also be permitted, with up to 50 people.
  • Movie theatres, banquet halls and live theatres will be able to reopen with limited capacity.
  • Indoor sports games will be allowed.
  • Spectators will be permitted at outdoor games.
  • High-intensity fitness classes will resume with reduced capacity and safety plans in place.

Ontario-Quebec border restrictions ended today

Ontario and Quebec have each announced restrictions on non-essential travel between the two provinces will end at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

The order banning non-essential travel between the two provinces went into effect in April.

Since then, provincial and local police have intermittently staffed checkpoints at interprovincial crossings and have issued tickets or turned around motorists who don't have essential work, medical or humanitarian reasons to travel between regions.

This also marks the end of Quebec's rule requiring residents returning from Ontario to self-isolate for 14 days.

New Brunswick enters Phase 1 of path to green

will enter the first phase on the path toward the Green level of the COVID-19 recovery plan, effective as of midnight tonight.

As of today, 75.1 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers have been vaccinated with at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, one of the highest rates of any province. Reaching the goal of at least 75 per cent of New Brunswickers 12 and older vaccinated with the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine was one of three requirements for entering the first phase. Hospitalizations in the province also had to remain low and all health zones had to remain at the Yellow alert level.

In this phase, the guidelines will include the following:

  • No isolation or testing will be required for those travelling to New Brunswick from the following select regions: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, the Avignon and Témiscouata regions of Quebec, and Cumberland County in Nova Scotia.
  • Compassionate travel will be permitted with isolation and testing requirements in place.
  • Cross border commuters and truck drivers will no longer be subject to testing and isolation requirements.
  • Other workers, including rotational workers, travelling from outside the select regions, will be required to isolate and take a COVID-19 test between days five and seven before they can discontinue isolation, unless they have an existing work-isolation plan. This is a reduction from the previous 14-day requirement and will be eliminated in Phase 2 of the Path to Green.
  • Contact with all family and friends will be permitted and restrictions will be loosened for indoor and outdoor gatherings. Indoor informal gatherings will be limited to 20 or fewer, while indoor formal gatherings can be up to 50 per cent of the venue’s capacity with an operational plan. Outdoor informal gatherings will be permitted with two metres of distancing between groups and outdoor formal gatherings are permitted at maximum capacity with two meters of distancing between groups and an operational plan.
  • Organized sporting activities will be permitted but restricted to teams based in the select regions.
  • Faith gatherings can take place with a maximum 50 per cent venue capacity and with the choir at least four metres from the congregation.

All other restrictions will remain in place, including the requirement for travel registration and the use of masks, based on a health zone’s alert level. New Brunswickers should check the rules in effect in other provinces prior to travel.

The second phase of the path toward the Green level of the COVID-19 recovery plan will come into effect when 20 per cent of New Brunswickers 65 and older have received their second dose. This is assuming hospitalizations remain low and all health zones remain at the Yellow alert level.

As of today, 18 per cent of New Brunswickers 65 and older are fully vaccinated.

Full details about the province’s path to Green are available online.

P.E.I. moves up some dates on reopening plan

P.E.I. announced a five-stage reopening plan at the end of May, but said it would be flexible. With more vaccines coming to the province in June than anticipated at that time, Premier Dennis King announced some changes at a briefing Tuesday morning.

Atlantic Canadians with at least one dose of vaccine will be able to visit P.E.I. — Step 2 in the plan — a little earlier than the original June 27 date, on June 23.

This will apply only for people applying under current streams of travel, but they will be able to visit the Island without self-isolating.

The province will still open for other visitors starting June 27, but travellers, including Islanders, must apply for a P.E.I. Pass, which they may get with proof of residency and first vaccination dose.

The P.E.I. Pass will also allow visitors from the rest of Canada as early as July 28. Fully vaccinated people will be exempt from self-isolation, and visitors with one dose will have a modified self-isolation plan.


No active cases in PEI

The PEI Premier also announced today that there are no active cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I.

Nova Scotia moves to Phase 2 of reopening plan

Nova Scotia will officially begin Phase 2 of its reopening plan Wednesday, which includes larger social gatherings and a return to indoor dining.

The provincial government said the move to Phase 2 can take place because COVID-19 cases are staying low, hospitalizations are decreasing, testing is steady, and vaccine coverage is going up.

Phase 2 will allow indoor and outdoor dining at bars and restaurants, though capacity limits and distancing requirements remain in place. All retail stores will be able to operate at 50 per cent capacity. New gathering limits without social distancing will be 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.

Nova Scotia moving up second doses rescheduling

Nova Scotia is continuing to move up second doses as its vaccine rollout ramps up.

On Monday, the province announced that people who received their first vaccine dose on or before April 24, and are scheduled to receive their second dose on or before Aug. 7, can now reschedule their appointments for an earlier date.

People will be able to choose an earlier date and time, and also which vaccine they'd like to receive as their second dose.

Everyone will get a notice by email when it's their time to reschedule. Those who did not provide an email when they signed up for their first dose can call 1-833-797-7772 to add one.

Atlantic provinces plan to partly resume Atlantic travel bubble

The Atlantic provinces are outlining plans to partly resume their travel bubble — with some specific regional requirements — as of June 23. 

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey announced on Tuesday that travellers from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island will be allowed in without having to self-isolate or get tested for COVID-19.

He says the move is possible because COVID-19 case numbers have remained low in the province while vaccination rates are climbing steadily.

Likewise, Nova Scotia is crediting low hospitalizations and high vaccination rates for the province's move to allow visitors from other Atlantic provinces with no 14-day isolation period required. 

Ontario shortens wait between AstraZeneca doses from 12 to 8 weeks

Ontarians who received a shot of AstraZeneca will now be able to get their second dose — either of the same product or another brand's mRNA vaccine — after eight weeks, rather than the 12-week wait time the province had previously required.

"This decision is based on emerging clinical evidence about the administration of two doses of different vaccines, as supported by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)," the province said in a statement issued on Saturday.

Quebecers who received Moderna, AstraZeneca vaccine can move up 2nd dose appointments

All Quebecers aged 50 and older can now move up their appointment for a second dose, no matter which vaccine they received for their first dose.

Younger Quebecers will also soon be able to reschedule their second dose, via the Clic Santé booking site, as the minimum age is progressively lowered over the next week. All adults in the province will be eligible as of June 23.

The recipient must have been vaccinated a minimum of eight weeks prior, down from 16 weeks.

Quebec is now expecting 1.6 million Moderna doses — nearly 500,000 more than recently planned — by the end of the month. They will be distributed in mass vaccination clinics and pharmacies.

Quebecers who have received a first dose of AstraZeneca and who wish to change vaccines for their second dose will be able to request an mRNA vaccine, Dubé added. A decision will be made on site whether that dose will be Moderna or Pfizer, because both mRNA vaccines are not always available at vaccination centres.

Those who have been vaccinated at a pharmacy are asked to change their appointment on the provincial booking site. 

Green Party council voting on process that could eject Annamie Paul from leadership

The Green Party federal council will vote tonight on whether to kickstart a process that could remove Annamie Paul from the party leadership.

According to party members with knowledge of the issue, the party's federal council will hold a vote on whether to trigger a complex 30-day process under the party's constitution.

If the council votes tonight to launch that process, it will meet again on July 15. If 75 per cent of council members agree at that meeting to let a leadership vote go forward, party members could then vote to remove Paul from office through a motion at an annual general meeting.


CASSELS: Changes to Ontario’s Business Corporations Act Take Effect this Summer

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CFA's Relaunch, Reset & Recover examined changes in consumer trends and the ways business are conducted to help franchisees, franchisors, and suppliers of all sizes and sectors be better equipped with the knowledge and strategies to be best positioned to successfully relaunch their business in a post-COVID world. View On-Demand Video Library

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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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