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June 17, 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. 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.

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Canada's inflation rate rises to highest level in a decade, at 3.6%

Canada's inflation rate increased to 3.6 per cent in May, the fastest pace in a decade. The cost of just about everything is going up at a much faster pace than usual, from shelter and vehicles, to food, energy and consumer goods according to Statistics Canada.

The cost of shelter increased by 4.2 per cent in the year up to May, the fastest rise in the cost of putting a roof over one's head since 2008. And the cost of filling a home with furniture and appliances also went up, by 4.4. per cent. That's the fastest pace of an increase for so-called durable goods since 1989.

Furniture prices in particular rose by 9.8 per cent in the past year, their biggest jump since 1982. Last month the government implemented tariffs of up to 300 per cent on some types of upholstered furniture from China and Vietnam.

Gasoline prices have risen by 43 per cent in the past year. The increase is in part because demand in May 2020 was so low. However, even on a monthly basis, the cost of gasoline went up in May by 3.2 per cent compared to April's level.

The price of new cars increased by five per cent in the past year. That's the biggest jump in vehicle prices since 2016, and the biggest reason for it is an ongoing shortage of semiconductors, a global trend that has jacked up the price of anything that uses microchips.

The price of traveller accommodation rose by 6.7 per cent. That's the highest rate seen since the pandemic began and demand for hotel stays plummeted.

Economist Avery Shenfeld with CIBC says that while the annual price increases are eye-popping, it's important to remember that May's numbers are being compared to the situation in May 2020, when just about every facet of the economy was in the doldrums.

"Prices look elevated compared to where they were a year ago, but that's because prices a year ago were rock-bottom levels ... in the throes of the first wave of COVID," he said in an interview with CBC News. "We really haven't had that much inflation if you measured prices relative to where they were in the spring of 2019."

BC offers to make temporary patio licences permanent

More than 2,000 temporary patios authorized to serve liquor in British Columbia during the COVID-19 pandemic can be made permanent under amended provincial regulations.

In a statement Tuesday, the province set out its plan to help small businesses such as restaurants, bars and breweries continue operating temporary expanded service patios to recover from the financial impact of COVID-19 restrictions, including patios supported by local governments that meet local bylaws.

To ensure existing temporary patio spaces can operate without interruption as they transition to permanent status, the province has promised to extend their authorization through to June 1, 2022.

It will also continue to accept applications for new temporary outdoor patios until Oct. 31 this year.

The changes also provide local governments and First Nations more time to review eligible applications for permanent structural changes before temporary authorizations expire, and to consider the implications of permanent approval for their communities, the province said.

For more information click here

BC Employer reimbursement program launches for COVID-19 paid sick leave

Starting Thursday, June 17, 2021, employers can apply for reimbursement of wages paid to workers who have taken sick leave related to COVID-19.

The temporary reimbursement program is retroactive to May 20, when legislation was passed, to ensure sick workers can stay home for up to three days without losing wages, while supporting businesses during the pandemic.

The amendments to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) require employers to pay sick workers their regular wages. Employers can then apply for reimbursement up to $200 per day, to a maximum of three days per worker. Any employer whose workers are covered under the ESA but does not currently provide paid sick leave benefits to its employees will be eligible.

The reimbursement program is available to employers where workers need to stay home because they:

  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • are waiting for COVID-19 test results;
  • need to self-isolate or self-monitor in accordance with a public health order or guideline; and/or
  • have been directed to stay home by their employer due to exposure risks.

WorkSafeBC is administering the program with funding from government.

For information on B.C.’s paid COVID-19 related sick leave, or to apply for the reimbursement, visit:

NB reopens to all Canadians

New Brunswick will reopen to all Canadians at midnight Wednesday, after the province hit its Phase 2 COVID-19 path to green vaccination target, just one day after hitting its first.

A total of 20.2 per cent of people aged 65 and older have now received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75.4 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers aged 12 and older have received at least one dose, Premier Blaine Higgs announced.

The original target for Phase 2 of the recovery plan was 20 per cent and 75 per cent, respectively, by July 1. Among the changes under Phase 2:

  • No isolation or testing will be required for those travelling to New Brunswick from the Atlantic provinces, including all of Nova Scotia, or Avignon and Témiscouata, Que.
  • No isolation or testing will be required for Canadian residents with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Unvaccinated Canadians from outside the Atlantic provinces, or Avignon or Témiscouata, Que., will be allowed in, but they will be required to isolate and take a COVID-19 test between days five and seven before they can discontinue isolation.

Nova Scotia caught off guard by New Brunswick border reopening

Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin said he found out about neighbouring New Brunswick's decision to open its borders to the rest of Canada effective Thursday the same time everyone else did.

Rankin said his Nova Scotia, P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador had agreed to give Atlantic Canadians the opportunity to travel freely throughout the region before reopening to the rest of Canada "much later."

Ontario expands eligibility for second doses

With a majority of Ontario adults having received their first dose of the vaccine, providing a strong level of protection from COVID-19, the province is accelerating eligibility to book a second dose appointment as follows:

  • As of Monday, June 21, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., all Ontarians who received their first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine on or before May 9, 2021 will be eligible to book or rebook their second dose appointment at a shortened interval.
  • As of Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., individuals who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 30, 2021 and who live in the catchment area of one of the 10 public health units identified as Delta hot spots (Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Peel, Porcupine, Simcoe-Muskoka, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, and York public health units) will be eligible to book or rebook their second dose appointment at a shortened interval.
  • Starting the week of June 28, 2021(days / sequence to be confirmed) all Ontarians aged 18 and over who have received their first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to book their second dose appointment. The appointment will be scheduled at least 28 days after the first dose, per the recommended interval.

Eligible groups can use Ontario’s vaccine booking system to find out how to schedule an appointment, or can call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line number at 1-833-943-3900.

Sask. drops second dose eligibility age to 45 and older

Saskatchewan is lowering its second dose vaccine eligibility age to 45 or older. You can also now get your second dose if you got your first one on or before May 1. Second dose eligibility for northern residents remains 18 and up regardless of when the first dose was, so long they have passed the minimum amount of time between doses for the vaccine brand.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) noted in a news release that more than 3,500 first dose appointments are available in Saskatoon and the surrounding area. The SHA presented two scenarios for moving to Step 3:

  • "If 70% of residents aged 18 and older have received their first dose vaccinations by June 20 we will move to Step 3 on July 11.
  • If 70% of residents aged 12 and older have received their first dose vaccinations by June 20 we will move to Step 3 on July 11, and remove the remaining public health restrictions."

The province has several drive-thru and walk-in clinics across the province. Residents can also book an appointment online or by phone

Vaccine committee says provinces should give AstraZeneca recipients a different vaccine for second dose

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is recommending the provinces stop administering the AstraZeneca vaccine in most cases — even as booster shots for people who've already received first doses of the product.

NACI said Thursday that AstraZeneca recipients should instead receive a second dose of an mRNA vaccine, like the ones offered by Pfizer and Moderna.

NACI said people who already have had two doses of AstraZeneca "can rest assured that the vaccine provides good protection against infection and very good protection against severe disease and hospitalization."

US News: Matthew Haller named the new President and CEO of the IFA

The International Franchise Association (IFA) announced today that Matthew Haller has been appointed new President and CEO.

Click here for the full announcement

The CFA congratulates Matthew and we look forward to continuing to work with him and his team to deepen the relationship between our two associations


McCarthy Tétrault: Retailer Checklist for Reopening in Canada

Miller Thomson: Ontario court finds temporary layoffs due to COVID-19 are not constructive dismissal at common law

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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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