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August 3, 2021

Your CFA Update on COVID-19

CFA Win: CEWS and CERS Extended to October 23rd

On July 30, Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, announced the extension of COVID-19 support measures for Canadians and Canadian businesses ‘in recognition that uneven economic reopening across regions and sectors means workers and businesses continue to need support.’ These extensions include:

  • Extending the eligibility period for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and Lockdown Support until October 23, 2021, and increasing the rate of support employers and organizations can receive during the period between August 29 and September 25, 2021.
  • Extending the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) until October 23, 2021.
  • Increasing the maximum number of weeks available for the CRB, by an additional 4 weeks, to a total of 54 weeks, at a rate of $300 per week, and ensuring it is available to those who have exhausted their employment insurance (EI) benefits.

More details on the extension and these proposed changes to COVID business supports are available in the backgrounder associated with today’s announcement.

CFA believes the CEWS and CERS need to be extended into 2022

The CFA has been advocating for the extension for the CEWS and CERS. Many of our members have actively helped us as we lobbied for this change by sending letters to Ministers Freeland and Ng ask for the extension.

While the extension of the CEWS and CERS is a good step we need these two programs, that support business, be extended into 2022 to help franchisors and franchisees who are still recovering.

Free COVID-19 Rapid Screening Tests Available for SMEs

Through the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative, participating chambers of commerce and boards of trade are rolling out free rapid tests for small- and medium-sized businesses in communities across the province. An initiative in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Ontario and Canadian governments.

Order your rapid tests today! If you are a small and medium sized business (SME) with under 150 employees you can order directly from the Health Canada government portal.

Capacity limits, mask mandate will be eliminated for most places in Manitoba on Saturday

Capacity limits will be eliminated for most businesses as Manitoba's next reopening steps take effect on Saturday — one month earlier than first planned.

Restaurants and bars no longer need to restrict the size or space between tables and dining will not be limited to households or vaccinated individuals. However, customers are not allowed to socialize between tables.

Museums, galleries and movie theatres remain limited to 50 per cent capacity but will no longer be restricted to vaccinated individuals.

There will also be no restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences, and masks will no longer be required at indoor public places. However, due to the ongoing presence of COVID-19 and the extra risk posed by the more contagious delta variant, health officials strongly recommend those who are not fully immunized continue to use masks and stay two metres away from others while indoors.

Specifically, the new public health orders will allow retailers and malls, gyms and fitness centres, libraries, personal services such as hair and nail salons, day camps, markets and garden centres to open without restrictions.

The new public health orders take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday and will expire at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 7. They will be reassessed at that time in the context of vaccination rates and Manitoba's overall COVID-19 situation, the province said in a news release.

As of Tuesday, 80 per cent of eligible Manitobans age 12 and up had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the news release said. The province expects to reach 75 per cent with two doses within the next week. Those numbers were set out in the province's reopening plan as targets for the Labour Day long weekend.

Expanded but still limited capacity will stay in place for weddings, funerals and other public gatherings — both indoors and out — such as worship services and cultural events, like powwows.

Canada's economy rebounds, on track for 2.5% annualized growth

Canada’s economy sprang back to life at the end of the second quarter, as vaccine-led reopenings spurred a return to growth.

Gross domestic product likely grew 0.7 per cent in June after a 0.3 per cent drop in May, Statistics Canada reported Friday. May’s decline was in line with expectations; coupled with the preliminary estimate for a rebound last month, growth is on pace to come in around 2.5 per cent in the quarter on an annualized basis.

That’s in line with private-sector economist predictions but ahead of the Bank of Canada’s forecast of 2 per cent for the three-month period.

The GDP report shows further resiliency in Canada’s economy, which has repeatedly proved it can bounce back once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. With vaccination rates rising and virus cases low, economists predict strong growth in the second half of the year. With June’s flash estimate, output is now just 0.8 per cent from pre-pandemic levels.

Last month, broad-based reopenings across the country allowed businesses to resume operations after months of shutdowns. As a result, high-contact sectors returned to growth, along with manufacturing, according to Statistics Canada.

June’s rebound puts the economy on a solid track. Economists predict output will expand by about 6 per cent in both the third and fourth quarters as the country continues to benefit from looser COVID-19 restrictions. Even though Canada’s vaccination rates are high, the course of the virus remains a major risk to the recovery.

Ontario releases back-to-school plan

Ontario students will return to the classroom full-time in September with remote learning continuing to be an option, the province confirmed in its official back-to-school strategy.

Staff and students Grade 1 and up must wear masks in indoor settings, with exceptions such as during meal breaks and low-contact physical activities, and self-screening will be required before coming into school facilities. 

Team sports, field trips and extracurricular activities will be back on, along with assemblies and recess. Students can also share materials such as toys and art supplies and be in shared spaces including libraries and cafeterias. 

The 29-page document released Tuesday does not contain any protocols on managing COVID-19 outbreaks, nor does it set a threshold for when schools or classrooms should be shut down.

Key takeaways from Ontario's back-to-school plan:

  • Staff and teachers will not be required to take COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Students from Grade 1 to 12 are required to wear masks indoors (with exceptions such as low-contact physical activity and during eating).
  • Staff and students must screen themselves every day using the tool provided by the province, although in some cases schools may be directed to do enhanced screening.
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms per the provincial screening tool should not attend school and potentially get tested or seek medical attention.
  • School boards are expected to have all ventilation systems inspected and in good condition before the start of school year. 
  • School boards without mechanical ventilation (those that rely on windows to bring in fresh air) are expected to place standalone high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter units in all classrooms.

Rapid tests, which Ford dubbed "gamechangers" back in February, were deployed in congregate care, long-term care homes and various essential workplaces. However the back to school-plan makes no mention of rapid tests. 

Click here to read Ontario’s back-school-plan

Nova Scotia Election Updates

NDP pledges 10 paid sick days for every worker

NDP Leader Gary Burrill says his party, if elected, would require all employers to pay for 10 days of sick leave for Nova Scotia workers.

Burrill highlighted the election pledge, which is part of the platform document the NDP released on the second day of the campaign, at an event Saturday morning.

The promise is a familiar one for watchers of the New Democrats, as Burrill's party has long advocated for universal paid sick leave and tabled legislation to that end last year.

On May 12, the Liberal government introduced a temporary paid sick leave program wherein the province covered wages for up to four days for people who needed to take time off due to COVID-19. That program expired July 31.

Nova Scotia Election: How to vote

Check whether you are registered to vote with Elections Nova Scotia.

Once registered, you can vote in advance of election day by requesting a mail-in ballot or by visiting a returning office or advance polling station.

On election day, polling stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

More information on voting is available from

U.S. CDC calls for masks in areas of high COVID-19 transmission, even for fully vaccinated

Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should go back to wearing masks in indoor public places in regions where the coronavirus and especially the delta variant are spreading rapidly, U.S. health authorities said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommended all teachers and students in kindergarten through Grade 12 wear masks in schools regardless of vaccination status. The CDC said children should return to full-time, in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies.

The changes mark a reversal of the CDC's announcement in May that prompted millions of vaccinated Americans to shed their face coverings.

Dr. David Doudy, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, said the CDC guidance was motivated by a change in infection patterns.

The United States leads the world in the daily average number of new infections, accounting for one in every nine cases reported worldwide each day. The seven-day average for new cases has been rising sharply and stands at 57,126, still about a quarter of the pandemic peak.

The CDC said that 63 per cent of U.S. counties had high transmission rates that warranted mask wearing. It's a figure that follows the rise of the highly transmissible delta variant, which now makes up more than eight in 10 cases across the country.

US Department of Labor Rescinds Trump-Era Joint Employer Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") announced on August 2, that it is revoking the Trump-era joint employer rule for determining when multiple entities or employers are jointly liable for wage and hour law violations. The new rule rescinding the previous administration’s rule will go into effect on September 28. 

Under the Trump-era rule — which narrowed the circumstances under which multiple employers could be held jointly liable for FLSA violations — companies were only considered to be joint employers if they could hire or fire the employee; supervise and control the employee’s work schedules or conditions of employment; determine the employee’s rate and method of pay; and maintained the employee’s employment records. Prior to the rule’s issuance, the DOL in 2017 had withdrawn Obama-era guidance stating that a determination of joint employment required consideration of the “economic realities” of the employment relationship, such as who controlled working conditions, the nature of the work being performed, and whether workers were vital to the company’s business. 

Against the backdrop of yesterday’s announcement, litigation over the prior administration’s joint employer rule remains pending. The Trump-era rule was challenged in a lawsuit initiated by the State of New York and other Democrat-led states with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, International Franchise Association, and other business groups intervening on behalf of the DOL. Last year, a Manhattan federal judge blocked the Trump-era rule from taking effect. That ruling is currently pending appeal before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

Renew early for the 2021/2022 CFA membership year and receive complimentary bonus member benefits you can use immediately!

Similar to last year, we are introducing early bird renewal incentives and value-added offerings to help our members during the COVID-19 recovery process. These benefits are part of the CFA’s membership renewal program and are available to your organization based on your date of renewal. For instance, members that renew and pay prior to August 31, 2021 will receive the greatest number of renewal benefits.

For more details and for the membership renewal form, please visit our website here.

Renew CFA Membership Early

Relaunch, Reset & Recover On-Demand Videos are Available for Purchase!

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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