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August 12, 2021

Your CFA Update on COVID-19

Webinar: Understanding Ontario’s New Blue Box Regulation and your requirements as a Blue Box Producer

Date: Wednesday, August 18

Time: 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority is hosting a webinar “Understanding Ontario’s New Blue Box Regulation”. During the webinar, RPRA will participants through the regulatory requirements for producers of Blue Box materials to help them understand and meet their obligations under the new regulation. Topics will include:

  • Obligated Blue Box materials
  • Who is a Blue Box producer?
  • Registration and reporting requirements
  • Working with producer responsibility organizations (or PROs)

Sign up here

CFA Strongly Recommends Members Sign Up

If your brand has a stewardships component of your Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) you should attend the session to learn how the new Blue Box regulation will impact your franchise system. It also might mean you will need to update your FDD to reflect this significant policy change.

The change means many more items that do not fall under the current blue box system are now covered and the producers will be responsible for the full cost of recycling/reusing the product. These changes will affect a large number of CFA members who produce product packaging, paper products or packaging-like products.

Any franchised business is deemed a producer if they supply packaging, paper producers or packaging-like products comprised of paper, glass, metal or plastic, or a combination of these materials to consumers in Ontario.

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Federal Election expected to be called for September 20

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning to visit Rideau Hall on Sunday to ask that Parliament be dissolved. This will kick off a 36-day federal election campaign — the minimum campaign length permitted by law — meaning voting day would be Monday, Sept. 20.

The dissolution of Parliament is not automatic. While new Governor General Mary Simon has the authority to say no, no Governor General has refused to dissolve Parliament since the 1926 constitutional crisis known as the King-Byng Affair.

Liberals inching into majority territory ahead of expected election call

Polls have consistently showed the Liberals leading with just enough support to make a majority government possible — but far from certain. The Conservatives continue to poll below their traditional floor of 30 per cent, while the New Democrats are approaching their usual ceiling of 20 per cent. The Bloc Québécois has retained most of its support from the 2019 federal election while the Greens continue to slide.

Poll Tracker – August 12, 2021

  • Liberal (Justin Trudeau) 35.6%
  • Conservative (Erin O'Toole) 29.0%
  • New Democrat (Jagmeet Singh) 19.4%
  • Bloc Québécois (Yves-François Blanchet) 6.6%
  • Green (Annamie Paul) 4.5%

What the CFA will be doing during the federal election

During the election campaign the CFA will be working to ensure franchising issues are understood by the parties and their leaders and that the campaign promises help franchised businesses succeed.

Survey of the Party Leaders

The CFA will be sending a questionnaire to all the major party leaders asking them to outline how their party’s policies will help franchisors and franchisees across Canada grow their businesses.

Regular Updates for CFA members

The CFAs COVID Updates that go to members on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s will include updates on the campaign commitments, regular polling updates and analysis of the campaigns to help members keep up to date with what’s happening on the campaign trail.

NDP unveils federal campaign platform

Thursday morning, the NDP released “commitments to Canadians” and a plan for a “fair” pandemic recovery that essentially amounts to the campaign platform that Singh and his candidates will be running on in the federal election 

The 115-page document comprises commitments previously made by the New Democrats, including in previous elections, the party says it includes other new ideas that have been informed by Canadians’ struggles during the last 18 months. 

Among the other key policy pledges the party is making:

  • A one per cent tax on households with assets worth more than $10 million, whereas previously Singh had said he’d go after those worth more than $20 million.
  • An “excess profit tax” of 15 per cent on large corporations that saw their profits skyrocket during the pandemic, which the party estimates could bring in $8 billion in federal revenue.
  • National child care, pharmacare and dental care programs up and running within first term;
  • Fully paid sick leave for workers, continuing pandemic aid programs, and a “small business recovery package”;
  • Forgiving up to $20,000 in student debt and making post-secondary part of the public education system;
  • Boosting the federal minimum wage and creating at least 500,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade;
  • Mechanisms to make high-speed internet and cell phone services more affordable;
  • Setting up a “climate emergency” cabinet committee to help jumpstart reducing emissions by 50 per cent come 2030;
  • Developing a “national action plan for reconciliation” with Indigenous peoples acting on all calls for action and justice; and

Following through on unfulfilled Liberal promises to the LGBTQ2S+ community and addressing systemic racism.

Ontario court certifies class action against Uber, advancing fight for worker rights

Ontario's Superior Court of Justice has certified a class-action lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc., which advances a fight to get some of the platform's Canadian couriers and drivers recognized as employees.

The class action filed by Samfiru Tumarkin LLP and Uber Eats driver David Heller in 2017 argues that Uber couriers should be entitled to minimum wage, vacation pay and other protections because they meet the definition of employees under Ontario's Employment Standards Act.

Uber has refused to recognize couriers and drivers using its platform as employees and avoided offering them benefits by touting that their work arrangement offers people the flexibility to drive or deliver as little or as much as they want.

Uber successfully sought to have the case stayed in 2018 because it required all disputes it is involved in go through mediation in the Netherlands, where its business was once incorporated.

The Ontario Court of Appeal reversed that stay in 2019, so Uber took its arguments to the Supreme Court of Canada, where it lost later that year.

Federal government promises vaccine passport for international travel this fall

The federal government says it plans to create proof-of-vaccination documentation for international travel by early fall. Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said this afternoon that Ottawa is working with the provinces — which hold the data on vaccinations — to develop consistent credentials. The minister said the government is also working with other countries to recognize the credentials issued in Canada.

The federal certification would include data on the type of vaccines received, dates and location. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the government expects the credentials to be digital but will also make it available for those without access to a device.

The federal announcement comes in the middle of a fierce debate as some provinces talk about introducing domestic proof of vaccination.

In Quebec, beginning in September, anyone wanting to visit non-essential businesses like bars, restaurants, gyms and festivals will need to present a scannable QR code through a smartphone app to prove they've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Manitoba has been issuing proof-of-immunization cards to residents who are two weeks past their second shot.

Nova Scotia Liberal Leader Iain Rankin has promised that a re-elected Liberal government would bring in a proposed ScotiaPass for fully vaccinated residents and that businesses and other organizations would be able to use the system to limit access to their services.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, meanwhile, continues to insist his province will not introduce proof-of-vaccination documentation.

Canada now in 4th wave of COVID-19 

The country's seven-day average for new daily cases is now close to 1,300 — an increase of nearly 60 per cent over the previous week, with cases ticking back up mainly in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.

"We're absolutely in the fourth wave," said Dr. Peter Juni, who is the scientific director of Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. "There's no doubt about that."

High vaccination uptake across the country has changed the game: Roughly 60 per cent of Canadians are now fully vaccinated, and research continues to show leading vaccines offer high levels of protection from serious illness, even against the fast-spreading delta variant.

90% of cases among unvaccinated

The latest available federal public health data shows roughly 90 per cent of all COVID-19 cases reported in Canada since the start of the country's vaccination program in mid-December have been among unvaccinated individuals.

Just a tiny portion of cases — 0.5 per cent — have been reported among people who've been fully vaccinated, with a similar breakdown for hospitalizations and deaths in the same time period.

Ontario reveals new rules on managing COVID-19 cases, outbreaks — including in schools

The Ontario government has released guidelines around testing and self-isolation for those who might be exposed to the virus — with the rules dependent on vaccination status.

Though the new rules are complex, they contain one basic theme: vaccinated Ontarians will be subject to fewer restrictions and more lenient isolation requirements compared to people who are unvaccinated.

The full document is 103 pages and covers a host of areas.

Click Here to read the full document

Ask Ottawa to extend the CEBA repayment deadline to qualify for the forgivable portion

The CEBA program provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. If a business repays the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022, will result in loan forgiveness of 33 percent (up to $20,000). For example, a businesses that took a CEBA loan of $40,000, repaid $30,000 before December 31, 2022 would receive loan forgiveness of $10,000.

If the balance of the loan is not fully repaid by December 31, 2022

If the balance of the CEBA loan is not repaid before December 31, 2022, then the business will not qualify for loan forgiveness. For example, a business that took a CEBA loan of $40,000 and only repaid $25,000 before December 31, 2022, would receive $0 in loan forgiveness. They would only have to pay interest on the principal at 5% per annum until December 31, 2025. The full amount of the CEBA loan must be repaid by December 31, 2025.

Why sign the CFA letter?

By signing this letter, you are asking the federal government to extend the repayment deadline to qualify for the forgivable portion to December 31, 2023, and to extend the repayment terms and forgive all interest payments on all government-backed pandemic loans (CEBA, BCAP, HASCAP, RRRF, etc.) for SMEs.

Send the letter

B.C. orders mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for workers in assisted living and long-term care

Health officials announced Thursday that a new public health order will make vaccination mandatory and is a condition of employment for those working in those settings. They will need to be fully vaccinated by Oct.12. In the meantime, unvaccinated staff will be tested for the virus regularly.

Volunteers and personal care workers at those facilities will also be required to be fully vaccinated.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said this will ensure all information on immunization status will be provided to the province for both residents and staff to assess risk and outbreak potential.

Nova Scotia Election: New poll suggests Liberals are in a tighter race to retain power

A poll released by Narrative Research Wednesday suggests Liberal support isn't as strong as it has been in recent years and that both opposition parties are making gains in this provincial election.

The telephone survey of 540 Nova Scotians conducted between July 27 and Aug. 9 shows satisfaction with the government of Iain Rankin remains high at 61 per cent, but that is significantly lower than the 75 per cent approval rating it received in a Narrative poll conducted in May.

When it comes to the voting intention of the 277 decided voters polled, 40 per cent said they would back Liberal candidates, 31 per cent said they would vote PC and 27 per cent were ready to support the NDP. The Green Party of Nova Scotia garnered two per cent support.

Election day is Aug. 17.  According to Elections Nova Scotia, 90,446 early votes were cast as of Tuesday. That's roughly double the number of people who voted early at this stage of the 2017 general election. 

Free COVID Rapid Tests Available for Small Businesses

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the provincial Chambers of Commerce and federal government, have launched the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative. Through this initiative, participating chambers of commerce and boards of trade will roll out free rapid tests for small- and medium-sized businesses in communities across the province.

Businesses (including non-chamber members) with 150 employees or less are welcome to participate in this program. The goal of the program is to identify asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace that might otherwise be missed, helping to curb the spread in the workplace, at home and around the community.

If you are an organization with locations across Canada, please order directly from the Health Canada government portal.

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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If you would like to subscribe all your franchisees to receive our COVID Update, please contact Alex Mann at

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