Join us for Franchise Awareness Days (virtual) – November 17,18 and 22
Join Canada's leading franchisers and the CFA by being part of Virtual Franchise Awareness Day.
By educating politicians and policymakers, you can help protect your business, your franchisees, and the franchise business model in Canada.
Ottawa announces new support programs – confirms CEWS, CERS and CRB will end October 23
Today, Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, announced that the government making a number of changes to the business and worker support programs. The federal government is moving away from the broad-based support towards more targeted measures. They are proposing the following changes:
- Extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7, 2022, for eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10 per cent and increase the subsidy rate to 50 per cent. The extension would help businesses continue to hire back workers and to create the additional jobs Canada needs for a full recovery.
- Deliver targeted support to businesses that are still facing significant pandemic-related challenges. Support would be available through two streams:
- NEW Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, to hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, and restaurants, with a subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent.
- NEW Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, would support other businesses that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 per cent.
Applicants for these programs will use a new “two-key” eligibility system whereby they will need to demonstrate significant revenue losses over the course of 12 months of the pandemic, as well as revenue losses in the current month.
Businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns will be eligible for up to the maximum amount of the wage and rent subsidy programs, during the local lockdown, regardless of losses over the course of the pandemic.
These programs will be available until May 7, 2022, with the proposed subsidy rates available through to March 13, 2022. From March 13, 2022, to May 7, 2022, the subsidy rates will decrease by half.
CEWS, CERS and CRB will end on October 23
The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for businesses and the Canada Recovery Benefit for individuals will end on October 23
Support programs for individuals are also changing
- Extending the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit until May 7, 2022, and increase the maximum duration of benefits by 2 weeks. This would extend the caregiving benefit from 42 to 44 weeks and the sickness benefit from 4 to 6 weeks.
- NEW Canada Worker Lockdown Benefitwhich would provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers should they be unable to work due to a local lockdown anytime between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022.
According to the news release “with these changes, the government is supporting the hardest-hit sectors and those who are affected by the virus while recognizing that broad-based assistance is no longer needed. These changes will continue to prioritize job creation and a strong economic recovery.”
Click here to read the news release
|Thank You to Our Advocacy Champions
Are you eligible for British Columbia’s PST rebate on machinery and equipment?
By Jay Lerner, Senior Manager, Indirect Tax, BDO Canada LLP
To help expedite economic recovery in the province, the government of British Columbia (B.C.) has launched a new program to assist incorporated businesses with making capital improvements.
The program allows all incorporated businesses to apply for a rebate of 7% B.C. provincial sales tax (PST) paid on qualifying machinery and equipment purchased between September 17, 2020 and March 31, 2022 — as long as the application is submitted no later than September 30, 2022. Excluded from the opportunity are businesses operated as sole proprietors, crown corporations, local governments, charities, schools, school boards, universities, hospitals and regional health boards, and community health councils.
Very few non-consumable items are excluded from the rebate which includes qualifying machinery and equipment in most of the common capital cost allowance (CCA) classes*. The machinery and equipment does not have to be depreciated in order to qualify for the rebate, as long as it meets the definitions within the eligible CCA classes set out by the B.C. government. PST paid on leases of qualifying machinery and equipment also qualify for the rebate. However, it is limited to the rental periods that include a right to use the machinery and equipment between September 17, 2020 and May 31, 2022.
* Qualifying machinery and equipment is limited to goods in CCA classes 8, 10, 12, 16, 38, 43, 43.1, 43.2, 46, 50, 53, 54, and 55 (non-zero emission vehicles do not qualify)
To qualify, the machinery and equipment must also be:
- obtained substantially (more than 90%) for the purpose of gaining or producing income;
- purchased or leased in B.C., brought into or received in B.C., brought into B.C. for temporary use, received from a related company, or received as a taxable gift; and
- in the case of software, purchased for use on or with a device ordinarily situated in B.C.
So how can franchises benefit from the PST rebate program? An opportunity could exist in the following situations:
- When there is a purchase of qualifying machinery and equipment for an existing franchise.
- When a new franchise acquires qualifying machinery and equipment.
- If there is an acquisition of all or part of an existing franchise.
The following are industry-specific examples of machinery and equipment that would qualify for the rebate:
- Kitchen equipment, furniture including movable tables and chairs, dishes and metal cutlery, appliances, linens, and some fixtures acquired by a restaurant.
- Shop equipment, tools, retail displays, storage bins, and office equipment acquired by a retail or auto repair shop.
- Furniture, phone and fax equipment, photocopiers, computers, and related software acquired by a professional services business or firm.
The program offers three application periods and applicants do not have to wait until September 30, 2022 to submit them all. The first application can be made between April 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021. The second application can be made between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022 and the third application between April 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022. If an application period is missed, it is acceptable to submit two applications in the second application period or three applications in the third application period.
Applicants can apply via the B.C. government website and should ensure they have all receipts and invoices to show proof of payment for PST as well as business incorporation documents.
Federal Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination System
Instead of issuing a singular federal national COVID-19 vaccine passport, the federal government says that each province and territory will be responsible for issuing a “standardized pan-Canadian” vaccine passport that Canadians can use when travelling.
The information on the proof of vaccination is limited to
- the holder’s full name and date of birth
- a neutral, factual account of the holder’s COVID-19 vaccination history, including
- the number of doses
- the vaccine type(s), product name(s) and lot number(s)
- the dates they got their vaccinations
- a QR code that includes the vaccination history and may include additional information on the COVID-19 vaccines received
The only medical information shown is a person’s COVID-19 vaccination history. The proof, including the QR code, does not contain any additional medical or identity information.
The proposed system means that, as is currently the case, provincial vaccine credentials will continue to be the main way that Canadians will have to show their vaccination status.
Each province's system is supposed to have a “common” look and feel, with the expectation that by next month all Canadians will have access to their vaccine credentials from their province or territory, as proof of vaccination will soon be needed in order to board a plane or train in this country.
Five provinces, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and all three territories have put this national standard into use. The vaccine passport will have a common look for all provinces and territories.
Canadians will be able to use the proof of vaccination system both within Canada and for international travel.
It will comply with the SMART Health Card standard, which uses technology that will allow officials to verify and authenticate the information without giving access to any other health or identity information.
The system is intended to be tamper-proof, detecting any changes after it has been issued.
Using the proof of vaccination for travel in Canada
The Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination offers multiple benefits and uses, which includes meeting Canada’s new traveller vaccine requirements.
Effective October 30, 2021, all travellers 12 years of age and older departing from Canadian airports, and travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, will be required to be fully vaccinated in order to travel. To allow travellers time to become fully vaccinated, there will be a short transition period where they will be able to travel if they show a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel as an alternative to providing proof of full vaccination. If travellers have not already started the vaccination process, or do not start soon, they risk not qualifying for travel as of November 30, 2021.
Click here for more information on the federal vaccine passport
Thursday October 28, 2021 | Virtual Event | 12pm to 3pm EST
This annual event will update franchisors, multi-unit franchisees and their owners on the state of the market and educate them on the right things they can do now and, in the future, to ensure that they are in the best position to maximize the value of their business and take advantage of the opportunities presented by one or more of these growth and exit strategies. It is also designed to create a space to connect directly with Canadian and American potential investors and buyers, and for them to connect to the franchise community.
Uber drivers, gig workers pressure Ontario government for employee status
People in Ontario who drive or deliver for apps such as Uber, Lyft and Skip the Dishes are calling on Premier Doug Ford's government to grant them basic workers' rights by classifying them as employees.
It's an issue that directly affects hundreds of thousands of people who work in the province's gig economy, and could have implications for all workers across Ontario and in other provinces.
Media reports suggest that the Ford government will soon reveal new measures regarding wages and benefits for gig workers.
Ontario's Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton is promising legislation by the end of the month as part of "broader efforts to protect and support vulnerable workers, such as those who have kept essential goods moving and the economy going through the pandemic."
A government-appointed advisory panel is working on recommendations "to ensure Ontario's technology platform workers benefit from flexibility, control, and security."
Since app-based workers are currently classified as independent contractors under Ontario's Employment Standards Act, they are not entitled to minimum wage, vacation days or statutory holiday pay. The companies they work for do not have to pay Employment Insurance premiums or Canada Pension Plan contributions.
While McNaughton is not promising to classify app workers as employees, he says new protections are on the way.
Canadian inflation increases at fastest rate since February 2003
Inflation exceeded the Bank of Canada’s control range for a sixth straight month, worsened by supply chain bottlenecks that are proving stubbornly persistent.
The consumer price index rose 4.4 per cent in September from a year earlier, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday in Ottawa. That’s the highest reading since February 2003, exceeding consensus expectations of 4.3 per cent in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
On a monthly basis, inflation was up 0.2 per cent in September. Higher food, shelter and transport prices were the main contributors. The average of the central bank’s core measures -- often seen as a better gauge of underlying price pressures -- ticked up to 2.67 per cent from 2.6 per cent in August.
The hot inflation readings of the last six months are deepening a communications challenge for Governor Tiff Macklem, who maintains the spike in consumer-price gains will be short lived. The data also come as traders in the overnight swaps market bet increasingly against the Bank of Canada’s guidance that policymakers won’t raise interest rates until the second half of next year.
Macklem changed his tone on inflation slightly in recent weeks. He acknowledged on Oct. 7 that supply chain disruptions are dragging on, and said last week high inflation readings could “take a little longer to come back down.”
Wednesday’s report is the last major indicator before the central bank’s Oct. 27 policy decision. It’s not expected to move rates but Macklem is likely to reduce weekly purchases of Canadian government bonds to $1 billion (US$810 million), from the current pace of $2 billion. Economists expect the central bank will need to raise inflation forecasts higher after third quarter inflation averaged 4.1 per cent versus the bank’s 3.9 per cent forecast.
Traders are pricing in at least three interest-rate hikes in Canada by the end of 2022, which would bring the policy rate to 1 per cent from the current 0.25 per cent.
Don't expect EI if you lose your job for not being vaccinated, minister says
Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says it's likely that people who lose their jobs for not complying with employer COVID-19 vaccine policies will not be eligible for employment insurance (EI).
"It's a condition of employment that hasn't been met," Qualtrough said in an interview with CBC's Power & Politics. "And the employer choosing to terminate someone for that reason would make that person ineligible for EI.
Qualtrough said this rule does not apply in situations where someone has a medical exemption or a "valid reason" for not being vaccinated.
Employment and Social Development Canada's website says EI is available to "all individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but can't find a job."
For most people, EI pays 55 per cent of their average weekly earnings up to a maximum of $595 per week.
Quebec to invest $3B in daycare system, create 37,000 more subsidized spots by 2025
The Quebec government announced it is investing at least $3 billion in the province's daycare system with the main objective of creating 37,000 additional subsidized spots by March 31, 2025 to complete the network.
In an effort to improve access to child-care services and increase the efficiency of the system, some 19,000 places are already in the works and the government is looking to create 17,000 more, as well as 1,000 in Indigenous territories.
Quebec already has 212,497 subsidized spaces in recognized child-care services and is committing, for the very first time, that every child in the province will be accommodated.
The action plan includes the conversion of 3,500 non-subsidized spots through a pilot project already underway.
Included in the $3 billion is $1.8 billion in new spending to implement 45 concrete measures by 2025 to reorganize the system, including an increase in the tax credit for child-care expenses.
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COVID-19's impact on the world is creating waves across all sectors and industries.
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