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December 7, 2021

Your CFA Update on COVID-19

Ontario's COVID-19 paid sick days to extend into 2022

Premier Doug Ford's government is extending its COVID-19 sick pay program beyond its scheduled expiry at the end of December. 

Ontario's COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit will continue until July 31, 2022, Labour Minister Monte McNaughton told a media interview Tuesday.

The extension comes with Ontario averaging more new daily cases of COVID-19 than at any point in the past six months and the the province's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table projecting that the infection numbers will continue to rise into January.  

Ontario's COVID-19 sick pay program requires employers to provide all their employees with up to three paid days off for a range of reasons related to the pandemic, including getting vaccinated against the virus, showing symptoms, or caring for a sick family member.

The government reimburses employers who do not normally give their workers sick pay with up to $200 per employee per day. 

Despite the extension, McNaughton said the maximum number of paid sick days that each employee can take over the course of the program will remain capped at three. 

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Retrain Manitoba Grants

As part of the next steps in Manitoba’s economic recovery, the province of Manitoba, the Manitoba Chambers of commerce, and Economic Development Winnipeg launched Retrain Manitoba.

The $12.5 million program is a grant for businesses. They can be reimbursed up to $2,500 per employee for any retraining and upskilling required to keep up with the changing needs of business.

Employers can apply for reimbursement up to $2,500 per employee up to a maximum of $75,000. Companies can be reimbursed for a range of in-person and online industry-recognized training courses provided by a third-party trainer, both inside and outside of Manitoba. Employers who have already paid for courses with start dates from April 1, 2021, to Aug. 31, 2022, will be eligible to apply for the grants.

Who is Eligible?

A business of any size that is:

  • A Manitoba based, active, and registered business with a valid Manitoba business number
  • In good standing with the Manitoba Companies Office
  • A business account holder with a Canadian Financial Institution
  • Able to provide an active email address and phone number to maintain communications

Applications are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis. All applications must be submitted by March 31, 2022, or until the program has been fully expended.

Click here for more information on the program.

Quebec increases limit for indoor holiday gatherings, extends eligibility for 3rd doses

The Quebec government will allow private indoor gatherings of up to 20 vaccinated people as of Dec. 23, Health Minister Christian Dubé announced Tuesday. Dubé said public health is asking people to be responsible and continue to follow public health measures. No other easing of restrictions will be announced for the holidays, and other public health restrictions remain in effect.

The government did not announce a date for when the loosened rules on gatherings will end.

Currently, only 10 people or those from three different households are allowed in private homes.

More eligibility for booster shots

The province also announced third doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are available for health-care workers, people with chronic illnesses and other health issues, people from isolated and remote communities and pregnant people, totalling 1 million more people eligible for the booster dose. 

Currently in Quebec, booster doses are only available to people over 70, to people with weakened immune systems and to people who received two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

People aged 60 and over will also be eligible for a third dose, but will have to wait for the beginning of January. Dubé said the reason for the delay is that the province has just enough staff right now to administer vaccines to seniors, young children and those already eligible for boosters.

Canada expands vaccine mandate to banking, telecom sectors

The Canadian government will expand its mandatory vaccination policy in early 2022 to include all federally-regulated workplaces, including banks and the nation’s largest telecom firms.

Canada already requires all federal public sector workers to be vaccinated, as well as workers and travelers on airlines, trains and boats. That is now being expanded fully to all federally-regulated businesses, Labor Minister Seamus O’Regan said in a statement on Tuesday.

Outside of the public service, there are approximately 955,000 employees working for 18,500 employers in Canada’s federally regulated sectors, or about 6 per cent of the workforce. The statement says that employers who do not comply with the vaccine mandate may be subject to compliance and enforcement measures, including fines.

Ontario extends capacity limit restrictions for higher risk areas

The Progressive Conservative government is extending its pause on lifting capacity limits in higher-risk areas like nightclubs, wedding reception venues and sex clubs. It hasn't specified a new date for lifting the limits.

The news comes as the province's Science Advisory Table released new modelling predicting a potential rise in cases and intensive care unit occupancy to levels that by next month could strain hospitals — even without factoring in the effects of the worrisome Omicron COVID-19 variant, which "could be substantial."


StatsCan - Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, fourth quarter 2021

U.S. Census Bureau Publishes Article on Benefits of Becoming a Franchisee

Many Americans are looking for a change outside the corporate world, as work is continuing to have its definition rewritten during the pandemic. Economists say people are craving a work-life balance, and for those like Lance Puccio, who was born and raised in Fairmont, leaving his job behind wasn’t such a hard thing to do because he was ready to start his own business. "The U.S. Census Bureau reported that over 4 million businesses were created in 2020, and Puccio was a part of that statistic. After doing payroll for roughly 500 employees for an oil and gas company, he went from writing checks to being in charge of his own," reported WDTV. Puccio is now a FastSigns franchisee. He’s been doing so through the pandemic, which he said has its advantages and disadvantages, but he encourages anyone with a dream to go for it. The franchise business model helps entrepreneurs like Puccio with small business owners and has helped many during the pandemic.

Read more here.

IFA Files Suit Against SEIU

Today IFA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a motion to intervene in the case SEIU v. NLRB at the District of Columbia. The case is important because the SEIU has challenged the NLRB’s joint employment rule that protects the franchise business format for thousands of franchise entrepreneurs and their employees.

The IFA motion comes at a time when Members of Congress have highlighted that former SEIU attorneys and current NLRB Members David Prouty and Gwynne Wilcox refuse to recuse themselves from litigation brought against the NLRB by their former employer and clients.

Read the IFA memo in support of its motion here.


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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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