New data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey revealed that 164,000 foodservice and accommodation jobs were recovered in June. Despite these gains, at least 400,000 people who were previously employed in the foodservice sector are still out of work.
Restaurants Canada, a national non-profit association representing Canada’s diverse foodservice industry is calling on the federal government to make changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program (CEWS) to aid businesses in their effort to rehire workers as they continue to recover.
The program was implemented at the height of the pandemic to help businesses subsidize their employee’s wages for up to 12 weeks, initially. Restaurants Canada is urging the government to keep the subsidy available for as long as pandemic restrictions are in place and to gradually reduce the subsidy as businesses achieve manageable levels of revenue.
To qualify, businesses must have experienced a 30-per-cent decline in revenue. The association is asking the government to scale the 30-per-cent threshold to support restaurants in their recovery.
“Reforms to the federal wage subsidy are urgently needed to help foodservice businesses bring more Canadians back to work amid ongoing restrictions,” said David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Federal and Quebec in a press release. “Forty-four per cent of restaurant operators who responded to our latest survey said they did not apply for the subsidy for at least one of their establishments because it would not meet the requirements.”
In May, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the federal government would extend the CEWS by an additional 12 weeks until the end of August.
When asked about any future changes, the minister’s office pointed to the Economic and Fiscal Snapshot released on Wednesday, which states: “As economies reopen and business activity resumes, the government will soon announces changes to the CEWS to stimulate rehiring, provide support to businesses during reopening and help them adapt to the new normal. In anticipation of this forthcoming announcement, the government has set aside additional funding as part of the 2020 Economic and Fiscal Snapshot.”
The minister’s office declined to share specific details about future changes to the program, but advocates remain hopeful as more businesses begin to reopen.
Has the Atlantic bubble already opened to the rest of Canada? – CBC.ca
Premier Blaine Higgs says it will be at least another week before New Brunswick even considers opening up to the rest of Canada, but in a way, it already has through its Atlantic bubble agreement with Nova Scotia.
So has P.E.I.
Nova Scotia’s borders have never been closed to visitors.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, anyone from any province or territory has been able to enter Nova Scotia for any reason as long as they self-isolated for 14 days, confirmed Heather Fairbairn, spokesperson for the Department of Health and Wellness.
Since the Atlantic bubble started on July 3, those visitors have been able to travel freely within the three Maritime provinces once their isolation is complete. (Newfoundland and Labrador allows only Maritime residents to enter, unless they have been granted exemptions.)
So even though New Brunswick has kept tight reins on those it allows in, and the conditions they have to meet, anyone who wants to get into the province could get in by going through Nova Scotia first.
Higgs told CBC News he was “fully aware” of Nova Scotia’s open-door policy and that their visitors could continue on into New Brunswick.
“We have the Atlantic bubble, and the idea of doing that was to allow free travel to people that have isolated, people that we considered that should have free movement within this region,” he said.
“We too have been bringing family and friends to New Brunswick, and they would self-isolate for 14 days and then they’re allowed to travel around to different provinces in the Atlantic region.”
For example, New Brunswick dropped requirements in June for out-of-province workers to self-isolate, even though Nova Scotia still requires workers living in the province and working elsewhere to self-isolate for 14 days when arriving home.
“So this is a reciprocal kind of program and … so far, it’s been working well,” said Higgs
Epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan, calls it “surprising” and “strange.”
“I thought the bubble idea was that the borders were sealed entirely,” said Deonandan, an associate professor with the faculty of health sciences at the University of Ottawa.
It also “makes little sense in terms of control of seeding [COVID-19] events,” said Deonandan.
“The entire idea behind a contiguous bubble of adjacent provinces is that there should be consistency of policy around how you manage the borders. That’s the only way this works.”
It sounds that Nova Scotia is the most lenient partner, therefore everyone has de facto the same policy as Nova Scotia, whether they like it or not.– Raywat Deonandan, epidemiologist
“If there isn’t consistency, what are you doing?”
Deonandan draws a comparison to social bubbles.
“You’re only as good as the people you trust.” he said.
“The [Atlantic] bubble is only as good as its most lenient partner. So it sounds that Nova Scotia is the most lenient partner, therefore, everyone has de facto the same policy as Nova Scotia, whether they like it or not.”
Deonandan points out there’s “nothing magical” about the 14-day isolation requirement either. It’s a median only, based on the estimated incubation period of the coronavirus.
“It’s possible that you can pass the 14-day quarantine and still be positive.”
Having said that, Deonandan thinks the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks within the Atlantic bubble from Canadian travellers who have self-isolated for 14 days is “low.”
If outbreaks do occur, he believes they’ll be driven by people who have travelled internationally, which has been the recent experience in some other jurisdictions.
Isolation won’t be required
When New Brunswick does open up to the rest of the country, Higgs said the 14-day isolation period will no longer be required.
“I’ll be … having calls with my Atlantic colleagues about the next step, but at this point we don’t have any date in mind for reopening with the rest of Canada,” he said Aug. 5.
He wants to evaluate the second week of expanding the New Brunswick bubble to residents of two Quebec border regions without the need to self-isolate, he said.
Residents of Avignon Regional County Municipality, which borders Restigouche County and includes Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-à-la-Croix, and of Témiscouata Regional County Municipality, which borders Madawaska County have been able to cross into the province for day-trips only since Aug. 1.
Other approved reasons for entry include:
- travelling through New Brunswick to reach another destination.
- returning home to New Brunswick.
- work-related travel.
- child custody arrangements in New Brunswick.
- moving to New Brunswick to take up residence.
- travel related to medical appointment.
- resident of the Atlantic provinces
- visiting immediate family in New Brunswick.
- property ownership in New Brunswick.
- travelling to pick up/drop off student.
- attending a funeral.
- compassionate exemption.
Once someone has completed a 14-day isolation in one of the Atlantic provinces, however, they are welcome to enter New Brunswick, confirmed Department of Public Safety spokesperson Geoffrey Downey.
New Brunswick has six active cases of COVID-19, all temporary foreign workers in Moncton who immediately went into self-isolation upon arrival.
The province has recorded 176 cases of the respiratory disease since the pandemic began in mid-March. Two people have died and 168 have recovered.
Higgs has said the resurgence of the virus some jurisdictions have seen is “very concerning,” and any expansion must be done with caution with the start of the school year around the corner.
“We want to be able to continue to get kids back to school and not be in a situation that we’ve seen a resurgence of the virus in advance of that, or certainly during,” he told reporters on July 30, during the Quebec bubble announcement.
“So I would say, you know, we go through this 14 days, we’ll look at other provinces and see where they’re going, are they trending up, trending down. And then we look again at the prospects of how we can open.”
Nova Scotia is looking into possible ways opening up could work, but is “not there yet,” Premier Stephen McNeil has said.
No decision has been made by P.E.I. either.
Last week, the Island began allowing recreational visits by family members of residents who are Canadian citizens or have permanent residency status, but who live outside Atlantic Canada, provided they self-isolate for 14 days.
The government of Newfoundland and Labrador and its Public Health officials are in regular discussions with federal, provincial and territorial partners on pan-Canadian strategies related to COVID-19, including border measures, according to a Department of Health and Community Services spokesperson.
“No decision has been made relating to any further lifting of the current travel ban,” she said in an emailed statement.
“Newfoundland and Labrador’s borders are closely monitored and protocols for entry are strictly enforced as they relate to the Atlantic Canada Bubble. One of these protocols is the requirement for persons travelling to provide proof of residency in Atlantic Canada.”
Canada reports 195 new coronavirus cases, 5 more deaths – Global News
Canada reported 195 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, as well as five more deaths.
The new cases bring Canada’s total COVID-19 infections to 119,382 and its death toll to 8,981. Over 5.17 million tests have also been administered across the country while 103,726 patients, or over 86 per cent of all confirmed cases, have since recovered from the virus.
Sunday’s numbers, which were tallied from both provincial and federal health authorities across the country, do not reflect all regions due to several provinces like Alberta, B.C., P.E.I. and the territories not releasing data over the weekend.
A statement Sunday from Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam praised “the continuing efforts and sacrifices of Canadians” that helped flatten and control the curve of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak.
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“This has allowed us to protect our healthcare system, while at the same time we have increased capacity in hospitals and across our public health and laboratory systems to maintain epidemic control going forward,” read Tam’s statement.
“Our efforts have also bought us time as research and science accelerate at an unprecedented pace towards finding safe and effective vaccines.”
Quebec, the country’s hardest-hit province, reported 104 new coronavirus cases on Sunday as well as three new deaths — one of which had occurred before Aug. 1. As of Aug. 1, there have been 60,471 confirmed cases of the virus within the province — 50,866 of which have now recovered — and 5,695 deaths.
Ontario added 79 new cases on Sunday, raising its provincial total 40,046. The province also reported two new deaths related to COVID-19, raising its death toll to 2,786. A total of 36,279 patients — over 90 per cent of the province’s cases — have since recovered from the virus.
Saskatchewan added 15 new cases of the virus on Aug. 9. Total cases of the virus in the province only grew by 12 on Sunday, however, as some cases previously counted were removed from the total because the patients did not live in Saskatchewan.
The province’s total cases now stand at 1,445 confirmed cases, with a death toll of 20. A further 1,257 patients have since recovered from the virus.
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Manitoba added 35 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, raising its total lab-confirmed and “probable” cases of the virus to 542. Sunday’s numbers from the province are not reflected in Global News’ totals however as only lab-confirmed cases are counted. A total of eight people have died from the virus in the province.
Nova Scotia reported zero cases of the virus on Aug. 9. Its provincial total stands at 1,071 confirmed cases of the virus, as well as 64 fatalities.
New Brunswick also reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, with its total cases standing at 176. Provincial health authorities announced that there are only six active cases of the virus as of Aug. 9, as well as two deaths.
Newfoundland and Labrador also reported zero cases of the virus on Aug. 9 during its daily statement. The province currently has one active case of COVID-19.
Cases of the new coronavirus continue to surge worldwide, with a global total of over 19.7 million cases, according to a running tally kept by John Hopkins University. More than 728,000 people have since succumbed to the virus, while over 12 million patients have recovered globally.
The United States continues to lead with both the highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities worldwide, followed by Brazil.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Sunday Scrum: Canada's response to the Beirut explosion – CBC.ca
CBC News Network’s Sunday Scrum panel is your destination for frank discussion and analysis of the week’s big political stories.
This week, we talk to our panellists about Canada’s response to the devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.
Ottawa says it will provide up to $5 million in humanitarian assistance to Lebanon following the deadly Aug. 4 blast in Beirut and will also match donations made by Canadians up to $2 million. But nothing will go directly to the Lebanese government, due to fears over corruption.
The panellists also discuss the race for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Also on the program: pricey privacy demands from Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, Canada’s latest tariff tiff with the U.S. and new concerns over WE Charity from the federal charity watchdog.
WATCH | Canada’s response to Beirut explosion:
WATCH | Canada’s latest tariff tiff with U.S.:
WATCH | Payette’s pricey privacy demands:
WATCH | Charity watchdog raised red flags over WE:
WATCH | The race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine:
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