Restaurants and bars in Ontario will temporarily be allowed to sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders as part of new measures meant to help businesses and residents weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced Thursday the new rule applies to bars and restaurants that already have a liquor licence, and takes effect immediately. It will remain in place through the end of the year.
Beer, wine and liquor can also be sold for takeout or delivery through a third party, such as a food delivery service or app, as long as it is acting on behalf of a licensed establishment, the commission said.
But the holder of the liquor licence is responsible for making sure no alcohol is sold to anyone under 19 or who is already intoxicated, it said.
The commission said the licence holder or staff carrying out the delivery, including third-party agents, must have completed Smart Serve training.
Agents who do not yet have that certification can start delivering now as long as they complete the training by April 25, it said.
There is no limit on the quantity of alcohol that can be purchased for takeout or delivery, but the drinks must be sold in sealed and unopened containers, according to the rule, which also states such sales must take place between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.
Grocery stores and liquor manufacturer retail stores are also temporarily allowed to sell alcohol as early as 7 a.m. to accommodate early shopping programs for vulnerable people.
Earlier this week, the provincial government ordered all businesses it deemed non-essential to close in order to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The province permitted restaurants and other food service facilities to remain open only for delivery and takeout.
Meanwhile, all active liquor, gaming and cannabis licences, authorizations and registrations will automatically be extended by three months, the AGCO said.
Those for horse racing will be extended by a year, given that horseperson licences renew on a person’s birthday, it said.
WestJet to rehire nearly 6,400 workers with help of federal wage subsidy – CBC.ca
WestJet says 6,400 workers will be brought back onto its payroll once the federal government has approved an emergency wage subsidy program.
In a statement Wednesday night, WestJet CEO Ed Sims cautioned that there might not be enough work for the rehired employees, but noted “it does help them make ends meet.
“We will be communicating with those WestJetters who are affected by this decision as soon as we can,” said Sims.
Last month, WestJet announced it was cutting roughly half of its 14,000 employees with the elimination of 6,900 positions.
Canada’s airline industry has seen a dramatic reduction in demand due to lockdowns to control the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The Calgary-based airline’s move to rehire its employees follows a similar move by Air Canada, which announced Wednesday that it would rehire 16,500 laid-off workers with assistance from the same federal wage subsidy program.
The federal government’s emergency wage subsidy — originally targeted only at small- and medium-sized businesses — was expanded earlier in April to cover a 75-per-cent wage subsidy for Canadian companies that had lost 30 per cent of revenue due to the pandemic.
WestJet said it can’t guarantee that all employees will be coming back to work in the short-term, but the new subsidy will help out.
After announcing layoffs in late March, WestJet executives took a 50-per-cent pay cut and vice-presidents and directors took a 25-per-cent cut.
The airline also said it would reduce the number of flights offered in Canada by about half due to a reduced demand for travel.
Oil Prices Surge with Production Cut Anticipation By – Investing.com
By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Oil prices built on the momentum from the previous session as the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia seems to be nearing a truce.
Russia said overnight that it was willing to reduce output by around 1.6 barrels daily, or 15%. The announcement saw WTI futures surging to almost 12% as the session closed.
International rose 2.62% to $33.7 by 10:19 PM ET (3:19 AM GMT) and U.S. jumped 3.71% to $26.02.
As the oil industry continues to grapple with a supply glut, with the COVID-19 pandemic shrinking demand, Russia’s declaration comes at an opportune time. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said overnight that the U.S. crude oil inventory increased by 15.2 million barrels for the week ending April 3, against analyst expectations of a 9.37-million-barrel build.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) also estimated a build of 11.9 million barrels yesterday.
Investors are waiting to see if Russia will hold to its word at OPEC+’s virtual meeting later in the day.
“The coming extraordinary producing-countries meeting is the only hope in the horizon for the market that could prevent a total price collapse and production shut-ins,” Rystad Energy’s head of oil markets Bjornar Tonhaugen told CNBC.
“At the moment, prices are so volatile that any news or leaks about the direction of the negotiations could move them [prices] either way. As you have seen in recent days, price swings from gains to losses and back are not unusual in such times,” he added.
But some investors took a more skeptical view.
“OPEC+ is trying mightily to cobble together a sizable production cut, and they are in full spin mode to try and rally prices,” Again Capital’s John Kilduff told CNBC.
“[OPEC’s meeting] will be a make-or-break moment for the oil market. The math on a 10 million barrel per day cutback, which is the minimum necessary to stabilize the situation, is almost impossible to compute. I expect a bad day for OPEC+ tomorrow,” he added.
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Why Canadian dairy farmers are dumping milk – Canada News – Castanet.net
Some Canadian dairy farmers started dumping milk last week to rid the system of surplus production as demand from restaurants plummeted amid the COVID-19 pandemic that forced eateries across the country to close their doors.
“We first started seeing milk being discarded last week,” said David Wiens, vice president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada, a national organization for dairy producers. Though, it’s a bit early to know exactly how much milk farmers dumped at this point.
Dairy farms in British Columbia started disposing of raw milk on April 3, according to a statement on the BC Dairy Association website. The group did not respond to a request for comment
The Dairy Farmers of Ontario, which represents about 3,400 farms, informed producers “these measures would be necessary on a select and rotating basis” last week, said Cheryl Smith, chief executive, in an emailed statement.
It’s “very, very disheartening for farmers,” Wiens said. “It goes against every grain in their body.”
Dairy production in the country is controlled under a system known as supply management. It’s a controversial system that has seen its share of opposition. U.S. President Donald Trump called on Canada to end the practice for dairy.
Canada adopted this model for dairy in the early 1970s to overcome production surpluses in the two decades prior, according to the Dairy Farmers of Canada website. Egg and poultry farmers started to operate under the system in later years.
The Canadian Dairy Commission administers supply management for dairy producers, with the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee assessing national demand for milk products and setting targets for production annually. Dairy farmers own what’s known as quotas, which allow them to produce a set amount of milk that depends on the anticipated demand. The production amount for their quota can be moved up or down as needed.
Dairy farmers sell their product at a fixed price that accounts for production costs and other factors. Grocers set retail prices.
The supply management system attempts to ensure farmers produce the right amount of milk to feed Canadians’ desire for dairy products.
The outbreak of COVID-19, however, resulted in unforeseen fluctuations, said Wiens.
“A few weeks ago, nobody would have predicted that it would have this impact on the marketplace,” he said.
On the retail front, demand soared as people descended on grocery stores and stocked up on essentials. Some grocery stores placed limits on the amount of butter and other dairy products customers could buy as their just-in-time distribution system couldn’t handle the new milk volumes and keep shelves stocked fast enough, he said.
Farmers have a “a huge surplus of milk now, which had nowhere to go,” said Wiens.
But demand plummeted from food service clients, like restaurants. Eateries across the country shut their doors — some on provincial government orders and others in an effort to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Nearly all dine-in services across Canada remain shuttered, with some restaurants continuing to operate serving only food to go.
Meanwhile, as demand fluctuates, cows keep producing milk daily.
“There’s no tap that you can just slow down, and, you know, turn on and off as we wish,” said Wiens, who operates a dairy farm near a small town about 70 kilometres south of Winnipeg. “It doesn’t work that way.”
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