#StatisticsCanada; #CanadianChamberOfCommerce; #CanadianSurvey; #CanadaBusinesses
Ottawa, Apr 30 (Canadian-Media): In order to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian businesses, employers, employees, communities, and economy, Statistics Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce collaborated to launch the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, Statistics Canada reports said.
Statistics Canada. Image credit: Twitter handle
According to the survey, representatives from more than 12,600 businesses visited Statistics Canada's website from April 3 to 24, 2020 and participated in the online questionnaire about how COVID-19 is affecting their businesses.
A decline in 20 percent or more in revenue was reported by over half of all businesses.
A decline of 40 percent or more in revenues was reported by nearly one-third of businesses in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the same quarter a year earlier.
Another 21.2 percent of businesses reported a decrease in revenue between 20 percent and 40 percent over the same period.
The survey revealed that businesses in the accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment and recreation and retail trade sectors were likely to report a decline in revenue greater than 20 percent.
On the other hand, over two-fifths of businesses in each of the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting and the utilities sectors reported either no change or an increase in revenue.
Across Canada, over half of businesses in Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan reported declines of 20 percent or more in revenue.
In contrast, close to one-third of businesses in Prince Edward Island, the territories and New Brunswick reported either no change or an increase in revenue.
Data from the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions based on responses from 12,630 businesses is now available in the form of tables representing the national, provincial and territorial levels.
These are further classified into industrial sector, by employment size, by type of business and by majority ownership. The survey results are .
The collection of this data will help governments, chambers of commerce and business associations across Canada understand the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and inform decision-making.
With an extensive network of local chambers and businesses across Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is well positioned to both provide input into the development of a survey such as this and also to leverage its network to encourage participation in the survey.
#CanadaRealEstate; #PropertyValueDecrease; #Toronto; #BritishColumbia; #LandLordsUnhappy; #RentersRelieved
Ottawa, Apr 20 (Canadian-Media): With value of property decreasing all across Canada due to Covid19 pandemic, renters have started seeing some relief with decrease in rent, media reports said.
Real Estate in Canada. Image credit: Facebook page
Landlords are not happy with the declining value of their property even in Canada's hottest property markets, such as Vancouver and Toronto, including Airbnb market which is down about 95 percent.
Although the demand for housing will likely eventually to climb, the decline in rental prices would have immediate impact on economic effects of the coronavirus.
This is because the market was already showing signs of strain and was due for a readjustment. Like other sectors of Canadian real estate, faults in a rental market dependent on high levels of borrowed money would be exposed due to the sudden economic downturn.
#Canada; #Pandemic; #LaborShortage; #FoodSupplies; #Infrastructure; #EmergenciesAct;
Ottawa, Apr 15 (Canadian-Media): Accelerating rates of pandemic among Canadians could impair Canadians' quality of life by creating labour shortages in essential services which could affect food supplies and undermine Canada's critical infrastructure including power grids, banking and telecommunications, according to an internal government document prepared by Public Safety Canada, media reports said.
Public Safety Canada. Image credit: Twitter handle
According to a federal source there is a concern that some workers in essential services, including prison guards, will refuse to work for safety reasons.
Justifying the workers' decision not to work due to safety concerns, Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff said securing more personal protective equipment could calm fears across a number of sectors.
Some parts of Canada are already experiencing the instability of supply chains.
Oceanex Inc., one of Newfoundland and Labrador's largest shipping companies, said Monday that it might have to cancel shipments due to pandemic-related financial losses.
In Alberta, the union representing some workers at the Cargill meat packing plant in High River, about 60 kilometres south of Calgary, is demanding the closure of the facility for at least two weeks to come up with a plan after 38 workers there tested positive for COVID-19.
In a briefing on Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says that although she's confident Canada has enough food but acknowledged labour shortages on farms and outbreaks among workers at processing plants could affect the food supply and result in
higher prices and less variety in grocery stores this year.
Yussuff said the government has to ensure the safety and health care of temporary foreign workers, who travel to Canada for the spring planting.
The briefing document was prepared as part of the federal government's consultations with the regions on the Emergencies Act, a step the prime minister has said he'd prefer not to take as invoking of the act could empower the federal government to order qualified people to provide essential services.
Yussuff said he also opposes invoking the never-before-used Emergencies Act to force essential workers to stay on the job.
"I think if people are naturally concerned about their health we should listen to them because nobody should risk their life having to do their work," he said.
The document says that so far opposing of deployment of the emergencies Act by the collaborative efforts between the provinces and territories has been effective.
Although Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has promised to send personal protective equipment to Ontario and Quebec, the two hardest-hit provinces.
But with the worsening of the crisis, the document said, there is a growing need for more measures and greater intervention.
"The Emergencies Act is not going to solve the problem. What will solve it is collaboration and cooperation," said Yussuff.
Zaandam; #Coronavirus; #247Canadians, #FederalGovernmentPrivacyBreach; #Error
Ottawa, Apr 14 (Canadian-Media): 247 Canadian passengers, who were aboard the Coronavirus-stricken Holland America Line ship, MS Zaandam with four deaths were faced with a problem of a privacy breach by the federal government, media reports said.
Cruise Ship. Image credit: Wikimedia commons
The breach by Global Affairs Canada happened on Apr 1, the day before the ship docked in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on April 2 to let passengers disembark and return home.
Global Affairs Canada had been keeping Canadian passengers informed on their efforts to get them off the ship and back to Canada.
Global Affairs admitted it had mistakenly sent them an email on April 1 with an attachment containing personal information on each passenger — including their address, date of birth, email, phone number and passport number.
In the Global Affairs notice about the breach passengers that to limit the risk of identity theft, they should monitor their financial accounts and request periodic credit reports from a national credit bureau.
After Global Affairs realized the error, it apologized to passengers by follow-up email that same day asked them they could contact the department if they had questions.
Although each of the passengers received the personal of the 247 Canadians on the Zaandam, there was a concern among the Canadian passengers that the information might likely have been forwarded to other people.
In its most recent email Global Affairs stated to passengers that it has created a small unit within its COVID-19 response team to manage communications with Canadians abroad, in an effort to avoid another breach,
#Ontario; #OntarioTogetherWebPortalLaunch; #Covid19Pandemic; #OntarioTogetherFund
Ottawa, Apr 11 (Canadian-Media): In response to Ontario Premier Doug Ford's launch of the Ontario Together web portal on March 21, with an appeal to Ontario's manufacturers, entrepreneurs and innovators to provide essential supplies and equipment to support front line workers in their fight against the pandemic, thousands of businesses and private citizens offered to help the Ontario government defeat COVID-19, media reports said.
Doug Ford. Image credit: Twitter handle
To date, the portal has received over 14,000 submissions with offers to provide everything from hand sanitizer, to gowns and coveralls, to masks and face shields, to testing equipment and ventilators.
More than 7,500 emergency supply submissions have generated nearly $90 million in purchases of critical equipment and supplies including: 5.1 million gloves, 20 million masks, 250,000 face shields, and 50,000 units of clip-on hand sanitizer for OPP officers.
"It's heartening to see how many made-in-Ontario solutions have been offered to directly help those on the frontlines...demonstrates the strength of the Ontario Spirit in our business community and world-class manufacturing sector," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
Ontario government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal and help businesses retool their operations, .
All submissions received through the portal are being reviewed with a focus on where the need is greatest and can be implemented quickly.
#StatisticsCanada; #UnemploymentInCanada; #Covid19Pandemic;
Ottawa, Apr 9 (Canadian-Media): Unemployment rate in Canada soared to 7.8 percent due to loss of more than one million jobs by Canada in March due to COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada said Thursday, media reports said.
Statistics Canada. Image credit: Facebook page
The spike in jobless rate by 2.2 percentage leading to to 7.8 percent rise is the biggest monthly increase in the jobless rate in records that date back to 1976.
Out of 19.2 million Canadians paid jobs in February before the coronavirus hit Canada with full force, barely 18 million had jobs in the month of March.
The true employment picture is much worse than economists' predictions of around 500,000 jobs loss for the month of March.
The closes decline in Canada's economy was in 1998 ice storm that caused 166,000 people in Canada to temporarily lose all or most of their paid work. Last month's number was eight times higher than that.
The worst month ever for Canadian jobs lost, prior to Thursday's numbers, was January 2009, when the economy lost 124,400 jobs. March 2020's numbers far exceeded that figure.
The biggest job losses were in the sectors of accommodation and food services, which shrank by almost one-quarter. The next hardest hit sector was IT, arts and culture, which lost 13 percent of its jobs. Education was hit nine percent, while wholesale and retail trade lost seven percent.
"After a month of social distancing, a colossal drop in Canadian employment comes as no surprise, but its steepness is still shocking," said Brendon Bernard, an economist with online job marketplace Indeed.
Although all the provinces were hit hard by job loss, Ontario and Quebec were the hardest hit, losing 403,000 and 264,000 jobs respectively.
Hassan Yussuff, head of the Canadian Labour Congress, said it is evident from the data that government needs to ramp up its support programs even more.
#StudentHiring; #SummerJobs; #CanadaSummerJobsProgram
Ottawa, Apr 8 (Canadian-Media): It was announced by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the Canada Summer Jobs Program is being modified by his government to encourage businesses to hire students for summer work by promising to cover 100 percent of the costs, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official site
"It's hard for people of all ages to find work," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, "but young people are especially vulnerable."
With a goal to create up to 70,000 jobs for young people, estimated cost of the program will come in at around $263 million.
The application period for the program having been closed at the end of February, the federal government said it would encourage those local organizations providing essential services, that didn't apply for the program, to consider for inclusion in this program.
Approved jobs could be available as early as next month.
"We know that some jobs will start later than usual because many businesses have had to scale back their operations," said Trudeau.
#Ontario; #ConstructionIndustry; #COVID19; #RetailCannabis; #HealthSector; #PhysicalDistancing
Ottawa, Apr 3 (Canadian-Media): It was announced by Ontario Premier Doug Ford that to further restrict physical interactions, some parts of the province's construction industry would be shut down, amid efforts to contain COVID-19, media reports said.
Doug Ford. Image credit: Twitter handle
Affected projects would include private sector industrial, commercial and institutional projects while public sector infrastructure work and some residential construction will be allowed to continue.
Ontario's retail cannabis outlets have also been taken off the essential list and will be forced to close but ordering from the province's online store would be open to people.
Also exempted from the shut down will be projects related to the health-care sector, including production of critical equipment and medical devices, as well as the operations of petrochemical plants and refineries.
A new online site for the public to access their COVID-19 test results, announced by Minister of Health Christine Elliott would not only reduce the burden on local public health units, it would also maintain social and physical distancing.
On the recommendations of Elliott, the province issued a new order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to hire retired nurses, medical students and volunteers to give health units more flexibility in aggressively performing contact tracing to track community spread of the coronavirus.
#CanadaFinance; #CanadaEconomics; #CreditCardRateRelief; #COVID19Pandemic
Ottawa, Apr 3 (Canadian-Media): As most Canadians pay an interest rate that's far higher on their credit cards than they do for other forms of debt, Canadians are questioning why credit card bills aren't included in the financial relief packages offered by the governments to homeowners, renters, small businesses and employees impacted by COVID-19 in these unprecedented economic times, media reports said.
Image credit: Wikimedia
Canadians feel this could add another financial burden burden that they have to carry.
Credit on the credit cards, not being secured to any specific asset does not provide any collateral against the loan, make credit cards as unsecured debt. Higher rates on the credit cards serve to offset that higher risk.
At the end of last year, less than three percent of Canadians were more than 90 days behind on their credit card's minimum payment, said Credit monitoring firm TransUnion.
The federal government is working with credit card providers to to alleviate the burden on Canadians, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
It was also conveyed by the Canadian Bankers Associations (CBA) big banks' willingness to work with their customers affected by credit card debt to find solutions.
But no specific details were provided by CBA.
#Canada; #EssentialServices; #COVID19; #Health; #Safety; #Security; #EconomicWellbeing
Ottawa, Apr 2 (Canadian-Media): “Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic” were released Apr 2 by Bill Blair, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, to advice businesses in the determination of the services and functions that are essential in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, media reports said.
Bill Blair. Image credit: Facebook page
“Through this incredibly challenging time, Canadians want the services they rely on every day for their health and safety and economic well-being to continue. We have put together this guidance to help support critical infrastructure employers in identifying and managing their workforce while responding to COVID-19,” said Bill Blair.
These guidelines help employees to consider services which are essential to maintain the health, safety, security and economic well-being of Canadians throughout this health crisis.
A list of services and functions are are provided by this guidance document across Canada’s 10 critical infrastructure sectors, which are: Energy and Utilities, Information and Communication Technologies, Finance, Health, Food, Water, Transportation, Safety, Government and Manufacturing.
This list of essential services and functions, developed in consultation with industry and labour representatives and provinces and territories, would be amended as the need arises.
The guidance not only support critical infrastructure employers in identifying and managing their workforce but also in fostering alignment and harmonization across sectors.
The guidance which is advisory in nature is non-binding and should not be considered to be a federal directive or standard.