#AirCanada; #TemporaryLayOffs; #COVID19Pamdemic; #GlobalShutDown
Ottawa, Mar 31 (Canadian-Media): Having halted most of its international and U.S. routes in response to the global shutdown caused by COVID19 pandemic, Montreal-based Air Canada said it will temporarily lay off 16,500 employee effective this Friday, media reports said.
Air Canada. Image credit: Website
Air Canada company said in a statement that Calin Rovinescu, chief executive officer of Air Canada, and CFO Michael Rousseau will forego 100 percent of their salaries for the second quarter, other senior executives will lose between 25 and 50 percent of their salaries, while members of the board will forego 25 per cent.
The airline says it will also stop buying back its shares while the current crisis unfolds.
Thousands of jobs in the airline sector had been lost by this pandemic including laying off of 3,600 flight attendants by Transat AT Inc. and 6,900 departures including early retirements, resignations and both voluntary and involuntary leaves.
Both Air Transat and Porter Airlines have halted all flights.
WestJet said Monday it is extending its 30-day suspension by two more weeks by cancelling all transatlantic and U.S. routes until May 4.
#Ontario; #PriceGouging; #Penalties; COVID19; EmergencyOrder; EMCPA; #ConsumerProtectionAct
Ottawa, Mar 29 (Canadian-Media): An announcement of an emergency order had been made by Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Mar 28 that penalties would be levied on price gouging on the necessary goods needed for Ontarians for themselves and their families' protection from COVID-19, media reports said.
Doug Ford. Image credit: Twitter handle
The emergency order, which is effective Mar 28 will remain in effect for the duration of the declared provincial emergency.
A ticket worth $750 would be issued to an individual for violating the order and if summoned to court and convicted, could face a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and one year in jail.
Company director or officer, if convicted could face a fine of up to $500,000 and up to a year in jail, and a fine of up to $10 million could be levied on a corporation.
The emergency order prohibits Ontario retail businesses and individuals to charge unfair prices for necessary goods, including masks and gloves used as personal protective equipment to prevent infections; non-prescription medications for the treating symptoms of the coronavirus; disinfecting agents for cleaning and disinfecting objects or humans; Personal hygiene products, including soap products and paper products.
The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) prohibits persons, including retailers, from selling necessary goods for unconscionable prices -- exceeds the price at which similar goods are readily available to like consumers. which is consistent with well-established principles from the Consumer Protection Act.
#BankOfCanada; #EmergencyInterestRateCut; #COVID19Pandemic; #LiquidityInEconomy
Ottawa, Mar 26 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made in a press release Friday morning by the central bank that Bank of Canada has made a second unscheduled cut to its benchmark interest rate, lowering it to 0.25 percent amid the COVID-19 crisis, media reports said.
Bank of Canada Image credit: Wikipedia
COVID-19 pandemic outbreak crisis has caused the bank to to deviate from its normal six-weekly schedule of setting its rate by making unscheduled cuts to its benchmark rate, half a percentage point two weeks ago, and another half-point today.
Prior to Friday's cut, Canada had the highest central bank rate in the developed world at 0.75 percent.
But cutting its rate, the bank facilitates lending cheaper, to encourage people to spend, borrow and invest to help the economy.
Besides rate change to help out the economy, the central bank also announced the creation of two new programs to ensure the accessibility of money to people and businesses in need.
Through the first program, called the Commercial Paper Purchase Program, central bank would take on a type of debt known as "commercial paper" from companies, to meet their short-term financing needs.
The second program will enable the central bank to buy up Canadian government debt in the form of bonds, to the tune of $5 billion a week.
Both the programs would ensure the liquidity in the economy making sure that there is enough available cash in the system to be accessed by credit-worthy borrowers, and alowing banks to lend it out to anyone that needs it.
"It's not creating money in the sense of your textbook," governor Stephen Poloz said at a press conference following the bank's decision.
"You're creating liquidity because people need it to feel secure or confident that everything is going to be OK."
"The economy will need these kinds of supports in order to ensure a quick resumption of activity so we think its important to have it in place now," Poloz said.
#ServiceCanadaCentres;#COVID19Pandemic; #PublicHealth; #CallCentres
Ottawa, Mar 27 (Canadian-Media): It has been announced by the federal government late Thursday night to close the in-person services in network of of 318 Service Canada centres, along with almost 250 more outreach centres across Canada due to concerns of COVID-19 pandemic spread, media reports said.
Service Canada. Image credit: Twitter handle
Closing of businesses over public health concerns as well as laying off of many workers in recent days and receipt of over one million new applications for EI benefits in just over a week by Service Canada offices more than has resulted in the overwhelming demand on Service Canada employees.
The Liberals said vast majority of applications of most unemployed workers who seek employment insurance benefits are done online.
Ahmed Hussen, minister in charge of Service Canada said that special arrangements would be made for those who still need personalized services including seniors and Indigenous Peoples.
Besides stressing the need of Canadians to remain home, Hussen said that the staff at the offices of Services Canada will instead focus on answering questions coming into call centres.
#Ontario; #ListofEssentialServices; #NonEssentialServicesToClose; #COVID19Pandemic
Ottawa, Mar 24 (Canadian-Media): Closure of all non-essential sores and services at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday had been ordered by Ontario Premier Doug Ford in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, media reports said.
Doug Ford. Image credit: Twitter handle
List of Essential Workplaces as qualified by Ontario government include the following:
Supply chains' systems or services, including processing, packaging, distribution, delivery and maintenance necessary to operate.
Retail and Wholesaling of pet food and supplies, and household consumer products required to maintain the health and safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences and businesses, including grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, markets and other similar retailers, beer, wine and liquor stores and alcohol producers, cannabis stores and cannabis producers, Gas stations, diesel, propane and heating fuel providers including providers of motor vehicle, aircraft and water/marine craft fuels, Motor vehicle, auto-supply, auto and motor-vehicle-repair, including bicycle repair, aircraft repair, heavy equipment repair, watercraft/marine craft repairs, car and truck dealerships and related facilities, hardware stores, pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical services, including pharmacies and dispensaries, businesses that supply office products and services, including providing computer products and related repair and maintenance services, for individuals working from home and for essential businesses, and safety supply stores (for e.g. work clothes, personal protective equipment).
Food Services and Accommodations including restaurants and other food facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or takeaway, hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities, including student residences.
Institutional, Residential, Commercial and Industrial Maintenance.
Telecommunications and IT Infrastructure/Service Providers
Transportation, Manufacturing and Production including, Agriculture and food production including safe and effective waste management including deadstock, rendering, nutrient management, bio hazardous materials, green waste, packaging recycling; Construction; Financial activities; Resources including global continuity of supply of mining materials and products, chemicals, forestry industry, critical infrastructure and petroleum.
Utilities and Community Services including waste collection, portable drinking water, electricity generation, Natural Gas distribution, transmission and storage, road construction and maintenance, police, fire, emergency services including coroner services and pathology services, corrections and courts services; government services including licenses and permits, maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure.
Communications Industries including newspaper publishers, radio & Television Broadcasting, and Telecommunications providers;
Research including maintenance research facilities and that provide products and services that support research activities
Health Care and Seniors Care and Social Services including home care services, retirement homes, long-term Care Facilities, independent health facilities, laboratories and specimen collection centres, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, manufacturers, logistics and distributors of products and/or services that support the delivery of health care in all locations including mental health and addictions and counselling supports, selling, rent or repair assistive/mobility/medical devices, aids and/or supplies, provide personal support services, health care professionals providing emergency care including dentists optometrists and physio-therapists, not-for-profit organizations that provide critical personal support services in home and also provide residential services for individuals with physical disabilities (such as the Centre for Independent Living and March of Dimes), services to vulnerable, food banks, violence against women emergency shelters, homeless shelters, community housing, supportive housing, children's aid societies, residential services for adults with developmental disabilities and for children, and custody and detention programs for young persons in conflict with the law.
Justice Sector which includes Professional and social services that support the legal and justice systems.
Other Businesses including rental and leasing services, including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental, mailing, shipping, courier and delivery , services, including post office boxes, laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers, services of lawyers and para-legals, engineers, accountants, translators, services such as funeral, mortician, cremation, transfer, and burial services, land registration services, and real estate agent services and moving services, security services including private security guards, monitoring or surveillance equipment and services, staffing services, including temporary help, support of safe operations of residences and essential businesses; provision for the health and welfare of animals, including veterinarians, farms, boarding kennels, stables, animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, research facilities and other service providers; child care services for essential workers, and home child care services of less than six children; and provision of cheque cashing services.
Business Regulators and Inspectors including organizations such as administrative Authorities, that regulate and inspect businesses.
#TransatAt; #AirTransat; LayOffs; #COVID19PandemicOutbreak
Ottawa, March 23 (Canadian-Media): About 3,600 employees of Transat AT Inc. including all flight crew personnel, about 70 percent, have been temporarily laid off in Canada, some from immediate effect and others with advance notice of up to one month, media reports said.
Air Transat. Image credit: Twitter handle
The decision came with the Canada's border being closed to non-essential international travel which came to a standstill and gradually to many operations are being stopped gradually in order to enable it to repatriate as many of its customers as possible to their home countries.
"We are doing this with great sadness and we hope that everyone will be able to return to work as quickly as possible," Transat chief executive Jean-Marc Eustache said in a statement.
About 40,000, or more than 60 percent of Transat's customers had been returned to Canada by March 22.
Prior to the full suspension of Transat's operation, the final Air Transat flight is scheduled for April 1., the company said.
Members of the board of directors as well as those executives who are not being laid off have accepted voluntary pay cuts, said Transat.
Similar lay off measures are being implemented in the other countries where Transat has employees, said the company.
#AirCanada; #LayOffs; COVID-19Pandemic; #WesleyLesosky
Montreal, Mar 20 (Canadian-Media): It was said by Wesley Lesosky, head of the Air Canada component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), than more than 5,100 employees of Air-Canada, were temporarily being laid off effective immediately, including 3,600 mainline employees and all of Air Canada Rouge’s 1,549 flight attendants, due to COVID-19 pandemic, media reports said.
Air Canada. Image credit: Website
Air Canada said that as the layoffs are temporary, employees will be employed for active duty status when the airline is able to ramp up its network schedule.
Montreal-based company also said Wednesday about its intention of suspending the majority of its international and U.S. flights by March 31.
The airline’s stock which had fallen 76 percent in two months, had again dropped steeply in the past two weeks due to the closing of borders and plunging of flight demand.
#BankOfCanada; #EmergencyInterestRateCut; #COVID-19Pandemic;
Ottawa, Mar 13 (Canada): Due to negative shocks to Canada's economy arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent sharp drop in oil prices, the Bank of Canada, the nation's central bank, resorted to an emergency rate cut by cutting the central bank's benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 0.75 per cent, media reports said.
Bank of Canada. Image credit: Wikipedia
The rates of the central bank had already been cut to 1.25 percent at at the last scheduled meeting on March 4 to help counteract the impact of the coronavirus.
Normally, the interest rate of the bank is set every six weeks, except when the situation calls for it. The last time it was during the financial crisis in 2009.
Doug Porter, chief economist with the Bank of Montreal remarked that he has never seen a rate announcement at two o'clock on a Friday afternoon.
The rates that Canadian savers and borrowers get their savings accounts and mortgages are impacted by the bank's rate.
The Royal Bank of Canada said Friday it expects Canada to go into a recession later this year.
Steps have been taken by the Bank to ensure sufficient liquidity of the Canadian financial system.
Canada's economic and financial conditions are also being closely monitored by the bank, in coordination with other G7 central banks and fiscal authorities.
The next scheduled rate decision by the bank will be made on April 15, when the Central Bank will provide full update of its outlook for the Canadian and global economies including risks to the projection, which would then be published in the Monetary Policy Report (MPR) at the same time.
#HandSanitizers; #InflationInPrice; #CoronavirusSpread; #CleanHands
Toronto, Mar 11 (Canadian-Media): The global spread of coronavirus had left Customers panic-struck by the inflated price of alcohol-based sanitizer to clean one's hands to prevent the coronavirus infection, media reports said.
Cleaning hands with hand sanitizer. Image credit: Original
Customers complained that retailers had been taking advantage of their acute need to buy hand sanitizers sky rocketing the price of the commodity.
While , which enforces the Competition Act confirmed that it has received consumer complaints, but there was no indication it was investigating the issue.
Some customers have started following health experts' advice to use soap as the most effective way to keep hands germ-free.