Mississauga and Region of Peel Governments
The Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT) is the voice of business at the City of Mississauga and Region of Peel orders of government.
Both the City of Mississauga and Region of Peel governments have established support programs and services for business because of the COVID19 pandemic.
The City of Mississauga, predominantly through the Mississauga Economic Development Office, has a dedicated portal for business support. Their programs include promotion of the Digital Main Street program, development of economic recovery plans in various sectors of the economy, health, safety and re-openings measures and sector specific resources to assist in business re-openings.
Mississauga By-law Enforcement continues active inspections of businesses and workplaces and although they are adopting a public education approach first, fines are being laid when deemed appropriate. Most offences continue to be community gatherings although workplace outbreaks of COVID have been reported in businesses like manufacturing and warehouse operations.
The Region of Peel, which has specific responsibility for public health, has the responsibility for acting on public health directives established by the Province of Ontario.
Peel Public Health has been the main operator and coordinator of Mass Vaccinations Clinics throughout the Region and more than 75% of Peel’s adult population 12+ are now fully vaccinated. It has also participated in supporting several workplace vaccination sites which MBOT advocated for to ensure workers can get easy access to vaccines.
On June 3, 2021, Peel Public Health issued and updated Class Order under Section 22 under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to help enforce COVID-19 requirements within workplaces.
Under the Order, workplaces must send home anyone who has COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, is awaiting their COVID-19 test results, or is a close contact of someone with COVID-19. These people must self-isolate.
Workplaces must implement measures outlined through Ontario regulation, the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario, and sector-specific guidance documents such as screening, physical distancing, limiting non-essential visitors etc.
If 2 or more cases of COVID-19 are identified in connection with a workplace premises within a period of 14 days, the workplace must appropriately report the positive cases and gather information about close contacts in the workplace.
Workplaces are required to implement any necessary interventions as directed by Peel Public Health during outbreak investigations, including closure.
Workplaces that fail to comply with the Order may be liable for a fine of up to $5,000 and a corporation may be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more than $25,000, each for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.
Mandatory Face Covering By-law
The City of Mississauga continues to have an indoor mandatory face covering by-law which lasts until September 30, 2021. Recently the Medical Officer of Health for Peel wrote to the three municipalities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon requesting the by-law be extended until March 31, 2022. It is likely that Mississauga City Council will extend the face covering by-law until at least the end of 2021.
Outdoor Business Operations, Patios & Signs
The City of Mississauga has approved outdoor business sales and temporary patios until December 31, 2021 for those businesses requiring them. Portable signs and sidewalk signs are also permitted to promote businesses until December 31, 2021.
Business Licensing Fees
Mississauga City Council has approved fee reductions in 2021 for business hardest hit by the COVID pandemic. MBOT had advocated for the fees to be fully waived in 2021 given the significant economic impact to these businesses.
Business licences renewal fees will be reduced by 50% for 2021 with a cap of $300 for:
Personal Services, Body Rub Parlours, Adult Entertainment, Driving School Services, Restaurants and Related Food Service and renewal fees will be reduced by 25% with a cap of $300 for: Taxi, Limousine and Airport Transportations Services
And Tow Truck Services.
Peel Public Health Directive for Business
Peel Public Health has issued a strong recommendation that all employers in Peel review and update their COVID-19 workplace safety plans, which are required under the Reopening Ontario Act, to:
- Consider the promotion of COVID-19 vaccination to workers,
- Outline actions for unvaccinated workers, as necessary and
- Speak to identifying workers’ vaccination status for outbreak prevention and control.
Workplace safety policies should also include:
- An assessment of risk of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace and whether vaccination may be necessary based on identified risk.
- Measures that workers must take, where the need for vaccination is identified, including requiring:
- Proof of a complete vaccination series approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization; or
- If unvaccinated, written proof of a medical reason, from either a physician or nurse practitioner, that also includes whether the reason is permanent or time limited.
- Measures that the business will employ to protect the privacy of employees if using employee vaccination status to take actions to mitigate COVID-19 risk.
- Specific measures that the business may implement during an outbreak in the workplace, which may depend on vaccination status.
- Specific plans for additional infection prevention and control measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission for unvaccinated workers. These may include COVID-19 testing, strict adherence to and enforcement of masks/personal protective equipment, physical distancing, and appropriate ventilation.
MBOT works very closely with our partners at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) on issues with the Ontario Government. Our Committees work hard looking at resolutions, policy documents, government announcements on consultations to ensure the voice of Mississauga businesses is advanced on provincial issues. Members of MBOT are automatic members of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
For more information on the OCC, please visit www.occ.ca.
Ontario’s Roadmap to Re-open
The Government of Ontario has announced the Roadmap to Re-Open which is a Three Step Process to gradually re-opening businesses and activities throughout the Province. The new program came into effect after the Stay-at-Home Order expired on June 2, 2021.
Ontario is to remain in Step 3 of the Re-opening indefinitely as the Government continues to monitor COVID19 cases and hospitalization in the hopes of avoiding another lockdown.
Step 3 Openings
Vaccination rate plus key public health and health care indicators
Adults with one dose
25% Fully vaccinated
Permit with restrictions
Additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place
- Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events for up to 100 people
- Indoor social gatherings and organized public events for up to 25 people
- Indoor dining with no limits to the number of patrons per table
- Retail with capacity limited to ensure physical distancing
- Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremony gatherings with physical distancing
- Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities with capacity limits
- Personal care services with capacity limited to ensure physical distancing
- Museums, casinos, and bingo halls with capacity limits
- Cinemas, concert, theatres, and other performing arts venues with capacity limits
Proof of Vaccination Program in Ontario
As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities. This approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn and includes:
- Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout);
- Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment);
- Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
- Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport;
- Sporting events;
- Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
- Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
- Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;
- Racing venues (e.g., horse racing).
These mandatory requirements do not apply to outdoor settings where the risk of transmission is lower, including patios, with the exception of outdoor nightclub spaces given the risk associated with the setting. In addition, these requirements will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores, medical supplies and the like. Aligned with public health measures currently in place, indoor masking policies will continue to remain in place.
Worker Income Protection Benefit
The Ontario Government created a program to allow for workers to take up to three paid sick days during the COVID pandemic which would be re-imbursed to the employer through the WSIB. The program has been extended until December 31, 2021, for qualifying employers and employees. To participate in the program, go to Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit | Ontario.ca.
New Business Registry Coming to Ontario
Ontario is launching a new Ontario Business Registry on October 19, 2021, making it easier, simpler, and more affordable for millions of businesses and not-for-profit corporations to interact with the government. The new online registry will replace outdated technology, providing people across the province with direct access to government services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the first time ever.
Businesses will now be able to complete over 90 transactions through the new online registry, including registering a new business and dissolving an existing one. Registrations or filings that were previously submitted by mail or fax, taking four to six weeks to complete, can now be done instantly through the online registry. When online transactions are completed, users will receive automatic email notices with electronic attachments instead of paper documents. The migration of annual return filings that were previously completed through the Canada Revenue Agency will be available through the Ontario Business Registry, allowing businesses to keep all their important filings in one place. Ontario businesses and not-for-profit corporations can consult www.ontario.ca/BusinessRegistry for more information about the new system.
MBOT members are also members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) which is the national voice of business to the federal government. MBOT staff and Committees examine issues and resolutions of the CCC and provide Mississauga’s input. More information on the CCC is at www.chamber.ca.
COVID19 Federal Response
The Government of Canada has established and renewed several support programs for both businesses and workers to provide financial assistance. The programs most relevant to business are detailed below. Access to the programs is available at www.canada.ca.
Canada Recovery Hiring Program
This program provides a subsidy of up to 50% of eligible salary or wages. It would be available to eligible employers who have experienced qualifying revenue declines so they can hire more workers, increase workers’ hours, or increase wages. This support affords businesses with certainty that they can take on the extra costs needed to rehire and be ready to return to growth.
The Hiring Program is designed to interact with the Wage Subsidy. The programs overlap so that, as Wage Subsidy rates gradually decline, eligible employers would still be able to receive the maximum support from the Hiring Program this summer if they hire more workers or increase workers’ hours or wages. This will make it easy for businesses to quickly hire new workers and do so at a pace that works best for them, as different jurisdictions reopen their economies at different paces.
This program is available until November 20, 2021.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
The CEWS is a program designed to cover up to 75% of wages for employees to a maximum of $847 per week and has now been extended to October 23, 2021. However, the amount of the subsidy will continue to decrease until the program is ended.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
The CERS is a tenant-driven rent supplement program that has also been extended until October 23, 2021. The new program provides up to 65% of rent eligible expenses and another 25% for businesses in lockdown regions but will also decline in support until the program expires.
Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program
This is a program designed for the hardest hit businesses, including those in sectors like tourism, hospitality, hotels, arts, and entertainment. This stream will provide 100% government guaranteed financing for heavily impacted businesses and provide low-interest loans of up to $1 million over extended terms of up to ten years. It has been extended until December 31, 2021.