Local & Regional
The Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT) is the voice of business at the City of Mississauga and Region of Peel orders of government.
Peel Public Health has been responding to several COVID cases at indoor locations and advising patrons to seek immediate testing. There has also been cases of the Omicron variant in Peel Region and ongoing concern about COVID impacts on workplaces.
Mandatory Face Covering By-law
The City of Mississauga continues to have an indoor mandatory face covering by-law which lasts until March 31, 2022.
Outdoor Business Operations, Patios & Signs
Mississauga City Council has approved an extension to both the temporary patio and temporary outdoor business programs until December 31, 2023. These program extensions will allow Mississauga restaurants and bars to continue using their patios and other outdoor businesses to use outdoor spaces as they continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
City of Mississauga and Region of Peel Budgets/Taxes for 2022
Both the City of Mississauga and Region of Peel Councils have approved their budgets for 2022 with modest spending increases. The result is a blended property tax rate increase for the industrial/commercial property tax class of 1%.
New Parking Rules in Mississauga
The City of Mississauga has updated in parking regulations for both existing and future developments in an effort to better reflect lower parking requirements. This should allow businesses particularly in Business Improvement Areas to avoid costly payment-in-lieu of parking charges.
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.
Peel 2051 Plan
The Region of Peel is conducting a formal review of its Official Plan to update it and ensure it properly reflects the future growth of the Region and protects important land uses currently in existence.
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
This Plan continues to evolve but at present is permitting most business in the Province to be fully open with some sectors still having indoor capacity and gathering limits. The phased and cautious approach to Ontario’s safe reopening includes ongoing monitoring and assessment of key public health and health care indicators. While Ontario’s hospital and intensive care capacity remains stable and the province continues to report one of the lowest rates of active cases in the country, certain public health trends, including the effective reproduction number and percent positivity may increase therefore requiring further action.
Proof of Vaccination Program in Ontario
As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians must be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID or use the QR code 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.
Ontario Minimum Wage Goes to $15.00 on January 1, 2022
As part of the 2021 Fall Economic Statement, the Ontario government announced it would raise the general minimum wage from $14.35 to $15.00 per hour effective January 1, 2022. Under the proposed changes, the special minimum wage rate for liquor servers has been eliminated and they are now entitled to the general minimum wage. Students under 18, homeworkers and hunting, fishing and wilderness guides would also see an increase in their special minimum wage rates.
New Business Registry Coming to Ontario
Ontario has launched a new Ontario Business Registry 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 can now complete over 90 transactions through the new online registry, including registering a new business and dissolving an existing one. Ontario businesses and not-for-profit corporations can consult www.ontario.ca/BusinessRegistry for more information about the new system.
Working for Workers Act
This Act is now in force and effect and mandates the following in Ontario workplaces.
- Employers that employ 25 or more employees on January 1 of any year must have a written policy on disconnecting from work in place by March 1 of that year and provide a copy of that policy to employees
- Employers are prohibited (with some exceptions), from entering into a non-compete agreement with an employee
- Will license temporary help agencies and recruiters
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.
On September 20, 2021, Canadians voted for their Members of Parliament. The result of the election returned a Liberal Minority Government to Ottawa and Prime Minister Trudeau has named a new Cabinet and Parliamentary Secretaries. The new Government continues to operate in much the same fashion as the previous one and requires the support of at least one Opposition Party in order to pass legislation.
The City of Mississauga elected six Liberal MPs to serve in the 44th Parliament. The local representatives are:
The Hon. Omar Alghabra, MP, Mississauga Centre
Peter Fonseca, MP, Mississauga East-Cooksville
Sven Spengemann, MP, Mississauga-Lakeshore
Iqra Khalid, MP, Mississauga-Erin Mills
Rechie Valdez, MP, Mississauga-Streetsville
Iqwinder Gaheer, MP, Mississauga-Malton
Speech from the Throne
With the opening of any new Parliament, the Governor General presents the Speech from the Throne. This lays out the Government’s plans and priorities for the session of Parliament. The Government states that focusing on pandemic recovery both economically and through public health measures, climate change and the environment, safe communities, diversity and inclusion, indigenous reconciliation and a secure, just and equitable world are their main priorities.
COVID Financial Assistance Program
The Government of Canada passed Bil C-2 to bring forward new COVID financial support for businesses and individuals. The bill made changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Canada Recovery Hiring Program and extended the benefits to at least May 7, 2022. The changes are designed however to only apply to the “hardest hit” sectors of the economy and not be a broad program across the country.
Like all Government programs, the devil is always in the detail to determine the eligibility requirements. Best to consult the Government of Canada’s website at www.canada.ca.