IVSA News & Covid-19 updates: March 24, 2020. Issue #5

IN THIS ISSUE #5: (Issued March 24th, 2020)
Important information included in today's email:
COVID-19:
Newslinks, Wholesale & Retail Liquor, Liquor industry updates, Employer and business support, Federal and Provincial government resources

BCLDB Wholesale: Intermittent delays to product orders
LCRB Special Event Permits cancelled for all events
Two Significant Changes to the Employment Standards Act 
BDO Canada: Cash Flow Strategies and Government Incentives in the time of COVID-19 - FREE WEBINAR
Ontario and Quebec order closure of all non-essential businesses

  

BCLDB Wholesale: Intermittent delays to product orders:

Wholesale Operations is working hard to respond to the challenges presented by the evolving situation with COVID-19.
We are focused on protecting our supply chain and supporting our industry partners.
Due to unprecedented demand, the current strain on labour resources, and the constraints on logistics,
  we are unable to meet our standard delivery service levels.
 As a result, many of our Wholesale customers will experience delays in-order delivery.  
Wholesale Operations is committed to remaining open for business to ensure the best outcomes for your operations,
  and thanks to you for your continued patience as we navigate this rapidly changing situation.

LCRB Special Event Permits cancelled for all events
 In light of the ongoing public health orders, the LCRB is cancelling special event permits for all events, effective immediately. 

 


 Update: Ontario and Quebec order closure of all non-essential businesses
Quebec and Ontario both ordered the closure of all non-essential workplaces. The closures are set to begin at 11:59 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 24th. 
 Ontario has now made available a list of all essential services that will remain open during the closure. 
 
Included in Ontario's list of essential services: 

Beer, wine and liquor stores and alcohol producers, and stores that sell beer and wine through arrangements with authorized providers; cannabis stores and cannabis producers
Restaurants and other food facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or takeaway, together with food delivery services
Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities, including student residences
Businesses that farm, harvest, process, manufacture, produce or distribute food, including beverages, crops, animal products and by-products, aquaculture, hunting and fishing

Liquor and cannabis stores will also remain open in Quebec during the closure of non-essential businesses.


 
The IVSA is doing everything it can to keep liquor stores and other liquor licensees open
if the BC government orders the closure of all non-essential businesses. 
We are contacting the Attorney General and offices of the Premier and Prime Minister to request that the following businesses be deemed essential:
   liquor stores, cannabis retailers, rural agency stores, on-premise facilities (operating following the Provincial Health Officer's order),
and liquor manufacturers (many of whom are currently producing free hand sanitizer).


 
The BC government has made clear so far that they do not plan to close liquor stores. Yesterday, Premier Horgan stated BC currently has no plans 
  to implement a provincial shutdown of services. 
We are also encouraged by the actions in Ontario and Quebec and continue to engage with government on a regular basis regarding this matter.
  
Two Significant Changes to the Employment Standards Act 
 Yesterday, the Province of BC announced it has made two significant changes to the Employment Standards Act 
"to better support workers both during the COVID-19 public health emergency and in the long term."
 
Change No. 1: allow workers to immediately take unpaid, job-protected  leave if they are unable to work for reasons relating to COVID-19.
This means workers who are ill, need to self-isolate, need to care for their child or other dependent, or whose employer is concerned that the employee
  may expose others to risk, will be able to take leave without putting their job at risk.
The leave will be retroactive to January 27, 2020, the date that the first presumptive COVID-19 case was confirmed in B.C.
During this public health emergency, people can take this job-protected leave for as long as the circumstance that requires them to be away from work applies.  
 As with other job leaves, workers may need to give reasonable evidence of eligibility if their employer requests it, but a doctor's note will not be required.
 
Change No. 2: provide up to three days of unpaid, job-protected leave each year for people who cannot work due to illness or injury.
This is a permanent change to the act that brings BC in line with all other provinces in Canada.
 While on job-protected leave related to the COVID-19 crisis, workers may also be eligible for financial support
  through expanded Employment Insurance benefits through the federal government.
To qualify, people must have worked for their employer for at least 90 days. As with other job leaves,
  workers may need to give reasonable evidence of eligibility if their employer requests it, including a doctor's note.
 


BDO Canada: Cash Flow Strategies and Government Incentives in the time of COVID-19
 Our associate member BDO Canada is hosting a free webinar on Thurs, March 26, from 12:30 - 1:30 pm ET (9:30-10;30am PST
        about cash flow strategies and government incentives. 
This webinar offers immediate steps you can take to manage your cash flow during this challenging time.
Focusing on tax measures and government programs, it is designed to help you uncover the liquidity options hidden in your business.
 
You will learn:  
·         How to choose the right government programs to support your business
·         How to lower your income tax installments
  
I hope this information helps during these times.
 
Ted Latimer
Executive Director 
IVSA Import Vintners & Spirits Association