The Ontario government is cancelling all in-vehicle road tests in regions in the Grey (Lockdown) level, effective November 23, 2020. This currently applies to all road tests in the City of Toronto and Peel Region, including the Brampton, Downsview, Etobicoke, Metro East, Mississauga and Port Union DriveTest centres. This action is being taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Road test cancellations will be without penalty and Toronto or Peel Region residents may not book a road test at a DriveTest centre in another region. The government has directed its driver testing services provider, DriveTest, to restrict residents in these regions from being able to take a road test at another DriveTest centre in a region with a lower COVID-19 level, effective November 30. If people living in a region in the Grey (Lockdown) level have booked a road test in a different region, it will need to be cancelled.
DriveTest centres in the Grey (Lockdown) level will be open for indoor services, such as knowledge tests, with capacity limits and COVID-19 preventative measures in place. DriveTest clients impacted by cancelled tests will receive a credit on the system and may rebook their tests when their region moves to a lower COVID-19 level.
The Ontario government is helping local restaurants by introducing new legislation that would protect them from high delivery fees. The Supporting Local Restaurants Act, 2020, would cap fees charged by food delivery companies in areas where indoor dining is prohibited to help more small and independent restaurants stay in business.
Currently, fees placed on restaurants by food delivery companies can reach as high as 30% in Ontario. After working with the sector, Minister Sarkaria said restaurants should expect a cap of 15% for delivery fees, similar to what has been put in place in New York City, with an overall cap of 20% inclusive of all fees. This approach aims to ensure that delivery drivers’ pay would be protected and delivery apps would not reduce service areas or restaurant selection.
If passed, the legislation the government intends to introduce today by Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, and the regulation under it would:
- Cap the rates charged by food delivery service companies and apps in areas where indoor dining is prohibited.
- Permit fines of up to $10 million to food delivery service companies that do not comply with the law.
- Provide food delivery service company employees or contractors who perform delivery services with protection that their compensation will not be affected by these changes.
To provide additional relief to local restaurants and other businesses required to close or significantly restrict services in areas categorized as Control or Lockdown, Ontario has announced $600 million to help with them fixed costs, including property taxes, hydro and natural gas bills. The government is also supporting small businesses and restaurants through its Main Street Recovery Plan by:
- Committing to permanently allow licensed restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order before the existing regulation expires;
- Offering the $60-million Main Street Relief Grantthat provides up to $1,000 to help eligible small businesses with the cost of PPE;
- Permanently allowing delivery companies to provide deliveries 24/7, providing needed flexibility;
- Helping nearly 23,000 small businesses grow online with $2,500 grants through Digital Main Street; and
- Offering free financial advice and online trainingto help small businesses make informed decisions and navigate the unprecedented economic circumstances brought on by the pandemic.