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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: August 27th, 2020

The Ontario Government is investing $43 million in expanded youth training programs to give young people exposure to more employment options.
Information on government grants, resources, and programs, and how to apply for them, is available here.
The Government of Canada has a support page with summaries of current programs and application portals.

Vital updates:

  • The Ontario Government is investing $43 million in expanded youth training programs to give young people exposure to more employment options. The programs will help increase awareness and encourage youth to acquire the skills that will start them down the path to lifelong success while supporting Ontario’s economic recovery and future prosperity. The government’s investments to attract and train youth in the skilled trades include:
    • $5 million, an increase of $3.5 million, to Skills Ontario so they can increase awareness of the trades among elementary and secondary students.
    • $17 million, an increase of $2.3 million, in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) to send representatives to schools to provide high school students with the opportunity to learn about work in the skilled trades, and/or train as apprentices while completing their Ontario Secondary School Diploma
    • $21 million in Ontario’s Pre-Apprenticeship Training program, giving students and graduates exposure to a variety of good jobs in the skilled trades. The program is free for participants and includes a work placement.
  • In addition, Ontario is appointing three Youth Advisors to engage with youth, educators, business, parents and other key partners as well as the Minister of Labour Training and Skills Development on how to reduce stigma and make the trades a viable first choice for young people. They will advise on increasing awareness of the skilled trades among elementary school students, starting in grade one, with a focus on grades seven and eight, and on making it easier for high school students to learn about the options in the trades and to begin an apprenticeship pathway while continuing to earn secondary school credits.
  • The Governments of Canada and Ontario are providing more than $5.4 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help food processing businesses improve food safety, increase labour productivity and enable better access markets. These strategic investments will support more than 75 projects across Ontario and strengthen the province’s crucial agri-food supply chain. A list of approved projects is available here.  The Partnership is also investing in programs this year at provincially inspected dairy processors and provincially licensed meat processors to support food safety enhancement projects. These are in addition to new programming launched this year, like the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program, to assist the sector in protecting its workers from the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Elections Canada has announced new administrative changes to the way that Canadian elections will be run during the COVID-19 pandemic, including physical distancing measures, masks, and single-use pencils at polling stations, increasing the capacity of the vote-by-mail system, and removing Vote on Campus options. Elections Canada will also recommend that Parliament adopt further changes, including opening polling for two weekend days instead of one weekday. Internet voting was not considered on the grounds that there was not sufficient time to design, test, and implement a system offering satisfactory confidentiality, secrecy, reliability and integrity.

Reading recommendations:


If you are showing symptoms, contact your health care provider, call the Public Health Info-Line at 905-688-8248, or chat to Public Health online. For testing, call 905-378-4647 ext. 42819 (4-CV19) for information on test centres in Niagara and to book an appointment.

Remember that a COVID-19 test is only a snapshot of your health on the specific date and time the swab was taken. No testing is perfect and a negative result doesn’t mean you haven’t been exposed to COVID-19. You can still develop symptoms days after your test was taken.

It is important that everyone practice physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Maintain a 2-metre distance from other people. When maintaining distance is impossible, wear a mask or face covering. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid touching the face. If you have recently traveled outside the country, you are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Previous updates can be accessed here.

Stay safe and be vigilant. The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.