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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: November 25th, 2020

The Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, announced that the Government of Canada is addressing wage gaps in federally regulated workplaces
Information on government grants, resources, and programs, as well as policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here.
The Government of Canada has a support page with summaries of current programs and application portals.

Vital updates:

  • Today, the Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, announced that the Government of Canada is addressing wage gaps in federally regulated workplaces by publishing the final Regulations Amending the Employment Equity Regulations to introduce new pay transparency measures. According to Statistics Canada, female employees aged 25 to 54 earned 88 cents on the dollar compared to men in terms of their average hourly wage in 2019, representing a wage gap of 12.1%. Canada is the first country to make wage gap information for women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities working in federally regulated workplaces publicly available. These new measures apply to federally regulated, private sector employers with 100 or more employees covered by the Employment Equity Act (such as airlines, banks, Crown corporations, port services and shipping lines, radio and television broadcasters, railways, trucking operations that cross provincial or national borders, or telecommunications) and to approximately 428,215 employees who self-identify as a member of a designated group (source: Employment Equity Act: Annual Report 2019). Employers are encouraged to reach out to the Labour Program at 1-800-641-4049 if they need assistance understanding the new reporting requirements.
  • The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, today announced the release of the Future Skills Council’s report, Canada – A Learning Nation: A Skilled, Agile Workforce Ready to Shape the Future. The report identifies five priority areas for building a country that supports ongoing learning, and proposes concrete actions that require participation from all levels of government, private sector, labour, non-profit and Indigenous partners, and educational/training institutions. The five priorities are:
    1. Helping Canadians make informed choices
    2. Equality of opportunity for lifelong learning
    3. Skills development to support Indigenous self-determination
    4. New and innovative approaches to skills development and validation
    5. Skills development for sustainable futures
  • The first administrative review by the U.S. Department of Commerce of U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on certain softwood lumber products from Canada has been met with condemnation by federal and provincial ministers. The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, called the duties “baseless” and remarked that “Canada expects the United States to comply with its WTO and CUSMA obligations.” The Honourable John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Honourable Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued a statement in which they expressed the Government of Ontario’s belief “that any rates of this sort are unfair and unjustified” and that “the rate for all companies should be zero – that’s the meaning of free trade.”
  • The Government of Ontario has issued guidance, based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and input from the Public Health Measures Table, on how to celebrate the 2020 holiday season. No matter where you live in the province, the government states, the safest way to spend the holidays this year is by only celebrating in person with the people you live with and celebrating virtually with everyone else. If you live alone, consider exclusively celebrating with one additional household as a safe way to spend the holidays. Suggested safer activities include virtual holiday gatherings, outdoor holiday activities such as building a snowman, visiting Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus or their elves outdoors and taking photos while two metres apart, watching holiday or other movies with your household, decorating your doors and putting up lights around your home, baking holiday treats with your immediate household, or donating to your favourite holiday charity or toy drive.
  • Due to the resignation of West Lincoln Councillor Christopher Coady, the position for Ward 2 for the remainder of the 2018-2022 term of Council will be filled through the appointment of the third place candidate in the 2018 Municipal Election for Ward 2, Shelley Ann Bradaric.
  • The City of Thorold has cancelled its annual Santa Claus Parade, but is working to deliver alternative safe events including the grand re-opening of Downtown Thorold, a socially distanced scavenger hunt, a mailbox to deposit letters destined to the North Pole, and virtual letter readings from Santa.
  • The West Lincoln Parade Committee has also cancelled this year’s Santa Claus Parade, and will hold a Residential and Business Lighting Décor Contest instead, which is currently underway and is advertised within the community. For more information, please visit the Township of West Lincoln’s website.

Reading recommendations:

Ontario’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was hampered by poor emergency preparedness, inadequate lab capacity and a disorganized public health system, according to a report issued Wednesday by the province’s auditor general, Bonnie Lysyk, which raises concerns that flaws in Ontario’s communication, decision-making and management of positive cases contributed to a wider spread of the virus during the eight months since the pandemic was declared.

Mr Biden must bridge a split in the Democratic Party between run-of-the-mill centrists and tear-it-down millennial socialists. And before she becomes treasury secretary, Ms Yellen must be confirmed by the Senate, which Republicans currently control. That hurdle ruled out candidates such as Elizabeth Warren, a senator from Massachusetts whom many Republicans would never confirm because she is seen as too hostile to free markets and the financial industry.

 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.

Previous updates can be accessed here.

The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.

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