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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: April 14, 2022

Ford would extend mask mandates if recommended, Ontario “well into sixth wave,” Digital Main Street program renewed, and more.

In this edition:

Ford would extend mask mandates if recommended
Ontario “well into sixth wave”
Digital Main Street program renewed
Municipal candidate info session
Dain City water main project funded
Canadian manufacturing sales up for fifth month
Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness Act passed

Premier Ford would extend mask mandates if recommended by Dr. Moore

Ontario’s premier says he would have “no problem” extending the remaining mask mandates beyond the end of the month, if recommended by the province’s top doctor.

Masking requirements for high-risk settings are due to expire on April 27, but Dr. Kieran Moore, the province’s top doctor, has said he’s considering extending them amid the latest wave of COVID-19 cases.

Click here to read more.

Science table: Ontario “well into sixth wave”

An update on COVID-19 projections by the Science Table of Ontario, published today, finds that Ontario is well into wave 6 of the pandemic, driven by the new, more transmissible BA.2 subvariant, waning immunity, and lifting of public health measures.

There is significant uncertainty around the impact of case growth on our health system and deaths. Wastewater surveillance suggests that community transmission may have peaked. Regardless, modelling indicates that hospital occupancy is likely to continue to rise for some time, with uncertainty in the timing and height of the peak.

COVID-19 infections in healthcare workers are as high as in the last Omicron wave.

Masking in indoor areas will substantially reduce the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 as will improvements to ventilation, the Science Table advises.

Click here to download the report.

Ontario renews Digital Main Street program for businesses

The Ontario government is helping more small businesses online through the renewal of the Digital Main Street program, including Digital Service Squads, which have helped thousands of businesses with one-on-one technology support. In the 2021 Fall Economic Statement, the province committed to an increased investment of $40 million over two years to help Ontario businesses better compete at home and abroad.

The Digital Main Street program offers three resources to small businesses:

  • Digital Service Squads provide one-on-one help and technical training. Small business owners will receive targeted support to get started, grow their digital presence, and grow their business. Applications for this resource are now open
  • ShopHERE supports the creation of online stores via e-commerce platforms
  • Digital Transformation Grants of up to $2,500 to fund the implementation of digital strategies for small businesses. Applications will be open in the coming months

Click here to read more.

Candidate information session for 2022 municipal and school board election

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is hosting a free candidate information session on April 28 in partnership with Niagara’s municipalities for anyone interested in running as a candidate, or becoming a third-party advertiser in the 2022 Municipal and School Board Election.

Click here to read more.

Dain City water main project receives provincial, federal government funding

The City of Welland will enhance water infrastructure in Dain City with a secure water main due to recently-announced funding from the provincial and federal governments.

In total, the project is valued at $4.87 million, with nearly 75 per cent being funded through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Green Stream Stage II.

Click here to read more.

Canadian manufacturing sales up for fifth consecutive month

Manufacturing sales increased 4.2% to $67.7 billion in February on higher sales in 14 of 21 industries, led by the motor vehicle (+25.0%), food (+5.3%), petroleum and coal (+6.7%), and wood (+8.5%) industries. Meanwhile, sales of computer and electronic products decrease the most, down 7.9% to $1.2 billion in February. Total manufacturing sales rose 19.5% on a year-over-year basis in February.

Click here to read more.

Ontario legislature passes Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness Act

Today, the Ontario government passed the Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness Act, 2022, a critical component of the province’s Plan to Stay Open. Among other measures, the legislation bolsters Ontario’s health workforce by recognizing foreign-credentialed workers and giving publicly-funded personal support workers (PSWs) and direct support workers (DSWs) a permanent raise.

Click here to read more.

Reading Recommendations

Worldwide COVID-19 cases surpass 500 million as Omicron subvariant BA.2 surges

CBC News

Global COVID-19 cases surpassed 500 million on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, as the highly contagious BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron surges in many countries in Europe and Asia.

The rise of BA.2 has been blamed for recent surges in China as well as record infections in Europe, while South Korea leads the world in the daily average number of new cases, reporting more than 182,000 new infections a day and accounting for one in every four infections globally, according to a Reuters analysis.

New cases are rising in 20 out of more than 240 countries and territories tracked, including Taiwan, Thailand and Bhutan.

Click here to read more.

Update on Ukraine

Russian disinformation campaign includes doctored images of CAF members on front lines in Ukraine

CTV News

Russia is targeting the Canadian military in its disinformation campaign about the Ukraine war, sharing doctored photos of troops engaged in combat, says the Communications Security Establishment (CSE).

In a series of tweets published on Wednesday, the government agency said the Kremlin is actively supporting efforts to promote non-state pro-Russia voices on social media “that have an influence over millions of viewers.”

As part of these tactics, CSE said, Russia is spreading “false narratives” about Canada’s involvement in the conflict through controlled media outlets designed to look legitimate.

Click here to read more.

Through the Daily Updates, the GNCC aims to deliver important business news in a timely manner. We disseminate all news and information we feel will be important to businesses. Inclusion in the Daily Update is not an endorsement by the GNCC.

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