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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: April 18, 2023

In this edition:

Inflation rate falls to lowest since August 2021

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4.3% year over year in March, following a 5.2% increase in February. This was the smallest increase since August 2021 (+4.1%). On a year-over-year basis, Canadians paid more in mortgage interest costs, which was offset by a decline in energy prices.

As a result of the steep monthly increase in prices in March 2022 (+1.4%), base-year effects, notably gasoline prices, continued to have a strong downward impact on consumer inflation, contributing to the year-over-year deceleration in March 2023.

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BDC launches $150M sustainability venture fund to help net-zero transition

On Apr. 18, BDC announced the creation of its new $150-million Sustainability Venture Fund dedicated to investing in businesses developing technologies that will support Canada and the world to meet sustainability and climate targets.

The Fund is a key component of BDC’s commitment to sustainability and part of its contribution to help advance Canada’s 2050 net-zero ambition. It will invest in technologies in line with four key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) leveraging Canada’s strengths and areas of opportunity: sustainable communities and cities, responsible production and consumption, climate action as well as clean and affordable energy.

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Here’s where to expect picket lines in the event of a PSAC strike

The Public Service Alliance of Canada has set a deadline of 9 p.m. ET Tuesday to reach a deal with the federal government or else a nationwide strike will begin at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

The union representing 155,000 workers has released its list of locations where workers will be picketing in the event a deal isn’t reached by the Tuesday night deadline.

The list online includes hundreds of locations across Canada. They include federal government buildings, Service Canada locations, and the offices of MPs. The site includes links to RSVP for a picket line, and the time a picket is supposed to begin.

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Brock project to remember historic Black community in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Through a collaborative Brock project, work is underway to share the lived experiences and community contributions of African descendants in Niagara-on-the-Lake and across the Niagara region.

Brock University Professor Lissa Paul, artist Quentin VerCetty and PhD candidate Hyacinth Campbell have been working to memorialize those buried in Niagara-on-the-Lake’s historic Niagara Baptist Church Burial Ground, formerly known as the Negro Burial Ground and to restore the memory of Niagara’s African diaspora community to the landscape.

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Weston to step back from day to day operations at Loblaw as company announces new CEO

Galen Weston is stepping back from day-to-day operations of Loblaw Companies Ltd. in a senior leadership shuffle that will see a European retail executive take over as president and CEO. Per Bank, the chief executive of Denmark’s leading grocery retailer, Salling Group A/S, will join the company in early 2024.

The hiring will see Weston step aside from the president role, which he took on in 2021 when Sarah Davis retired from the job. He will remain Chairman of Loblaw, and Chairman and CEO of holding company George Weston Ltd.

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Residential builders object to rushing new green building construction standards

The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) is concerned that the provincial government is rushing to implement new green building standards related to building construction at the same time it is proposing to build 1.5 million new homes by 2031.

“The residential construction industry, its builders, designers and manufacturers have a lot on their plates just now due to higher interest rates and a perfect storm of issues and it would be unfair to expect them to adapt on short notice to significant changes to green building standards that are above the minimum requirements in the Ontario Building Code (OBC),” says RESCON president Richard Lyall. “We are all for improvements but they need to be incremental so the industry can get it right and we can continue to build the houses and condos that are necessary to meet demand.”

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Focus on Finance & Economy

Affordability issues in Canada’s housing market could impact consumer spending: Economist

One chief economist said the lack of affordability in Canada’s housing market could potentially weigh on future consumer spending as households allocate more of their income to shelter.

Charles St. Arnaud, the chief economist at Alberta Central and a former economist at the Bank of Canada, said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg Monday that over the next few years, there will likely be increased pressure on housing prices. St. Arnaud said mounting pressure will also impact the rental market and stems from weak housing starts coupled with strong immigration.

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‘Good time to be adding’: TD stock gets analyst upgrade

Despite recently being crowned the world’s most shorted bank, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) got a rating upgrade from analysts at CIBC Capital Markets.

Analyst Paul Holden upgraded Canada’s second-largest lender to outperform, from neutral, in a note to clients on Monday, partly driven by better-than-expected earnings from Charles Schwab and the underperformance of TD Bank’s stock relative to its peers.

Although Holden trimmed his 12-month price target to $97 per share from $100, he still says “this is a good time to be adding to TD.”

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Did you know?

In September 2000, Blockbuster Inc. turned down an offer to buy a startup named Netflix for $50 million.

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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