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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: April 20th, 2021

Regional Chair Jim Bradley delivers State of the Region address

Today, Regional Chair Jim Bradley delivered his annual State of the Region speech, and was joined by a panel that included Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Deloitte Senior Economist Alicia Macdonald, Niagara Region Economic Development Director George Spezza, and Metrolinx President & CEO Phil Verster for a discussion moderated by Brock University Community Relations Manager and GNCC Women in Niagara Chair Julie Rorison.

Click here to watch the speech and panel discussion.

Non-essential border crossing restrictions extended

Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety, tweeted that non-essential travel restrictions with the United States have been extended until May 21st, 2021. No additional information was available at the time of writing. The U.S. State Department updated its travel guidance for Canada, now listed as “Level 4: Do Not Travel.”

Nominations open for Regional Chair’s Niagara Impact Awards

​At today’s 2021 State of the Region address, Regional Chair Jim Bradley officially launched the new Niagara Impact Awards to recognize community members who have made a positive impact on life in Niagara.
Throughout the past year, there have been numerous stories of people or organizations in our community who have risen to the unique challenges of the past 13 months. The Niagara Impact Awards highlight those who have risen to the occasion, lending a helping hand in order to make living in Niagara a little better for others.
Residents are encouraged to go online to nominate individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations who have shown a spirit of volunteerism and community.
Nominations will close on May 21. Award recipients will be announced at a Regional Council meeting in June.

St. Catharines seeking input on website redesign project

The City is looking to residents to provide some insight on their experiences when it comes to accessing City services online.

The City is moving forward on a complete redesign of its website, focusing on ease of navigation, accessibility, and the delivery of services in an efficient manner online. Part of that effort will be tailoring the new site to the needs of users. To better understand those needs, and how to serve them, the City is inviting residents to complete a brief online survey. It can be found online at

The survey will remain open until May 3, 2021.

Reading recommendations

Toronto, Peel to close businesses with 5 or more COVID-19 cases linked to the workplace

CBC News

Toronto and Peel Region are issuing orders to force businesses with five or more cases of COVID-19 in the last two weeks to close.

Peel’s top doctor said closures will last 10 days if it is found that those infected “could have reasonably acquired their infection at work” or if “no obvious source” for transmission is identified outside of the workplace.

“Workplaces that remain open continue to be a major driver of COVID-19 cases in Peel, as they have been throughout the course of our emergency response,” Dr. Lawrence Loh, medical officer of health for Peel Region, said in a news release Tuesday morning.

All employees impacted by a closure will need to self-isolate and cannot work anywhere else during that period.

The order will be issued through Section 22 of Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act, which grants local medical officers certain authority when faced with public health crises.

Bank of Canada set to dial back bond buying

Erik Hertzberg, Bloomberg News

The Bank of Canada is poised to pare back its asset purchases amid a stronger-than-expected economic recovery, taking one of the biggest steps yet by a developed country to reduce emergency levels of monetary stimulus.

Governor Tiff Macklem is expected to cut the central bank’s weekly government bond purchases on Wednesday to $3 billion, from the current pace of $4 billion. Officials may also give clues to whether they expect to bring forward their timeline for interest rate hikes, with current guidance pointing to no move before 2023.

The policy decision, due at 10 a.m. in Ottawa, is a pivotal one for the central bank. Its quantitative easing program is too large given the size of Canada’s bond market. Just on technical grounds, it needs to be pared back as the government’s financing requirements drop.

Niagara COVID status tracker (April 4 – April 10)

Niagara’s most up-to-date COVID statistics, measured against the targets for the various stages of the Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework, are presented below. This does not predict government policy, but is offered to give you an idea of where Niagara is situated and how likely a relaxation (or further restrictions) may be. These data are the most recent published by Niagara Region. The Grey-Lockdown level does not have its own metrics, but is triggered when the COVID-specific measurements in a Red-Control region have continued to deteriorate.

▲: Metric has increased since last published measurement

▼: Metric has decreased since last published measurement

 Incidence ratePercent positivityRt
Target: Green<10<0.5%<1
Target: Yellow10-24.90.5-1.2%1
Target: Orange25-39.91.3-2.4%1-1.1
Target: Red≥40≥2.5%≥1.2
Niagara Current180.7 ▼7.9% ▼0.8 ▼


  • Weekly Incidence Rate: the number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people per week
  • Percent Positivity: the number of positive COVID-19 tests as a percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed
  • Rt: the reproductive rate, or the number of people infected by each case of the virus

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker (April 20)

Niagara’s most up-to-date vaccination numbers are presented below, along with comparison data from Ontario, Canada, and G7 countries.

Total doses administered in Niagara: 138,514

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 3,342

 Percentage of population with one dosePercentage of population fully vaccinated
United States46%35%
United Kingdom53%27%

Data are drawn from Niagara Region, the Government of Ontario, and Oxford University’s Our World in Data project.

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here.The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.
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