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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: April 26th, 2021

Minister Fortier holds post-budget event with GNCC

Today, the Honourable Mona Forter, Associate Minister of Finance, held a post-budget brief and Q&A session with Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce members, joined by local Members of Parliament Vance Badawey and Chris Bittle. The event can be viewed below.

Larger businesses in Canada more likely to be innovative

Larger businesses (250 or more employees) were more likely to be innovative (85.8%) than businesses with fewer employees, Statistics Canada found, with 79.0% of businesses with fewer than 100 employees being innovative in the 2017-to-2019 reference period. Ontario had the highest share of innovative businesses (83.1%), followed by the “rest of Canada” category (which includes Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut) at 79.4%.

Businesses are considered innovative if they introduce or bring into use new or improved goods, services or business processes that differed significantly from their previous, goods, services or business processes.

Click here to read more.

Flags lowered in memory of former MP and Mayor of Welland, Allan Pietz

Flags will be flown at half-mast at all Welland facilities on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 in memoriam of former MP and Mayor of Welland Allan Pietz who passed away on April 23, 2021.

Mr. Pietz served as Welland’s mayor from 1965 to 1978 and as a Conservative Member of Parliament from 1984 to 1988. He finished his political career as a regional councillor representing Welland. Prior to his illustrious career in politics, Mr. Pietz was well-known in the community as the owner/operator of Sunnyside Dairy.

Reading Recommendations

Ontario requests help from military to deal with critical COVID cases

CBC News

Ontario has made a formal request to the Canadian Armed Forces to help deal with a surge in critical care cases associated with COVID-19’s third wave, just days after it rebuffed an offer by the federal government to send in extra personnel.

EU starts legal action against AstraZeneca over vaccine shortfalls

Daniel Boffey, The Guardian

AstraZeneca said it would “strongly defend itself in court” and highlighted its supply of 50m Covid vaccine doses to European countries as Brussels launched legal action against the pharmaceutical company over delivery shortfalls.

The Anglo-Swedish firm said it regretted the decision by the European commission to start a legal case over alleged breaches of an advance purchase agreement.

AstraZeneca was able to deliver only about a quarter of the expected 120m doses in the first quarter of this year because of production problems at a plant in Belgium, leading to angry accusations from Brussels.

Frustration builds at border as Canada goes slow on reopening

Sandrine Rastello, Bloomberg News

Canada’s land border with the U.S., the world’s longest, has been shut to many foreign travelers for more than 13 months. Non-essential workers entering the country are required to quarantine for two weeks. The rules have blocked tourists, kept families apart, prevented students from visiting college campuses and hurt trade-dependent manufacturers.

But new variants of COVID-19 still arrive and a third wave has raged across parts of Canada. Trudeau finds himself squeezed between two groups. On one side are critics including doctors and the premiers of Ontario and Quebec, who say loopholes in its travel rules and weak controls at airports have made the situation worse. On the other are businesses calling for the prime minister to loosen restrictions, or at least outline a plan for doing so.

Apple is changing how digital ads work. Are advertisers prepared?

Julian Runge, Eric Seufert, Harvard Business Review

Apple is turning the privacy settings of its mobile ecosystem upside down. When it releases its app tracking transparency (ATT) framework with iOS 14.5 on April 26, it will shut off a stream of data that app developers, measurement companies, and advertisers have used to link users’ behavior across apps and mobile websites — a move that could reshape the digital advertising industry. With the update, the “identifier for advertisers” (IDFA), which has been activated by default on Apple devices and provides access to user-level data to app publishers, will be switched off and users will need to grant apps explicit permission to access it. With in-app prompts asking users, “Allow [app name] to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?” opt-in rates will likely be low.

Niagara COVID status tracker (April 11 – April 17)

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.

The Province of Ontario is currently under a stay-at-home order. The COVID-19 Response Framework does not apply during this order. Click here to review the restrictions currently in place.

▲: Metric has increased since last published measurement

▼: Metric has decreased since last published measurement

— : Metric has not changed since last published measurement

December 18December 25January 1January 8January 15January 22January 29
Reproductive number1.
New cases per 100,000101.2267.3469.8575.8507.1295.5250.6
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)60.7178.7311.7376.9325.4182.7145.7
Percent of hospital beds occupied97%95.2%98.2%103.2%104.5%103.6%106%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied78.8%77.3%87.9%87.9%90.9%89.4%93.9%
Percentage of positive tests6.1%15.6%28.1%28.6%26.6%21.2%16.2%


  • 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 26)

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: 162,988

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 2,578

Percentage of population with one dosePercentage of population fully vaccinated
United States75%64%
United Kingdom78%72%

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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