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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: April 4, 2023

Building permit values rise 8.6%, Ontario to invest additional $202 million in homelessness prevention, and more.

In this edition:

Building permit values rise 8.6%

The total value of building permits in Canada advanced 8.6% to $10.7 billion in February, indicating robust intentions for both the residential (+7.9% to $6.6 billion) and non-residential (+9.8% to $4.2 billion) sectors.

Seven provinces reported monthly increases, with notable gains in Ontario (+10.7%) and Alberta (+25.6%).

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Ontario to invest additional $202 million in homelessness prevention

The Ontario government is investing an additional $202 million annually in homelessness prevention programs to help those experiencing or at risk of homelessness and to support community organizations delivering supportive housing.

This new funding will be provided through the Homelessness Prevention Program and Indigenous Supportive Housing Program.

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Deputy Bank of Canada Governor to step down, will return to academia

The Bank of Canada announced today that Deputy Governor Paul Beaudry will leave the Bank at the end of July 2023. Mr. Beaudry will return to his academic position at the University of British Columbia.

Mr. Beaudry was appointed as a Deputy Governor in February 2019 and assigned as one of two Deputy Governors responsible for overseeing the Bank’s financial system activities. Since December 2020, he has been responsible for overseeing the Bank’s analysis of international economic developments in support of monetary policy decisions.

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Ontario Land Tribunal approves Pelham Comprehensive Zoning bylaw

The Town of Pelham’s new Comprehensive Zoning By-Law, approved in August of 2022, has come into effect following an appeal process.

On August 30, 2022, Council passed the new Comprehensive Zoning By-law, which resulted from a thorough public consultation process and extensive work by Town staff. In late September 2022, the By-law was appealed by a local property owner, and as a result, the Comprehensive Zoning By-law could not come into force while the appeal was pending. The Ontario Land Tribunal approved the order on Monday, April 3, 2023, with the result that the Comprehensive Zoning By-law is deemed to have come into force on August 30, 2022, except as it relates to the owner’s lands that had appealed.

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St. Catharines declares mental health, homelessness, and addiction crisis

The City of St. Catharines has followed the lead of the region and declared a mental health, homelessness, and addiction crisis.

Mayor Mat Siscoe said that “at the end of the day, the City only collects 4 cents of every dollar collected. The other 96 go to other levels of government, so they are the ones that have the capacity. They collect the taxes that could actually help to pay to find the solutions.”

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Community Living Port Colborne-Wainfleet to strike tomorrow

Striking developmental service workers will walk the picket lines in Port Colborne tomorrow.

After more than a year of bargaining between the roughly 100 members in CUPE 2276 and Community Living Port Colborne-Wainfleet (CLPCW), talks broke down last week.

The main outstanding issue is what workers call being “stuck on shift” – coming to the end of a scheduled shift, but being unable to leave for hours or even days because no replacement has arrived.

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Canadians less likely to own a vehicle due to high rate of inflation, shows report

According to the second annual Car Ownership Index from Turo, in partnership with Leger, Canadians are concerned about the monetary pressures of car ownership caused in part by high rates of inflation and an increased cost of living.

The Index is a benchmark study surveying a representative sample of 1,500 Canadians, which analyzes the state of car usage and ownership in Canada.

Financial motivators and economic swings have had a strong influence on consumers’ approaches to car ownership.

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Durward Jones Barkwell & Co. named one of Canada’s Top SME employers

Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLB (DJB) has been named among Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers for the second year in a row. Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers is an editorial competition that recognizes small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that offer the nation’s best workplaces and forward-thinking human resources policies.

Employers are evaluated by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers using the same eight criteria as the national competition: (1) Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement.

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Focus on Finance & Economy

Federal budget 2023: Long-term investments are needed to fix Canada’s infrastructure gap

The federal government’s 2023 budget unveiled investments in infrastructure, with a narrative highlighting resilient and sustainable communities, and pointing to Ottawa’s progress and investments to date.

The budget is focused on building communities through infrastructure, housing, transit and connectivity. Much of this emphasizes investments made since 2015, including $33.5 billion to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, and $35 billion to the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Budget 2023 provides no new major funds for what is considered essential community infrastructure: roads, water, wastewater and other infrastructure assets. Unlike electrification and connectivity — many aspects of Canada’s infrastructure gap remain relegated to low-priority status.

More investment is needed to address critical infrastructure gaps, but these are investments that Canadians may not be ready to make.

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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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