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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: April 7, 2022

GNCC reacts to release of Budget 2022 and welcomes new hydrogen plant, Ontario passes Working for Workers Act 2, and more.

In this edition:

Government of Canada releases Budget 2022
GNCC reacts to Budget 2022
GNCC welcomes new Atura hydrogen plant in Niagara Falls
Ontario passes Working for Workers Act 2
Niagara Falls 2022 Cultural Development Fund recipients announced
Increase in online shopping moderates pandemic’s impact on retail sales
Canadian Space Agency awards Brock team funding for space health

This update was delayed to include details of the Federal Budget.

Government of Canada releases Budget 2022

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, released Budget 2022: A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable.

Key highlights include:

  • double housing construction over the next decade
  • taxation of property-flipping as business income
  • a tax-free First Home Savings Account for up to $40,000
  • a Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit to provide up to $7,500 in support for constructing a secondary suite
  • create an operationally independent federal innovation and investment agency
  • phase out access to the small business tax rate more gradually, with access to be fully phased out when taxable capital reaches $50 million, rather than at $15 million
  • $450 million over five years to support supply chain projects through the National Trade Corridors Fund
  • $136.3 million over five years to develop industry-driven solutions to use data to make our supply chains more efficient
  • $16.9 million over five years to continue making Canada’s supply chains more competitive by cutting needless red tape
  • a one-time 15-per-cent tax on taxable income above $1 billion for the 2021 tax year for banking and insurers’ groups
  • an increase in the corporate income tax rate by 1.5 percentage points on the taxable income of banking and life insurance groups above $100 million
  • $43.5 million over five years and $8.7 million ongoing to create a new Canada Water Agency
  • $1.7 billion over five years to extend the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles program until March 2025
  • $547.5 million over four years to launch a new purchase incentive program for medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs
  • $2.2 billion over seven years to expand and extend the Low Carbon Economy Fund
  • a refundable investment tax credit for businesses that incur eligible carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) expenses
  • an investment tax credit of up to 30 per cent, focused on net-zero technologies, battery storage solutions, and clean hydrogen
  • up to $30 million over two years to Environment and Climate Change Canada to administer direct payments to support emission-intensive, trade-exposed small and medium-sized enterprises
  • tripling the size of the Agricultural Clean Technology Program
  • $458.5 million for the Canada Greener Homes Loan program
  • $625 million over four years, beginning in 2023-24, for an Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund
  • tax recognition on up to $4,000 per year in eligible travel and temporary relocation expenses to eligible tradespersons and apprentices
  • $4 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, to launch a new Housing Accelerator Fund
  • $6.1 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, for the Canadian Armed Forces
  • $875.2 million over five years for additional measures to address the rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape
  • up to $1 billion in new loan resources to the Ukrainian government through a new Administered Account for Ukraine at the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • 5.3 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, and $1.7 billion ongoing, to provide dental care for Canadians
  • $26.2 million over four years, starting in 2023-24, and $7 million ongoing, to increase the maximum amount of forgivable Canada Student Loans by 50 per cent for healthcare workers

Click here to read more.

GNCC reacts to Budget 2022

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) notes that the Government of Canada, reacting to a booming economic rebound, has opted to re-invest in housing, green energy, and other forward-thinking projects and programs. Much of this is wisely targeted at known economic pain points such as housing and supply chains.

Simultaneously, while the era of extraordinary COVID-19 relief is coming to an end, the last five weeks in Ukraine have shown that peace and security cannot be taken for granted. That being the case, heightened defence spending was inevitable, particularly as Canada currently funds its military at a low rate compared to NATO peers.

The Chamber particularly welcomed the 2022 Canadian budget’s focus on housing, a major policy priority for the GNCC. As rents and costs of living go up, wage pressure increases on employers already stressed by labour shortages, supply chain issues, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, while workers are driven to lower-cost housing markets.

Click here to read more.

GNCC welcomes new Atura hydrogen plant in Niagara Falls

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) is pleased to see the selection of Niagara Falls as the site for Atura Power’s first large-scale hydrogen generation plant. The GNCC has been supportive of this project since August 2021, when it first became aware of the possibility of such a development.

Click here to read more.

Ontario passes Working for Workers Act 2

The Working for Workers Act 2 has been passed by the Ontario legislature, and is now subject to Royal Assent. The Act includes changes to:

  • Establish foundational rights and protections for digital platform workers who provide ride-share, delivery, or courier services
  • Ensuring out-of-province workers can register in their regulated profession or trade within 30 days
  • Mandate larger employers to establish and share policies with their employees on how they are monitoring electronic devices like computers, cell phones and GPS systems
  • Require employers to provide a naloxone kit in workplaces where overdoses are a potential hazard
  • Increase the maximum fines for operators and directors of businesses that fail to provide a safe work environment
  • Expand military reservist leave to cover time spent training and reduce the amount of time they need to hold a job before they have it protected
  • Clarify the treatment of many IT and business consultants under the Employment Standards Act
  • Reduce barriers in the provision of traditional Chinese medicine

Click here to read more.

Niagara Falls 2022 Cultural Development Fund recipients announced

The City of Niagara Falls Cultural Committee has selected twelve new recipients to receive funding from the 2022 Niagara Falls Cultural Development Fund, created in 2016. The cultural initiatives, innovative programs, and projects have been selected based on their high quality community engagement, accessible, cultural, and heritage-related ideas, which celebrate Niagara Falls’ history, people, and identity. The projects will be presented throughout the year at various Niagara Falls locations, in accordance to COVID-19 safety protocols.

Click here to read more.

Increase in online shopping moderates pandemic’s impact on retail sales

In 2020, with the onset of the pandemic, retail sales were impacted, as consumers changed their shopping habits and retailers altered their business practices. Retail customers spent $669.6 billion at Canadian store and non-store retailers in 2020, leading to a slight decline of 0.1% in operating revenue compared with the previous year. The effects on retail sales varied throughout the sector as consumers and businesses dealt with regional lockdowns, labour shortages, plant closures, supply chain disruptions and increased operating costs related to the pandemic.

In 2020, retail e-commerce sales grew by 85.7% after restrictions on in-store shopping pushed more consumers online and retailers adapted their service delivery. E-commerce operating revenue accounted for 7.8% ($52.5 billion) of total store and non-store retail revenue in 2020, up from 4.2% in 2019.

Click here to read more.

Canadian Space Agency awards Brock team funding for space health

On Tuesday, April 5, the Canadian Space Agency announced it had granted Brock University Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Val Fajardo and his team $150,000 to carry out research on preventing space travellers from experiencing muscle loss and weakness, bone fragility and cognitive decline. These issues are known effects of spending extended time in space.

Fajardo’s current project builds on earlier research he and colleagues conducted for NASA which examined tissue samples from mice that had been to the International Space Station.

Click here to read more.

Reading Recommendations

New tax-free home savings account, foreign buyer ban top budget plan to tackle housing affordability

CBC News

The federal government outlined its plans to tackle sky-high housing costs in Thursday’s budget — including a temporary ban on foreign buyers, a crackdown on speculators, a pledge to double the pace of new home construction and a new tax-sheltered way for Canadians to save up to buy a home.

The government is moving ahead with something it floated on the campaign trail last year — a Tax-Free First Home Savings Account. The budget offered some rudimentary details.

Starting next year, Canadians will be entitled to contribute up to $8,000 per year to the accounts, which allow them to save and invest funds to buy a home in the most tax-advantageous way. Currently, Canadians can use anything from a savings account to an RRSP or TFSA to save for their first home, but all come with a certain amount of tax restrictions.

Click here to read more.

Budget 2022 unveils billions in ‘targeted’ new spending, deficit projected at $52.8B

CTV News

In the 2022 federal budget, the government is unveiling tens of billions in new spending over the next five years, aimed at “targeted” initiatives to build the economy, while continuing to chip away at the deficit.

From addressing housing affordability, to shoring up the Canadian military in the face of global instability due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, and making good on progressive policy commitments helping to keep them in power, Thursday’s federal budget from Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland outlines how the federal Liberals propose to steer the Canadian economy through persistent inflation, while moving away from pandemic-era massive stimulus spending.

The budget proposes $9.5 billion in new spending for the 2022-23 fiscal year—with the biggest ticket items focused on housing supply, Indigenous reconciliation, addressing climate change, and national defence—while also set to take in more than $2 billion in revenue-generating efforts.

Click here to read more.

Update on Ukraine

Russia suspended from human rights council after UN general assembly vote

The Guardian

Russia has been suspended from the United Nations’ leading human rights body as its invasion of Ukraine continues to provoke revulsion and outrage around the world.

At a meeting of the UN general assembly on Thursday, 93 members voted in favour of the diplomatic rebuke while 24 were against and 58 abstained.

This met the required threshold of a two-thirds majority of the assembly members that vote yes or no, with abstentions not counting in the calculation.

“War criminals have no place in UN bodies aimed at protecting human rights,” Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, tweeted in response. “Grateful to all member states which … chose the right side of history.”

The US ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, had launched the effort to suspend Russia from the 47-member human rights council with the world still recoiling from images of mass graves and corpses strewn in the streets of Bucha following Russian soldiers’ retreat.

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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