In this edition:
- Staples acquires longtime Niagara business Beatties
- Economic investment in Niagara unprecedented: analyst
- Niagara Falls will be part of this year’s Grey Cup festivities
- Additional Niagara-on-the-Lake bylaw officer proposed for 2024 to ‘stay on top of’ short-term rentals
- Wholesale trade dips following May uptick
- Ontario college faculty get salary boost after Bill 124 struck down
- Feds stick by immigration plan despite housing supply concerns
- New government regulations don’t ‘help us build now’: Electricity Canada
- Reading Recommendations: Climate
Staples acquires longtime Niagara business Beatties
One of the region’s oldest companies has been sold to a major player in the Canadian office supplies retail sector.
Staples Professional, the business-to-business arm of Staples Canada, has purchased Beatties, which has stores in St. Catharines and Fort Erie, a sales office and showroom in Burlington and a sales office in Toronto. In announcing the purchase, Staples said Beattie Stationery Ltd. will continue to operate independently under its current president and leadership team. The Beatties banner, website and 1-800 number will remain unchanged.
Economic investment in Niagara unprecedented: analyst
In the nearly 20 years he has worked in economic development, Blake Landry says he has “never seen this level of economic activity in Niagara.”
“It’s very positive,” said Niagara Economic Development’s economic research and analysis manager. “There is a lot of renewed interest in tourism and tourism investment.”
But while a report released Monday by the Conference Board of Canada (CBoC) predicts Niagara will likely avoid a major economic recession, in part due to its “robust” tourism industry, Landry suspects prospects may be more favourable than the report indicates.
Niagara Falls will be part of this year’s Grey Cup festivities
Niagara Falls has been welcomed in to the Grey Cup celebrations this fall.
It was announced Tuesday that while Hamilton will host the Canadian Football League championship game Nov. 19, Niagara Falls will host the CFL Awards Nov. 16 at Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort.
During his mayor’s announcements at Tuesday’s city council meeting, Jim Diodati said he had just attended the announcement in Hamilton, describing Niagara Falls’ participation in the 110th Grey Cup week as “exciting.”
Photo credit: Rebecca Bollwitt
Additional Niagara-on-the-Lake bylaw officer proposed for 2024 to ‘stay on top of’ short-term rentals
Budget talks are set to start in a month, and the subject of enforcing the town’s bylaws will be on the docket.
Niagara-on-the-Lake council will be reviewing budget proposals in September and Coun. Maria Mavridis is looking to make sure that an additional bylaw officer is part of the discussion.
One reason Mavridis gave for her advocacy of additional bylaw enforcement was because of the town’s ongoing issue with short-term rentals.
At a council meeting on July 25, Mavridis pointed out that the town only has one bylaw officer to manage and respond to complaints about short-term rentals and would benefit from a second officer.
Wholesale trade dips following May uptick
Wholesale sales (excluding petroleum, petroleum products, and other hydrocarbons and excluding oilseed and grain) fell 2.8% to $80.5 billion in June, following an increase in May—which was the largest since June 2020. A decline in sales was reported in the majority of the subsectors. The decrease in sales was led by the miscellaneous, the machinery, equipment and supplies, and the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsectors, following a surge of sales in these subsectors in May. Wholesale sales (excluding petroleum, petroleum products, and other hydrocarbons and excluding oilseed and grain) were down 0.4% compared with June 2022.
Ontario college faculty get salary boost after Bill 124 struck down
College faculty members represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union will be receiving an additional 6.5 per cent in salary increases over three years.
They are the latest group of public sector workers to see their pay boosted due to an Ontario court overturning a provincial wage restraint law known as Bill 124, which capped salary increases for broader public sector workers at one per cent a year for three years.
The government appealed after the court declared the law unconstitutional last year, but in the meantime many workers have been awarded additional wages due to “reopener” clauses in their contracts that were triggered when the law was struck down.
Feds stick by immigration plan despite housing supply concerns
The alarm bells are becoming bullhorns: Canada’s housing supply isn’t keeping up with the rapid rate of population growth.
Academics, commercial banks and policy thinkers have all been warning the federal government that the pace of population growth, facilitated by immigration, is making the housing crisis worse.
“The primary cause for [the] housing affordability challenge in Canada is our inability to build more housing that is in line with the increase in population,” said Murtaza Haider, a professor of data science and real estate management at Toronto Metropolitan University.
A TD report released in late July also warned that “continuing with a high-growth immigration strategy could widen the housing shortfall by about a half-million units within just two years.”
New government regulations don’t ‘help us build now’: Electricity Canada
The federal government is methodically creating new rules that will guide stakeholders as they build Canada’s new decarbonized energy infrastructure.
Two days apart, Aug. 8 and 10, federal ministers released a document titled Powering Canada Forward that promised that a Clean Energy Strategy would be released in 2024, and then announced new Clean Electricity Regulations that offered indications of how the conversion policy would be enforced, including hefty fines against energy offenders.
Electricity Canada president and CEO Francis Bradley, representing energy generators and distributors, said the two policy announcements don’t do anything “with respect to making it easier to build things.”
“It’s one piece,” he said, referring to the regulations. “It doesn’t do anything at all to help build things any more rapidly. It doesn’t help us build now.”
Did you know?
Focus on Climate
Reducing eco-anxiety is a critical step in achieving any climate action
We all have times when we feel anxious about our future; perhaps this is more acute for many people this summer, as we experience unprecedented wildfires and heat waves due to the warming climate. General anxiety intensifies climate or “eco”-anxiety.
This can spur some people to climate action, while for others it can lead to a state of paralysis and inactivity. Our recent Canadian study looked at how values and action around climate change vary with an individual’s personality traits. We found that the higher a person’s general anxiety trait and the more they valued nature, the more likely they would engage in climate action.
Last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered a “final warning”; we must take action on climate change while there is still time.
Aging infrastructure struggling to keep up with storms, wildfires, changing climate
The torrential rain that washed out roads, bridges and a key rail link in Nova Scotia is being described as another sign engineers cannot rely on past weather patterns to design infrastructure able to withstand rising sea levels and destructive storms.
Slobodan Simonovic said when planning infrastructure, builders consider population needs, precipitation and other weather data.
“This design is usually based on historical observations, how much rain we’ve had in the past,” said Simonovic, professor emeritus at the department of civil and environmental engineering at Western University in London, Ont.
“Now this is changing, and historical observations are not sufficiently representative of future conditions. With climate change, there is a very significant modification in both frequency and severity of these rain events.”
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.