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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: August 17th, 2021

Ontario pauses further reopening as it reveals new vaccine policies for high-risk settings

Employees, staff, contractors, students, and volunteers at hospitals, home and community care settings will, at a minimum, have to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, have a medical reason for not being vaccinated, or complete a vaccination educational session.

New vaccination policies must be implemented in high-risk settings no later than Sept. 7. People in these settings who do not provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 will be required to undertake regular testing.

To support the return to school plan, the Ministry of Education intends to introduce a vaccination disclosure policy for all publicly funded school board employees, and staff in private schools as well as for all staff in licensed childcare settings for the 2021-22 school year, with rapid antigen testing requirements for staff who are not immunized against COVID-19.

As an additional measure to continue protecting Ontario’s most vulnerable, based on the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, the province will begin offering third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to those at highest-risk, providing them with an extra layer of protection against the Delta variant.

The provincial government also announced that despite coming close to hitting the targets to exit Step 3, it will halt any further reopening indefinitely due to the risk of the Delta variant. More details can be found here.

Ontario to launch new business registry

Ontario is launching a new Ontario Business Registry on October 19. Businesses will be able to complete over 90 transactions through the new online registry, including registering a new business and dissolving an existing one. Registrations or filings that were previously submitted by mail or fax, taking four to six weeks to complete, can now be done instantly through the online registry. The migration of annual return filings that were previously completed through the Canada Revenue Agency will be available through the Ontario Business Registry, allowing businesses to keep all their filings in one place. For more information, click here.

Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 will come into force on October 19

Ontario is updating rules for not-for-profit corporations under the Not-For-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 (ONCA), which is not yet in force. When it does come into force it will:

  • simplify the incorporation process, making it easier and more efficient
  • clarify rules for governing a corporation and increase accountability
  • clarify that not-for-profit corporations can earn a “profit” through commercial activities as long as it is reinvested to support the corporation’s not-for-profit purposes
  • allow some corporations to use a “review engagement” in place of an audit
  • enhance members’ rights and outline actions they can take if they believe directors and officers are not acting in the corporation’s best interest
  • give members greater access to financial records.

For more information, click here.

Ontario to give optometrists $39M as they threaten to withdraw services

Ontario says it will pay $39 million to the province’s optometrists to retroactively account for the increased costs of services funded by the government. The one-time payment comes after optometrists threatened to stop conducting eye exams covered by provincial health insurance in September. The province says it hopes the payment will preserve access to care as discussions with optometrists continue. Details can be found here.

Niagara College to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for those on campus

Students, employees, contractors and those visiting a Niagara College campus for college business will be required to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated or have received a first dose of a Health Canada or World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine by September 7, and a second dose/full vaccination by October 18.

“Full policy and process will be released by Monday, August 23 and will include an accommodation process for those who are not vaccinated due to medical or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code,” the college said in a statement. For more details, click here.

NRT OnDemand celebrates one year anniversary

NRT OnDemand is celebrating one year of launching transit service in the communities of Grimsby, Lincoln, Pelham, Wainfleet and West Lincoln. The two-year pilot of the on-demand rideshare service was launched on Aug. 17, 2020.

There have been nearly 30,000 rides on NRT OnDemand since the launch, getting people to destinations in those communities and connecting to the rest of the public transit network in Niagara at hubs in Port Colborne, St. Catharines and Welland. Niagara Region was one of the first communities in Canada to collaborate with Via, the leader in TransitTech, which has more than 500 partners around the world, and counting.

NRT OnDemand added service to a select area in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Nov. 23, 2020, and is working with that community to expand service later this year. For more information, visit NRT OnDemand.

Dr. Mustafa Hirji offers COVID-19 update

Watch Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hirji’s, latest local update here.

Reading Recommendations

It’s time to re-onboard everyone

Harvard Business Review, Liz Fosslien

High turnover, the shift to hybrid work, and continued uncertainty about the future mean that your entire workforce may be feeling unmoored. These upheavals mean that even long-time employees — who have spent years building their reputations within an organization — may now feel they’re starting from scratch. That has enormous implications for performance, innovation, and well-being. By seizing this fall as a moment to re-onboard everyone, managers can boost team cohesion, performance, and well-being. The author presents five steps managers should take.

BHP quits oil, piles into Canadian potash in overhaul for CEO Henry

Bloomberg News, Thomas Biesheuvel and James Thornhill

BHP Group unveiled the most sweeping change to its business since the world’s biggest miner was created two decades ago, as it plans an escape away from fossil fuels to shift toward what it calls “future facing” commodities and clears up some longstanding questions facing investors.

BHP will sell its oil and gas operations to Woodside Petroleum Ltd. in exchange for shares that it will distribute to its own investors, it announced Tuesday. The company also approved US$5.7 billion of spending to build a massive new fertilizer mine in Canada and said it will unify its dual-listed structure and shift to a single primary listing in Australia. The shares in London jumped as much as 9.8 per cent after the flurry of announcements.

Billions are pouring into the business of decarbonisation

The Economist

Wall Street giants and corporate titans are betting on climate innovation. BloombergNEF, a research firm, reckons that last year investors poured more than $500bn into the “energy transition” (shorthand for decarbonising everything from energy and transport to industry and farming), twice as much as in 2010. A slug of that has come in the form of risk-tolerant venture capital (VC) flooding into a range of fields. PwC, a consultancy, estimates that between 2013 and 2020 VC investments in climate tech grew at five times the rate of global start-up funding overall. Can this boom avoid the fate of the previous one and give rise to a new blockbuster industry?

Niagara COVID-19 data

These data show the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Niagara. The Province of Ontario is now using a provincewide approach to reopening, and these data no longer have any influence on Niagara’s restrictions.

Current number of admitted Niagara Health patients with COVID-19: 3

Patients with COVID-19 in Niagara Health ICU’s: 1

Data are drawn from Niagara Region Public Health and Niagara Health.

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker

Last updated: August 17, 2021

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: 645,476

New daily doses administered to Niagara residents: 1,163

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

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses. Visit to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

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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