In this edition:
- Vehicle-related sales see growth in June while other retail sectors decline
- St. Catharines introduces online payments
- Niagara municipalities lobby at AMO conference
- Niagara Region expects 2024 budget to wrap up before year’s end
- Canadians leave wallets at home as Interac Debit mobile contactless transactions surge 53% in the last year
- Back-to-school shoppers expected to head back to stores but pull back on spending
- Who is to blame for the housing crisis? Canadians split in poll
- Reading Recommendations: Climate
Vehicle-related sales see growth in June while other retail sectors decline
Retail sales increased 0.1% to $65.9 billion in June. Sales increased in three of nine subsectors and were led by increases at motor vehicle and parts dealers (+2.5%).
Core retail sales—which exclude gasoline stations and fuel vendors and motor vehicle and parts dealers—were down 0.9% in June.
In volume terms, retail sales edged down 0.2% in June.
St. Catharines introduces online payments
The City of St. Catharines has launched a new online payment portal allowing residents to easily pay for property taxes, water bills and parking tickets online.
The new portal is designed to provide a convenient and seamless payment experience through its user-friendly interface. With just a few clicks, residents can take care of City payments promptly. The system uses industry-standard encryption protocols to ensure that personal and financial data is protected throughout the payment process.
Niagara municipalities lobby at AMO conference
The 2023 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference was held in London, Ontario from August 20-23, 2023. The AMO conference is a yearly event which brings municipalities together to discuss best practices and share industry knowledge, while also allowing municipal representatives and ministries to meet to discuss the municipalities’ strategic priorities, to advocate for local issues, and to discuss program and funding partnerships.
Among the many Niagara representatives were Mayor Jeff Jordan, Councillor Jacob Baradziej, Councillor Veronica Charrois, Councillor Delight Davoli, Councillor Reg Freake, Councillor Lianne Vardy, as well as five representatives from staff attended the conference and participated in six delegations with members of the Provincial Government, advocating for multiple issues on behalf of the Town of Grimsby.
Also present, representing the City of Port Colborne was councillor, Dave Elliott, chief administrative officer, Scott Luey, and manager of strategic initiatives, Gary Long.
“We are very encouraged by this housing update from Premier Ford, as well as the positive responses we got from meeting with his Ministers and PAs (Parliamentary Assistants),” said Luey.
Niagara Region expects 2024 budget to wrap up before year’s end, despite St. Catharines concerns
There likely won’t be any surprises in store when it comes to Niagara Region property taxes next year.
Despite concerns expressed by St. Catharines city council at last week’s meeting, regional treasurer Todd Harrison said 2024 budget deliberations should be back to normal — after approval of last year’s budget was delayed until Feb. 23 due to the municipal election, while ballooning to a 7.29 per cent increase on top of a special levy to help pay for uploading regional transit services.
Canadians leave wallets at home as Interac Debit mobile contactless transactions surge 53% in the last year
Canadians’ reliance on their smartphones continues to increase. Interac data reveals a 53 per cent jump in the use of Interac® Debit for mobile contactless payments in stores and a 17 per cent surge in its use for e-Commerce purchases between August 2022 and July 2023. Over one billion of these mobile transactions have taken place within a 12-month period for the first time ever.
Click here to read more.
Back-to-school shoppers expected to head back to stores but pull back on spending
The stationary aisles are expected to be busier this year as parents and students return to in-store shopping when stocking up on back-to-school essentials, though their baskets may be a little less full.
The annual shopping ritual comes as rising costs for food and housing squeeze optional spending plans for many households.
A survey by the Retail Council of Canada found that about 73.6 per cent of back-to-school shoppers plan to spend more than $50 this year, down from about 77 per cent last year.
Who is to blame for the housing crisis? Canadians split in poll
Leger surveyed 1,537 people between Aug. 18 and 20, asking a series of questions about the rising cost of housing and what should be done about it.
When asked which level of government deserves the most blame for the crisis, 40 per cent of respondents pointed the finger at the federal government and 32 per cent at their provincial government.
Just six per cent of those polled felt their municipal government was to blame and another 22 per cent said they were not sure.
Did you know?
Focus on Climate
German supermarket trials charging true climate cost of foods
A leading discount supermarket in Germany has raised the prices of a selection of its products to reflect their real cost on people’s health and the environment.
In a week-long experiment in all 2,150 branches of the Penny chain, a range of nine products, mainly dairy and meat, will be priced at what experts from two universities have deemed to be their true cost, in relation to their effect on soil, climate, water use and health.
The “wahre Kosten” or “real costs” campaign has seen the price of wiener sausages rise from €3.19 to €6.01, mozzarella go up by 74% to €1.55, and fruit yoghurt increase by 31% from €1.19 to €1.56.
The ‘Gulf Stream’ will not collapse in 2025: What the alarmist headlines got wrong
Those following the latest developments in climate science would have been stunned by the jaw-dropping headlines last week proclaiming the “Gulf Stream could collapse as early as 2025, study suggests” — which responded to a recent publication in Nature Communications.
“Be very worried: Gulf Stream collapse could spark global chaos by 2025” announced the New York Post. “A crucial system of ocean currents is heading for a collapse that ‘would affect every person on the planet” noted CNN in the U.S. and repeated CTV News here in Canada.
This latest alarmist rhetoric provides a textbook example of how not to communicate climate science. These headlines do nothing to raise public awareness, let alone influence public policy to support climate solutions.
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.