In this edition:
- Government of Canada announces new investment in Niagara EV industry
- Four months left until the CEBA repayment deadline
- Ontario issues RFQ for satellite internet provider to serve 43,000 homes and businesses
- Mahtay Café, a downtown St. Catharines ‘hub’ for over a decade, changes hands
- Employment rate for disabled persons dramatically lower: Statistics Canada
- Ontario and Quebec reach 600MW energy agreement
- Unifor targets Ford Motors as lead company in auto contract talks
- Competition Bureau ordered to pay millions to Rogers and Shaw for challenging merger
- Reading Recommendations: Climate
Government of Canada announces new investment in Niagara EV industry
Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), along with Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, and Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, announced a $300,000-investment that will be delivered by the Regional Municipality of Niagara (Niagara Region) to accelerate the growth of the EV sector in the Niagara region.
With this investment, Niagara Region will develop an EV strategy with support from an EV battery specialist. This new strategy will focus on building partnerships, developing the infrastructure needed, connecting industry leaders and post-secondary institutions, and enabling Niagara Region representation at industry events. This investment is expected to support over 50 regional businesses and organizations and establish up to five new partnerships to ensure that the region has the opportunity to contribute to this growing and important sector.
St. Catharines firm FBT Inc. will also receive $4m from FedDev Ontario, which will enable them to upgrade the facility to increase producivity by about 75%.
Federal officials say as the demand for domestic production of EV, energy, and semiconductor related-parts has risen in Canada, and FBT will adopt new robotic and automated solutions to increase production.
Four months left until the CEBA repayment deadline
Four months are left until the CEBA repayment is due on December 31. If the CEBA loan is not repaid by then, small business owners will lose the up to $20,000 forgivable portion and begin paying interest on a much larger loan balance.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of industry associations, including the GNCC, have joined calls for the federal government to extend the deadline for small businesses to repay pandemic loans received through the Canada Emergency Business Account program.
CFIB research shows that 19 per cent of all small businesses in Canada—or nearly 250,000 small businesses—could close their doors next year unless the federal government changes the deadline.
Ontario issues RFQ for satellite internet provider to serve 43,000 homes and businesses
The Ontario government will use a satellite internet service provider to bring high-speed internet access to approximately 43,000 unserved and underserved homes and businesses, marking another milestone in the province’s plan to help bring connectivity to every community by the end of 2025.
In partnership with Infrastructure Ontario, the province has launched a competitive process to find qualified satellite internet service providers. Interested service providers can visit www.merx.com to download the Request for Qualifications (RFQ).
Mahtay Café, a downtown St. Catharines ‘hub’ for over a decade, changes hands
Chris Lowes took a leap of faith in 2011 when he opened the doors of Mahtay Café on St. Paul Street.
“It felt like we were at ground zero at the beginning, for sure,” Lowes said, adding it was still a few years before new developments including FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and Meridian Centre would open their doors, drawing visitors to St. Catharines’ downtown core.
“There was talk at the time that the downtown would be revived if we waited long enough.”
Employment rate for disabled persons dramatically lower: Statistics Canada
In 2022, the employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 with disabilities was 65.1%, compared with 80.1% for those without disabilities, a new Statistics Canada report has revealed. The employment rate for persons with disabilities varied by the severity of the disability. Those with a severe disability were employed at a rate of 50.4% and those with a very severe disability were employed at a rate of 26.8%.
In 2022, the unemployment rate for persons aged 16 to 64 with disabilities was 6.9%. The rate was nearly twice as high as for persons in the same age group without disabilities (3.8%). The unemployment rate for persons with disabilities was higher than for persons without disabilities among both women and men.
Ontario and Quebec reach 600MW energy agreement
The governments of Ontario and Quebec are supporting a new 600 megawatt (MW) trade agreement between Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and Hydro-Québec that will optimize the use of existing electricity generation capacity in both provinces.
This electricity trade agreement is possible because Ontario and Quebec have complementary seasonal peaks in electricity demand. Ontario’s peak demand occurs in the summer, driven mainly by air conditioning on hot days, and Quebec’s peak demand occurs in the winter, driven mainly by electric heating on cold days. As a result, both provinces have excess capacity during the other province’s electricity peak period that can be exchanged to reduce the need for new generation capacity.
Unifor targets Ford Motors as lead company in auto contract talks
Unifor has picked Ford Motor Co. as the lead company for negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers as it works to hammer out new contracts.
The bargaining with Ford will serve as a blueprint for workers at General Motors and Stellantis, the union’s national president said Tuesday, as it focuses on securing electric vehicle production investments.
Lana Payne said she is encouraged by Ford’s transparency with the union in key areas, but warned workers are prepared to strike if necessary.
Competition Bureau ordered to pay millions to Rogers and Shaw for challenging merger
In March 2022, the Competition Bureau set out to block the Rogers C$26 billion takeover of Shaw. Now it is being ordered to pay millions of dollars to the two telcos after failing to do so.
In a document posted on Tuesday, the Competition Tribunal, which adjudicated the Bureau’s case against the merger, ordered the Commissioner of Competition to pay $9,298,152.58 to Rogers and $2,836,920.30 to Shaw, plus applicable HST.
Additionally, the Commissioner will have to pay 25 per cent of the legal fees incurred by the two telcos, amounting to over $400,000 each.
Did you know?
Focus on Climate
Why we need to reuse waste energy to achieve net-zero heating systems
As we move toward a cleaner energy future, there is a growing push to electrify everything, from cars to home heating. While that sounds ideal, it is also much more than a matter of simply plugging in.
The grid is nowhere near ready to satisfy our carbon-free energy needs, especially as more and more Canadians switch to electric vehicles and we wait for more carbon-free sources of electricity to supply the growing demand.
We’re already pushing the system on the hottest days of the year to keep our electric air conditioning running, mainly by supplementing with inefficient carbon-producing natural gas or coal power plants during peak demand periods.
If we were all relying on electrical forms of heating, electricity demand would be substantially higher on the coldest days of the year and overwhelm the grid. The solution to this problem, however, lies not in the heat we generate but the heat we reuse.
Quebec’s Deep Sky dreams big with carbon capture pilot
Montreal carbon-capture startup Deep Sky continues to move with haste as it forges partnerships with tech specialists in the sector while defying traditional project development timelines.
The business model involves building plants to scrub the atmosphere and oceans of CO2, transforming the captured CO2 into minerals and storing it underground, thus obtaining carbon credits and selling the credits to entities aiming to meet emissions-reduction obligations.
A pilot demonstration of the technology capturing 100 tonnes of CO2 annually will be built in Quebec, with the aim to eventually construct commercial facilities that capture between 100,000 and one million tonnes annually.
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.