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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: December 15, 2022

Ontario won’t make staycation tax credit permanent despite calls from industry, OCC Network identifies critical growth strategies, and more.

In this edition:

Ontario won’t make staycation tax credit permanent despite calls from industry 

Ontario’s tourism minister says the province won’t be extending the staycation tax credit for another year, despite the hard-hit industry recommending the move as a way to help it recover from the pandemic.

Neil Lumsden, the minister of tourism, culture and sport, says in a statement that the province temporarily introduced it for the 2022 tax year to spur pandemic recovery for the tourism, hospitality and culture sectors.

That will end this year, but Lumsden says the province is supporting the sector in other ways, including $48.1 million for festivals and events and $19.1 million in support for Regional Tourism Organizations in 2022-23.

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Ontario Chamber of Commerce Network identifies critical growth strategies

Against the backdrop of rising interest rates, inflation, constrained supply chains, labour shortages and fears of a recession, it is critical for governments to focus on creating the right conditions to support competitiveness, productivity, and long-term economic growth.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), along with Chambers from across the province, identified critical areas that must inform growth strategy outlined in today’s release: Supporting Economic Growth in Uncertain Times.  

The brief identifies critical areas that must inform the strategy for economic growth. These include:

  • Foster an inclusive workforce. Ontario needs a more resilient workforce that includes everyone, supported by nimble and coordinated training options that are accessible to all job seekers.
  • Invest in growth-enabling infrastructure. From roads to housing, Ontario’s built environment needs to be climate resilient, energy efficient, and informed by smart planning principles to ensure population and economic growth can be supported for decades to come.
  • Make innovation a priority. Innovation is key to higher productivity. Ontario can achieve this through advancing opportunities in public procurement, technology adoption and commercialization efforts.

Click here for more details.

Canadian Real Estate Association reports home sales down in November

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) says home sales recorded over Canadian MLS Systems fell by 3.3 per cent between October and November 2022, more than erasing October’s small gain and rejoining the moderating sales trend that began back in February.

About 60 per cent of all local markets saw lower sales in November, led by Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Edmonton, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Montreal.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in November 2022 came in 38.9 per cent below a near-record for that month last year and stood about 13 per cent below the pre-COVID-19 10-year average for November sales.

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Mortgage stress tests unchanged amid housing headwinds

Canada’s banking regulator and the federal government maintained requirements that homebuyers are able to qualify for their mortgages at rates higher than what banks are offering them, prioritizing financial stability over helping the country’s declining housing market.

Borrowers seeking uninsured mortgages will still have to qualify for their loans at a rate two percentage points higher than the bank’s offered rate or 5.25 per cent, whichever rate is higher at the time, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions said today. That means homebuyers will have to show they can afford loans at interest rates of more than 7 per cent, with mortgage rates at major commercial banks exceeding 5 per cent.

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Manufacturing sales rose 2.8 per cent in October 

Manufacturing sales rose 2.8 per cent to $72.6 billion in October. Sales increased in 12 of 21 industries, led by the petroleum and coal, food, chemical and miscellaneous manufacturing industries. Meanwhile, motor vehicles and machinery posted the largest monthly declines. Compared with the same month last year, total sales were up 16.5 per cent.

Sales in constant dollars were unchanged in October, indicating that the entire increase in current dollar sales was driven by higher prices as the Industrial Product Price Index rose 2.4 per cent in October.

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Niagara College leads the way in palliative care training for Paramedic students

Niagara College’s Paramedic program has taken a leap forward when it comes to offering students critical training in palliative care.

Thanks to a new partnership with Pallium Canada, Niagara College is leading the way as the first college in Canada to adopt Pallium’s award-winning Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative Care (LEAP) Paramedic course into their Paramedic program curriculum.

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Niagara Health signs agreement with Oracle Cerner to build a modern hospital information system

Niagara Health has signed a 10-year agreement with Oracle Cerner to build a modern hospital information system.

The new system, named Project Monarch, will serve all five Niagara Health sites and Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre and include digital solutions to manage information for inpatient and outpatient services including acute care, surgical care, emergency and urgent care, complex care, mental health, cancer care and rehab.

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Focus on Real Estate

Average rent in Canada hit over $2K last month – and there’s no signs of slowing

New data shows that the average monthly cost to rent a home in Canada rose to a record $2,024 in November, and experts say the trend does not show signs of stopping soon.

The National Rental Report published Tuesday shows average rent across the country was at an all-time high in November, up 2.5 per cent from October. The average monthly rent was also up $224 compared with a year ago, for gain of 12.4 per cent.

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How big of a home can you get for $300K?

A recent study conducted by Point2 Homes looks at how much residential space Canadians can get for about $300,000, or half the national average price of a home. The study is based on data from 43 of Canada’s largest cities.

According to the online real estate search portal, those living in parts of Quebec and Atlantic Canada, such as St. John’s, N.L., are seeing the most value for their money. In these regions, $300,000 is enough to purchase more than 139 square metres (1,500 sq. ft.) of residential space, on average. Homes in Quebec’s Trois-Rivières and Saguenay in particular offer the most room for the least amount of money.

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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