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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: December 21, 2022

Inflation falls to 6.8% in November as lower gas prices offset higher food & rent costs, 60% of vehicles to be electric by 2030, and more.

In this edition:

Canada’s inflation rate fell to 6.8 per cent in November as lower gas prices offset higher food, rent costs

Today, Statistics Canada reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 6.8 per cent compared to the previous year. That’s down from 6.9% in October, although slightly ahead of economist expectations of 6.7 per cent.

  • Excluding food and energy, prices rose 5.4 per cent on a yearly basis in November, following a gain of 5.3 per cent in October. Slower price growth for gasoline and furniture was partially offset by faster growth in mortgage interest cost and rent.
  • Prices for food purchased from stores rose 11.4 per cent year over year in November, following an 11.0 per cent gain in October. Food inflation remained broad-based, with prices for groceries rising at a faster rate than the all-items CPI every month since December 2021.
  • Prices for shelter (+7.2 per cent) rose at a faster pace year over year in November, mainly due to upward pressure from the mortgage interest cost and rent indexes.
  • Mortgage interest cost continued to rise at a faster rate year over year, up 14.5 per cent in November compared with 11.4 per cent in October, amid the higher interest rate environment. The increase in November was the largest since February 1983.
  • The rent index rose 5.9 per cent in November on a year-over-year basis following a 4.7 per cent increase in October. Among other factors, a higher interest rate environment, which may create barriers to homeownership, put upward pressure on the index.

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Ottawa says 60 per cent of vehicle sales must be electric by 2030

One-fifth of all passenger cars, SUVs and trucks sold in Canada in 2026 will need to run on electricity under new regulations Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault is proposing today.

By 2030, the mandate will hit 60 per cent of all sales and by 2035, every passenger vehicle sold in Canada will need to be electric.

Guilbeault’s parliamentary secretary Julie Dabrusin said during today’s announcement the new target is “about making sure that Canadians have access to the vehicles they want.”

Manufacturers or importers who don’t meet the sales targets could face penalties under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act through a phased-in approach. Canada still has a long way to go before approaching the first target in 2026.

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More than 31.5 million tonnes of cargo moved through seaway by end of November

St. Lawrence Seaway system is entering the final stretch of 2022 after a long, resilient season. Through November 30, over 31.5 million tonnes of cargo have transited the Seaway, nearly 4 million of which were moved in November.

“The November 2022 figures are more nuanced than they seem at first glance,” said Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. “For example, although the 2022 year-to-date numbers for Canadian grain are down compared to the same period in 2021, the amount of Canadian grain shipped in November 2022 is actually up compared to the amount of Canadian grain that was shipped in November 2021. Therefore, Canadian grain did perform to the standard that we expected it would in November.”

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New pilot program aims to grow indigenous-led Early Childhood Education (ECE) training in Niagara

A new pilot program is helping to train Indigenous early childhood educators for First Nations communities in Niagara, widening opportunities for cultural learning while at the same time filling staffing gaps faced by licensed child care service providers.

Delivered as a partnership between the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre, Niagara College, Six Nations Polytechnic and the Region of Niagara Children’s Services Division, the Indigenous-led Early Childhood Education (ECE) Pilot Program aims to grow the number of qualified staff in the workforce and increase access to high quality licensed child care for families.

The pilot project stems from critical staffing shortages across all communities but especially for Indigenous-led licensed childcare service providers because of the importance of cultural knowledge needed by Registered Early Childhood Educators.

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Preferred proponent selected for South Niagara Hospital project

EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare (EDIH) has been selected as the preferred proponent to design, build, finance and maintain the new South Niagara Hospital project.

Infrastructure Ontario and Niagara Health selected EDIH after extensive evaluations following a request for proposals process that began in October 2021.

Infrastructure Ontario and Niagara Health will now work to finalize contract details with EDIH. The project is expected to reach financial close in early 2023, which will mean that relevant contracts have been signed and a financing rate has been set. The contract cost will be announced publicly following financial close and construction is scheduled to begin shortly thereafter.

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Focus on Climate

Climate goal of 1.5ºC is ‘gasping for breath’, says UN head

The goal of limiting global heating to 1.5C is “gasping for breath”, the UN secretary general has said as he announced a “climate ambition summit” for September.

António Guterres said the summit would challenge leaders of governments and businesses to come up with “new, tangible and credible climate action to accelerate the pace of change” and confront the “existential threat” of the climate crisis.

“We are still moving in the wrong direction,” he said on Monday. “The 1.5C goal is gasping for breath. National climate plans are falling woefully short. And yet we are not retreating, we are fighting back.”

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Climate crisis demands revolution – not evolution – in existing business models

‘Genuine innovation’ for businesses facing climate change is very difficult to reconcile with existing profit-making strategies and may consign ‘the vast majority of your existing business model [to] the bin,’ announces cleantech founder Chris Caldwell.

‘If your entire model of historic profitability rests upon cheap carbon [and] untaxed pollution…then it doesn’t matter how many transition units you set up, new green products you create, or PR firms you hire,’ according to Caldwell, who is critical of the idea that firms can simply add ‘sustainable’ options to existing product lines. ‘Climate change isn’t just a new vertical you can silo off…[it] is in everything.’

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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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