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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: December 5, 2022

First Canadian full-scale EV manufacturing plant opens in Ontario, CUPE school staff vote to ratify contract with government, and more.

In this edition:

First Canadian full-scale EV manufacturing plant opens in Ontario

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was joined today by Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, to open Canada’s first full-scale EV manufacturing plant, General Motors of Canada Company’s (GM) CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. Starting today and going forward, the plant will build fully electric delivery vans – the BrightDrop Zevo 600 – which will help cut pollution and keep our communities healthy for our children and grandchildren.

Thanks in part to a $259 million investment from the Government of Canada, GM’s CAMI assembly plant was able to retool its operations to build these electric vans. By 2025, the plant plans to manufacture 50,000 EVs per year. This investment has helped secure thousands of well-paying, high-quality jobs across GM facilities, and is helping advance the electrification of Canada’s automotive sector.

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Ontario CUPE school staff vote to ratify contract with government

Ontario education workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees have voted to ratify a contract with the government.

Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, said about 73 per cent of those who voted were in favour.

Walton — who had said she didn’t like the deal because it didn’t come with staffing level guarantees — said about 76 per cent of the union’s 55,000 education worker members voted during the ratification process.

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Niagara Climate Change Action Network holds inaugural meeting

The Niagara Climate Change Action Network held its inaugural meeting on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, putting action to the call to action that was signed at the Niagara Climate Change Summit in June 2022 and launching a commitment to form partnerships, share critical data and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Niagara.

Four local organizations – Niagara Region, Brock University, Niagara College and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority – worked together to establish the Niagara Climate Change Action Network. Over 50 individuals from educational institutions, environmental groups, Indigenous organizations, municipalities and businesses from sectors including energy, agriculture, development and engineering attended the kick-off meeting as members of the network.

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Ontario attracts economic opportunities with trade mission to India

The Ontario government has concluded a successful trade mission to India to strengthen relationships with economic partners and attract new investments in key sectors, including manufacturing, technology and life sciences. The mission, led by Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, resulted in renewed commitments to collaborate with the states of Maharashtra and Telangana, and in an announcement by 88 Pictures, an animation and media entertainment company based in Mumbai, to expand to Ontario.

From November 25 to December 2, Ontario’s delegation met with leading companies based in India to showcase the province as a global hub for innovation and an ideal place for companies to invest. This included a meeting with 88 Pictures, that together with Toronto Global, announced it has selected Ontario as the first location for the company’s international expansion. This investment will create 150 new jobs for workers in Ontario over the next two years.

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Food prices in Canada to continue to rise in 2023: report

Canadians won’t escape food inflation any time soon.

Food prices in Canada will continue to escalate in the new year, with grocery costs forecast to rise up to seven per cent in 2023, new research predicts.

For a family of four, the total annual grocery bill is expected to be $16,288 — $1,065 more than it was this year, the 13th edition of Canada’s Food Price Report released Monday said.

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Focus on Small Business

Canadian small businesses term 2022 holiday season important for their financial health

A new survey has found that shopping locally could make or break the holiday season for small business retailers, with 72 percent of Canadian small businesses saying the 2022 holiday season is more important to their overall financial health compared to last year.

However, holiday spending with Canadian small businesses could hit up to $10 billion if Canadian consumers shop small.

The results of the new Intuit QuickBooks Holiday Shopping Survey, which surveyed 1,700 Canadian consumers and 700 Canadian small businesses, also highlight how fragile consumer confidence and demand for competitive pricing could spoil the holiday season for retailers.

If the economy worsens this year, 84 percent of Canadian consumers plan to reduce their holiday spending. This comes at a time when inflation is making consumers more price-sensitive, with 67 percent of consumers planning to buy fewer gifts for friends and family to mitigate financial impact.

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New hires are ‘ghosting’ small businesses already under pressure from labour shortages

A new report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) found that in the last 12 months, more than one-third of small businesses surveyed have hired people who either never showed up, stopped going to work shortly after starting the job and/or had job candidates who stopped responding during the application or interview process.

The shortage of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour is hurting small businesses, limiting their growth at a time when just half of small businesses have returned to normal revenue levels and 58 per cent haven’t repaid their pandemic debt, the report said.

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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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