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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: December 7, 2022

Bank of Canada increases rate to 4.5%, hints at future pause; 28% of Canadians would reject card surcharges at small businesses, and more.

In this edition:

Bank of Canada increases rate to 4.5%, hints at future pause in hikes

The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 4¼%, with the Bank Rate at 4½% and the deposit rate at 4¼%. The Bank is also continuing its policy of quantitative tightening.

Inflation around the world remains high and broadly based, the Bank reported in a statement. Global economic growth is slowing, although it is proving more resilient than was expected at the time of the October Monetary Policy Report (MPR). In the United States, the economy is weakening but consumption continues to be solid and the labour market remains overheated. The gradual easing of global supply bottlenecks continues, although further progress could be disrupted by geopolitical events.

In Canada, GDP growth in the third quarter was stronger than expected, and the economy continued to operate in excess demand. Canada’s labour market remains tight, with unemployment near historic lows.

Looking ahead, the Bank’s Governing Council will be considering whether the policy interest rate needs to rise further to bring supply and demand back into balance and return inflation to target.

Click here to read more.

Ontario delivers $505 million to municipalities for transit

The Ontario government is providing municipalities with up to $505 million to help ensure municipal transit systems can continue to deliver safe and reliable transit services. The funding is being delivered through Phase 4 of the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement.

Phase 4 of the Safe Restart Agreement will help municipal transit systems address costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic between February 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022. Municipalities will be able to use their funding allocations to cover revenue losses, operating expenses, and provincial transit priority projects, including fare and service integration and On-Demand transit.

Niagara municipalities receiving funding include:

Fort Erie$ 36,613
Niagara Falls$ 926,518
Niagara-on-the-Lake$ 160,529
Niagara Region$ 57,063
Port Colborne$ 8,401
St. Catharines$ 2,164,990
Thorold$ 92,621
Welland$ 389,042

Click here to read more.

Poll: 28% of Canadians would stop shopping at small businesses if credit card surcharges were imposed

New data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute asks credit card holders – 95 per cent of Canadian adults – how the potential for a new credit charge surcharge might affect their purchasing behaviour. Three-in-ten (28%) say an additional 1.5 per cent surcharge on would push them away from patronizing small businesses in their community, while more than two-in-five (44%) would stop shopping at major retailers that charged the fee.

Some retailers have already begun to add such a charge to purchases following the settlement of a class-action lawsuit with Visa and Mastercard. Merchants must make the fee clear to the customer, but the risk herein is evident.

With respect to smaller local businesses, Canadians are more forgiving. More than one-in-ten (13%) say they would just absorb a 1.5 per cent fee in this situation, while three-in-five (59%) would use another form of payment. If the business were a major national or international retailer, 10 per cent would absorb the cost and fewer than half would break out cash or debit.

Click here to read more.

IceDogs and Sport Niagara to hold free info session on bid to host 2024 Memorial Cup

Held annually for more than 100 years, the Memorial Cup features the champions from the OHL, QMJHL, WHL and a host team competing for the national championship of junior men’s hockey.

The 2024 Memorial Cup is scheduled to be held over a 10-day period – from May 24 to June 2, 2024. The Niagara IceDogs have informed the Canadian Hockey League that Niagara intends to bid to host the Cup.

The IceDogs and Sport Niagara, the new legacy organization launching from the Niagara 2022 Canada Games, will host an information session on the morning of December 12th, 2022. This information session will provide background information about the 2024 Memorial Cup.

Click here for more information and to register.

Focus on Climate

Despite soaring profits, oil companies are not paying enough for their environmental damage

At the end of the third quarter reporting season in October, the Big Four oilsands producers continued to report record profit levels. Collectively, Cenovus, CNRL, Imperial Oil and Suncor earned $5.8 billion in the third quarter and $23.1 billion in the first nine months of 2022. The average return on capital during the period was almost 25 per cent.

The only minor hiccup was Suncor’s reported loss — primarily due to a non-cash impairment charge of $3.4 billion against its Fort Hills assets. Despite the write-down, Suncor still spent $1 billion buying Teck Resources’ stake in the Fort Hills oilsands project.

However, apart from Suncor’s purchase, these companies are not reinvesting in their core businesses. This cash bonanza has implications for Canadian consumers, government taxation and royalty policies and environmental policy.

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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