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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: February 10, 2022

Ontario to resume non-essential surgeries and extra-curricular activities, Right to Disconnect Committee delivers final report, and more.

In this edition:

Ontario to resume non-essential surgeries, extra-curricular activities
Port Colborne generates over $600,000 from real estate initiative
Right to Disconnect Advisory Committee publishes final report
Investment in construction increased to $18.4 billion in December 2021
Niagara Health to reopen Fort Erie Urgent Care Centre

Ontario to resume non-essential surgeries, extra-curricular activities

With the steady decline in COVID-19 related hospitalizations and ICU admissions in addition to stabilizing health human resources, the Ontario government is lifting Directive 2 to begin a gradual and cautious resumption of non-urgent and non-emergent surgeries and procedures across the province.

Resumption of non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures will follow a planned phased approach across the province, in alignment with guidance provided by Ontario Health.

In addition, effective immediately, Ontario students can once again benefit from extra-curricular activities, including high-contact sports in schools. In alignment with advice from public health officials, layers of protection will remain in place to help limit the spread of COVID-19, including masking and daily on-site confirmation of screening.

Click here to learn more.

Port Colborne generates over $600,000 from real estate initiative

Port Colborne generated $602,284.42 in net proceeds from phase one of the city real estate initiative, according to the Jan. 25 staff report to council from the economic development and tourism services division. This phase included the sale of one commercial lot and five residential lots owned by the city and declared surplus.

The goal of the city real estate initiative, created in the fall of 2020, is to attract investment and new residents to Port Colborne; have vacant properties redeveloped and revitalized; facilitate public-private partnerships to create more affordable housing units; expand the municipal tax base to maintain core programs and services; and adjust internal processes and service delivery to provide timely responses and streamlined approvals to investors and developers.

Click here to learn more.

Right to Disconnect Advisory Committee publishes final report

The Right to Disconnect Advisory Committee (Committee) was created with representatives from federally regulated employers, unions and other non governmental organisations.

The concept of “right to disconnect” emerged in France in 2017 as part of a new set of labour laws. That law mandates that employers with 50 or more employees have a policy that addresses the use of smartphones.

As a relatively new concept, there are differing interpretations of what a “right to disconnect” is. In general, it is the concept that workers should be able to disconnect from workplace communications channels outside of working hours.

The mandate of the Committee was to recommend how to support federally regulated workers’ “right to disconnect.”

Fundamentally, there was substantial divergence on how the government should proceed. This included debate whether or not a legal requirement for the right to disconnect should be pursued. There was also major divergence on the issue of deemed work.

Click here to read the report.

Investment in construction increased to $18.4 billion in December 2021

Investment in building construction increased by 1.9% to $18.4 billion in December. Gains were reported in both the residential and non-residential sectors.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction grew 1.2% to $11.5 billion.

Residential construction investment rose 2.2% to $13.4 billion in December, with Ontario accounting for more than half of the monthly increase.

Investment in single family homes was up 3.5% to $7.4 billion with increases posted in eight provinces.

Multi-unit construction investment increased by 0.7% to $6.1 billion. Gains from Ontario (+1.0%) helped to offset declines posted in Quebec (-1.0%) and Saskatchewan (-5.5%). New Brunswick and Nova Scotia also showed notable strength.

Click here to learn more.

Niagara Health to reopen Fort Erie Urgent Care Centre and gradually resume other services

The Fort Erie Urgent Care Centre will fully reopen to provide 24/7 service beginning on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 8 a.m.

In addition, consistent with recent changes in provincial direction, Niagara Health will proceed with the gradual resumption of surgical, procedural and outpatient services beginning next week.

Click here to learn more.

Reading Recommendations

GM, Toyota, Ford cut production following Canadian trucking protests


Toyota Motor Corp, General Motors Co., Ford Motor and Chrysler-parent Stellantis said Thursday they had been forced to cancel or scale back some production because of parts shortages stemming from Canadian trucker protests against pandemic mandates.

The truckers, who oppose a vaccinate-or-quarantine requirement for cross-border drivers, have used their big rigs to snarl traffic at the Ambassador Bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, Ontario — which accounts for about 25 percent of U.S.-Canadian trade.

A Toyota spokesman told Reuters the automaker was suspending production through Saturday at plants on both sides of the border, in Ontario and Kentucky. The largest Japanese automaker said it was “experiencing multiple dropped logistics routes” and it is “not isolated to only one or two parts at this point.”

Officials prepare for possible demonstrations at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie


Following the blockade in Windsor, there are plans to hold demonstrations at the Peace Bridge this weekend. Commercial goods were transported with ease at the Fort Erie border crossing Wednesday afternoon, but industry and city officials are expecting trucker protests to cause major delays on Saturday.

The Ontario Trucking Alliance says a protest is in the works at the Peace Bridge Saturday, and its urging members to monitor border wait times and potential development of protests at these locations on a regular basis.

According to the Peace Bridge Authority, out of all border crossings across Canada and the United States, the Peace Bridge is the third busiest for commercial traffic.

Convoy protest could change the way money is monitored, says watchdog agency

CBC News

The use of American crowdfunding sites to financially fuel the anti-vaccine mandate convoy protest in Ottawa could lead to changes in the way financial transactions are monitored, a top official with Canada’s money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog told members of Parliament Thursday.

Testifying before members of the House of Commons committee on public safety and national security, Barry MacKillop, deputy director of intelligence for the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), said there are likely lessons to be learned from the protest.

“It is really a unique event,” MacKillop told MPs. “Will we learn from that event? Yes. Will we continue to have discussions with our international partners? That’s certain.

“The platforms exist on the internet. They are accessible to everyone around the world.”

Niagara COVID-19 statistics tracker

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker

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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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