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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: February 13, 2023

In this edition:

One in four Canadians unable to meet unexpected $500 expense: Statistics Canada

In a new Statistics Canada study released today, when asked whether their household had the resources to cover an unexpected expense of $500, 26% said that they would be unable to do so, with a slightly larger percentage of women (29%) reporting this difficulty than men (24%). Further, while the vast majority of Canadians were concerned with rising gasoline and food prices, almost half (44%) said they were very concerned with their household’s ability to afford housing or rent.

Young adults were among those most concerned over finances. Almost half (46%) of people aged 35 to 44 years found it difficult to meet their financial needs in the previous 12 months, the highest proportion of any other age group. Those aged 45 to 54 years (41%) had the next highest proportion, and people aged 65 years and older (25%) were the least likely to report difficulty.

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Residential construction continues to decline

Investment in residential building construction was down 2.1% to $14.6 billion in December.

Investment in the construction of single-family homes continued to decline for the fifth consecutive month, down 0.5% to $7.8 billion. Alberta (-3.6%) played the largest role in the decline.

Investment in overall building construction decreased 1.3% to $20.2 billion in December. The residential sector declined 2.1% to $14.6 billion, while the non-residential sector was up 0.8% to $5.6 billion.

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Government of Canada issues call for proposals to digitize supply chains

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the launch of a new call for proposals, under the National Trade Corridors Fund, which is called Advancing Supply Chain Digitalization. Transport Canada will commit up to $50 million to support eligible projects.

Under the new call, Transport Canada is seeking industry-led projects that strengthen Canada’s digital infrastructure. Projects supported will:

  • increase the efficiency and reliability of our transportation supply chains;
  • relieve bottlenecks;
  • ensure Canadians have access to all the affordable products and goods that they need; and
  • help develop digital solutions and optimize Canada’s supply chains.

Applicants are invited to submit a Streamlined Project Proposal to Transport Canada by April 11, 2023, at 17:00 Eastern Standard Time, through the National Trade Corridors Fund online application portal.

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Government of Canada announces renewed funding for Global Innovation Clusters

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that each cluster will receive renewed support to expand its national presence and deepen its impact at home and abroad.

The clusters have adopted the following common missions: expanding their global presence, collaborating among the clusters to deepen their impact, fighting climate change, building more resilient supply chains, and supporting the growth and scale-up of Canadian companies. The clusters will also aim to increase industry co-investment by raising their industry match ratio, which will result in further positive impact on job creation and GDP.

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Canada to reduce work experience requirements for caregivers and provide pathways to permanent residence

On behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, members of Parliament Salma Zahid and Rechie Valdez today announced that the amount of work experience in Canada required for a caregiver to qualify for permanent residence is being reduced from 24 months to 12 months. In addition, some spaces under the existing caregiver pathways have been reserved for caregivers who already have work experience in Canada from a previous work permit so that they are able to apply for permanent residence. The change will be effective as of April 30, 2023, and will be retrospective for caregivers who have already applied.

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Focus on Small Business

Hold Your Team Accountable with Compassion, Not Fear

Your team has a lot to accomplish, so you can’t afford to have anyone on board who consistently lets their colleagues down. You need individuals who understand their responsibilities and feel obligated to deliver — a team full of people who feel accountable. But building an accountable team is easier said than done.

You can’t make someone else accountable; accountability is a feeling. Sure, you could use incentives or bonuses to try to coerce them into caring. Or you could use threats, penalties, or the stink eye to make it more likely they’ll feel responsible (you certainly wouldn’t be the only one to try). Unfortunately, our typical language and metaphors for accountability evoke this kind of punitive approach. We talk about people being “on the hook,” as if employees were fish reeled in with no escape. If that isn’t evocative enough, I hear leaders talk about having “one throat to choke.” This is the language of fear, not accountability.

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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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