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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: February 2, 2023

Ontario government releases new health plan, building permits fell again in December, and more.

In this edition:

Ontario government releases new health plan

The Ontario government today released Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care.

The plan lays out a broad series of initiatives under three pillars: The Right Care in the Right Place, Faster Access to Care and Hiring More Health Care Workers. Designed to work together and work for people, these pillars aim to deliver connected and convenient care in hospital emergency rooms, in community settings like pharmacies and community organizations and doctors’ offices, in long-term care homes and through care delivered at home.

Specific measures include:

  • Expanded roles for pharmacists
  • Better coordination between healthcare professionals and providers
  • Investment in imaging and minor surgery providers to reduce backlogs
  • Expanding post-secondary medical education programs
  • Empowering paramedics to treat patients on-site

Ontario also says it is in “full support” of the federal government’s push to make health-care funding contingent on data reporting.

Click here to read more.

Building permits fell again in December

The monthly total seasonally adjusted value of building permits in Canada decreased 7.3% in December to $10.3 billion. Declines were posted in both the residential and the non-residential sectors.

Construction intentions in the single-family homes component decreased 3.9% while multi-family permit values fell 11.6%, with seven provinces posting declines. Quebec (-43.4%) contributed to much of the decline in the multi-family component following a strong November. Conversely, notable gains were posted in New Brunswick (+46.4%) and Saskatchewan (+36.9%) in December.

Click here to read more.

St. Catharines city council to prep for governance review

St. Catharines city council is planning to relaunch a governance review group in preparation for the province’s dive into Niagara’s political structure.

Grantham Coun. Dawn Dodge asked during a meeting this week that the city re-establish a task force, last struck in 2019, so the city is ready when facilitators are appointed by Queen’s Park.

“We’re a new council and it’s been some time since this was all discussed so I think it’s important we’re all on the same page and understand what’s going to take place,” Dodge said in an interview this week.

Council is expected to discuss task force details at a meeting this month.
Click here to read more.

Welland Media Release launches temporary emergency shelter pilot program

The City of Welland is launching a pilot emergency homeless shelter operated on the City’s behalf by the Hope Centre at the Welland Tennis Club at 45 Hooker Street during February and March. The shelter will offer five beds.

The temporary emergency shelter operating on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. is a result of the challenges observed during the inclement weather earlier this month. The first day of operation is Thursday, February 2. A trained social worker will be onsite to ensure the health and safety of everyone. In addition, shelter staff will screen visitors and engage in appropriate diversion practices to assist those in need.

The City will allot $9,000 for this initiative through the Corporate Continency Fund, amended on January 17, 2023. The funding to the Hope Centre is for staffing the shelter with a trained social worker.

Click here to read more (PDF link).

Niagara prepares for Coldest Night of the Year walks

Organizations across Niagara are getting ready for one of their biggest fundraisers of the year, when Coldest Night of the Year walks will be held across the country on February 25th to raise funds for various organizations that assist homeless initiatives.

Project Share will be hosting a walk in Niagara Falls. Walks are also being held in West Niagara, Fort Erie, Welland, and St. Catharines.

You can find information for all the walks here.

Click here to read more.

Food prices set to increase — again — as blackout on price hikes ends at some stores

Higher grocery prices are expected to hit stores across Canada as a blackout on price increases over the holiday season comes to an end.

Last fall, Loblaw Cos. Ltd. said it would lock-in prices on all its in-house No Name products until Jan. 31, while Metro Inc. said it would hold prices of most private-label and national brand products steady until Feb. 5.

The lifting of price freezes comes amid growing consumer outrage over soaring grocery prices and increasing scrutiny of grocers’ record profits.

Click here to read more.

Focus on Climate

Japan’s Honda outlines hydrogen power plans to go green

Honda is expanding the use of hydrogen to trucks and construction machinery, power for buildings and even space, not just cars on the roads.

Honda Motor Co. plans to sell a new fuel cell vehicle next year packed with a fuel cell stack developed with US-based General Motors Co., its general manager Testuya Hasebe told reporters on Thursday.

That will bring the cost of the fuel cell stack down to a third of what it is now, he said. By 2030, the cost of Honda’s fuel cells will be comparable to that of diesel engines, Hasebe said.

Click here to read more.

How California’s ambitious new climate plan could help speed energy transformation around the world

California is embarking on an audacious new climate plan that aims to eliminate the state’s greenhouse gas footprint by 2045, and in the process, slash emissions far beyond its borders. The blueprint calls for massive transformations in industry, energy and transportation, as well as changes in institutions and human behaviors.

These transformations won’t be easy. Two years of developing the plan have exposed myriad challenges and tensions, including environmental justice, affordability and local rule.

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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