In this edition:
- Governments of Canada and Ontario invest further $6M in Grow Ontario Market Initiative
- Mayor Siscoe ends veto period with no changes; St. Catharines budget approved
- Niagara restaurant group to purchase Queenston Mile Vineyard in St. Davids
- Parliament announces two-year extension to ban on foreign ownership of housing
- St. Catharines lays out plan for spending $25.7 million from feds
- Proposed 5.16 per cent tax increase primes Fort Erie for growth: mayor
- Slate, City of Hamilton, HOPA outline major projects
- Niagara Health faces $12M deficit
- Governments of Canada, Ontario denounce U.S. softwood lumber duties
- Feds should boost grocery competition at home, not seek outsider: experts
- Canadian Chamber launches Canada-U.S. Engagement Initiative
- Focus on Technology
Governments of Canada and Ontario invest further $6M in Grow Ontario Market Initiative
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing an additional $6 million in the Grow Ontario Market Initiative to help agri-food businesses and industry organizations expand their sales and grow their markets. The increase brings the total funding for the Initiative through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership to $12 million.
The Grow Ontario Market Initiative was launched in 2023 to provide primary producers, food processors and industry organizations with cost-share funding to help them increase sales in domestic and foreign markets through market analysis and planning, new product development and marketing.
Mayor Siscoe ends veto period with no changes; St. Catharines multi-year budget approved
Mayor Siscoe on Friday took the step of waiving the Mayoral veto period for the 2024-26 Multi-year Budget, bringing the budget process to a close with the adoption of the City of St. Catharines Budget for 2024. This concludes the first budget process under the new Strong Mayor legislation introduced by the Province of Ontario in 2023.
St. Catharines lays out plan for spending $25.7 million from feds
St. Catharines will use $25.7 million in federal funds it was awarded last month on a seven-point action plan to try to accelerate new housing in the city.
A list of initiatives was laid out for city council by chief administrative officer David Oakes this week, with more detailed reports about how each project will be implemented to come forward at future meetings.
“There’s seven in total that are essentially going to be established over the course of the next three to four years, all of which will help to remove systematic barriers to the housing supply, while also boasting supply to housing stock in St. Catharines,” Oakes told council Monday.
Proposed 5.16 per cent tax increase primes Fort Erie for growth: mayor
At first blush, adding 5.16 per cent to residents’ tax bills seems a little high, Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop conceded during this week’s budget committee meeting.
But when you look closely at what’s driving the increase — mainly costs associated with growth — he said you can see it’s funding the long-term health of the town.
On Wednesday (Jan. 31), councillors were presented with the 2024 levy budget. All told, the budget calls for the median household (assessed value of $200,300) to pay $3,410 in combined town, regional and education taxes, an increase of $168 over 2023.
Slate, City of Hamilton, HOPA outline major projects
Slate Asset Management, developer of the 800-acre Steelport multi-use project on Hamilton, Ont.’s waterfront, was a headliner as local builders gathered to scout out project leads at the Hamilton-Halton Construction Association’s annual Construction Forecast presentation recently.
The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB), the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) and the City of Hamilton were other key presenters with projects to announce.
The biggest news out of HOPA lately was the recent announcement that Sucro Can Sourcing will build Canada’s largest sugar refinery with an investment of $135 million on HOPA lands. The plant is expected to have an annual refining capacity of one-million metric tonnes.
Niagara Health faces $12M deficit
Niagara Health is facing the same financial pressures as other hospital systems across the province, with a projected year-end deficit of millions of dollars.
In a statement, Niagara Health blamed its shortfall on high labour costs, inflation and an increase in demand for hospital services as a result of the region’s large aging population.
The hospital system said the deficit could climb to $12 million by the time the fiscal year ends on March 31.
Governments of Canada, Ontario denounce U.S. softwood lumber duties
The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, today stated Canada was “extremely disappointed” that the U.S. Department of Commerce has signalled its intention to significantly increase its duties on softwood lumber from Canada from 8.05% to an estimated 13.86%.
“This measure is entirely unwarranted,” Minister Ng added.
Graydon Smith, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, said that the Ontario government was renewing its call that all duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports should immediately be removed by the United States.
The forest sector generates close to $21 billion in annual revenue and provides more than 142,000 direct and indirect jobs in Ontario.
Feds should boost grocery competition at home, not seek outsider: experts
Instead of enticing a foreign grocer to come to Canada, some experts say Ottawa should look at ways to support smaller and regional grocery companies to boost competition.
Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said this week that he’s been reaching out to foreign grocery companies in the hopes they will come to Canada and help strengthen competition in the industry.
But while the arrival of a new discount retailer like Aldi or Lidl could create some price competition, it’s not that easy for a foreign chain to come to Canada and succeed, said Peter Chapman, founder of consulting firm SKUFood and a former Loblaw executive.
Canadian Chamber launches Canada-U.S. Engagement Initiative
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO Perrin Beatty today announced the launch of a new Canada-U.S. Engagement Plan aimed at providing Canadian businesses opportunities to increase ties with U.S. counterparts and policymakers.
On Monday, Mr. Beatty met with the Hon. Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and communicated with the Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development. They discussed the importance of Canada’s trade relationship with the United States and agreed that an increased U.S. presence by Canadian business and other stakeholders will help strengthen the relationship between our two countries.
Did you know?
Focus on Technology
While the generative AI market is poised to explode, and will become an increasingly essential part of IT spending, there are other tech trends organizations should also be aware of that will reshape industries and business decisions here in Canada and around the world.
Below I explore five key trends, as well as the actions organizations can take to capitalize on them.
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.