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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: January 11, 2023

Government of Canada invests $22.7 million in Welland Canal, Ontario launches public consultations on budget, and more.

In this edition:

Government of Canada invests $22.7 million in Welland Canal

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, Vance Badawey, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, Chris Bittle, announced an investment of up to $22.7 million to support improvements for the Welland Canal under the National Trade Corridors Fund. This investment will have important benefits for the region, such as relieving supply chain congestion and facilitating the movement of goods at the port.

The $45.3 million project will support the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of three wharves located at the Welland Canal in Port Colborne, Ontario. The project aims to revive these wharves, which are currently out-of-service, to support operations and increase capacity of the trade corridor.

The National Trade Corridors Fund is a competitive, merit-based program designed to help infrastructure owners and users invest in the transportation assets that support economic activity in Canada. A total of $4.7 billion over 11 years (2017-2028) has been allocated to the program.

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Ontario launches public consultations on budget, focused on transportation, jobs

Ontario is asking residents for their input on the upcoming budget, and questions in a survey posted today indicate major themes will be health-care staffing, transportation, jobs and the cost of living.

The provincial government plans to table its budget by March 31, and is now starting the process of public consultations, with a legislative committee travelling the province and an online survey launching today.

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Ontario innovation takes centre stage during U.S. trade mission

The Ontario government has concluded a successful trade mission to the United States to promote the province’s flourishing automotive, technology and life sciences sectors and attract new investment opportunities. Two delegations of more than 29 Ontario companies, led by Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, represented the province at two of the world’s largest technology and innovation conferences – the Consumer Electronics Show and the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference and Biotech Showcase.

“Ontario is the second largest IT cluster in North America, making it a hub for global innovation,” said Minister Fedeli. “We’re building a stronger Ontario and are proud to be leading major advancements across the technology, automotive and life sciences sectors. By connecting Ontario innovators with global leaders in these key sectors, we’re able to create new opportunities for families and businesses here in Ontario.”

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Realtors report surge in homebuyers desperate to get out of deals as interest rates continue to rise

There are worrying headwinds for Toronto’s front-end real estate market as buyers are increasingly worried they won’t be able to close their sales deals due to significantly higher interest rates.

Calls from concerned buyers have doubled in recent months for Simeon Papailias, managing partner of Royal LePages REC Canada, as many wonder if they can walk out of a deal with the developer.

“We’re seeing a huge spike in requests from people due to fear and instability in the market,” he said. “We’re getting inquiries from clients as to whether they should walk out of a deal or just keep the property and close.”
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Goldman Sachs laying off thousands as Wall Street braces for slowdown

Staff at Goldman Sachs are bracing for news on whether they will keep their jobs on Wednesday, as the U.S. investment bank begins a sweeping cost-cutting drive that could see its 49,000-strong global workforce shrink by thousands.

The long-anticipated jobs cull at the Wall Street titan, expected to represent the biggest contraction in headcount since the financial crisis, is likely to affect most of the bank’s major divisions, with its under-fire investment banking arm facing the deepest cuts, a source told Reuters this month.

Just over 3,000 employees will be let go, the source, who could not be named, said on Jan. 9.

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U.S. air travel outage hits Canadian transborder flights

Some transborder flights with Canadian airlines were impacted Wednesday when the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) temporarily grounded all domestic routes due to a major computer outage.

The number of affected Canadian airline flights wasn’t immediately known after routes resumed mid-morning. The FAA lifted the ground stop shortly before 9 a.m. EST as it probed the source of the issue, though service impacts continued to ripple through airports across the U.S.

Air Canada said in a statement that transborder operations would be affected by the outage “but it is not possible to determine the extent at this point as we do not know the full impact and duration.”

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Featured Content

3 low-cost strategies to make your business more sustainable

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the heart of Canada’s economy, representing 99.8% of all businesses in this country and employing 88.3% of Canadian workers in the private labour force. There are 1.22 million SMEs in Canada, and Ontario is home to about 440,0003 of them.

That’s a massive responsibility, as SMEs — companies that employ from one to 500 people — can have a huge impact on this country’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and increase sustainable business practices. This gives business owners and their employees an important role in helping to make Ontario a leader in sustainability.

At Meridian, we know it’s not always easy to find the time or money to explore cleaner, greener ways to work. That’s why we pulled together three simple strategies you can follow to quickly implement changes big and small, no matter what kind of business you run.

Click here to read more.

Focus on Climate

Funding electric public transit can reduce emissions and address economic inequality

Electric vehicles have the potential to address climate change by producing significantly less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other air pollutants than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.

To promote their use, the Canadian government incentivized the purchase of electric vehicles in 2019, making it easier for Canadians to buy zero-emission vehicles.

Yet, high prices continue to be a major barrier. Electric vehicles of all types, even after a decade of being on the market, remain too expensive for most Canadians — even after government incentives.

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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