In this edition:
Niagara Economic Development and Niagara Health spotlight local businesses
Niagara Economic Development has partnered with Niagara Health to highlight Niagara businesses in preparation of the South Niagara Site construction phase.
In preparation for the successful project team awarded to design, build, finance and maintain the South Niagara Site, a new online tool will connect the project team with local Niagara businesses able to supply services or materials for the project.
Using Niagara Economic Development’s recently launched interactive Niagara Business Directory, the filtered list of business categories will allow the pre-qualified teams to search for Niagara businesses by sector, municipality, size and other variables encouraging them support local businesses and suppliers.
When constructing the St. Catharines Site, the project directly and indirectly supported and created approximately 5,400 jobs, many of which were in Niagara, with an estimated 1,000 workers on-site daily at the peak of construction. As a larger project, the South Niagara Site could bring even more opportunities for Niagara businesses.
Statistics Canada: 2020 saw largest decline in Canadian life expectancy ever recorded
Nationally, life expectancy, estimated on an annual basis, was 81.7 years in 2020, a decline of 0.6 years compared with the figure in 2019 (82.3). This was the largest annual decrease ever observed in Canada since 1921, the year that the vital statistics system was introduced.
There were 307,205 deaths in Canada in 2020, the year in which the COVID-19 pandemic began, an increase of 21,935 (+7.7%) over the 285,270 deaths observed in 2019. While some year-to-year increase in the number of deaths is expected due to the growth and aging of the population, the pandemic has had a significant impact on mortality in Canada.
Nunavut reaches $10-a-day childcare agreement, Ontario now only province or territory yet to sign
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, virtually joined the Premier of Nunavut, P.J. Akeeagok, today to announce an agreement that will support an average of $10‑a‑day licensed child care in the territory by March 2024, two years ahead of the federal target. By the end of 2022, parent fees for licensed child care will be reduced by 50 per cent on average, saving families hundreds of dollars per month. This would mean a family in Iqaluit would save an estimated total of up to $14,000 per year on child care fees. This will apply to parents with children up to six years old in licensed child care spaces.
In addition to today’s announcement, the Government of Canada has reached early learning and child care agreements with the governments of British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Yukon, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, New Brunswick, and the Northwest Territories. The governments of Canada and Quebec also reached an asymmetric agreement last year to strengthen the early learning and child care system in the province.
Ontario is now the only province or territory that has not signed the agreement.
One of the reasons more and more analysts and investors think the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates this week is Canada’s impressive hiring numbers over the past several months. But what if the labour market’s recovery from the COVID recession isn’t as good as it looks?
Canada added 886,000 positions in 2021, a record . That represents a faster return to normal than in the United States, a common benchmark for Canadian economic performance, where employment levels remain 2.3 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. Hiring trends in Canada are back to where they were at the start of 2020, at least according to the most popular employment survey.
But Canada trails the U.S. in other important metrics. America’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose to US$19.4 trillion in the second quarter, surpassing where it was at the end of 2019. Canadian GDP, however, was still 1.4 per cent below its pre-pandemic level of $2.12 trillion, according to Statistics Canada’s tally of economic output in the third quarter.
Late November almost began to feel like the early days of the pandemic all over again. Global stockmarkets fell by 5% as news of what would come to be known as the Omicron variant filtered out and investors feared either another round of restrictions, or that people would voluntarily shut themselves away. Haven currencies, such as the dollar and the yen, strengthened. The price of oil slumped by about $10 a barrel, the kind of drop often associated with a looming recession.
Two months on, the impact of Omicron is slowly coming into focus. So far it is, largely, better than feared. On January 18th the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil approached $88, its highest level in seven years. Although global stockmarkets have sold off in recent days and are at the same level as in late November, that seems to reflect worries over higher interest rates rather than covid-19. Goldman Sachs, a bank, has constructed a share-price index of European companies, such as airlines and hotels, that thrive when people are able and willing to be in public spaces. The index, a good proxy for anxiety about covid-19’s economic impact, has surged relative to wider stockmarkets in recent weeks.
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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.