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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: January 24, 2023

Government of Ontario announces $936 million for community housing, Niagara Health announces 2023-2028 Strategic Plan, and more.

In this edition:

Government of Ontario announces $936 million to build and maintain community housing

During the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced that the government is providing more than $936 million in much-needed funds to municipal service managers and Indigenous program administrators in 2023-24 and 2024-25 through initiatives under the National Housing Strategy to maintain and create more community housing.

This includes an increase of over $23 million in funding under the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit for women and children fleeing violence.

Minister Clark also announced the province is extending the deadline for implementation projects approved under Intake 3 of the Municipal Modernization Program (MMP) to streamline, digitize and modernize their services, including managing and approving applications for residential developments.

Click here to read more.

Niagara Health announces 2023-2028 Strategic Plan

Niagara Health, the hospital system for the region, has announced its 2023-2028 Strategic Plan. By 2028, Niagara Health intends to:

  • Ensure a positive patient experience with a focus on the increasing demands of our aging community and work with specific patient populations, beginning with Indigenous partners, to improve care;
  • Deliver consistent, high-quality care across all sites, using technology and data, which will get easier with the  implementation of our new hospital information system;
  • Fully transition to a regional model with two acute care sites, including the opening of the new South Niagara Site hospital and one ambulatory care site; and
  • Continue to build an inclusive and collaborative workplace with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

A PDF of the plan can be downloaded here.

Click here to read more.

Niagara College Performance Therapy clinic opens to community clients

The reopening of Niagara College’s Performance Therapy Clinic at the Welland Campus is a leap forward for students seeking experience in physiotherapy and occupational therapy, as well as community clients seeking treatment.

The Performance Clinic, which reopened at the College’s Welland Campus on January 16 for the first time since 2020, offers physiotherapy assessments and treatment sessions at a reduced cost for staff, students and the public, as well as an in-demand occupational therapy pediatric fine motor skills occupational therapy program for local residents, expected to help alleviate wait times in the community.

Click here to read more.

Passport backlog ‘virtually eliminated,’ delivery back to pre-pandemic timelines

Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould updated Canadians that passport delivery has returned to pre-pandemic processing times, the backlog has been virtually eliminated, and Service Canada is exceeding its delivery standard for most applications.

Since October 3, 2022, all passport applications received, both in person and by mail, have been processed within pre-pandemic service standards.

The Government’s service delivery standard is 10 days to process in-person passport applications received at a specialized passport office and 20 days for applications received by mail or dropped off at a Service Canada Centre. Because of additional staffing, increased overtime and improved efficiency, Service Canada is delivering most passports by our 10- and 20-day target, achieving a 95% and 98% rate for complete applications, respectively.

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Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson recommends ways to improve communication from CRA

Today, the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson, Mr. François Boileau, released The Lockout: Communication Was the KeyThis report examined the communications the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provided to taxpayers after it locked out some users from their CRA accounts in mid-February 2021 in an effort to protect accounts that could have been compromised. Many affected taxpayers expressed concerns about the lack of clear and timely communication from the CRA.

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Blackowned905, Future Black Female join forces to create space for Black owned business in downtown St. Catharines

While representation has come a long way, we still have a long way to go, especially in the business space.

That’s why Future Black Female and Blackowned905, both based out of downtown St. Catharines, have come together to create an entrepreneurship program to help Black-owned businesses get on their feet.

Called “Marketplace Bootcamp,” the program is looking for Black-woman-owned businesses in Niagara, run by someone from 18 to 25 years old.

The program will require being able to commit 25 to 45 hours a week, including Saturdays.

Through their program, a Black-owned business that’s already ready to go would be given a storefront inside of the Corbloc on King Street.
Click here to read more.

Focus on Finance & Economy

More than 25% of Canadians think high prices will drop five years from now. Here’s why that’s unlikely

What goes up doesn’t necessarily come down.

That’s contrary to the sentiment of a surprisingly large proportion of respondents to the Bank of Canada’s quarterly consumer expectations survey, released last week.

According to the survey, more than a quarter of Canadians believe that current decades-high prices will drop five years from now.

“What goes up must come down,” said one respondent in a post-survey interview.

The sentiment likely raised eyebrows at the central bank.

The chance of deflation in five years is “extremely unlikely,” Laval University economics professor Stephen Gordon said.

Though some prices will come down, as has been the case with gasoline prices, Gordon said higher prices for goods feed into each other through the supply chain and become baked into the economy.
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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