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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: January 27, 2023

Niagara Regional Council putting together this year’s budget puzzle, impact of Regional Transit Levy on Welland taxpayers, and more.

In this edition:

Niagara Region’s Budget Review Committee approved a $177.9 million police budget in principle

Niagara Regional Council took another step in putting together this year’s budget puzzle by slotting what’s known as the ABCs (agencies, boards and commissions) into the mix.

A surplus in the Niagara Regional Police budget and a $500,000 request from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) to supplement its fund for acquiring property were the main points of contention as councillors grapple with a regional budget that will increase 9.4 per cent in 2023 if they can’t find reductions in the coming weeks.

The final two steps include the levy budget session on Feb. 9 and then final budget approval by the full council on Feb. 23.

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Impact of proposed 2023 Regional Transit Levy on Welland taxpayers

Welland City Council received a staff report at their special council meeting on January 25, outlining the impact of the Niagara Regional Transit (NRT) Levy on Welland taxpayers based on NRT’s proposed budget.

In the Welland staff report, an estimated 31 per cent increase in 2023 over 2022 is presented, an increase derived from the NRT proposed 2023 budget.

The methodology approved during the triple majority vote to allocate local net transit costs and incremental capital was these costs were to be apportioned based on the proportion of service hours. However, during the development of the proposed 2023 budget by the NTC, two new allocation methods were introduced: a Municipal Direct Allocation and the One-Time Special Levy.

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Niagara College ranks No. 1 research college in Ontario, No. 2 in Canada

For the eighth year in a row, Niagara College ranks among the top 10 colleges in the country for research funding, according to a special report released on January 25.

Niagara College has earned the No. 2 spot in Canada as a top research college, and the No. 1 spot in Ontario. Since Research Infosource Inc. first published its Top 50 Research Colleges report in 2013, NC has been in the top 15 consistently.

In its report, Canada’s Innovation Leaders, Research Infosource Inc. announced the rankings based on total research funding numbers for 2021

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Supporting Canada’s research talent pipeline

Business success, economic growth, and the overall prosperity of our country all depend on Canada’s ability to attract and retain the next generation of talent – including students at the postsecondary level.

Canada is facing an acute talent crisis. Job vacancies are at all-time highs, yet graduate students are struggling to make ends meet, international students are waiting months for study permit approvals and undergraduates are searching for meaningful work opportunities to develop skills.

Universities, businesses, and students are aligned, calling on the government to prioritize early career research talent, reduce barriers for students to come to Canada, improve support and processing for international students in Canada, strengthen our international competitiveness in scientific research and development and the deployment of new technologies, improve and expand access to high-quality lifelong and work-integrated learning opportunities, and work to ensure more of our talented graduates remain in Canada.

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Housing affordability woes have spilled over to rental market, CMHC report finds

New data from Canada’s national housing agency highlights the extent to which the country’s housing affordability challenges have spilled over into the rental market, driving up rents and pushing vacancy rates to multi-decade lows.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s annual Rental Market Report, released yesterday, showed the national vacancy rate for purpose-built apartments fell to 1.9 per cent in 2022 from 3.1 per cent the previous year, the lowest level since 2001.

The agency attributed the broad tightening of the market to increased immigration, the return to on-campus learning for post-secondary students and higher mortgage rates, with the latter driving would-be buyers into the rental market.

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Focus on Human Resources

Don’t underestimate the value of employee tenure

Richard A. Guzzo, Haig R. Nalbantian, and Nick L. Anderson, Harvard Business Review

People are living and working longer and the implications for areas such as health care and government entitlement programs are profound. But what about employers? Is there value to companies if they engage an aging workforce?

It depends on how you define experience. Employee age has no impact on business performance, whether performance is measured by financial, operational, or customer outcomes. Tenure, however, has a significant positive and sometimes very sizeable impact on financial performance and operational excellence.

This suggests that there is no place for ageism at work. It also suggests that gig or temporary workers should not replace tenured staff.

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Estimates for pay hikes in Canada continue to rise

John Dujay, Canadian HRReporter

The pace of expected raises in salary has increased among Canadian organizations, according to the latest outlook from the Conference Board.

In its pulse check conducted in the fall, the average pay increase is forecast to be four per cent in 2023, which is higher than an earlier survey in the spring that pegged it at 3.4 per cent.

Forty per cent of 228 organizations surveyed between Nov. 1 and 23, said they would be revising their increases for next year.

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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.

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