In this edition:
OCC echoes GNCC affordable childcare call
Welland short-term rental licensing takes effect Monday
Indicators suggest COVID infections have peaked
Canadian wireless plan costs down 25%
World inflation to remain high this year
Ontario Chamber of Commerce echoes GNCC call for affordable childcare
Rocco Rossi, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), today stated that “if we want a robust and inclusive economic recovery, we need governments to create the right conditions to support a productive labour force. This includes childcare and we hope to see a deal finalized soon between the Governments of Ontario and Canada.”
The GNCC has previously advocated for more affordable childcare, including in the recent Women in Niagara Council (WIN) Hackathon Report. With childcare often exceeding $1,000 per month per child in Niagara, many parents simply cannot afford to return to work, exacerbating our labour shortage. Affordable childcare will not only reduce the cost of living for families, but bring more people into the workforce, easing the strain on the economy.
Welland short-term rental licensing will take effect January 31
As previously announced, beginning January 31, the City of Welland’s licencing program for short-term rentals comes into effect. Licensing ensures all short-term rentals within the City of Welland are operating under applicable law.
A short-term rental is a dwelling unit rented for 28 consecutive days or less but does not include a bed and breakfast, hotel/motel, or boarding or lodging house. Zoning permits short-term rental accommodations as a secondary use in residential, agricultural, and institutional zones where residential uses are allowed and as the principal use of dwellings in commercial zones that allow for residential uses.
Dr. Tam: indicators suggest infections have peaked
Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, remarked that although daily reported cases remain at record high levels, multiple indicators suggest infections have peaked at the national level, including daily case counts, test positivity, Rt (or effective reproduction number), and wastewater surveillance trends.
The ongoing high volume of cases is placing a heavy strain on the healthcare system, both because of increased hospital admissions as well as high numbers of illness and need for isolation among health care workers.
Immunization for all those who are eligible, but are yet to receive their primary series, remains a top priority. All told, over 6.3 million eligible Canadians need one or more doses to complete their primary series and many others are eligible to get a booster dose to help improve protection that may have decreased since their second dose.
NACI now strongly recommends that children aged 5 to 11 years receive a complete two-dose primary series of the Pfizer 10 mcg pediatric mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. For adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, NACI continues to strongly recommend a complete primary series of authorised mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
Canadian wireless plan costs down 25%
The Government of Canada introduced aggressive measures to reduce the cost of wireless services, including a commitment made in March 2020 to track and reduce the costs of mid-range wireless plans by 25% over two years.
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that the government has met its target three months ahead of schedule. Prices for all tracked mid-range plans have decreased by 25% compared to the benchmark prices collected in early 2020, according to the newly published data for the latest quarter of wireless pricing, which cover the period from October to December 2021.
Reuters economist poll: world inflation to remain high this year
Persistently high inflation will haunt the world economy this year, according to a Reuters poll of economists who trimmed their global growth outlook on worries of slowing demand and the risk interest rates would rise faster than assumed so far.
This represents a sea change from just three months ago, when most economists were siding with central bankers in their then-prevalent view that a surge in inflation, driven in part by pandemic-related supply bottlenecks, would be transitory.
Canada recorded a much smaller budget deficit in the first eight months of fiscal 2021/22 compared to the same period a year ago, as the costs of the COVID-19 crisis continued to recede, the finance ministry said on Friday.
The April to November shortfall was C$73.70 billion ($57.75 billion) compared with a C$232.02 billion deficit over the same eight months in 2020/21, the data showed.
“As expected, the government’s 2021–22 financial results show a marked improvement compared to the peak of the COVID-19 crisis,” the finance ministry said. “That said, they continue to reflect challenging economic conditions.”
While some Ottawa businesses are wondering whether to shut their doors this weekend as a convoy of truckers makes its way to Parliament Hill, others are rolling out the welcome mat.
The convoy includes truck drivers from across the country and others broadly opposed to public health mandates.
One dynamic is the sheer number of vehicles converging on the city of a million people from three directions may make it very hard to get around this weekend, particularly to, from and through downtown.
Ottawa police are urging people to avoid unnecessary travel downtown this weekend and the city has already started closing some lanes of traffic, saying it expects disruptions will last until Sunday. Provincial police have asked people to avoid using major highways.
The expected traffic problems led Ottawa Public Health to close a COVID-19 vaccine clinic near downtown.
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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.