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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: January 30, 2023

In this edition:

Ontario hospital nurses start contract talks, plan ‘escalating actions’

The Ontario Nurses’ Association has started bargaining a new contract today for hospital nurses and the union is planning a series of actions to bolster its push for higher wages.

The nurses, and other broader public sector workers, have been subject for three years to a wage restraint law known as Bill 124, which capped increases at one per cent a year.

Bernie Robinson, the interim president of the ONA, says the last contract left nurses feeling disrespected and devalued, and in this round of negotiations the union is seeking “far more.”

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Survey: 51% of Canadian firms plan to add staff in first half of 2023

Despite market volatility, more than half of companies across the country have plans to hire early this year, research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. According to the company’s State of Canadian Hiring Survey of nearly 1,450 managers, 51 per cent of respondents anticipate adding new permanent roles during the first half of the year, up from 40 per cent six months ago; another 42 per cent expect to fill vacated positions. Managers in administration and customer service (62 per cent) and marketing and creative (60 per cent) have the greatest full-time staffing needs.

While many companies are eager to hire, nine in 10 managers said it’s challenging to find skilled professionals, on par with results from the prior State of Canadian Hiring Survey. Employers also reported it can take up to 14 weeks, on average, to hire for an open position, up from eight weeks in 2021.

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Federal departments failed to spend $38B on promised programs, services last year

The federal government failed to spend tens of billions of dollars in the last fiscal year on promised programs and services, including new military equipment, affordable housing and support for veterans.

Federal departments are blaming a variety of factors for letting a record total of $38 billion in funding lapse in 2021-22, including delays and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also say much of the money remains available for future years.

The unspent funds also played a big part in the Liberal government posting a smaller-than-expected deficit in the year ending March 31, 2022.

Canada rang up a $90.2 billion deficit — $23.6 billion less than had been projected in the budget.

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Port Colborne launches survey to support new strategic plan

The City of Port Colborne has launched a community engagement survey to help inform and identify key themes for the development of its new strategic plan.

With the first months of a new council term underway, setting a direction for the next four years will be crucial for addressing the challenges and opportunities ahead. It calls for a focus on making sure the response to the knowns and unknowns is approached from a position of strength. The city’s current (2020-2023) strategic plan was adopted in May 2021. It contains 40 priority projects that align with six key pillars and provides a line of sight for staff to work towards in their day-to-day responsibilities.

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Gates to hold emergency healthcare townhall

Niagara Falls Member of Provincial Parliament Wayne Gates will host an emergency healthcare townhall on Thursday, February 9th from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m at the Gale Centre (5152 Thorold Stone Road, Niagara Falls, L2E 0A2) in the Memorial Room.

The townhall will feature a panel of health care experts & front-line workers to discuss the crisis, the continued growth of privatization, and to listen directly to the concerns and stories of residents.

This event is open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. For the safety of all community members, the organizers ask that people wear a mask indoors.
For more information, please contact the office of Wayne Gates at (905)357-0681 or, or visit the event’s Facebook page.

Focus on Small Business

Laid off? This is your blueprint for starting your own business

When you go through a messy breakup, some might tell you that “it’s for the best.” While no one is likely to say that after a layoff, it truly can be “for the best.” Here’s how to go from feeling dejected to feeling delighted.

As someone who left executive roles in marketing and media to start her own business, I quickly realized being accomplished or having skills is only half the battle once you’re your own boss. Whether you’re envisioning your layoff as a first step on your path to self-employment or a moment to catch your breath and re-examine your career, the process is the same and here are some tips to keep in mind.

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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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