Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses
Visit gncc.ca/workplace-self-screening-kits to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.
Federal government launches Tourism Relief Fund
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, launched $500-million in funding for the new Tourism Relief Fund. Eligible organizations can now submit applications to support the tourism sector prepare to welcome back domestic travelers and reposition Canada as a world-class destination.
Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) will deliver $485 million directly to businesses and organizations. In addition, $15 million, delivered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, will support destination development, seasonal and local attractions, and human resources and skills development.
More information on the Tourism Relief Fund, including how eligible applicants can apply, is available through Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs).
Security risk assessment now required to access federal research funds
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, released new National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships, developed in collaboration with the Government of Canada–Universities Working Group. The new guidelines will integrate national security considerations into the development, evaluation and funding of research partnerships.
The guidelines will be applied immediately as a mandatory element of federal research partnership funding through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Alliance Grants program for any application involving private sector partner organizations. Foreign not-for-profit and government organizations are already ineligible partners under this program. Applicants will be required to complete a risk assessment as an integral part of the grant application submitted to NSERC. The risk assessment and mitigation measures will be assessed by NSERC in consultation with national security agencies and departments on a case-by-case basis.
Carolyn Rogers appointed as Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada
The Board of Directors of the Bank of Canada today announced that Carolyn Rogers has been appointed Senior Deputy Governor for a seven-year term, effective December 15, 2021. The selection was made by the independent members of the Bank’s Board and was approved by the federal Cabinet. Ms. Rogers succeeds Carolyn A. Wilkins, who resigned from the Bank on December 9, 2020.
As Senior Deputy Governor, Ms. Rogers will oversee the Bank’s strategic planning and operations, and provide leadership to the Bank’s role in promoting a stable and efficient financial system. As a member of the Bank’s Governing Council, she will share responsibility for the conduct of monetary policy. She will also be a member of the Bank’s Board of Directors.
Building investment cooler in May
Investment in building construction decreased 1.9% to $19.4 billion in May, the first drop in seven months. Residential construction investment (-2.7%) was down for the first time since April 2020, while non-residential construction increased slightly.
Residential construction was down 2.7% in May, bringing total investment to $14.8 billion with declines in both single and multi-unit construction. Investment in single-family homes was down 2.7% to $8.3 billion. Quebec and Ontario posted the largest declines. Despite the decrease this month, single-unit investment remained approximately 60.0% above pre-COVID-19 levels.
Non-residential investment increased 0.6% to $4.7 billion in May. Investment in commercial construction increased 0.8% to $2.6 billion. Ontario continued to lead this component with multiple high-value construction projects in the works across the province such as Amazon fulfillment centres, the Labourers Union office building in Vaughan and a Canadian Tire distribution centre in Brampton.
Overdose, alcohol-induced deaths greater than at previous height of opioid crisis
Among those aged 0 to 44, the number of deaths attributed to accidental poisonings rose from 1,605 in 2019 and 1,830 in 2017 (the previously established height of the opioid crisis), to 2,125 (11.6 deaths per 100,000 people) in 2020 (unintentional poisonings include accidental overdoses of various illicit drugs, prescription and over-the-counter medications, alcohol, as well as poisonings from solvents and pesticides).
Data for Ontario indicate that the provisional number of deaths attributed to unintentional poisonings rose sharply at the beginning of the pandemic, with 605 deaths occurring in the period from April to June 2020, compared with 475 in the period from January to March 2020.
In 2020, the number and rate of alcohol-induced deaths increased among those under the age of 65. Among those aged 0 to 44, the number of alcohol-induced deaths rose from 325 in 2019 to 480 in 2020. There was also an increase in the number of alcohol-induced deaths in those aged 45 to 64 in 2020 compared with 2019.
Niagara-on-the-Lake launches Short Term Rental Compliance Program
The program provides a reliable way for residents to help ensure compliance of the Short Term Rental properties in their neighbourhood through the provision of a 24/7 hotline number and online system (PDF link) whereby residents can easily report Short Term Rentals in contravention of the Town’s Short Term Rental By-law.
To file an online complaint against a Short Term Rental in Niagara-on-the-Lake, please visit secure.hostcompliance.com/tips/type or call 435-STR-HELP (435-787-4357) or 289-210-7226 to speak directly to a Host Compliance operator.
Granicus’ govService Host Compliance, a service specializing in helping local governments manage Short Term Rental compliance and enforcement, is a third-party company hired to assist with implementing this program.
The delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads more quickly than the original virus and has been classified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization. It is now the dominant variant in the U.S. But a meme has been circulating on Facebook falsely claiming the delta variant is “fake news.”
The delta variant of the coronavirus, which was first documented in India in October, is now the dominant variant in the U.S. It accounted for more than half of new infections for the two weeks ending July 3, according to the most recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Viruses change over time and, as they mutate, they produce variants, which can develop more dangerous attributes. Four variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, have been called “notable” by the CDC, which is monitoring their growth across the country. The delta variant is among them.
Canadian women make 89 cents for every dollar men earn. Can new federal legislation narrow that gap?
Gender equality advocates and labour experts say legislation going into effect later this summer likely will work to reduce the pay gap between women and men in some Canadian workplaces — though it remains unclear whether those gains will ripple out across the larger economy.
Ottawa announced on Wednesday that its Pay Equity Act will go into effect on August 31, about three years after the legislation was first unveiled.
“I think it’s a start in a good direction, but I do think we need to get into that deeper discussion and deeper regulation … to make sure more people benefit,” said Andrea Gunraj, vice president of public engagement at the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
While Gunraj was generally positive about the legislation, she said its effects will be restricted to a tiny share of working Canadians.
The decline of manufacturing over the past few decades has left a dearth of people who know how to make things. There were some 1.9 million factory workers in Canada at the start of 2001, representing about 15 per cent of the workforce, according to Statistics Canada’s monthly payroll survey. That number had deteriorated to about 1.5 million by 2009, which is where it has hovered since, representing about nine per cent of all workers.
For decades, Canadian kids have been conditioned to equate career success with a fancy degree and an office job. There were about one million people employed in white-collar professions in April, a 57 per cent increase from the start of 2001, more than double the increase in total employment over that period.
Manufacturing still employs more people, but the industry’s trajectory has been in the opposite direction: the total number of positions in the industry was 26 per cent lower than in 2001, the year China joined the World Trade Organization and accelerated the hollowing out of American and Canadian factory towns that couldn’t compete with Asia.
Niagara COVID Stats Tracker (July 3)
|July 3||July 10||July 17||July 24|
|New cases per 100,000||11.1||6.7||5.2||4.6|
|New cases per day (not including outbreaks)||7.3||4.3||3.0||3.0|
|Percent of hospital beds occupied||84.4%||85.2%||82.4||84.3|
|Percent of intensive care beds occupied||80.6%||73.1%||77.6||71.6|
|Percentage of positive tests||1.6%||1.0%||0.8||0.9|
These data show the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Niagara. The Province of Ontario is now using a provincewide approach to reopening, and these data no longer have any influence on Niagara’s restrictions.
Data are drawn from Niagara Region Public Health.
Reproductive number: the average number of new cases each case causes. If each person infects one other person, the rate is 1; if each person infects two people, the rate is 2. Under the outdated COVID-19 response framework, the target for “green-prevent” was less than 1.
New cases per 100,000: the total number of new cases per week identified per 100,000 population. Under the outdated COVID-19 response framework, the target for “green-prevent” was less than 10.
New cases per day: the total number of new cases identified per day over seven days using a rolling average. This number does not include identified outbreaks.
Percent of hospital beds occupied: the total percentage of the Niagara Health System’s hospital beds currently in use. The average occupancy rate of both acute care beds and total hospital beds in Ontario was 96 per cent in 2018-19. It should be noted that this rate was the highest (worst) in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Percent of intensive care beds occupied: the total percentage of the Niagara Health System’s intensive care hospital beds currently in use. The average occupancy rate of both acute care beds and total hospital beds in Ontario was 96 per cent in 2018-19. It should be noted that this rate was the highest (worst) in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Percentage of positive tests: the percentage of COVID-19 tests that were positive. Under the outdated COVID-19 response framework, the target for “green-prevent” was less than 0.5%.
Niagara COVID vaccination tracker (July 12)
Niagara’s most up-to-date vaccination numbers are presented below, along with comparison data from Ontario, Canada, and G7 countries.
Total doses administered in Niagara: 539,713
Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 5,497
Ontario is currently in Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen.
Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen will begin at 12:01 a.m. on July 16, 2021. Step Two began at 12:01 a.m. on June 30, 2021.
|Percentage of population with one dose||Percentage of population fully vaccinated|