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.
Ontario accelerates second COVID-19 vaccine dose for youth and children
Ontario is accelerating second dose eligibility to all children and youth aged 12 to 17. Starting on Monday, July 5, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., youth aged 12 to 17 across the province will be eligible to book an accelerated second dose appointment to receive the Pfizer vaccine through the provincial booking system, directly through public health units that use their own booking system, and through participating pharmacies.
Ontario cuts red tape for transportation businesses
Effective July 1, carriers do not need a license to operate a new route and multiple carriers may offer service along the same or complimentary routes, helping to improve travel options for Ontarians. Previously, one carrier was given a licence to operate a certain route for a particular destination or city.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost two million people did not have access to an intercommunity passenger transportation route, and half of all municipalities did not have an intercommunity passenger transportation stop within their boundaries.
Fort Erie Temporary Outdoor Patio Program offered without fees to local businesses
The Town of Fort Erie Temporary Outdoor Patio Program (PDF link) is intended to support local eating establishments by providing flexibility while at the same time ensuring health and safety standards remain in place. Applicants wishing to establish a new temporary outdoor patio or temporarily expand an existing outdoor patio must complete and submit an application prior to approval. No fees shall apply to the application. To learn more about the program, or apply online, visit forterie.ca/pages/TemporaryOutdoorPatio.
1 in 5 Canadian businesses reported a cybersecurity incident in 2020
6.6% more Canadian businesses reported a cybersecurity incident in 2020 than in 2019, Statistics Canada has revealed. Large businesses appear to have been particularly targeted, with firms employing more than 100 people reporting a 16.1% increase. The wholesale trade, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services industries all report close to a double-digit increase in incidents.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has warned of Canada’s vulnerability in this field as the country has fallen behind on R&D. The OECD has raised a red flag regarding Canada’s lagging science and technology progress. While the majority of the OECD is increasing R&D investment – being led by the United States, Japan, Germany and Korea – Canada is one of only a few countries where R&D investment in science and technology is “stagnant”. With orders of magnitude more investments being made by Canada’s competitors, we are now at risk of being left behind.
To help address these challenges, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is today launching the Cyber. Right. Now. campaign, a concerted effort, led by the Canadian Chamber and supported by a broad range of 28 leading tech organizations of all sizes from across Canada. Together they are set to raise awareness and propose solutions to government to empower Canada to lead the global cybersecurity future.
The GNCC’s last webinar on cybersecurity is available to view online.
Building permits drop by record value in May 2021
Following four consecutive months of reaching new highs, the total value of building permits dropped a record $1.6 billion (-14.8%) to $9.5 billion in May. Every component was down, with multi-family dwellings in Ontario accounting for nearly three fifths of the overall national decline.
Residential permits in Niagara declined by 27.5% month-over-month, even as the number of housing starts increased by 15.9%.
The value of permits for multi-family dwellings dropped 20.6% to $3.3 billion in May, the lowest value since August 2020. Ontario was responsible for the majority of the decline.
Construction intentions for the non-residential sector were down 12.2% to $3.0 billion in May, with Ontario and Quebec falling 21.5% and 22.9% respectively.
Commercial permits tumbled 15.8% to $1.6 billion overall. Ontario dropped 33.9% as no permit in excess of $25 million was issued for the province in May, compared with six in the previous month, worth a total of $295 million.
Canada’s dollar will strengthen over the coming year, bolstered by higher oil prices and reduced stimulus from the Bank of Canada, but gains could stop short of the currency’s recent six-year high, a Reuters poll showed.
The loonie has pulled back 3.2% since last month touching its strongest level since May 2015 near 1.20 per U.S. dollar, or 83.33 U.S. cents, pressured by the Federal Reserve’s surprise shift to more hawkish guidance and worries the spreading Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus could slow a global economic recovery.
Analysts say 1.20 is a key technical level for the currency.
CBC News/Associated Press
In an encouraging burst of hiring, America’s employers added 850,000 jobs in June, well above the average of the previous three months and a sign that companies may be having an easier time finding enough workers to fill open jobs.
Friday’s report from the U.S. Labour Department was the latest sign that the reopening of the economy is propelling a powerful rebound from the pandemic recession. Restaurant traffic across the country is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, and more people are shopping, travelling and attending sports and entertainment events.
The number of people flying each day is also about 80 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels. And Americans’ confidence in the economic outlook has nearly fully recovered.
Niagara COVID Stats Tracker (June 26)
|December 18||December 25||January 1||January 8||January 15||January 22||January 29|
|New cases per 100,000||101.2||267.3||469.8||575.8||507.1||295.5||250.6|
|New cases per day (not including outbreaks)||60.7||178.7||311.7||376.9||325.4||182.7||145.7|
|Percent of hospital beds occupied||97%||95.2%||98.2%||103.2%||104.5%||103.6%||106%|
|Percent of intensive care beds occupied||78.8%||77.3%||87.9%||87.9%||90.9%||89.4%||93.9%|
|Percentage of positive tests||6.1%||15.6%||28.1%||28.6%||26.6%||21.2%||16.2%|
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 2)
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: 462,980
Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 5,886
Ontario is currently in Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen.
Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen will begin when Ontario has vaccinated 70-80% of adults with one dose, 25% of adults with two doses, has positive public health indicators, and has been in Step Two for at least 21 days. Step Two began at 12:01 a.m. on June 30, 2021.
|Percentage of population with one dose||Percentage of population fully vaccinated|