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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: June 16, 2023

In this edition:

Twenty-six Ontario mayors granted “strong mayor” powers, including St. Catharines and Niagara Falls

The Ontario government is expanding strong mayor powers to the mayors of 26 large and fast-growing municipalities that have committed to a housing pledge as part of the province’s work to build 1.5 million homes by 2031.

The 26 designated municipalities are single- or lower-tier municipalities with a population over 100,000, or growing to 100,000 by 2031, and have submitted a housing pledge to the province.

Strong mayor powers and duties include:

  • Choosing to appoint the municipality’s chief administrative officer
  • Hiring certain municipal department heads, and establishing and re-organizing departments
  • Creating committees of council, assigning their functions and appointing the chairs and vice-chairs of committees of council
  • Proposing the municipal budget, which would be subject to council amendments and a separate head of council veto and council override process
  • Vetoing certain by-laws if the head of council is of the opinion that all or part of the by-law could potentially interfere with a provincial priority
  • Bringing forward matters for council consideration if the head of council is of the opinion that considering the matter could potentially advance a provincial priority

Click here for a list of affected municipalities

Federal government tables the Canadian Sustainable Jobs Act to try and create a resilient labour force

On Jun. 15, Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, advanced one of the 10 key action areas outlined in the plan by introducing a bill entitled “An Act respecting accountability, transparency and engagement to support the creation of sustainable jobs for workers and economic growth in a net-zero economy” (Canadian Sustainable Jobs Act).

The Canadian Sustainable Jobs Act includes several measures, all of which were outlined in the Interim Sustainable Jobs Plan earlier this year. The legislation will put workers and communities at the centre of policy and decision-making by establishing a federal framework for accountability, a governance structure and engagement mechanisms — all guided by the principles of equity, fairness and inclusion.

Click here to read more.

Food, beverage and tobacco sales tumble in wholesale trade decline

Wholesale sales (excluding petroleum, petroleum products, and other hydrocarbons and excluding oilseed and grain) fell 1.4% to $80.9 billion in April. Sales fell in four of the seven subsectors. The decrease in sales was mainly led by the miscellaneous and the food, beverage and tobacco product subsectors. Despite the monthly decrease in the sector, wholesale sales (excluding petroleum, petroleum products, and other hydrocarbons and excluding oilseed and grain) were higher (+1.4%) than in April 2022.

Click here to read more.

Town of Fort Erie receives and endorses Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Policy for Town Staff and Council

On Monday, June 12, 2023, Town Council approved an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy (EDI) developed in collaboration with the Fort Erie Diversity and Inclusion Coalition, which is comprised of members representing various community organizations.

The essence of the policy came down to fostering an environment of openness and unity to diversity through an approach focused on learning, understanding and awareness.

Click here to read more.

Niagara Falls to hold Building Permit Fee Review

A review has been conducted of the building permit fees for the City of Niagara Falls. The 2023 Building Permit Fees Review Report will be presented at the council meeting on July 11, 2023. At the following council meeting on August 15, 2023, Council will consider amendments to the current building permit fees and a by-law for adoption and implementation.

The July 11, 2023, meeting will take place at 1 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall, 4310 Queen Street, Niagara Falls, Ontario. The meeting will include a presentation by Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. Upon conclusion of the presentation, any person in attendance will have an opportunity to comment.

Click here to read more.

Temporary foreign workers need more paths to immigration, experts say

As hotel and restaurant owners increasingly turn to temporary foreign workers to fill labour gaps, there are growing calls to give those workers more paths to permanent residency.

“If there are particular occupations where there’s a real need and we’ve become dependent on temporary foreign workers … we should include them in a permanent system,” said Naomi Alboim, a senior policy fellow at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Click here to read more.

Did you know?

When the CEO of Japan Airlines was forced to cut salaries, he also cut his own to $90,000 a year – less than his pilots. 

Focus on Sustainability

A Short Guide for Small Business Sustainability

Running a small business successfully is challenging at the best of times, but it’s made more difficult by the ever-changing demands of consumerism. For example, more people are choosing to support sustainable businesses, and they’re willing to put time into researching companies to find out their policies. Therefore, successfully running a small business in 2023 involves having a clear sustainability plan.

Click here to read more.

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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