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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: June 23, 2023

In this edition:

Niagara Falls councillors “inundated” with tax complaints

Niagara Falls city councillors say they’ve been “inundated” with calls from unhappy residents about the significant increases they’re seeing on their tax bills.

And the city’s staff and councillors pointed to Niagara Region as the culprit, indicating rising costs for transit and waste management are behind the hikes.

The city’s own budget has increased by over seven per cent despite $8.1 million in transit costs being removed from the local books and taken over by the Region.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, Coun. Lori Lococo took aim at regional transit, which she said represents the “highest portion increase on the tax bill.”

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Pot stores in Ontario may have to cover up all cannabis from their windows

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is considering amending regulations that require cannabis stores to ensure pot can’t be seen from the exterior of their shop.

The provincial body that oversees the licensing of pot shops says it is collecting feedback on the visibility of cannabis to respond to safety concerns.

A significant rise in robberies prompted Alberta’s cannabis regulator to allow stores to take down window coverings last summer.

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More nurses working in Ontario, but more also leaving, report shows

New figures show the number of nurses active in Ontario is increasing, but more nurses are also leaving the province for work or taking leaves.

A report from the College of Nurses of Ontario said that this year more than 178,000 nurses renewed their registration with the college, aside from those registered as non-practising, and about 158,000 of them are working as nurses in Ontario.

That’s up from about 140,000 working nurses in Ontario in 2016.

But the report said the percentage of nurses working in the province has declined.

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The federal budget has become law after passing third reading in the Senate without amendments this evening.

The Liberal government revealed its fiscal plan in late March, promising to create a national dental care program and spend billions on clean energy incentives.

The budget gives lower-income people a larger GST rebate, dubbed a grocery rebate by the government, and enhances the Canada workers benefit.

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Government of Canada approves 8 collective agreements representing 138,000 public service employees

The Government of Canada has approved renewed collective agreements with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 104, and the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO). These agreements have been ratified by employees with the unions all reporting strong membership support for the negotiated settlements.

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Food inflation beginning to moderate, Empire executives say

Empire Company Ltd. president and chief executive Michael Medline says cost increase requests from the grocer’s suppliers appear to have peaked in the third quarter of fiscal 2023.

The parent company of Sobeys, FreshCo, IGA and other retail banners held its fourth quarter earnings call Thursday (June 22).

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Cosy comes to Grimsby: Local pair opening used bookstore

The prologue’s not even over and chapter 1 is only about to begin, but two Grimsby women may already have a winner on their hands.

Taylor Brown and Caitlin Bailey are set to open Grimsby Books on July 1 in the downtown. Distant friends from their time in school, they became close when they each became parents around the same time.

As they prepare to open, Bailey said they’re still looking for some science fiction and adult fantasy to round out their collection. Anyone who has used books still in close-to-new shape can email

The July 1 grand opening runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and includes a wheel where visitors can win prizes, discounts for the early customers, and refreshments.

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Did you know?

The world’s first container ship sailed on April 26, 1956. Today, an average of 20 million containers are at sea on any given day. 

Focus on Human Resources

Is an organization legally liable for workplace violence?

What constitutes violence at work? And when can an organization be held legally accountable? The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) reports that three out of 10 workers have experienced some form of workplace harassment or violence, with women and those with disabilities being more at risk.

What’s more, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 20,790 cases of serious workplace violence (resulting in days away from work), with healthcare and social assistance workers being at the highest risk.

It falls on employers to provide a safe space for both employees and customers – ensuring that occupational health and safety is maintained at all times. So, if an employee engages in violence at work how should HR react?

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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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