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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: June 27, 2023

In this edition:

Inflation rate slows to 3.4%, lowest since June 2021

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 3.4% year over year in May, following a 4.4% increase in April. This is the smallest increase since June 2021. The slowdown was largely driven by lower year-over-year prices for gasoline (-18.3%) resulting from a base-year effect. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 4.4% in May following a 4.9% increase in April.

The mortgage interest cost index (+29.9%) remained the largest contributor to the year-over-year CPI increase. Excluding mortgage interest cost, the CPI rose 2.5% in May, following a 3.7% increase in April.

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Competition Bureau makes recommendations to promote competition in Canada’s grocery industry

Grocery prices have increased at their fastest rate in more than 40 years, and Canadians are feeling the pinch, the Competition Bureau said in a statement released today.

Today, the Competition Bureau has published its market study report, Canada Needs More Grocery Competition, which recommends that all levels of Canadian government act to increase competition in the grocery industry.

The report makes four recommendations to governments to meaningfully improve competition in the grocery industry:

  1. Create a whole-of-government strategy to support the emergence of new types of grocery businesses;
  2. Encourage the growth of independent grocers and the entry of international grocers;
  3. Introduce accessible and harmonized unit pricing requirements to empower consumer choice; and
  4. Limit the use of property controls that make it difficult for new grocery stores to open.

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Study authorization extended for work permit holders

Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced a new temporary measure that removes the limit on the length of the study programs that temporary foreign workers can enrol in without a study permit.

Starting immediately, foreign workers will have the opportunity to seek additional training and education that can help them in their careers. This measure will also help foreign workers expand their future job prospects and increase their opportunities to transition to permanent residence. Prior to this change, foreign workers could study while working, but only in programs of 6 months or less.

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Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced that the Government of Canada has banned the cruel and unnecessary testing of cosmetic products on animals in Canada, representing a major step forward in supporting animal welfare by reducing our reliance on animal testing, while ensuring health and safety.

With the passing of Bill C-47, Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1, the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) has been amended to ban cosmetic animal testing. The new legislative changes mean that in Canada, companies will no longer be allowed to test cosmetic products on animals or sell their cosmetics that rely on animal testing data to establish safety.

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Olivia Chow elected mayor of Toronto

Olivia Chow has been elected mayor of Toronto, ending almost 13 years of right-leaning rule at Toronto City Hall and becoming the first woman and the first visible minority person to lead post-amalgamation Toronto.

Chow, 66, was the favourite to win the race from the moment she entered and managed to command a decisive lead in the polls, though the race on election night ended up being a photo finish between her and Ana Bailão.

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Brad Steeves named United Way Niagara 2023 Campaign Chair

United Way Niagara has named their 2023 Campaign Chair.

Brad Steeves has been appointed to the role.

Steeves is the President of Beatties office supplies and says he is honoured to serve as chair, “I have been involved with the United Way campaign for many years and I am really excited to now have the opportunity to lead it. It has never been more critical to support our community. It’s what we strive to do at Beatties every day, and it’s what I personally believe in. I’m looking forward to a very successful campaign.”

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Meridian partners with TruShield Insurance to bridge commercial insurance coverage gap among small businesses

Meridian, Ontario’s largest credit union, is proud to announce a new partnership with TruShield Insurance, Canada’s first direct-to-consumer small business insurance provider. The partnership allows Meridian Members to access TruShield’s commercial insurance policies at a preferred rate.

According to a November 2022 study conducted by TruShield Insurance with Leger, 27 per cent of businesses with revenues less than $250K don’t have any type of business insurance. The survey of over 400 Canadian small and medium-sized businesses points to a serious gap in commercial insurance coverage among small businesses. This could leave owners at risk and, in the event of a major loss, susceptible to bankruptcy.

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Ontario Craft Cider Association launches new industry growth strategy

The Ontario Craft Cider Association (OCCA) is launching a new industry growth strategy that aims to multiply its impact. OCCA has slated the goal of increasing production from six to 30 million liters per year by 2030.

“We believe that this strategic plan represents a major milestone in the growth and development of the craft cider industry,” said Association chair, Matt Dixon. “Through sector and consumer research we are poised for innovative and transformational expansion that will significantly increase the footprint of our impact on the Ontario economy.”

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Did you know?

McDonald’s was inspired to create their first Drive-Thru by a licensee near Fort Huachuca Army Base, which was suffering a loss of sales from soldiers who weren’t allowed to get out of their cars while in uniform. The restaurant served them through a window.

Focus on Finance & Economy

‘A hike still looks likely’: What economists are saying about the latest inflation numbers

Inflation in Canada slowed in May to 3.4 per cent, matching economist estimates, but many don’t think that will be enough to convince the Bank of Canada to back away from another interest rate hike at its next meeting on July 12.

May’s consumer price index (CPI) increase was the smallest since June 2021, Statistics Canada said in a release. It slowed a full percentage point from an unexpected acceleration in April of 4.4 per cent. Monthly inflation grew 0.4 per cent in May, or 0.1 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis.

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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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