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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: June 28, 2023

In this edition:

Government of Canada invests in first-in-Ontario digital tools to support tourism sector

Today, James Maloney, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke−Lakeshore, on behalf of the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced an investment of over $715,000 for Tourism Technology Co. (TTC), backed by its parent company The New Business (TNB), to provide digital solutions for businesses in the tourism sector.

Currently, tourist attractions, particularly in smaller and rural communities, face challenges drawing visitors as their offerings are not showcased on larger, international booking sites. Through this investment, TTC has developed two tools: Booker, a digital travel reservation system and Tripper, a new itinerary planner, to help close that gap.

Click here to read more.

Interested in hearing more on the Government of Canada’s tourism policies and strategies? Join us on July 4th for a luncheon with the Canadian Minister of Tourism, Randy Boissonnault. Space is limited – get your tickets here.

St. Catharines councillors propose rebate for taxpayers hit with 10.5% hike

A pair of St. Catharines councillors are proposing the city halt hirings and use the money to give homeowners rebates after being hit with a 10.51 per cent increase on property tax bills.

The tax increase — a combination of city, Niagara Region and school board taxes — was approved by councillors in May by a 7-6 vote.

Since then, councillors have been getting quite a few phone calls from upset residents, said St. Andrew’s Coun. Joe Kushner.

Click here to read more.

Port Colborne City Hall

Port Colborne council adopts new strategic plan

At their meeting last night, Port Colborne City Council adopted a new strategic plan for 2023-2026 that reflects the city’s ambitions toward climate change adaptation, environmental protection, public infrastructure, health and livability, and economic stability.

The development of this strategic plan drew significantly on the challenges facing the community.

“We engaged with hundreds of residents, businesses and other key stakeholders to learn about their dreams and desires for the future of Port Colborne,” said Mayor Bill Steele. “The feedback we gathered has thoroughly shaped the new strategic plan and has helped us to identify our priorities over the next three years.”

Click here to read more.

St. Catharines City Council has granted an investment of $319,185 to support arts and culture through the St. Catharines Cultural Investment Program (SCCIP).

“We are so happy to see that council has approved this investment in our City’s arts and culture,” said Director of Community, Recreation and Culture Services Phil Cristi. “This is another step towards making St. Catharines the most dynamic, innovative, sustainable and livable city in North America.”

Click here to read more.

Welland offers $1 million in physician recruitment incentives to address doctor shortage

The City of Welland approved a budget of $1M for a physician recruitment incentive program; the Economic Development Reserve Fund will provide the funds.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has deemed Welland an area of high physician need, and as of February 2023, documented the city is 17 family physicians short. This shortage is anticipated to increase, given the projected population growth and slate of family physicians retiring.

Click here to read more.

Niagara Health releases annual report

Yesterday, Niagara Health held its first in-person Annual Meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic and released its 2022-23 Annual Report.

“This was an opportunity to mark our progress recovering from challenges resulting from the pandemic, profile significant achievements and investments in both our people and in innovation and recommit to our core mission as an acute and emergency care organization,” a statement issued today reported.

Click here to read more.

Niagara College to significantly expand on-campus housing

Driven by strategic commitments to student experience and success, and to address a growing shortage of housing in the communities that it serves, Niagara College will triple its on-campus housing over the next four years, adding new living spaces for approximately 1,000 students at its campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Enhancement and expansion of on-campus housing is a key element of the college’s newly adopted master plan, which will see transformational capital investments and developments at its Niagara-based campuses over the next decade or more. In addition to new residence buildings, the plan also includes renovations and improvements of existing on-campus residences to expand capacity and enhance student experience.

Click here to read more.

Indigenous leader offers an education about Treaty Lands

When people, groups or municipalities approach the Mississaugas of the Credit Nation for any collaboration, they will likely first get schooling from Darin Wybenga.

“We are treaty holders for about four million acres at the western end of Lake Ontario. So I just let people know that we are here, we are treaty partners, and to get to know us because First Nations are often forgotten.”

Not being forgotten has been the life work of Wybenga, who started his career as a history teacher. Then he worked at the New Credit Public Library, fielding inquiries from community members and the public about First Nations history.

Click here to read more.

Governance reform in Niagara should focus on service and efficiency: GNCC CEO

After the Government of Ontario announced its decision to break up Peel Region, all eyes are watching the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for an announcement on Niagara’s fate. A facilitator to review the two-tiered government structure is about to be appointed, and Niagara region may be in for some changes the like of which it hasn’t seen in over 50 years.

Niagara’s political classes are wondering what it will mean. Will Niagara Region be abolished? Will there be a single City of Niagara? Will the province break up the region into three or four municipalities?

All of these questions miss the mark.

Click here to read more.

Did you know?

The Shaw Festival held its first season in 1962, with eight performances in June, July, and August in the non-airconditioned Court House Theatre.

Focus on Climate

Enserva reports that Canada will play an important role in meeting renewable energy demand

On Jun. 14, Enserva released its Spring 2023 State of the Industry Report providing an outlook for the sector in 2023 and sets the stage for a more detailed 2024 drilling forecast to be released in the fall of 2023.

The Report’s findings state that the 2023 outlook for the Canadian oil and gas industry is encouraging: global energy demand is strong, oil and gas prices are favourable, inflation and labour shortages are on the decline, and capital investment is on the rise. In addition, the industry is aptly positioned to take advantage of opportunities to participate in the evolving global energy mix.

Click here to read more.

Faster approvals for major projects will be key to achieving climate goals: Report

Canada has no hope of reaching its 2050 climate goals unless it can find a way to speed up the approvals process for major projects in this country, a new report states.

The report, from the Business Council of Alberta, says Canada’s current regulatory system for large-scale infrastructure projects is “complex, fractured and frustrating.”

It warns that massive investments in everything from mines for critical minerals to renewable power generation to hydrogen technology will be required in the coming years if Canada is to achieve its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

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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