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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: June 29, 2022

Canada launches Wine Sector Support Program, new Parliamentary Assistants announced, Ontario rent increase for 2023 capped at 2.5%, and more.

In this edition:

Government of Canada launches Wine Sector Support Program
Premier Ford announces new Parliamentary Assistants
Ontario rent increase for 2023 capped at 2.5%
Niagara Transit Commission Board holds historic first meeting
Niagara Region commits to addressing climate change at inaugural summit
Niagara-on-the-Lake approves Municipal Accommodation Tax By-law

Government of Canada launches Wine Sector Support Program

Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced details of a new two-year, up to $166-million Wine Sector Support Program that will provide wineries with the tools they need to stay innovative and competitive, in order to capitalize on new opportunities.

To help strengthen the future of the wine sector, the Government of Canada has worked in consultation with industry stakeholders to develop a program that would help Canadian wineries face emerging challenges in the short term.

All licensed wineries in Canada that produce or contract out the production of bulk wine from primary agricultural products, such as grapes, berries, other fruit, dandelions, rice and sap, will be eligible for support under the program. Support will be provided in the form of a grant based on the production of bulk wine fermented in Canada from domestic and/or imported primary agricultural products in the previous year. Individual payments will be dependent on the total litres of eligible wine submitted to the program and individual applicants’ total eligible wine production.

Applications for the first year of the Program can be submitted between July 4, 2022 and August 12, 2022.

Click here to read more.

Premier Ford announces new Parliamentary Assistants

Today, Premier Doug Ford unveiled the team of parliamentary assistants that will support his cabinet. Parliamentary assistants support ministers with legislative and committee matters, including special projects and assignments that require dedicated leadership. They also play a key role in building relationships and communicating government initiatives across the province.

Click here to see a list of the appointments.

Ontario rent increase for 2023 capped at 2.5%

Ontario’s rent increase guideline for 2023 is 2.5 per cent, below current rates of inflation. The rent increase guideline is the maximum amount a landlord can increase rent during the year for most tenants without the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board.

The guideline is based on Ontario’s Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation calculated monthly by Statistics Canada using data that reflects economic conditions over the past year. Due to recent inflation, this would result in a 2023 guideline of 5.3 per cent, however the guideline is capped to help protect tenants from significant rent increases.

The guideline applies to the vast majority – approximately 1.4 million – of rental households covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. It does not apply to rental units occupied for the first time after November 15, 2018, vacant residential units, community housing, long-term care homes or commercial properties. Rent increases are not automatic or mandatory, and landlords must give 90 days’ written notice of any intention to increase rent using the correct form. In addition, at least 12 months must have passed since the first day of the tenancy or the last rent increase.

Click here to read more.

Niagara Transit Commission Board holds historic first meeting

Yesterday, the Niagara Transit Commission held its inaugural Board meeting; a historic first step in the journey to the launch of one transit system for all of Niagara. The new Commission will assume control of all transit operations in Niagara on Jan. 1, 2023.

Board members selected the first Chair, Walter Sendzik, Regional Councillor and Mayor of St. Catharines, and Grimsby Regional Councillor Wayne Fertich as Vice-Chair.

With the Board now in place, they will guide the formation of the Commission, working alongside the Steering Committee of Niagara Region and local transit staff. The following key milestones will take place starting this summer and continuing through the end of 2022:

  • ​The hiring of a General Manager
  • Development of the new organizational design
  • Develop a strategic workplan and key deliverables for such things as a harmonized fare structure and fare technology
  • The initial branding strategy and name for the new Commission; and
  • The transfer of transit assets, staff, and infrastructure to the new Commission.

Niagara Region and local transit staff are continuing to operate the existing local and Regional transit systems and are collaborating on the plan for the transition of services through 2022. Transit users can expect that existing routes and services will operate at current service levels when the Commission assumes operational responsibility on Jan. 1, 2023.

Click here to read more.

Niagara Region commits to addressing climate change at inaugural summit

Niagara Region, in partnership with representatives from the 12 local municipalities, academic institutions, non-profit organizations and the private sector made a commitment to actively do more to address climate change in Niagara.

After hearing from keynote speaker Karen Farbridge, and a number of expert discussion panels, summit attendees were invited to sign a call to action as a demonstration of their commitment to form partnerships, share critical data and accelerate action on climate change and green house gas emissions in Niagara. Over 100 individuals, representing dozens of local organizations, signed the pledge.

The pledge forms a foundational first step for Niagara’s municipalities, institutions and businesses as it is widely accepted that meaningful action on climate change will require all sectors of society working together. It is anticipated that today’s call to action will be a precursor to a formal emissions target that will be established in the future.

Click here to read more.

Niagara-on-the-Lake approves Municipal Accommodation Tax By-law

At the Monday, June 20, 2022, Council Meeting, Niagara-on-the-Lake Council approved a By-law for the implementation of a Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT), commencing July 1, 2022.

In August of 2021, Council passed a motion to implement a MAT within the 2022 budget for tourism projects and to place any revenues generated into a special reserve for tourism promotion, Town capital infrastructure and tourism initiatives. Council further directed that Staff form a MAT Governance Advisory Group of 7 to 9 people for consultation on the proposed MAT design and governance processes.

With the approval of this By-law, Tourism NOTL, a subsidiary of the NOTL Chamber of Commerce, is approved as the local Destination Marketing Organization (DMO). MAT revenues will be split on a 50/50 basis, net of administration costs, with the local DMO.

Click here to read more.

Reading Recommendations

Analysis: What slowdown? Canada’s economy to top G7 on high oil, crop prices


Surging oil and wheat prices are allowing commodities exporter Canada to weather an economic storm threatening to tip many of its fellow G7 rich nations into recession.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February stranded the region’s wheat stockpiles and triggered Western sanctions on Russian crude, sending commodity prices surging. Central banks jumped in to raise interest rates to stem inflation.

As a result, many countries face far lower growth this year than expected as they emerged from the coronavirus pandemic.

But as the world’s No.4 oil producer and No.4 wheat exporter, Canada’s fortunes are following a different trajectory altogether. Commodities and agriculture account for about 10% of its economy.

Click here to read more.

U.S. communications regulator wants TikTok removed from app stores over spying concerns

CBC News

A commissioner with the U.S. communications regulator is asking Apple and Google to consider banning TikTok from their app stores over data security concerns related to the Chinese-owned company.

Brendan Carr, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has written a letter to the CEOs of both companies, alerting them that the wildly popular video-sharing app does not comply with the requirements of their app store policies.

“TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface. It is not just an app for sharing funny videos or meme. That’s the sheep’s clothing,” Carr said in the letter. “At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.”

“It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing’s apparently unchecked access to that sensitive data.”

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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