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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: June 8th, 2021

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses

Visit gncc.ca/workplace-self-screening-kits to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

Ontario will move to Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen on June 11, 2021

Visit gncc.ca/roadmap-to-reopen-step-one-what-you-need-to-know for a guide on what to expect and what your obligations are.


Niagara Medical Officer of Health delivers COVID-19 briefing


Arterra Wines acquires Vin First

Arterra Wines Canada, Inc. (AWC) announced yesterday (PDF link) that they have acquired St. Catharines-based canning and Tetra™ packaging company VinFirst Inc. Arterra Wines Canada, Inc. is the country’s leading producer and marketer of award-winning, globally recognized Canadian and imported wines, and includes the brands Jackson-Triggs, Inniskillin, Sawmill Creek, Wallaroo Trail, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Ruffino and Kim Crawford. The acquisition will allow Arterra to continue to diversify its packaging and to offer more convenient and portable formats.


Semiconductor shortage in auto industry causes Canadian import/export decline

In April, Canada’s merchandise imports fell 4.7%, while exports decreased 1.0%. Both declines were attributable in large part to significant decreases in trade of motor vehicles and parts. This was mainly the result of production shutdowns in the auto assembly industry in April because of the shortage of semiconductor chips.

Imports of motor vehicles and parts decreased 22.1% in April to $6.6 billion. Excluding the lows of the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, this represents the lowest level since February 2012. Imports of passenger cars and light trucks (-29.7%) and engines and parts (-20.2%) both decreased significantly as many auto and parts manufacturers in North America and abroad stopped or slowed production because of the semiconductor chip shortage. 

Semiconductor chips are generally not imported into Canada in large quantities as discrete products. Impacts of the global chip shortage will be more apparent in a variety of other manufactured product categories

Canada’s merchandise trade balance went from a deficit of $1.3 billion in March to a surplus of $594 million in April. The surplus in April was the third in 2021, but its value represented less than 0.6% of total monthly merchandise trade.


Reading Recommendations

Canada eyeing multi-stage approach to reopening the border to travellers

CBC News

Canadian officials are looking at a multi-phase approach to reopening the border that would begin with allowing fully vaccinated travellers to enter starting this summer.

The pace of Canada-U.S. discussions about reopening has intensified lately, as more people in both countries are vaccinated and as frustration grows on the American side over the continued border closure.

The broad themes of those conversations were described to CBC News by several border town mayors who have been consulted on the talks, and by one federal official.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed two key elements of the likely reopening plan in public remarks Monday: that the reopening will happen in stages and that the first travellers entering Canada will have to be fully vaccinated.

The GNCC, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Buffalo-Niagara Partnership have jointly requested a border reopening plan and a set of metrics from both governments.


Pricey homes, cheap airfare: Canada rejigs inflation measures for post-pandemic life

Reuters

A year into the pandemic, Canada’s national statistics agency is updating how it measures inflation, using new types of data for the first time as it bets on what lockdown spending shifts will prevail even as life returns more to normal.

Statistics Canada’s overdue re-weighting of its consumer price index (CPI) basket, set for release with June data, could give another bump to inflation which is already running hot. It also has implications for real return bonds, which compensate investors for changes in CPI.


3 Explanations for the Vaccine Slowdown

The Atlantic

For a few weeks this spring, the United States was a world leader in vaccines, administering shots to a larger share of its population than even the United Kingdom or Israel. But since the middle of April, our vaccine campaign has stalled. The average number of people getting a first or single dose is down almost 50 percent from its peak on April 13.

What’s notable about that date? Well, it just happens to be the same day that the CDC and the FDA recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

This is a coincidence too big to ignore, and so a lot of people haven’t ignored it. Several analysts and health-care experts have slammed the U.S. government for bringing America’s incredible vaccine acceleration to a sudden halt. (The Johnson & Johnson pause was lifted after 10 days). But a closer look at vaccine progress and polling suggests that this might not be the whole story.


Niagara COVID Stats Tracker (May 29)

 May 22May 29June 5
Reproductive number0.70.80.9
New cases per 100,00063.448.037.2
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)39.33122.4
Percent of hospital beds occupied72.8%78.3%78.2%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied83.6%77.6%79.1%
Percentage of positive tests4.8%4.1%3.5%

These data show the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Niagara. The Province of Ontario is now using a provincewide approach to reopening, and these data no longer have any influence on Niagara’s restrictions.

Data are drawn from Niagara Region Public Health.

Guide

Reproductive number: the average number of new cases each case causes. If each person infects one other person, the rate is 1; if each person infects two people, the rate is 2. Under the outdated COVID-19 response framework, the target for “green-prevent” was less than 1.

New cases per 100,000: the total number of new cases per week identified per 100,000 population. Under the outdated COVID-19 response framework, the target for “green-prevent” was less than 10.

New cases per day: the total number of new cases identified per day over seven days using a rolling average. This number does not include identified outbreaks.

Percent of hospital beds occupied: the total percentage of the Niagara Health System’s hospital beds currently in use. The average occupancy rate of both acute care beds and total hospital beds in Ontario was 96 per cent in 2018-19. It should be noted that this rate was the highest (worst) in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Percent of intensive care beds occupied: the total percentage of the Niagara Health System’s intensive care hospital beds currently in use. The average occupancy rate of both acute care beds and total hospital beds in Ontario was 96 per cent in 2018-19. It should be noted that this rate was the highest (worst) in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Percentage of positive tests: the percentage of COVID-19 tests that were positive. Under the outdated COVID-19 response framework, the target for “green-prevent” was less than 0.5%.


Niagara COVID vaccination tracker (June 8)

Niagara’s most up-to-date vaccination numbers are presented below, along with comparison data from Ontario, Canada, and G7 countries.

Total doses administered in Niagara: 324,346

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 5,240

Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen will begin when Ontario has vaccinated 70% of adults with one dose, 20% of adults with two doses, has positive public health indicators, and has been in Step One for at least 21 days.

 Percentage of population with one dosePercentage of population fully vaccinated
Niagara62.6%8.4%
Ontario (all)63%10.4%
Ontario (adults)74.3%12.8%
Canada64%9.9%
United States52%43%
United Kingdom61%43%
Germany48%25%
France44%20%
Italy46%23%
Japan13%4.3%

Data are drawn from Niagara Region, the Government of Ontario, and Oxford University’s Our World in Data project.


Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here.The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.
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