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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: March 2, 2023

In this edition:

Ontario creates blue-ribbon panel for postsecondary sector

The Ontario government is creating a blue-ribbon panel of experts to provide advice and recommendations for keeping the postsecondary education sector financially stable and focused on providing the best student experience possible.

The blue-ribbon panel will provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Colleges and Universities to help keep the postsecondary education sector financially strong and focused on providing the best student experience possible.

The panel will be made up of leaders from the academic and business communities. They have expertise in postsecondary education, research and innovation, financial management, and economic development.

Click here to read more.

Provinces and territories call on federal government for affordable housing support

In a statement on behalf of all Provincial-Territorial ministers responsible for housing, the provinces and territories (PTs) have called on the federal government to increase funding in a long-term, flexible, and collaborative manner to support the delivery of affordable housing programs both now and into the future.

Communities across Canada continue to face elevated home prices, increased rates of homelessness, and challenges related to housing affordability, adequacy, and supply. Rising costs in the construction industry have also significantly increased the cost to build and repair homes. While these challenges have strained PT resources, PTs remain committed to working with the federal government to maintain and expand affordable housing in their jurisdictions.

To support better outcomes on the funding and delivery of affordable housing, PTs request:

  • Increased and more flexible federal funding to complement existing PT programs and address local priorities to meet Canada’s current housing challenges.
  • Meaningful and proper engagement to develop housing solutions and outcomes that meet the unique needs and priorities of each jurisdiction.

Click here to read more.

Niagara-on-the-Lake extends temporary patio program

At the February 28, 2023, Council Meeting, Town Council passed the Temporary Use By-law to permit the extension of restaurant and bar patios, subject to the Town’s Temporary Patio Program requirements, until February 28, 2024.

The extension of the Temporary Use By-law will allow the continuation of the temporary patio program in Niagara-on-the-Lake for the 2023 season and for the review of the program itself.

The Town remains committed to reviewing and streamlining the patio permit process, supporting economic prosperity, and providing customer service excellence. Therefore, the application process continues to be free of charge.

Click here to read more.

Welland developer requests partial demolition permit for collapsed property

The City of Welland has indicated that it received an application from the builder of 350 Prince Charles Drive for a partial demolition permit. The scope of work is “to eliminate overhead safety hazards as specified in the Safe Working Procedure”.

Receipt of the application by the City from the builder is part of the process outlined in the Ontario Building Code Act, specifically to satisfy the requirements of remedying the building. The permit is required before any portion of the building can be demolished.

The City understands that the Ministry of Labour has permitted the builder to enter the site to complete the demolition of the affected areas. It is anticipated that demolition will begin on March 6.

Click here to read more (PDF link).

Prime Minister announces $2bn in funding for Indigenous healthcare

In a statement issued today, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, highlighted the recently announced federal investment of an additional $2 billion over 10 years to help ensure access to quality and culturally safe health care services, in line with the priorities of Indigenous partners.

This new Indigenous Health Equity Fund will be distributed to ensure support to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. Over the coming months, the Government of Canada will work with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis partners across the country, as well as provinces and territories, on the design and implementation of the Fund, ensuring alignment with Indigenous-led regional and community health priorities.

The new Fund is part of the government’s plan to increase health investments by $198.6 billion over 10 years to improve health care across the country. This additional funding will help clear backlogs and support the front-line workers who power our health care system; give all Canadians access to a primary health team as well as quality mental health and substance use services to support their well-being; and ensure patients can access their own health information and benefit from it being shared between health professionals, across jurisdictions.

Click here to read more.

Niagara College and Niagara University create new pathways for students

Niagara College (NC) and Niagara University (NU), located Lewiston, New York, have announced their joint signing of a Dual Admission agreement and an Academic Articulation agreement. The two new agreements create more opportunities for students from diploma programs at NC to seamlessly transition to a degree program at NU.

“As a binational university, Niagara University has a legacy of education in Ontario, and a great history of working closely with Niagara College in providing educational pathways that lead to career opportunities for their students,” said Rev. James J. Maher, President of Niagara University.

“Niagara University has been a longstanding friend and partner of Niagara College, and we are thrilled that these new agreements further extend our collaboration and creates new pathways for our students to study at both institutions,” said NC President Sean Kennedy.

Click here to read more.

St. Catharines issues call to artists for 2023 Annual Juried Art Exhibit

The City of St. Catharines is inviting artists to submit their works for the 14th annual 2023 City of St. Catharines Annual Juried Art Exhibit.

This year’s exhibit is titled ‘open-ended’. The theme asks artists for nothing specific, enabling a focus on the exploratory creation process. The exhibition will showcase the artists’ imagination and ask the viewer to embrace the visual, bringing the artists’ creative process to the forefront.

Click here to read more.

Focus on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

How tech companies are failing women workers and social media users – and what to do about it

From Elon Musk’s erratic start as Twitter’s new owner to Meta’s recent decision to layoff more than 11,000 employees, and an ongoing downturn for tech stocks, the social media sector is once again in turmoil.

But while these latest shockwaves have attracted a great deal of public attention, we talk considerably less of their repercussions on women. Big tech companies are failing women on both sides of the screen: their employees and the users of their services. This is why recent moves to regulate social media firms should include specific protections for women.

Online abuse, as has been repeatedly confirmed by academic research and civil rights groups, often targets women users. One of Musk’s first acts after buying Twitter was to introduce verification to reduce the number of fake accounts. Such accounts are often cited among the main causes of social media violence. But the authentication process (since withdrawn after protests from the Twitter community) simply relied on “certified” profiles paying a monthly fee.

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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