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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: March 22, 2022

Liberals and NDP reach supply and confidence agreement, Niagara Public Health recommends continued mask-wearing, and more.

In this edition:

Liberal and New Democratic Parties of Canada reach supply and confidence agreement
Ontario launches digital program for car dealerships
Niagara Region Public Health strongly recommends continued mask-wearing
915,500 Canadian jobs unfilled in Q4 2021, Hamilton-Niagara vacancies up 50% in a year

Liberal and New Democratic Parties of Canada reach supply and confidence agreement until 2025

Today, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced an agreement reached by the Liberal Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party in Parliament, Delivering for Canadians Now, A Supply and Confidence Agreement. The Liberal Party of Canada and Canada’s New Democratic Party have agreed to mutual support over the next three years. The parties have identified key policy areas where there is a desire for a similar medium-term outcome and have agreed to work together during the course of this Parliament.

The arrangement lasts until Parliament rises in June 2025, allowing four budgets to be presented by the government during this time. To ensure coordination on this arrangement, both Parties commit to a guiding principle of “no surprises”.

The agreement will mean that the NDP agrees to support the government on confidence and budgetary matters – notably on budgetary policy, budget implementation bills, estimates and supply – and that the Liberal Party commits to govern for the duration of the agreement. The NDP would not move a vote of non-confidence, nor vote for a non-confidence motion during the term of the arrangement.

Party commitments include dental and pharmacare systems, housing and childcare, and tackling the climate crisis.

Click here to read more.

Ontario launches digital program for car dealerships

The Ontario government is launching the Digital Dealership Registration (DDR) which will enable car dealerships to register vehicles online and issue permits and licence plates directly to purchasers.

At full implementation, the new DDR process will, for the first time ever, provide over 7,000 Ontario car dealerships access to an online program that eliminates duplicative paperwork and time-consuming trips to ServiceOntario centres.

Once fully implemented, DDR will help move online up to 4.8 million dealership registration transactions annually including the registration of pre-owned vehicles, vehicle transfers, and vehicle permit replacements, all of which must currently be conducted in person.

Click here to read more.

Disclosure: the GNCC has previously advocated for a digital version of motor vehicle dealership registration and plating.

Niagara Region Public Health strongly recommends continued mask-wearing

Niagara Region Public Health has cautioned that in recent days, a decline in hospitalizations has ended and hospitalizations have now increased again. More generally, COVID-19 continues to circulate widely and there is still substantial risk at this time. Even with limitations on testing, we are seeing large numbers of cases every day; the true number of infections is likely still higher than in any previous wave.

While wearing masks is no longer mandatory in many settings starting today, Public Health strongly recommends everyone who can to continue wearing masks for the next few weeks while COVID-19 infections remain high.

Public Health strongly supports any organization that continues masking policies. Such policies will protect employees and clients, and allow our organizations to operate without interruption.
For businesses and organizations who still wish to continue with masking in indoor spaces, Public Health has updated signage available that can be printed and used.

Click here to read more.

915,500 Canadian jobs were unfilled in Q4 2021, Hamilton-Niagara vacancies up 50% in a year

In the fourth quarter of 2021, the number of job vacancies in Canada peaked at 915,500, little changed from the third quarter (912,600), 80.0% more than in 2019 and 63.4% more than in 2020. Record-high job vacancies in the fourth quarter coincided with almost full recovery of payroll employment and falling unemployment.

Job vacancies reached an all-time high in eight sectors in the fourth quarter, namely in health care and social assistance (+6.6% to 126,000); retail trade (+9.1% to 113,500); professional, scientific and technical services (+6.6% to 65,500); administrative and support, waste management and remediation services (+14.3% to 63,000); other services (except public administration) (+7.5% to 37,800); educational services (+6.0% to 21,100); real estate and rental and leasing (+16.3% to 10,500); and utilities (+17.4% to 2,300).

At the same time, job vacancies in accommodation and food services decreased 12.1% to 143,300 from its record high of 163,000 reached in the third quarter.

In the Hamilton-Niagara area, there were 31,550 job vacancies in Q4 2021, up from 20,835 a year earlier. Sales and service occupation vacancies almost doubled, although offered wages increased from an average of $15.45 to $15.55 – well below the rate of inflation. Overall average offered wages have gone up only 1.9% in Hamilton-Niagara, while inflation rose 3.4% in the same period.

Click here to read more.

Reading Recommendations

No, the Liberals and NDP didn’t form a coalition. Here’s why

CTV News

Almost immediately after news of the Liberal-NDP confidence deal broke—seeing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government poised to maintain power until the end of this Parliament in 2025—opponents were calling it a “coalition” government and suggesting the agreement usurps what Canadians voted for.

“They’ve cooked up a backroom deal that would see Justin Trudeau get the majority power that he tried desperately to get last fall in the last election, but he failed to get. This deal means that Canadians have woken up to in essence, an NDP-Liberal majority government,” said interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen on Tuesday. “Voters did not vote for a Liberal-NDP government.”

But what has been agreed to is not a coalition, and the Liberals still have a minority government. breaks down what the difference is between a confidence-and-supply agreement and a coalition, and explores whether this move is out of step with the 2021 election results.

Click here to read more.

The biggest risk of Canada’s net-zero strategy? Not reaching net-zero

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Canada’s business community is concerned about the country’s plan for net zero – but not for reasons you may think.

As members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Net-zero Council, which brings together more than 20 businesses that have committed to decarbonize their operations by 2050 or sooner, business leaders from across all sectors of Canadian industry are voicing their biggest concern: Canada’s progress to net-zero may falter unless we recognize and work with different perspectives and regional priorities.

As co-chairs of the Chamber’s Net Zero Council, GE Canada and PwC Canada recognize that recent environmental achievements would not have been possible without government leadership and assistance. The success of Canada’s 2050 net-zero goal depends on a strong government commitment and having a clear, detailed plan to meet our targets in Canada’s 2030 emissions-reduction strategy, which Environment and Climate Change Canada will release later this month.

We must learn from past challenges and our lack of success (Canada has yet to meet any of its climate commitments) to achieve net-zero. Our country needs a practical, principled, yet flexible approach to emissions reductions that recognizes domestic and global opportunities for climate leadership. And the private sector must also do its part.

Click here to read more.

Update on Ukraine

Invasion of Ukraine Threatens to Cause 2% Drop in Vehicle Sales This Year

Wall Street Journal

Global supply-chain disruptions made worse by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are likely to cause a decline of as much as 2% in global light-vehicle sales this year, according to S&P Global Ratings.

The ratings agency had previously expected sales to rise between 4% and 6% in 2022.

The Russia-Ukraine war could have material implications for the European market because of its external reliance on raw materials, gas and oil, S&P Global Ratings said. The agency doesn’t expect increased pricing pressure to affect the transition toward electric vehicles.

Click here to read more.

Featured Content

China May Be Able To Help Russia’s Economy But, Does It Want To?

Pollice Consulting Group

I usually don’t go off on a tangent nor do I share my views outside of my consulting business experiences and expertise. However, I am getting a little more courage as it relates to speaking your mind and since this article may fit into that category, I call this segment “off the cuff”. As an international management consultant I have worked for and with Chinese, European and western alliances organizations and I have learned a great deal from each and everyone. Now, I’d like to share a thought or two about the fallout of the Ukraine Invasion.

If we believe China’s foreign affairs minister Mr. Wang Yi “relations with Russia and China are rock solid and the friendship between Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin has no boundaries”, well – we will soon find out as Western sanctions lead by the United States of America are about to put that statement to a solid test. Russia has badly underestimated the will of innocent people, economic instabilities and the financial fall out associated with the invasion of a sovereign country. As a result, Russia requires an economic and financial lifeline from China.

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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