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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: March 22, 2023

In this edition:

Ontario will release 2023 budget tomorrow

At approximately 4:05pm, Peter Bethlenfalvy, Ontario Minister of Finance, will introduce the 2023 Budget in the Ontario Legislature. Watch live in English on the Government of OntarioYouTube Channel or with French closed captioning on the Government of Ontario YouTube Channel ― French.

Click here to read more.

North American Manufacturers respond to President Biden’s visit to Canada

In a joint statement, the National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters President and CEO Dennis Darby on the occasion of the first official visit of U.S. President Joe Biden to Canada remarked that “the historic ties between Canada and the United States have created one of the strongest bilateral partnerships of any two countries in the world. As neighbors, friends and as manufacturers, we have always worked together to support our industry and the millions of jobs it provides.”

The manufacturers’ associations stressed the importance of strengthening strategic alliances and advancing clean energy together, while ensuring that manufacturers have access to all forms of energy. They urged the governments of Canada and the United States to strengthen democracy and the free enterprise system in their own countries and around the world.

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Government of Canada issues report on gig workers

Today, Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr. released the What We Heard Report on Developing Greater Labour Protections for Gig Workers, which summarizes feedback from consultations to better understand gig workers’ experiences in federally regulated sectors, including those working on digital platforms.

The term “gig worker” describes workers who enter more casual work arrangements such as short-term contracts with firms or individuals to complete specific and often one-off tasks. A recent study by Statistics Canada revealed that in 2022, approximately 250,000 Canadians performed gig work through digital platfoms, with rideshare and delivery services as the most common type of work.

Increased flexibility and freedom from traditional schedules and workplaces were the more frequently cited benefits of work in the gig economy. Many gig workers enjoy the opportunity of having additional control over how, when, and where to work, including choosing to whom they provide services.

However, interviews with experts and consultations with the public and stakeholders revealed a number of key challenges faced by gig workers in Canada, including low pay, the risk of late- or non-payment, unpredictable schedules and earnings, unsafe working conditions, limited access to dispute resolution, and misclassification, when gig workers often share many of the characteristics of employees, but are classified as independent contractors.

Employers said that hiring gig workers allows them to rapidly adapt the size of their workforce to changing demand from customers, and that hiring gig workers allows employers to acquire very specialized skills for specific short-term projects, without having to keep people with those skills on payroll.

The gig economy also provides an opportunity for many workers to enter the labour market and accumulate meaningful work experiences, such as young workers beginning their professional lives, Indigenous peoples, racialized persons, persons with disabilities, women, newcomers, and persons who belong to linguistic minorities.

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Queen’s Park announces Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit

To attract additional investment in the province’s economy, the Ontario government is announcing plans for a new Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit to help local manufacturers grow, innovate, become more competitive and create jobs.

As part of the upcoming 2023 Budget, the government will propose legislation that would, if passed, create a new 10 per cent refundable corporate income tax credit of up to $2 million a year for Canadian-controlled private corporations on qualifying investments in buildings, machinery and equipment for use in manufacturing or processing in the province.

The proposed Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit would, if passed, provide an estimated $780 million over the next three years in Ontario income tax support to qualifying businesses.

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78% of child care centres have active waitlists: Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada has released results from the Canadian Survey on the Provision of Child Care Services (CSPCCS), which collected information about the provision of child care services in Canada for children aged 12 and younger in the spring of 2022.

In 2022, 45,366 businesses across Canada provided child care services to children aged 0 to 12 years. Of these businesses, 31% were child care centres, 33% were home-based settings operating with a license, and 36% were home-based settings operating without a license.

Centres served a larger number of children, reporting that they had 821,298 children (either full time or part time) enrolled, while licensed and unlicensed home care providers reported fewer children, with 96,677 and 73,821 children enrolled respectively.

Full-time child care was the most common service offered in all types of child care businesses. In 2022, 81% of child care centres, 94% of licensed home-based child care providers and 76% of unlicensed home-based providers offered full-time child care.

Conversely, part-time programs were less common, with 63% of child care centres, 33% of licensed home-based providers and 50% of unlicensed home-based providers offering this type of care.

Previous parent-reported surveys have shown that many parents using child care services experienced difficulty finding them. According to the CSPCCS, in 2022, 78% of child care centres had active waitlists. Since the survey did not collect information from parents, it is not possible to determine the reason that children were on the waitlist.

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Ontario to get rid of temporary paid sick days, lift some COVID measures in LTC homes

The Canadian Press has learned that Ontario will not extend its temporary paid sick day program.

Two senior government sources say the COVID-19 sick day program that provided three paid days off to workers during the pandemic will expire at the end of the month.

The sources say it will not be replaced with another program, but they say the government will continue moving forward with its plan to provide portable health and dental coverage to workers without those benefits.

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St. Catharines shop to host clothing swap events

Ruby Red Beautiful on James Street, St. Catharines will host a series of clothing swaps, the first event this evening between 5:30pm-8pm for plus sized clothing.

A second swap will be held on April 2 for trans women, and on April 22 there will be an all-size swap for Earth Day.

Any clothing left over will be given to Brock University’s OPIRG free store.

Click here to read more.

Lincoln to host job fair, launches new job site

The Town of Lincoln will host a job fair on April 3rd from 6-9 PM at Great Lakes Christian High School. Lincoln-based businesses that are interest in participating, at no cost, are asked to fill out a registration form (PDF link) and send it to Paul Di Ianni​ or Cameron Rotz at Lincoln Economic Development.

The Town has also launched a new website,, geared towards connecting people with jobs. Businesses in Lincoln are encouraged to post jobs on the site (for free) to connect with local jobseekers.

Click here to read more.

Niagara Connects to deliver results from Empowering Older Adults in Niagara survey

On Wednesday, March 29, 2023 from 10-11AM, Niagara Connects will host a webinar for guests to learn about results from the 2022 ‘Empowering Older Adults in Niagara’ survey, conducted by the Age-Friendly Niagara Council.

More than 1,200 adults 50+ from all parts of Niagara completed the survey. Their insights into ways to strengthen Niagara as an age-friendly community provide valuable information for decision-makers, front-line staff, service providers, business leaders, planners, municipalities, and others.

Register for free at this link.

Click here to read more.

Niagara Falls city council votes to dissolve embattled downtown BIA

The City of Niagara Falls has dissolved the embattled downtown business improvement area board of management.

After meeting behind closed doors late Tuesday night to, in part, receive advice subject to solicitor-client privilege, council ratified in open session a repeal of a bylaw to establish the downtown BIA board of management and assume all assets and liabilities of the organization.

The municipality will continue to charge a tax levy to “address any excess in the liabilities of the downtown BIA beyond the assets until such time as that the excess has been satisfied.”

Council directed municipal staff to “take the necessary steps to secure the assets and records” of the BIA as may be recommended by the city’s chief administrative officer.

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Focus on Climate

Energy Transitions Commission’s report on how to finance a net-zero economy

Investments in clean energy must quadruple within the next two decades according to the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC). In its latest report, Financing the Transition: How to make the money flow for a net-zero economy, the ETC highlights the importance of strong government policies relating both to the real economy and to the financial system if finance is to flow on the scale required. It also identifies “concessional/grant” payments needed to support early coal phase-out, end deforestation and finance carbon removals.

Around $3.5 trillion a year of capital investment will be needed on average between now and 2050 to build a net-zero global economy, up from $1 trillion per annum today. Of this, 70 per cent is required for low-carbon power generation, transmission, and distribution, which underpins decarbonisation in almost all sectors of the economy.

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Niagara watershed achieves poor grade after decades of environmental degradation: NPCA

In celebration of World Water Day, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) has presented the 2023 Watershed Report Card—a check up on the health of the Niagara Peninsula watershed, focusing on surface and groundwater quality, forest conditions, and watershed features.

The 2023 report card provides a clear snapshot of the status of the watershed, a baseline against which we can measure all future efforts. Poor surface water quality and loss of habitat in the Niagara Peninsula watershed has been caused by decades of environmental degradation. However, programs that improve how nutrients are managed, serve to increase riparian buffers, and enhance wetlands and forest can begin to address these impacts.

While collective efforts across the watershed will improve water quality and forest conditions over time, there is much work to be done collectively by watershed stakeholders before watershed report card grades improve.

Generally, the grades of the Niagara Peninsula watershed are below those observed in Ontario, but equivalent to grades observed across southwestern Ontario, where there are greater environmental stressors from higher population densities and larger concentrations of agriculture and industry.

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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