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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: March 28, 2022

Ontario signs federal childcare agreement, fire at Hernder Estate Wines under control, COVID-19 Centre moving to Niagara Falls, and more.

In this edition:

Ontario signs federal childcare agreement
Fire at Hernder Estate Wines under control
COVID-19 Assessment Centre and Clinic moving to Niagara Falls Site
StatCan launches new dashboard for environmental, social and governance indicators
Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub receives renewed funding

Ontario signs federal childcare agreement

Today, Ontario reached a $13.2 billion agreement with the federal government on funding for and the terms of a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care program. The new program will lower child care costs and improve access, and quality across Ontario’s child care and early years sector.

As a first step, all Ontario families with children five years old and younger in participating licensed child care centres will see their fees reduced, up to 25 per cent, to a minimum of $12 per day, retroactive to April 1, 2022.

In December 2022, parents will see another reduction. In total, fees for families will be reduced, on average, by 50 per cent, relieving parents of $1.1 billion in child care costs.

In September 2024, families will see further fee reductions, culminating in a final reduction to an average of $10-a-day child care by September 2025.

Ontario was the last province to sign the agreement.

Click here to read more.

Fire at Hernder Estate Wines under control

A large rural fire at Hernder Estate Wines has been brought under control by St. Catharines Fire Services with support from several neighbouring municipalities.

Fire crews were called to the fire at 1607 Eighth Ave. Louth at 10:02 p.m. on March 26, 2022. Crews arrived to find the original barn portion of the winery facility on fire. In response to the fire, St. Catharines Fire Services deployed its full complement of 27 firefighters and 12 pieces of equipment including ladder trucks, pump trucks and command units. Given the size of the facility and water-access issues associated with the rural location, firefighters and at least eight tankers from the neighbouring municipalities of Lincoln, West Lincoln, Pelham, Thorold, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls were called in for mutual aid.

Crews had the fire contained to the original barn structure housing the winery’s store and banquet centre by 3 a.m. on March 27, preventing it from spreading to attached production and warehouse buildings. By 9 a.m. the fire was largely under control.

At the time of the fire four employees were inside the building. All four were evacuated and one was transported from the scene to a local hospital by Niagara Emergency Medical Services for what is believed to be a minor case of smoke inhalation.

At this time a specific cause of the fire has not been identified.

Niagara Regional Police have requested that members of the public stay out to the area to minimize traffic congestion.

Click here to read more.

COVID-19 Assessment Centre and Clinic moving to Niagara Falls Site

Niagara Health is consolidating its COVID-19 Assessment Centres and Clinic into one location. Services have closed at the St. Catharines Site and moved to the Niagara Falls Site. The Clinical Assessment Centre for patients referred by a primary care of other health care provider will move to the Niagara Falls Site Monday, April 11.

Hours of operation for both are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. except for statutory holidays.

Neither the centre nor the clinic offers walk-ins.

Click here to read more.

StatCan launches new dashboard for environmental, social and governance indicators

The landscape in which businesses operate is evolving due to increased awareness of environmental degradation and the importance of diversity and inclusion, changing the expectations for corporate behaviour. Whether it is considering the transition to a low carbon economy or a more diverse workforce, shareholders are more than ever looking beyond financial performance when making investment decisions.

It is within this context that Statistics Canada is releasing a new experimental dashboard presenting a series of environmental, social and governance indicators that demonstrates the non-financial performance of a selection of industries.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) indicators are three non-financial factors that can be used to inform the long-term risk or return of an investment. The rationale is that industries that are adequately managing their ESG risks will be less vulnerable to changes in regulations or societal expectations, and will therefore perform better in the long-run.

Click here to read more.

Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub receives renewed funding

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, announced a new contribution agreement totalling $4.25 million for the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH), one of the pillars of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a now $6 billion program to advance women’s economic empowerment.

The WEKH is an extensive network of over 300 partners—including researchers, business support organizations and key industry leaders—that are working to create a more supportive environment to grow women’s entrepreneurship in Canada. By collecting, analyzing and disseminating information, the WEKH helps track progress being made and inform the work ahead to support more women business owners in starting up, scaling up and exporting to new markets.

Click here to read more.

Reading Recommendations

The Bank of Canada will almost certainly take the steeper path to higher rates next month

Financial Post

The Bank of Canada will almost certainly take the steeper path to higher interest rates when its leaders meet next month to reset policy.

Many observers would have come to that conclusion before deputy governor Sharon Kozicki’s game-changing speech on March 25.

Her boss, Tiff Macklem, said after he and his deputies raised the benchmark rate a quarter point on March 2 that the pace of future increases would be guided by data. The data over the past few weeks show the economy is considerably stronger than the central bank expected at the start of the year.

The jobless rate was 5.5 per cent in February, near a modern low, and the consumer price index averaged year-over-year increases of 5.4 per cent over the first two months of the year, compared with the Bank of Canada’s January forecast of 5.1 per cent in the first quarter. That outlook preceded Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has destabilized the supply of oil, natural gas, agricultural staples and metals. “The result is inflation in the near term that is expected to be higher than we projected in January,” Kozicki said.

Click here to read more.

Shanghai starts China’s biggest COVID-19 lockdown in 2 years

CBC News

China began its most extensive lockdown in two years Monday to conduct mass testing and control a growing COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai as questions are raised about the economic toll of the nation’s “zero-COVID” strategy.

China’s financial capital and largest city with 26 million people, Shanghai had managed its smaller, past outbreaks with limited lockdowns of housing compounds and workplaces where the virus was spreading.

The citywide lockdown that will be conducted in two phases will be China’s most extensive since the one in the central city of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected in late 2019, which confined its 11 million people to their homes for 76 days in early 2020. Millions more have been kept in lockdown since then.

Click here to read more.

Editor’s note: China’s “zero-COVID” policy means that the Chinese government reacts much faster and more severely to an outbreak than elsewhere in the world.

Update on Ukraine

G-7 says Russia’s request for gas payment in rubles is ‘not acceptable’

ABC News

Germany’s economy and climate action minister Robert Habeck says G-7 leaders find Russia’s demand for “unfriendly” countries to pay for gas in Russia’s currency, rubles, “not acceptable.”

“All G-7 ministers agreed completely that this would be a one-sided and clear breach of existing contracts,” Habeck said Monday, according to The Associated Press.

“Payment in ruble is not acceptable and we will urge the companies affected not to follow Putin’s demand,” Habeck said, according to the AP.

Habeck said the leaders of the G-7 nations — Germany, the U.S., France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and Canada — discussed the issue on Friday.

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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