Your browser is not supported

Your browser is too old. To use this website, please use Chrome or Firefox.

Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: March 31, 2023

In this edition:

Ontario announces minimum wage hike for October 1

The Ontario government is increasing the minimum wage to $16.55 an hour on October 1, 2023. This represents a 6.8 per cent pay raise for affected workers.

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is putting workers in the driver’s seat of their careers, and their lives,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

There were 942,400 workers earning $16.55 per hour or below in 2022, the majority of whom are women. Just over 40 per cent of workers at or below the current general minimum wage of $15.50 per hour are in retail trade and almost 25 per cent are in accommodation and food services.

Ontario’s new minimum wage will be the highest of any province in the country.

Click here to read more.

Click here to read the GNCC’s statement.

Economy grew 0.5% in January

Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.5% in January, following a slight contraction (-0.1%) in December. Both goods-producing (+0.4%) and services-producing (+0.6%) industries were up in January, as 17 of 20 industrial sectors posted increases.

Advance information indicates that real GDP increased 0.3% in February.

Click here to read more.

Ontario extends homebuyer deposit insurance to credit unions

The Ontario government is expanding deposit insurance for First Home Savings Accounts at Ontario credit unions.

The province is also consulting on a ‘cooling-off period’ for buyers of new freehold homes and seeking input on whether it should be mandatory to receive legal advice before signing a purchase agreement for a new home. The government will consult with consumer groups, the public and the home building sector through the Ontario Regulatory Registry in the near future on a cooling-off period for new freehold homes.

Click here to read more.

Net worth of poorer and younger Canadians plummeted in 2022

Increases in the cost of living and declining asset values had a negative impact on net saving and wealth in 2022, especially for more vulnerable households, such as those with lower incomes, less wealth, and in younger age groups.

Households in the second income quintile reduced their average net saving by 50.3% in 2022 relative to 2021, while at the same time average net worth declined at the fastest pace on record (-16.3%) for the bottom 40% of wealth holders and for those aged less than 35 years (-9.8%).

Click here to read more.

Government of Canada will end interest on student loans

Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced the permanent elimination of interest for Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program. This significant action will reduce the financial burden on young Canadians as they start their careers.

Starting tomorrow, April 1, 2023, this change will benefit more than 1.2 million post-secondary graduates in Canada each year. The elimination of interest will save an average student loan borrower $520 per year, based on current interest rates.

Click here to read more.

Focus on Technology

Italy orders ChatGPT blocked citing data protection concerns

Two days after an open letter called for a moratorium on the development of more powerful generative AI models so regulators can catch up with the likes of ChatGPT, Italy’s data protection authority has just put out a timely reminder that some countries do have laws that already apply to cutting edge AI: it has ordered OpenAI to stop processing people’s data locally with immediate effect.

The Italian DPA said it’s concerned that the ChatGPT maker is breaching the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and is opening an investigation.

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.

Share this: