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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 11, 2023

In this edition:

Latest Economic Update shows good economic performance in Niagara

Niagara Economic Development released its newest Niagara Economic Update report yesterday, which shows that Niagara has shown good economic performance coming out of the pandemic with substantial improvements in gross domestic product, household disposable income, business counts, labour force and employment.

In the first quarter of 2021, Niagara’s gross domestic product was $16.3 billion; however, gross domestic product grew rapidly to $17.6 billion (about eight per cent) by the end of 2022. In addition, Niagara’s household disposable income per capita grew by about nine per cent from the first quarter of 2021 compared to the last quarter of 2022.

Business counts is another example of how Niagara is showing good economic performance. From 2022 to 2023, Niagara gained a net 1,066 new businesses totalling 44,429 overall.

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Next step in Ontario EV auto strategy is a lithium hydroxide plant: minister

Ontario Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli calls it the “sleeper story” of the province’s massive auto industry transition.

Now that his quest to establish end-to-end electric vehicle production in the province has landed two battery plants, he’s setting his sights on lithium hydroxide, a critical component of those batteries.

There are two or three “very good prospects” for bringing a lithium hydroxide facility to the province, with a particular eye on northern Ontario, Fedeli said in an interview.

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Welland becomes home to new giga casting factory

The City of Welland is now home to Linamar’s new, state-of-the-art giga casting factory, producing significant structural components of electric vehicles.

The facility will be located at 59 Canal Bank Street, a redevelopment of an industrial site comprised of a portion of the former Union Carbide lands and Page Hersey/Energex lands, creating approximately 200 new jobs.

The start of operation is expected to commence in February 2025.

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Grocery Rebate bill receives Royal Assent

Today, Bill C-46, the Cost of Living Act, No. 3, received Royal Assent. This legislation delivers the new Grocery Rebate, and strengthens public health care with a $2 billion Canada Health Transfer (CHT) top-up to help reduce backlogs and wait times, and support pediatric hospitals and emergency rooms.

The new one-time Grocery Rebate will deliver targeted inflation relief for 11 million low- and modest-income Canadians and families who need it most, with up to an extra $467 for eligible couples with two children; up to an extra $234 for single Canadians without children; and an extra $225 for seniors, on average. The Grocery Rebate will be delivered to eligible Canadians on July 5, 2023, by direct deposit or cheque through the Canada Revenue Agency.

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Niagara Falls receives funds as part of Canadian asset management investment package

Today, Jennifer O’Connell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, and Scott Pearce, Acting President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), announced a federal investment of more than $800,000 to help 18 Ontario communities put in place innovative asset management strategies.

The City of Niagara Falls will receive $50,000 to undertake condition assessment activities at 22 of the City’s stormwater management ponds and to use the results to build a multi-year operating and capital budget forecast. The planned work and schedule will allow the City to inform the budget and forecast and provide the City with a solid baseline to develop its asset management plan for its stormwater management assets.

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St. Catharines Farmers’ Market to expand outdoors on May 13

The St. Catharines Farmers Market is ready for the 2023 harvest season. Offering a variety of easily accessible goods including baking, cured meats, flowers and gifts, the Market will be expanding outside on May 13.

The St. Catharines Farmers Market is open for the season on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays year-round from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, please visit

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CABN launches manufactured homes to assist with the housing crisis

On May 11, Canadian housing technology company CABN unveiled its 752 sq ft showhome, one of four models that can be assembled in days, a product that repoortedly uses 20% the energy of a traditional home. The showhome, located in Eastern Ontario, comes as CABN announces its consultation with Augusta Township to create a 67-unit off-grid, net-zero CABN Community.

“At CABN, we recognized the need for housing outstrips the traditional model’s ability to produce – rising issues, such as skilled labour shortages and supply chain upheavals, forced us to rethink both the solutions and the problem of housing,” shares Jackson Wyatt, CABN founder and CEO.

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Groups partner and complete first 3D printed homes in Canada

Huntsman Building Solutions (HBS), Nidus3D, Great Northern Insulation (GNI) and Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex recently joined forces and completed the first 3D printed homes in Canada, a project that is expected to provide affordable housing to those at risk of homelessness through The Bridge Youth Resource Centre.

Four units have been built and certified, with designs focused on accessibility and net-zero emissions. The four-plex housing offers a kitchen and living space, a bathroom with mechanicals and a bedroom.

The project began in 2021, when Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex partnered with the University of Windsor, GNI, HBS and Nidus3D, among others, to research and develop the first 3D printed homes for residential use in Canada.

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Did you know?

Nintendo launched the original Nintendo Entertainment System in the middle of the 1983-85 video game crash.
By 1988, the demand for Nintendo cartridges was greater than the entire home computer software market.

Focus on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

ESG compliance liability risk is coming to construction industry directors

Although some may feel ESGs are a symptom of increased “woke capitalism” in today’s culture, construction companies of all sizes should not be lulled by the well-publicized backlash to ESGs.

Action is coming to Canada.

Chell, Roberts and Douglas say the Competition Bureau has confirmed its investigation into a greenwashing complaint launched not only against the Royal Bank of Canada, but also against the Canadian Gas Association over its claim natural gas is clean.

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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