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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 13th, 2021

Ontario has extended the Stay-at-Home Order until at least June 2. The provincewide emergency brake will also remain in effect.

Government of Ontario extends stay-at-home order to June 2nd

The Ontario government has extended the Stay-at-Home Order (O. Reg. 265/21) until at least June 2, 2021. All public health and workplace safety measures under the provincewide emergency brake will also remain in effect. During this time, the government will prepare to administer the Pfizer vaccine to youth between the ages of 12 and 17, beginning the week May 31, 2021, as the province also finalizes plans to gradually and safely re-open the province.

Despite improvements, key indicators remain high and more time is required before the province can safely lift the Stay-at-Home Order. From May 3 to 9, the provincial cases rate remained very high at 134.9 cases per 100,000 people, and per cent positivity was above the high alert threshold of 2.5 per cent. Hospitalization and ICU admissions also remain too high and well above the peak of wave two.

Province launches new Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant

The Ontario government is providing one‐time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to support eligible small tourism and travel businesses struggling to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through the new $100-million Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant. The launch of the program was announced today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

This grant will support eligible small tourism and travel businesses that did not receive the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG), such as travel agents, hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts. To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 100 employees and demonstrate they have experienced a minimum 20 per cent revenue decline between 2019 and 2020.

For information on eligibilty and how to apply:

Ontario Chamber calls for evidence-based metrics for reopening & clarity around AstraZeneca

The provincial Chamber of Commerce is calling on the Province to help restore public and business confidence in the government’s management of the COVID-19 crisis by providing Ontarians with clarity on:

  • Evidence-based metrics for reopening, namely thresholds related to daily case counts, capacity within our healthcare system, and how rapidly the virus is spreading. For instance, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer said he would like to see the number of new daily COVID-19 cases for Ontario “well below” 1,000 before easing public health restrictions. Will this be the threshold for reopening?
  • When and how Ontarians who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine will receive their second dose, or at least when that decision will be made and what information it will be based on.
  • How public health measures will adapt when the majority of Ontarians will have received their first vaccine dose. For instance, other jurisdictions like Saskatchewan have provided a clear plan and roadmap for what can open and when, accompanied by an expected timeline.

Niagara Medical Officer of Health offers COVID-19 update

Dr. Hirji, Niagara’s Acting Medical Officer of Health, will also join the GNCC for a live webinar and take questions on May 18.

Auditor General of Ontario finds inconsistent and late reporting of actual spending on initial COVID-19 emergency relief programs

Most of the province’s early health-related COVID-19 expenditures were properly authorized by Treasury Board, but better processes to track, monitor and report on the proper use of funds and the timely distribution of payments were needed for mainly Ministry of Health initiatives, Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk states in her latest chapter of the Special Report on COVID-19 Preparedness and Management (PDF link).

Reading Recommendations

WE Charity: Trudeau cleared of ethics wrongdoing in political scandal

BBC News

Canada’s ethics watchdog has cleared Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of wrongdoing in the WE Charity scandal. The charity had been tapped by his government last year to oversee a volunteer programme for students during the pandemic. Mr Trudeau later faced scrutiny when it was revealed he had personal ties to the organisation. But the report found former finance minister Bill Morneau had breached federal ethics rules in the scandal. Mr Morneau resigned in August, although he denied it was because of this case.

Greyhound Canada to cut all routes, end operations

Brett Bundale, Canadian Press/Bloomberg News

Greyhound Canada is permanently cutting all bus routes across the country, shutting down the intercity bus carrier’s operations in Canada after nearly a century of service. The motor coach company said its remaining routes in Ontario and Quebec will cease permanently on Thursday.

Its American affiliate, Greyhound Lines, Inc., will continue to operate cross-border routes to Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver once the border reopens. The decision comes a year after Greyhound Canada temporarily suspended all service due to a sharp decline in passengers and mounting travel restrictions amid the first wave of COVID-19.

The global chip shortage is starting to have major real-world consequences

Sam Shead, CNBC

The severity of the global chip shortage has gone up a notch over the last few weeks and it’s now looking as though millions of people will be impacted.

As technology has advanced, semiconductor chips have spread from computers and cars to toothbrushes and tumble dryers — they now lurk beneath the hood of a surprising number of products.

But demand for chips is continuing to outstrip supply, and car makers are no longer the only companies feeling the pinch.

Niagara COVID status tracker (May 8)

Niagara’s most up-to-date COVID statistics, measured against the targets for the various stages of the Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework, are presented below. This does not predict government policy, but is offered to give you an idea of where Niagara is situated and how likely a relaxation (or further restrictions) may be. These data are the most recent published by Niagara Region. The Grey-Lockdown level does not have its own metrics, but is triggered when the COVID-specific measurements in a Red-Control region have continued to deteriorate.

The Province of Ontario is currently under a stay-at-home order. The COVID-19 Response Framework does not apply during this order. Click here to review the restrictions currently in place.

▲: Metric has increased since last published measurement

▼: Metric has decreased since last published measurement

— : Metric has not changed since last published measurement

 December 18December 25January 1January 8January 15January 22January 29
Reproductive number1.
New cases per 100,000101.2267.3469.8575.8507.1295.5250.6
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)60.7178.7311.7376.9325.4182.7145.7
Percent of hospital beds occupied97%95.2%98.2%103.2%104.5%103.6%106%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied78.8%77.3%87.9%87.9%90.9%89.4%93.9%
Percentage of positive tests6.1%15.6%28.1%28.6%26.6%21.2%16.2%


  • Weekly Incidence Rate: the number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people per week
  • Percent Positivity: the number of positive COVID-19 tests as a percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed
  • Rt: the reproductive rate, or the number of people infected by each case of the virus

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker (May 13)

Niagara’s most up-to-date vaccination numbers are presented below, along with comparison data from Ontario, Canada, and G7 countries.

Total doses administered in Niagara: 212,414

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 3,212

 Percentage of population with one dosePercentage of population fully vaccinated
United States75%64%
United Kingdom78%72%

Data are drawn from Niagara Region, the Government of Ontario, and Oxford University’s Our World in Data project.

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here.The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.
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