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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 15, 2023

Housing demand continues to outpace supply: realtors, wholesale trade ticked down in March, and more.

In this edition:

Housing demand continues to outpace supply: realtors

Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales jumped by double digits on a month-over-month basis in April 2023. Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems posted an 11.3% increase from March to April 2023, foreshadowed by smaller back-to-back gains recorded in February and March.

“With interest rates at a top, and home prices at a bottom, it wasn’t all that surprising to see buyers jumping off the sidelines and back into the market in April,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist. “Supply, on the other hand, has been sluggish, hence the price gains from March to April seen all over the country.”

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Wholesale trade ticked down in March

Wholesale sales excluding petroleum fell 0.1% to $85.6 billion in March. Sales fell in four of the seven subsectors. The decrease in sales was mainly led by the miscellaneous subsector and the machinery equipment and supplies subsector. Despite the monthly decrease in the sector, wholesale sales (excluding oilseeds, grains and petroleum) were higher (+6.9%) than in March 2022.

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Bank of Canada survey finds perceived risk of financial shock has decreased

The Bank of Canada conducts the Financial System Survey (FSS) to solicit the opinions of senior experts in risk management. These experts provide their views on the risks to, and resilience of, the Canadian financial system as well as on new developments they are monitoring.

Respondents believe the risk of a shock that could impair the Canadian financial system has decreased since the last survey. Their confidence in the resilience of the Canadian financial system is at its highest since the first FSS in 2018.

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Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development launches manufacturing inspection campaign

The Ontario government’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development says they have launched a campaign to inspect workplace safety and accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Beginning May 1st, hundreds of inspectors across the province have begun visiting manufacturing and farming production workplaces to ensure that businesses are in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The campaign is focused on material handling in the manufacturing and farming sectors, a common cause of workplace injuries and fatalities. (Material handling includes the movement of materials or products within a workplace and may involve equipment like forklifts or conveyor belts).

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CMHC reports annual pace of housing starts up 22% in April

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts in April rose 22 per cent compared with March, powered by an increase in starts of multi-unit urban homes.

The national housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in April came in at 261,559 units, up from 213,780 in March.
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Does OHS inspector misconduct in Ontario reveal deeper problems?

Recent reports of misconduct by Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) inspectors in Ontario has garnered national attention.

News sources as diverse as the Toronto Star, trade media and the Toronto Sun have covered reports of the investigation and termination of anywhere from 22 to 50 OHS inspectors in Ontario for just cause.

This recent rash of revelations of misconduct largely, but not exclusively, stems from the assignment of OHS inspectors to police the “underground economy” in Ontario. While the misconduct and termination of OHS inspectors is nothing new, the sheer size of the recent wave of misconduct is staggering.

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Did you know?

Levi Strauss never wore jeans.

Focus on Small Business

Are you prepared for a health and safety inspection? One expert offers her advice

Are business owners prepared for a surprise health and safety inspection? Occupational health and safety inspectors enforce the provincial regulations to ensure businesses are compliant and up to date on all policies.

But what’s involved in an inspection, and what do employers need to keep in mind to ensure their businesses avoid fines?

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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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