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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 17, 2022

St. Catharines Council votes against raise, construction posts gains, IceDogs franchise is sold, and more.

In this edition:

St. Catharines Council votes against raise
Construction posts gains
Nominations for Niagara design awards open
Cash hoarding hits 2001 high
Cost-of-living increases add to workplace woes
IceDogs franchise sold

St. Catharines city councillors vote against raise

St. Catharines city councillors have voted against a raise. The increase of roughly $7,000 would have gone into place following the upcoming election.

A staff report had recommended the increase and the addition of some insurance and health benefits.

Councillor Lori Littleton says the $25,368 dollars that councillors get is just not enough to get more people from more diverse backgrounds involved, “it’s not fair to put that on people and expect them to basically volunteer their time to do what is quite frankly important and critical work.”

The proposal would have seen salaries rise gradually over the next four years to $32,684.

Click here to read more.

Residential and non-residential construction post gains

Investment in building construction increased by 1.8% to $20.3 billion in March. Gains were reported in both the residential (+1.7%) and the non-residential (+2.0%) sectors.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction increased 1.0% to $12.3 billion.

Residential construction investment in March rose for a sixth consecutive month, up 1.7% to $15.1 billion. Ontario contributed about three-quarters of the monthly increase, bringing the national total to just below the record high reached in April 2021.

Investment in single family homes increased 4.3% to $8.4 billion, with Ontario (+6.2%) leading the gains.

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Nominations open for 2022 Niagara Biennial Design Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2022 Niagara Biennial Design Awards. Celebrating design excellence, these awards showcase Niagara’s unique communities and highlight the contributions from design professionals and artists towards the region’s economy.
Eligible projects must be located within the boundaries of Niagara Region and completed between Jan. 1, 2020 and Sept. 16, 2022. Enduring design projects must be completed before Dec. 31, 2019.
The nomination form can be found on the Biennial Awards webpage, and should be submitted by Sept. 16, 2022 to be considered.

Click here to read more.

Cash hoarding hits 2001 high on investor stagflation fears

Investors are piling into cash as the outlook for global growth plunges to an all-time low and stagflation worries mount, according to a Bank of America Corp. fund manager survey that points to continued stock market declines.

Cash levels among investors hit the highest level since September 2001, the report showed, with BofA describing the results as “extremely bearish.” This month’s survey of investors with US$872 billion under management also showed that hawkish central banks are seen as the biggest risk, followed by a global recession, while stagflation fears have risen to the highest since 2008.

Click here to read more.

Cost-of-living increases add to workplace woes

Cost-of-living increases are taking a toll on the workplace, according to a recent survey.

Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of HR leaders and 61 per cent of employees say that the stress resulting from cost-of-living increases is negatively impacting employees’ work.

But while increasing pay may be an effective way to keep workers onboard, there are other ways to help employees, finds a survey by Reward Gateway.

Half of employees would like to see increased investment in employee reward and recognition (50 per cent), and mental, physical and financial wellbeing resources (49 per cent).

Without either of these, 40 per cent would quit their job, finds the survey of nearly 3,800 employees and HR decision-makers across the U.K., U.S. and Australia.

Click here to read more.

IceDogs franchise sold

In a press release sent out Tuesday morning, the Burke family announced they had agreed to sell the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Niagara IceDogs to Darren DeDobbelaer. The deal still needed approval from the OHL board of directors.

“After 15 years, it is with mixed emotion to announce that we have decided to move on. It was one of the greatest joys of our lives to be able to bring major junior hockey back to the Niagara region and see our fan base flourish as you all embraced us,” owners Bill and Denise Burke said in a joint statement.

“We are proud of the brand that we have built here, and the relationships that have been forged in the community. One of our main goals was to make a difference in the Niagara region through our charitable endeavours, and our hope is that in that we have succeeded.”

Click here to read more.

Reading Recommendations

If you thought gas prices were high, have you checked out diesel?

CBC News

There is little relief from pain at the pumps these days, especially as the price of diesel has nearly doubled in the last year.

Diesel is now averaging $2.29 per litre across Canada, and is even more expensive than premium gasoline. In the last month alone, a litre of diesel has climbed by 35 cents.

Rising fuel prices are another blow to consumers struggling with the escalating cost of living, as inflation hit a level in March that hasn’t been seen in decades.

And the sky-high cost of diesel means the transportation of goods has become more costly, as diesel — which is typically more efficient and economical — powers the trucks, the trains and some of the ships our supply chains rely on.

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Don’t see a recession bear market? Here, try these glasses on

Financial Post

The S&P 500 is on the precipice of declining 20 per cent from the peak, but the majority of its members have already done so, and wide swaths of consumer discretionary stocks and the financials are down much more than that, so debating whether we are in an “official” bear market at this point is purely a case of semantics. If it walks like a duck …

I find it strange, and perhaps even a tad disingenuous, that the same bulls who shouted, “don’t fight the Fed!” when the market was going asymptotic to the upside are now telling people to fight the United States Federal Reserve on the other side of the mountain. To these folks, it’s as if economic and market cycles don’t exist.

Click here to read more.

The Election Section

Niagara poll tracker

Chart by Visualizer

Provincial poll tracker

Chart by Visualizer

The 338Canada project is a statistical model of electoral projections based on opinion polls, electoral history, and demographic data.

GNCC election platform

The GNCC asks that the next Government of Ontario create an economic environment for success by conducting an economic cost-benefit analysis of electricity rates and time-of-use billing. Rates and time-of-use have an impact on businesses, and for these programs to have maximum effect, a full analysis not just of environmental but also business and consumer impact should be made.

Click here to read the full platform.

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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