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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 25, 2023

In this edition:

Number of payroll employees holds steady in March while vacancies edge down

The number of employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer—measured as “payroll employees” in the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours—was little changed in March (-9,900). This follows an increase of 37,900 (+0.2%) in February. Meanwhile, job vacancies edged down by 17,300 (-2.1%) in March.

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Ontario WSIB workers threaten strike as deadline looms

Employees at Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board are threatening to strike if a new deal isn’t reached by next week. The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents the workers, said Thursday that employees want more money, more resources and more training.

“Too many of my coworkers are running on fumes,” said Harry Goslin, president of the local chapter of CUPE that represents 3,750 workers.

“When the workers who deliver the very services Ontarians rely on are struggling, it has an unavoidable impact on service delivery.”

The board provides wage-loss benefits, medical coverage and support to those who have work-related injuries and illnesses.

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Governments invest in attracting youth to agricultural careers

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $2.3 million over three years through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to support 4-H Ontario programming. This funding will allow 4-H Ontario to continue to engage youth interested in a career in the agriculture and agri-food industries.

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Niagara Region takes claim of Ontario’s Tastiest Tap Water for second year in a row

During this week’s celebration of National Public Works Week, Niagara Region is excited to share that is has once again claimed the top spot at the Ontario Water Works Association’s Annual General Meeting Taste Test Competition.

Niagara Region’s Water-Wastewater operations, maintenance and technical staff are dedicated to producing high quality drinking water for the community. A sample from the Rosehill Water Treatment Plant in Fort Erie was submitted to the competition in hopes of bringing home gold for a second year in a row, and delegates selected Niagara Region’s sample as Ontario’s best tasting tap water.

The Ontario Water Works Association’s Annual General Meeting took place in early May in Toronto.

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Canadian farm income falls almost 10% as costs continue to rise

Realized net income for Canadian farmers fell 9.5% to $12.5 billion in 2022, as growth in expenses outpaced the rise in farm cash receipts. The decrease in 2022 followed a 50.8% gain in 2021 and a 79.1% increase in 2020. Excluding cannabis, realized net income in 2022 was down 8.3% to $12.7 billion.

Realized net income is the difference between a farmer’s cash receipts and operating expenses, minus depreciation, plus income in kind.

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Canadian employers struggling to attract people back to the workplace: study

Employers in Canada are struggling to convince their people to work from the office but are overlooking a willingness from employees to return in a four-day working week, according to a study by Unispace.

Returning for Good, a Unispace Global Workplace Insights report found that half of workers are in the office four or more days a week, but just 31 per cent like being in the workplace this regularly. The disconnect between what employees want and the work set-up on offer is a potential driver, as 41 per cent of employees currently “hot-desk,” or share a workstation with other employees, but 79 per cent suggested they would be more inclined to head into the office if they were given their own assigned desk.

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NotL short-term rentals to be subject to room tax

Council has set a deadline for next January to extend its hotel room tax to cottage rentals and bed and breakfasts, most of which do not currently collect the tax.

“Hopefully, seven months is enough time and will put a little fire under everybody,” said Coun. Maria Mavridis, who brought the motion to council Tuesday morning.

Under the existing rules, only businesses with more than five rooms have to collect the tax, an additional two per cent of the advertised room rate.

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Did you know?

The CIA headquarters has a Starbucks. Employees undergo extensive background checks, can never write names or even aliases on the cups, and must be escorted to and from work by agents.

Focus on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

‘It’s never gone away’: Niagara’s Black community most common target of hate incidents

Sherri Darlene said the racism in Niagara is no secret to members of the Black community.

Darlene has lived in Niagara since she was two years old, and said she’s been subjected to racism and has been traumatized by it her whole life.

“It’s in my community, at my schools, at my jobs. It’s never gone away,” she said. “I just got followed around the store four days ago and I literally had to turn around and say, ‘you know that I can see you and I know that you’re following me, right?’”

According to a report presented to the Niagara Regional Police Services Board on April 27, between Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022, there were a total of 41 reported hate-motivated incidents in Niagara, with 19 of them targeting people for their race/nationality.

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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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