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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 27th 2021

Today the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is supporting the launch of the national vaccine confidence initiative, “Faster, Together.”

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses

Visit to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

Canadian Chamber supports the ‘Faster, Together’ campaign

Today the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is supporting the launch of the national vaccine confidence initiative, “Faster, Together.” The campaign explains that getting vaccinated can bring us back together, faster.

“The message is simple: the faster we all do our part and get vaccinated, the faster we can all get back together, and get our lives and businesses back to normal,” said Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Perrin Beatty. “This single, unifying message is crucial for all Canadians to hear and heed.”

The Faster, Together. initiative is made up of more than 100 organizations, including business associations, labour unions, entertainment groups, influential individuals, and national brands.

Number of paid employees sees highest growth since September

The number of employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer—measured in the SEPH as payroll employment—increased by 245,800 (+1.5%) in March, Statistics Canada reports – the strongest monthly growth since September 2020. The March LFS recorded an increase of 303,000 (+1.6%) in the number of people employed (including self-employed). The increases in both the SEPH and the LFS were driven by the services-producing sector, as easing public health measures allowed many businesses in retail trade and accommodation and food services to reopen.

Compared with February 2020, payroll employment in Canada was down by 897,900 (-5.3%) in March 2021.

Government of Canada launches Canada Greener Homes Grant

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today launched the new Canada Greener Homes Grant, which will help up to 700,000 Canadian homeowners across the country improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce their energy bills through an investment of $2.6 billion over seven years.

Homeowners will be able to receive grants of up to $5,000 to make energy efficient retrofits to their primary residences, and up to $600 to help with the cost of home energy evaluations. Eligible home improvements and upgrades include replacing windows and doors, adding insulation, sealing air leaks, improving heating and cooling systems – such as with heat pumps – and purchasing renewable energy systems like solar panels.

The Canada Greener Homes Grant is retroactive to December 1, 2020.

Homeowners can go online to register, plan, and document their progress, which includes applying for their pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation, choosing from a list of eligible retrofits, scheduling a post-retrofit evaluation, and applying for reimbursement.

Reading Recommendations

Meme stocks mount a comeback as AMC, GameStop shareholders squeeze short sellers again

CBC News

Shares in movie chain AMC and video-game seller GameStop have risen to their highest level in months, as retail investors are once again piling money into certain stocks to try to catch short sellers in a squeeze.

AMC was changing hands at a new pandemic-era high above $22 US a share on Thursday, above the previous record of just over $20 it set at the end of January. The company, which runs a chain of 682 movie theatres mostly in the United States, has been hit hard by the pandemic, as it has been forced to close most locations or keep them open in a limited capacity.

Canadian banks signal a COVID-19 all-clear earlier than expected

Bloomberg News

Canada’s biggest banks are signaling that financial issues from the COVID-19 crisis are largely in the rear-view mirror in North America — and earlier than analysts had expected.

After a year of stockpiling record amounts of capital to protect against a wave of loan defaults, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank — the country’s two largest banks — reversed course last quarter. Toronto-Dominion on Thursday reported a surprise $377 million (US$312 million) release of provisions for credit losses for its fiscal second quarter, while Royal Bank released $96 million. Analysts had projected both lenders would continue setting aside capital to absorb potentially soured loans.

5 legal questions around vaccines at work

Canadian HR Reporter

As vaccinations continue to ramp up around Canada and many workplaces are seriously considering a return to normal, Canadian HR Reporter spoke with Neena Gupta, a labour lawyer at Gowlings in Waterloo, Ont., about what employers can and cannot do when it comes to vaccines.

Niagara COVID status tracker (May 22)

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 27)

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: 269,640

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 4,143

 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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