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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 3rd, 2021

Ontario government expands COVID vaccine booking eligibility

Due to a stable and reliable increase in vaccine supply, this week, the Ontario government will further expand booking eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination appointments across the province.

As of Monday, May 3, 2021, at 8:00 a.m., individuals who are 18 and over in 2021 and live in one of the 114 hot spot communities will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a mass immunization clinic through the provincial online booking system or directly through public health units that use their own booking system.

In addition, beginning Thursday, May 6, 2021, at 8:00 a.m. the following groups throughout the province will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, through the provincial online booking system and call centre or directly through public health units that use their own booking system:

  • Individuals turning 50 and over in 2021;
  • Individuals with high-risk health conditions;
  • People who cannot work from home who fall under Group One (including remaining elementary and secondary school workers); and
  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals in addition to the other channels previously available to book their appointment.

Visit Ontario’s website to find out if you are eligible to receive the vaccine at this time.

The following Niagara Region Public Health clinic dates have been added to the portal:
  • May 9-10 – Fort Erie, Leisureplex
  • May 15-16 – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Community Centre
  • May 16-22 – Pelham, Meridian Community Centre
  • May 24, 25 & 28 – West Lincoln, West Lincoln Community Centre
  • May 29 – Niagara Falls, MacBain Community Centre

Fort Erie opens short-term rental licence application portal

Short-term rental operators in Fort Erie can now obtain or renew their short-term rental licence through the Town’s new online application portal. On January 1, 2020, the Town of Fort Erie launched a Short-term Rental (e.g. AirBnBs) program to help regulate terms and conditions for short-term rentals operating in Fort Erie. Some program details include:

  • Short-term rental owners require an annual licence to operate.
  • Operating a rental without a licence will result in a $600 fine, 7-day suspension and 10 demerit points.
  • Contact person for rentals must be local and available at all times.
  • Enhanced bylaw enforcement from May 1 to September 30 with extended hours.
  • Owners must submit a fire safety plan and other required documentation, as well as comply with all building code standards.

For more information, please visit

Ontario Chamber announces collaboration with Sun Life to develop new playbook to support mental health at work

To mark the start of Canadian Mental Health Week, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is pleased to announce its partnership with Sun Life to develop its Mental Wellness in the Workplace: A Playbook for Employers. This Playbook will provide Ontario’s business community with the resources needed to support mental wellness in the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chamber’s Playbook will provide Ontario businesses with a list of resources so employers have tools at their disposal to develop mental health strategies and psychologically healthy and safe workplaces. The OCC will also prepare a summary document that includes information and resources tailored to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Both resources will be released this summer and available to employers and businesses through the OCC’s website and social media channels.

Auditor General of Ontario finds lack of pandemic preparedness and poor infection control practices in long-term care contributed to COVID-19 impacts

No requirement to prepare for a pandemic, coupled with long-standing, unaddressed weaknesses in infection control and prevention in Ontario’s long-term-care homes contributed to the tragic impacts of COVID-19 on long-term care residents, concluded Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk in her special report (PDF link) on COVID-19 Readiness and Response in Long-Term Care.

The audit found that long-term-care homes were ill-prepared to prevent or minimize COVID-19 outbreaks due to chronic staffing shortages and inconsistent practices in infection prevention and control prior to COVID-19. As well, many residents were in rooms with three or four occupants, in homes which had not yet been required to redevelop to the one- to two-occupant standards set by the province in 1999. The audit found that homes with more than two residents sharing rooms tended to experience more severe outbreaks.

Reading Recommendations

Berkshire Hathaway’s questionable performance and governance

The Economist

The annual shareholders’ meeting of Berkshire Hathaway has been dubbed “Woodstock for capitalists”, so large is the throng it usually attracts. For the second year running, though, thanks to covid-19, the groupies have been denied their close-up love-in with Warren Buffett. The event on May 1st was online only, with Mr Buffett joined on screen by his longtime sidekick and fellow nonagenarian, Charlie Munger—a headline act that makes the Rolling Stones look like striplings. Nevertheless, Warren and Charlie outdid Mick and Keith for stamina, taking more than three hours of questions, covering everything from Berkshire’s first-quarter results, announced earlier that day, to the ways in which its subsidiaries do and don’t resemble children. For Buffettologists, the highlight was an apparent slip of the tongue by Mr Munger: “Greg will keep the culture”. The following day Mr Buffett, who had hitherto refused to publicly name an heir apparent, confirmed that the nod had gone to Greg Abel, the 58-year-old head of Berkshire’s non-insurance operations.

Many employers not responding to burnout concerns

Jim Wilson, Canadian HR Reporter

Employee burnout has emerged as a major issue for many workers during the pandemic. And while many employers are aware of the problem, they’re not necessarily responding, according to a recent survey.

Nearly half (47 per cent) of Canadian employers say they are worried about employee burnout, and among businesses hurt by the pandemic, 42 per cent believe dampened employee morale and a potential increase of burnout will negatively impact their revenues for the remainder of 2021, according to a report from Sage.

However, nearly seven in 10 (68 per cent) of employers have not taken action to address this issue, finds the survey of 1,569 Canadian workers and 775 business decision-makers in organizations with 50 to 499 employees, conducted in March.

Niagara COVID status tracker (April 11 – April 17)

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 3)

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: 186,022

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 1,305

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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