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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 5, 2022

Hirji reminds of importance of masks, RFP: Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program, PenFinancial CEO announces retirement, and more.

In this edition:

Hirji reminds Niagara of importance of masks
RFP: Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program
Canadian dollar sees rebounding high
PenFinancial CEO announces retirement

Dr. Hirji reminds Niagara of importance of masks, joins peers in open letter to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health

Dr. Mustafa Hirji,  Medical Officer of Health (Acting) for Niagara Region is reminding Niagara residents of the importance and effectiveness of mask-wearing during the current wave of COVID-19, as cases remain high.

Dr. Hirji also continues to advocate to the provincial government for a temporary return of broad mask requirements in indoor settings. He has joined the medical officers of health of Peterborough Public Health and Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in writing an open letter to the Chief Medical Officer of Health to broaden his new section 22 order on masking.

Wastewater data from the Ontario Science Table shows that transmission has remained stubbornly high since mid-April. Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in Niagara are hitting new highs in this wave, and local hospitalizations for the past three weeks have been close to the peaks of the second and third waves.

Unmeasured are the children missing school due to isolation, adults missing work due to exposure, employers struggling to operate due to COVID-19 related absenteeism, and people suffering from long COVID-19.

In addition to calling for a temporary provincial mask requirement, Dr. Hirji is also urging all residents of Niagara to continue to wear masks voluntarily in indoor spaces around others to help us beat back this wave. Masks enable us to return to our pre-pandemic activities with much less risk of getting sick or harming others. Dr. Hirji also continues to recommend all organizations maintain their masking policies during this time of high transmission.

Click here to read more.

Request for Project Proposals for the Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, officially launched a request for proposals (RFP) for the Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP). This program will result in an expansion of zero-emission vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen refuelling stations in public places, on-street, multi-unit residential buildings, workplaces and vehicle fleets. Natural Resources Canada will provide funding through conditionally repayable contribution agreements of up to 50 percent of the total eligible project costs, with a maximum funding per type of infrastructure, up to a maximum of $5 million, per project. This RFP will close on August 11, 2022.

Click here to read more.

Canadian dollar seen rebounding as high oil price feeds trade surplus

The Canadian dollar will claw back its recent decline over the coming year, as elevated oil prices bolster Canada’s trade surplus and the central bank potentially hikes interest rates just as much as the U.S. Federal Reserve, a Reuters poll showed.

The loonie has lost ground since it touched 1.24 per U.S. dollar, or 80.65 U.S. cents, in April. This has occurred as the safe-haven greenback has been supported against major currencies by bets that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates aggressively to tame inflation.

On Wednesday, the Fed hiked by half a percentage point, its biggest single move in 22 years.

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PenFinancial Credit Union CEO announces retirement

Coming off a record setting year in 2021, Ken Janzen, Chief Executive Officer of PenFinancial Credit Union has announced his intention to retire in fall 2022.

A graduate of Brock University’s Business and Economics program, Ken joined PenFinancial in July 2016, bringing with him 35 years of experience within the credit union system. Under Ken’s leadership, PenFinancial built on its reputation as a Truly Local Credit Union, and increased assets by over 46% to $764 Million.

PenFinancial’s Board of Directors has initiated a national search for a new CEO that is being exclusively managed by The Mirillion Group. Those interested in learning more about this opportunity are invited to visit for further details.

Reading Recommendations

Stock markets are having their worst day in months as rate hikes and high inflation rattle investors

CBC News

Stock markets around the world fell on Thursday as investors faced up to the prospect of persistent high inflation, and much higher borrowing costs to fight it.

The Toronto Stock Exchange was off by almost 600 points or about three per cent at midday, with every sector on the benchmark Canadian stock market lower on the day.

Shares in Ottawa-based e-commerce giant Shopify led the way down, losing 16 per cent of their value on the day. The company, which reports in U.S. dollars, announced before markets opened that it lost $1.5 billion US in the first quarter. That’s a reversal from a profit of $1.3 billion US in the same period a year ago.

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Bank of Canada’s Carolyn Rogers says supply is the key to solving housing problem

Financial Post

The impact of higher borrowing rates is rippling through Canada’s largest regional housing market.

The latest data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) showed 8,008 properties were sold in the month of April, far below the 13,613 transactions that occurred in the same month last year. It represents a 41.2 per cent plunge.

Activity was also sharply lower on a monthly basis, with sales down 27 per cent from March.

“Based on the trends observed in the April housing market, it certainly appears that the Bank of Canada is achieving its goal of slowing consumer spending as it fights high inflation,” said Kevin Crigger, president of TRREB, in a release Wednesday.

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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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