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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 6

In this edition:

  • Government of Ontario introduces fifth iteration of Working for Workers Act
  • Lock and Quay housing development poised to be Welland’s largest
  • Niagara Region seeks input on future of waste management
  • Canada Post raises stamp prices amid financial strain
  • Focus on Health & Safety

Government of Ontario introduces fifth iteration of Working for Workers Act

The Ontario government is building on progress from its previous four Working for Workers acts by introducing new first-in-Canada supports and even stronger protections that aim to open pathways into the skilled trades, remove barriers to employment, protect frontline workers, and support women at work.

Among the proposed changes are:

  • Increasing the minimum wage from $16.55 per hour to $17.20, effective October 1, 2024.
  • Prohibiting employers from requiring a sick note from a medical professional for a worker’s job-protected sick leave under the Employment Standards Act (ESA).
  • Requiring employers to disclose in publicly advertised job postings whether a position is vacant and respond to applicants they have interviewed for those jobs.
  • Doubling the maximum fine for individuals convicted of violating the ESA from $50,000 to $100,000, which would be the highest fine in Canada.
  • Allowing for electronic copies of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to meet posting requirements and allowing joint health and safety committee meetings to be held virtually.
  • Requiring menstrual products on construction projects with 20 or more regularly employed workers and where the project is expected to last at least three months.
  • Requiring washrooms provided to workers to be clean and sanitary and ensure accountability by maintaining records of cleaning as prescribed by regulations.
  • Modernizing the definition of harassment to include protection against virtual harassment.
  • A new stream in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) called Focused Apprenticeship Skills Training (FAST), that will allow students in Grades 11 and 12 to participate in more apprenticeship learning through additional co-operative education credits while completing high school.
  • Launching a new online job-matching portal for apprentices, journeypersons, and employers.
  • Enabling alternative pathways for people interested in the skilled trades as a second career if they meet alternative criteria but cannot meet academic entry requirements.
  • Streamlining registration for internationally trained workers and requiring regulated professions to have a plan for enabling multiple registration processes to take place concurrently wherever possible.
  • Requiring regulated professions to have a policy to accept alternatives where standard registration-related documents cannot be obtained for reasons beyond an applicant’s control.
  • Expanding occupations eligible for the In-Demand Skills stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) and allowing the delegation of internal reviewer decision-making authority.
  • Consulting on a new Trusted Employer Model under the OINP.

Click here to read more.

Lock and Quay housing development poised to be Welland’s largest

LIV Communities’ Lock and Quay community would be the single largest housing development by one developer/builder in Welland, says director of planning and development Grant Munday.

Last week, in a news release, the city announced it had closed a $35-million deal on 62 hectares, known as the Northern Reach, fronting nearly two kilometres along Welland Recreational Canal.

Click here to read more.

Niagara Region seeks input on future of waste management

Niagara Region is looking for input from the public as well as a variety of public and private sectors to help develop a Waste Management Strategic Plan (the Plan) that will provide the framework and direction for waste management in the region over the next 25 years.

A virtual public house for the Industrial, commercial and Institutional sector will be held on Thursday, May 9. Another for non-governmental organizations and school board sectors will be held on May 10. Feedback can also be shared through an online survey available May 6 – 31.

Those interested can visit the Region’s website to learn more about the Waste Management Strategic Plan and engagement opportunities.

Click here to read more.

Canada Post raises stamp prices amid financial strain

The price of a single domestic stamp is now $1.15, up from $1.07. An increase in the cost to send a letter in Canada took effect Monday. The cost of stamps purchased in a booklet, coil or pane is now 99 cents per stamp, an increase of seven cents.

The cost increases come after Canada Post reported a loss for 2023 on Friday and warned that without changes it expects larger unsustainable losses in future years.

Click here to read more.

Did you know?

Saskatchewan is the world’s largest mustard exporter.

Focus on Health and Safety

Health and Safety Week launches today

Safety and Health Week, which takes place this year from May 6-11, is an ideal time for employers, employees, partners, and the public to focus on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home, and in the community.

Starting on May 6, you’re invited to join the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety to celebrate Safety and Health Week. Sign up for free, live, online sessions kicking off with our National Launch.

The week will continue with thought provoking sessions on trans and non-binary inclusion and plain language practices. Let’s come together to learn how we can create safe, thriving workplaces and communities.

Live French audio interpretation will be available for all sessions.

For ideas on how you can celebrate and to access tools and resources to help you plan and promote your events, visit the national Safety and Health Week website.

If you’d like to watch the recordings of the 2023 sessions, check out our playlist.

Click here to read more.

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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