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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 9, 2022

Niagara Region employment survey, Prime Minister’s surprise visit to Kyiv, Competition Bureau seeks to block Shaw acquisition, and more.

In this edition:

Niagara Region to conduct employment survey
Prime Minister makes surprise visit to Kyiv
Canadian non-residential building permits drop 30%
Competition Bureau seeks to block Shaw acquisition
Canada to temporarily remove tariffs for Ukrainian goods
Gas prices hit record highs across the country

Niagara Region to conduct employment survey

After a two year pandemic pause, Niagara Region is conducting the 2022 Employment Inventory survey this summer. A team of students will be fanning out across Niagara to interview people at more than 11,000 businesses to gain valuable information and insight on the local business community.

Feedback from local businesses is more important than ever to help Niagara Region Planning and Economic Development staff understand changes in the employment landscape and other effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data gathered from the survey helps identify emerging trends, as well as informing economic development and processes like the official plan. It also assists in identifying future needs for community services, transit, roads and other key infrastructure.

Once the survey is complete and the results available they will be shared publicly at a future date through Niagara Open Data.

Business owners may email Niagara Region staff to participate in the online survey.

Prime Minister makes surprise visit to Kyiv

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, yesterday visited Kyiv, Ukraine, where he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, accompanied the Prime Minister.

Earlier today, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs participated in a flag raising ceremony to mark the re-opening of the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine. Ambassador Larisa Galadza, together with a team of additional staff members, will resume diplomatic operations in Kyiv, Ukraine as part of a gradual restoring of Canada’s full diplomatic presence and services. Until further notice, consular and immigration services will continue to be provided in Poland and many other European cities in the region.

Click here to read more.

Canadian non-residential building permits drop 30%

The total value of building permits in Canada decreased 9.3% in March to $11.7 billion, mainly due to the non-residential sector (-29.5% to $3.7 billion). Two large hospital permits issued in February pushed that month’s total to a record high.

Residential permits in March increased 4.7% to $7.9 billion nationally.

Construction intentions for single family homes were up 3.3%, reaching the highest value since March 2021, with Ontario registering the largest gain (+12.0%).

The value of multi-family building permits rose 6.0% nationally, helped by high value projects such as a $457 million permit for the Ravine condos in the city of Toronto.

Click here to read more.

Competition Bureau seeks full block of Rogers’ proposed acquisition of Shaw

The Competition Bureau is seeking to block Rogers proposed $26 billion acquisition of Shaw. In a statement, the Bureau said this was an effort to protect Canadians from higher prices, poorer service quality and fewer choices, particularly in wireless services.

The Bureau challenged the merger today by requesting an order from the Competition Tribunal to prevent it from proceeding. The Bureau is also requesting an injunction to stop the parties from closing the deal until its application can be heard. The Bureau must now prove its case before the Tribunal in order for the deal to be stopped.

The Bureau alleges that removing Shaw as a competitor threatens to undo the significant progress it has made introducing more competition into an already concentrated wireless services market, where Rogers, Bell and Telus (the Big 3) serve approximately 87% of Canadian subscribers.

Click here to read more.

Canada will remove tariffs on Ukrainian goods for one year

While most goods from Ukraine enter Canada duty-free as a result of the Canada–Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA), tariffs still apply on certain goods where tariffs are being phased out under the Agreement, or where they are excluded from it.

From 2019 to 2021, Ukrainian exports to Canada averaged $170.8 million annually, and Canada collected about $2.6 million in duties from these goods.

By removing tariffs for a one year period, Canada would continue to support Ukraine’s economy by ensuring that Ukrainian goods are able to enter Canada duty-free.

Click here to read more.

Gas prices hit record highs across the country

Canadians in most parts of the country are waking up to higher gas prices today, with prices either above $2 a litre or creeping close to that benchmark.

According to Gas Wizard, a site that tracks gas prices across Canada, prices have jumped by four to six cents in many urban centres across the country. In Vancouver, the price of regular gasoline reached $2.17.

Click here to read more.

Reading Recommendations

Rate hikes could lead to 10% fall in home prices

BNN Bloomberg

Rising borrowing rates could shave 10 per cent off Canadian home prices over the next year and lead to an even bigger drop in real estate investment, according to Capital Economics.

“When interest rates rise, home sales are usually the first domino to fall and this time is no different,” said Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics, in a note to clients on Monday.

“With sales plunging, it is no longer a question of whether house prices will fall, but rather how much will they fall by?”

The latest housing data for April showed meaningful sales pullbacks are already underway in many major markets across Canada including Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal as higher interest rates sideline some potential homebuyers.

Click here to read more.

The Election Section

Niagara poll tracker

Provincial poll tracker

GNCC election platform

The GNCC asks that the next Government of Ontario financially support recovery and growth by directing financial support towards the hardest-hit sectors with targeted grants, loan guarantees, and tax credits. Many businesses and industries, such as the hospitality sector and the arts and entertainment industry, have not recovered from the events of the pandemic, and will need further financial support to return to their previous prosperity. We encourage parties to design financial tools for this purpose.

Click here to read the full platform.

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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