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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: November 14, 2022

Ontario releases Fall 2022 economic statement, Ontario government repeals anti-strike law for CUPE education workers, and more.

In this edition:

Ontario releases Fall 2022 economic statement

Today, Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy released the 2022 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review – Ontario’s Plan to Build: A Progress Update.

In a statement, the Government of Ontario highlighted measures such as providing Ontario’s small businesses with $185 million in income tax relief over the next three years, and automatically matching property tax reductions for small businesses within all municipalities that adopt the small business property subclass.

However, just months after the Ontario government touted a $2.1-billion surplus for 2021-22, the province is yet again in the red.

Ontario is projecting a $12.9 billion deficit for 2022-23, according to the fall economic statement released Monday. This shortfall is nearly $7 billion less than what was projected in the 2022 budget and includes a number of affordability pledges meant to save drivers, small business owners, and seniors money.

The latest financial documents show the government has made about $186.8 billion in revenue, primarily from taxes and federal transfers.

They expect to spend about $198.8 billion in 2022-2023, with about $185.2 billion earmarked for programs.

In a statement, Mishka Balsom, CEO of the GNCC, said that the GNCC was pleased to see business-friendly measures highlighted, such as providing small businesses with $185 million in income tax relief over the next three years, matching property tax reductions for small businesses within all municipalities that adopt the small business property subclass, and $675 million in additional tax relief through changes to the small business corporate income tax for capital investment.

In addition, improving deficits over the next couple of years, despite an expected economic slowdown, is a positive signal, but one that we view with caution. Organizations are aware that government indebtedness is historically high in Ontario and therefore eliminating the deficit is critical to ensure the province’s long-term economic viability.

As Niagara businesses seek to create an environment to support long-term growth, productivity, competitiveness and resilience, we are concerned that urgent vulnerabilities in our health care system were not addressed, and neither was a more robust way to deal with talent gaps in our workforce.

Ontario government repeals anti-strike law for CUPE education workers

Ontario repealed a law Monday that imposed a contract on education workers and banned them from striking.

The province passed Bill 28 on Nov. 3 in a bid to prevent 55,000 workers from the Canadian Union of Public Employees from striking.

But thousands of workers walked off the job anyway, shutting many schools across the province to in-person learning for two days.

Last week, Premier Doug Ford offered to withdraw the legislation if CUPE members returned to work, which they did.

Click here to read more.

Meridian Credit Union becomes largest certified living wage employer in Ontario

Meridian marks an important milestone today in becoming the largest employer to become certified by the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN). A living wage reflects an income that a worker must bring home in order to meet their basic living needs and participate more fully in life, work and community.

“Our employees power Meridian’s purpose and we have a commitment to support their financial security and economic well-being,” says Jay-Ann Gilfoy, President & CEO, Meridian. “As a Certified Living Wage Employer, we are building resilience and wealth in the communities where we live and work.”

Click here to read more.

Unifor federal lobby calls for stronger policies and action on affordability for workers

Unifor National President Lana Payne called for urgent action to address the affordability crisis and for enactment of policies that will bolster and support workers and their families as she outlined the union’s 2023 federal budget priorities to start the union’s lobby week.

Payne spoke at a media conference alongside Len Poirier, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer, Daniel Cloutier, Unifor Quebec Director and Matthew Green, NDP MP for Hamilton Centre.

“These are challenging times for workers, who are dealing with economic uncertainty and the continued impact of the pandemic. An affordability crisis, broken supply chains, high inflation, rising interest rates, and public services including health care under stress place workers and their families in a crisis scenario,” said Payne. “What we need in response to this unique moment is a federal government that implements worker-centric polices and a reinvestment in strong public services and labour market supports.”

Click here to read more.

Investment in building construction shows decline for September

Investment in building construction declined 0.6 to $20.9 billion in September, with most of the weakness coming from Quebec (-3.4%). The residential sector decreased 1.3% to $15.4 billion. Conversely, the non-residential sector rose 1.6% to $5.4 billion.

Investment in non-residential construction increased 1.6% to $5.4 billion in September. Overall, eight provinces reported gains, with Ontario (+2.0%) leading the way in each component.

Click here to read more.

Prime Minister announces additional military assistance for Ukraine and additional sanctions against Russia

Today, at the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that Canada will provide $500 million in additional military assistance for Ukraine, to assist the Armed Forces of Ukraine in defending their country against Russia’s brutal and unjustifiable invasion.

This commitment builds on the $500 million in military aid for Ukraine announced in Budget 2022 and will go toward military, surveillance, and communications equipment, fuel, and medical supplies.

Click here to read more.

FAO: education spending will grow faster than government projects

A new report from the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) has analyzed the Ministry of Education’s spending plan as set out in the 2022 Ontario Budget and the 2022-23 Expenditure Estimates.

Based on current program design and announced commitments, the FAO projects that Ministry of Education (EDU) spending will grow at an average annual rate of 4.5 per cent between 2021-22 and 2027-28, reaching $40.9 billion in 2027-28. In contrast, in the 2022 Ontario Budget, the Province projects that EDU spending will grow at an average annual rate of 3.6 per cent, reaching $38.9 billion in 2027-28.

The spending gap between the FAO’s projection and the Province’s outlook is $0.4 billion in 2022-23, increasing to $2.0 billion in 2027-28.

Click here to read more.

Ontario’s top doctor strongly recommends masking indoors as health system faces ‘extraordinary pressures’

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health is “strongly recommending” that Ontarians wear masks in all indoor public settings, including in schools and in childcare settings, but stopped short of recommending a return to a mask mandate in the province.

At a news conference on Monday, Dr. Kieran Moore said the province’s health system is facing “extraordinary pressures” with the ongoing circulation of COVID-19, the earlier than normal rise in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as influenza.

Dr. Mustafa Hirji is in support of a mask mandate to help ease pressure on paediatric hospitals in Ontario.

Dr. Hirji told CKTB that hospitals are already stretched, and it will take 2-3 weeks of mask-wearing to start showing an impact on the population.

He says it’s too little too late, as many children’s hospitals are overwhelmed with patients suffering from respiratory viruses.

Click here to read more.

Your input is needed for the Fall 2022 Ontario Economic Report

The GNCC and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) are looking for your insights on issues that matter to your businesses. How confident are you in Ontario’s economy and your organization’s outlook? What should governments prioritize to drive economic growth?

Your participation in our annual Business Confidence Survey is as important as ever. The results of the survey will inform the 2023 Ontario Economic Report: the landmark research platform of the OCC, offering a unique perspective on the experience of businesses of all sizes across the province.

Share your views by taking a short five-minute survey here.

Focus on Small Business

4 ways to avoid the slippery slope of side hustling

It seems we are living in the age of the “side hustle.” Everywhere you look there are articles and ads for ways to make more outside of your . The idea of the side hustle has been romanticized as the entrepreneurial spirit hard at work, where dreamers go to start living their dreams while being supported by their “day job.” It’s the person working on a fixer-upper house on nights and weekends in hopes of turning a profit on their first flip. It’s the savvy thrift shopper with an eye for diamonds in the rough they can polish off and sell at a profit. The media has sensationalized side hustles like these through numerous television programs like American Pickers, Flip or Flop and Storage Wars.

Money, however, does not a happy human make. Feeling a sense of purpose, having good relationships, being fully engaged with what you do and accomplishments do. The key is finding your purpose. Once you do, following your purpose will lead to those positive relationships, engagement, accomplishments and positive emotions that lead to a fulfilling life. If you want to avoid the slippery slope of side hustling, if you want to avoid waking up with multiple unfulfilling jobs just to make ends meet, follow these steps.

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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