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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: November 15, 2021

Alberta and Ottawa have reached an agreement to deliver $10‑a‑day childcare in the province, but Ontario still has yet to sign.

Alberta becomes latest province to pledge $10-a-day childcare; still no agreement with Ontario

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, today announced that both governments have reached an agreement that will support an average of $10‑a‑day care in the province, significantly reducing the price of child care for families. The agreement includes creating 42,500 new regulated early learning and child care spaces by the end of March 2026. With federal funding of almost $3.8 billion over the next five years, Alberta will also see a 50 per cent reduction in average parent fees for children under the age of six in regulated child care by the end of 2022.

Earlier this year, the Government of Canada reached similar agreements with the governments of British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Yukon, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The governments of Canada and Quebec also reached an asymmetric agreement to strengthen the early learning and child care system in the province.

Ontario has yet to sign the agreement.

Click here for more information.

Ontario invests $25 million in agri-food supply chain

The Ontario government is investing $25 million over three years to strengthen the agri-food supply chain. This funding will incentivize industry investment in projects intended to help address the processing capacity shortage and increase the sector’s competitiveness and resilience against future disruptions.

Starting in 2021-22, the Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund will provide grants of up to $3 million to agri-food processing businesses to invest in capital, equipment and technology. The initiative aims to increase processing capacity and productivity while also enhancing the food security of Ontarians.

Specific program details will be available upon the program’s launch in the spring of 2022.

Click here for more information.

Global shortages, trade congestion, and environmental disasters to blame for  manufacturing sales decline

Manufacturing sales declined 3.0% to $58.5 billion in September, the lowest level since May 2021. Sales decreased in 12 of 21 industries, with most of the decline attributable to lower sales of motor vehicles due to the shortage of semiconductors. The decrease was partially offset by higher sales in the petroleum and coal industry.

The global supply chain disruption continues to slow down recovery in many industries. The lack of computer chips, shortage of shipping containers, port congestion, and environmental disasters presented serious challenges to many manufacturers and distributors of goods, and the supply chain disruption is expected to continue into 2022.

In Canada, the semiconductor chip shortage affected auto manufacturing the most and resulted in a production curtailment in all major auto assembly plants. In September, sales of motor vehicles fell 35.6% to $1.9 billion, the lowest sales since May 2020. The production capacity rate in the transportation equipment industry fell from 70.6% in August 2021 to 55.3% in September 2021. Sales of motor vehicle parts declined 13.5% to $1.8 billion accordingly.

Click here for more information.

Unvaccinated federal employees not granted exemptions to be put on unpaid leave today

Employees in the core federal public sector who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be put on unpaid leave today, unless they were already granted an accommodation.

The policy could potentially leave more than 1,000 workers without pay and unable to access employment insurance benefits.

As of Nov. 3, the vast majority — about 95 per cent — of federal public servants were reported to be fully vaccinated.

Click here for more information.

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to help protect ourselves, and our families and communities against COVID-19. Learn more here.

Agricultural supplies and machinery lead wholesale trade growth

Wholesale sales grew 1.0% in September to $71.3 billion, the fifth increase in the past seven months. Sales of agricultural supplies (part of the miscellaneous subsector) and machinery, equipment and supplies generated the gain in September. Lower sales in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector and the building material and supplies subsector partially offset the increase. Overall sales rose in four of seven subsectors, representing nearly 70% of the sector.

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Reading Recommendations

Bank of Canada says economic slack not yet absorbed, but ‘getting closer’


The Bank of Canada will not raise its benchmark interest rate until the slack in the country’s economy is absorbed, which has not yet happened but is getting closer, Governor Tiff Macklem said in a newspaper opinion piece on Monday.

Macklem also noted that while inflation risks have increased – driven by pandemic-induced demand shifts, supply disruptions and higher energy prices – the central bank continues to view the recent dynamics as transitory.

“For the policy interest rate, our forward guidance has been clear that we will not raise interest rates until economic slack is absorbed. We are not there yet, but we are getting closer,” Macklem wrote in an op-ed for the Financial Times newspaper.

Widespread working from home will end at some point, won’t it? Maybe not

CBC News

Twenty months into the pandemic, more than four million Canadians continue to work from home, despite significant gains in vaccination coverage and efforts to diminish the spread of the coronavirus across the country.

Simply put, the virus is still here and these workers are still not back in the office.

It’s a reality that most organizations probably hoped would not be the case this far into the COVID-19 era.

At this point, Canada’s millions of WFH veterans are used to what they’re doing and some of them will clearly not want to shift back to the prior setup — and not just because of COVID-19.

“A lot of employees like working at home,” said Philip Cross, a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, an Ottawa-based think-tank.

Niagara COVID-19 statistics tracker

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses. Visit to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

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.

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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