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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: November 15

In this edition:

  • Canadian home sales see downward trend continue in October
  • Is The Beer Store finished? Sources say announcement could end monopoly
  • Supreme Court Sudbury appeal ruling shocks construction industry
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake denies cash advance to Tourism NOTL
  • St. Catharines hopes to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
  • Pelham receives $8,000 Grant from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation
  • Focus on Climate

Canadian home sales see downward trend continue in October

Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales declined on a month-over-month basis in October 2023.

Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems posted a 5.6% decline between September and October 2023. The sizable decline was the result of fewer sales in most of Canada’s largest markets.

“We’re only in November, but it appears many would-be home buyers have already gone into hibernation,” said Larry Cerqua, Chair of CREA. “The October numbers also revealed some sellers may be shelving their plans until next spring. That said, there are still a lot of people active in the market and looking to get deals done this year.”


Is The Beer Store finished? Sources say announcement coming soon that could end monopoly

The Beer Store was once a retail juggernaut, selling 90 per cent of all beer consumed in Ontario.

But with dwindling market share, increased competition and the provincial government on the verge of opening the floodgates to beer and wine sales in corner stores, a growing number of observers wonder whether the once-dominant chain can survive.

Within the next month, sources say the provincial government is expected to announce it’s not renewing the Master Framework Agreement, which limits the number of grocery stores that are allowed to sell beer, and prevents anyone but The Beer Store from selling beer by the case.

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Supreme Court Sudbury appeal ruling shocks construction industry

There will be far reaching implications resulting from a Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) appeal decision, rendered on Nov. 10, that will shake the construction industry to its core.

“Engaging a General Contractor (GC) as a ‘constructor’ at a construction project, and allowing the GC to assume full operational ‘control’ over the project, may no longer insulate an owner from liability under the OHSA (Occupational Health and Safety Act),” write Gowling partner Sahil Shoor and associates Tushar Anandasagar and Cristina Borbely. “Owners are at greater risk for health and safety on their projects and need to carefully reconsider their contractual arrangements with GCs and construction managers.”

The SCC appeal relates to the 2021 dispute between the City of Sudbury and the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

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Niagara-on-the-Lake denies cash advance to Tourism NOTL

A cash advance — equal to the municipal accommodation tax money owed to the town’s eligible tourism entity — has been denied following a tie vote by town councillors.

After a lengthy discussion behind closed doors, a tie vote on a motion by Coun. Wendy Cheropita meant the town would not be loaning Tourism Niagara-on-the-Lake the $226,000 it was requesting to tide it over before receiving funding through the MAT.

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St. Catharines hopes to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

After exceeding its previous targets, St Catharines has set its sights on the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions.

Councillors approved new “ambitious” targets for the reduction of greenhouses gases Monday that would cut emissions by 65 per cent by 2030 and eliminate them by 2050.

The plan, replacing targets set in 2017 that would have cut emissions 15 per cent by 2020, by 37 per cent in 2030 and by 80 per cent in 2050, was welcomed by environmentalists.

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Pelham receives $8,000 Grant from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

The Town of Pelham has received $8,000 in funding from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation to support a community tree planting in Marlene Stewart Streit Park.

Pelham residents are invited to bring their shovels and join in the planting beginning at 11 a.m. on November 24. The event will be rain or shine, and appropriate outdoor clothing is recommended. Town of Pelham forestry specialists will assist with the planting following a brief demonstration. Community partners will collaborate with the planting, and educational signs will be installed following the planting to raise awareness of the importance of the tree canopy and the inclusion of native species.

Did you know?

The 4,000-year-old Minoan Palace on Crete is the oldest known building with sewage and water systems.

Focus on Climate

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What happens when you put a fossil fuel exec in charge of solving climate change

I traveled to Abu Dhabi in late October, not to sip gilded cappuccinos, but to interview Sultan Al Jaber, the Ph.D. economist turned renewable-­energy executive turned ADNOC CEO, who is presiding over the U.N. climate conference to be held in Dubai in December. The conference, known as COP28, comes as, at the close of the hottest year on record, scientific consensus demands that we cut fossil-fuel use right now. At the same time, money continues to flow into fossil fuels; more than $1 trillion in new funding was invested this year alone, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Al Jaber, as the head of both COP28 and one of the world’s largest fossil-fuel companies, is tasked with reconciling those realities. Sitting in a meeting room at the Emirates Palace hotel dressed in the traditional white thobe and sneakers, he is both a target for criticism and a symbol of possibility. “A phasedown of fossil fuels is inevitable, it is essential,” he tells me. “We have to accept that.” At the same time, he says, the world is not ready to entirely kick oil and gas. “We need to get real,” he says. “We cannot unplug the world from the current energy system before we build a new energy system.”

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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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