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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: November 16, 2022

Ontario to reassess two-tier government, inflation now at 6.9% year-over-year, education workers file strike notice again, and more.

In this edition:

Ontario to reassess two-tier government relationship in Niagara

Today, the Ontario government introduced the Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022, which aims to reduce municipal duplication to deliver on shared provincial-municipal priorities – primarily the building of 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years.

As the province considers how to best extend the tools provided for in the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act to some of Ontario’s fastest-growing municipalities, provincially-appointed facilitators will assess the regional governments in Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo and York. They will be tasked with determining the best mix of roles and responsibilities between the upper and lower-tier municipalities in those regions.

The proposed legislation, if passed, would also allow the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to appoint the regional heads of council for Niagara, Peel and York regions.

If these proposals are passed, the Minister’s intention is to reappoint the existing chairs: Jim Bradley in Niagara, Nando Iannicca in Peel and Wayne Emerson in York.

In a statement, Regional Chair Jim Bradley said that he “fully [respects] the province’s authority over local governments and their ability to make decisions they feel are in the best interest of the people of Ontario.

“I can affirm my steadfast commitment to the people of Niagara and my readiness to continue serving as Regional Chair,” Bradley continued. “It goes without saying that there is a significant housing crisis across Ontario. I applaud the province for considering all options at their disposal to address this crisis, including exploration of expansion of so-called “strong mayor” powers.”

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Inflation now at 6.9% year-over-year

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 6.9% year over year in October, matching the increase in September. Faster price growth for gas and mortgage interest costs were moderated by slowing price growth for food.

Excluding food and energy, prices rose 5.3% year over year in October, following a gain of 5.4% in September.

In October, higher prices at the gas pump put upward pressure on the all-items CPI. Additionally, Canadians renewed or initiated mortgages at higher interest rates, which led to acceleration in the Mortgage Interest Cost Index. Offsetting the upward pressure was slower price growth on a year-over-year basis for natural gas and groceries, particularly prices for fruit, vegetables, and meat.

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Ontario education workers file strike notice again, say talks broke down

More than 50,000 education workers in Ontario are set to go on strike Monday — two weeks after their last walkout ended — saying that while they’ve reached an agreement with the government on wages, they still want certain staffing levels to be guaranteed.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees announced Wednesday that it filed a five-day strike notice, saying that after two full days of bargaining, talks with the province have broken down once more.

Both sides have agreed to a $1-per-hour raise each year, or about 3.59 per cent annually, CUPE said, and not just for the lowest paid workers. Previous offers from the government included higher raises for workers earning less than approximately $40,000, but CUPE was unhappy with two-tiered increases.

The District School Board of Niagara announced that if CUPE education workers walk off the job on Monday, November 21st, all schools will be closed.

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Canadian home sales edge up from September to October

Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales edged a little higher in October 2022.

Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems fell by 3.9% between August and September 2022. From May through August, month-over-month declines have been progressively smaller. The September result marked a slight increase in the current sales slowdown that began with the Bank of Canada’s first rate hike back in March.

National home sales were up 1.3% on a month-over-month basis in October, while actual (not seasonally adjusted) monthly activity came in 36% below October 2021. The number of newly listed properties edged up 2.2% month-over-month.

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Weekly Winter at St. Catharines Market returns on Thursday

Winter at the Market will run for five weeks, every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., starting Thursday, Nov. 17 at Market Square (91 King St.) in downtown St. Catharines.

Shoppers will be able to choose from a selection of fine preserves and local wines, as well as handmade items such as toys, games, jewelry, home decor, luxurious beauty products and more, all while supporting the community.

“Anyone looking for unique handmade gifts or decorative items for the holidays will be able to find what they need while supporting our local small businesses,” said Deanna Chakarova, the City’s community and market coordinator. “With 56 vendors offering superb selections of products from woodwork to baked goods, customers are sure to find what they are looking for.”

Find a full list of vendors at

Click here to read more.

TD Niagara Jazz Festival says $65,000 grant will help them rebuild and recover

The TD Niagara Jazz Festival has received a $65,600 grant from the Ontario government.

The money from the Ontario Trillium Foundation has allowed the Festival, now in its 10th anniversary season, to rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The Festival has been able to hire new staff, purchase equipment, develop a strategic plan and a fundraising plan, as well as recruit and train volunteers to support the Festival activities.

The festival suffered an enormous loss earlier this year after its co-founder, Peter Shea passed away.

Shea along with his wife and musical partner, Juliet Dunn, founded the Festival in Niagara back in 2014.

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Focus on Climate

Canada places 58 out of 63 in climate change performance ranking

Canada gets low marks for its efforts to tackle climate change in the new Climate Change Performance Index presented at COP27, scoring 58th out of 63 countries evaluated. But the federal government says they’re starting to make changes to improve the country’s standing.

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Canada spends more on responding to climate emergencies in First Nations than preventing them, auditor general says

Climate emergencies are increasing for remote Indigenous communities, yet the federal government is still more reactive than preventive when responding to them, according to a report by the federal auditor general.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) has spent three and a half times more money on responding to emergencies and helping Indigenous nations recover from them than it has on preventing and mitigating floods, fires and other extreme weather events, Karen Hogan’s report found.

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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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