In this edition:
- Ontario introduces legislation rolling back changes to Niagara official plan
- Number of EI claimants holds steady in September economic data
- Queen’s Park to transfer Niagara Escarpment Commission real estate management to Ministry
- Manufacturing sales tick up in September report, but volume is down
- Niagara Region Transit service cuts, rising fares face opposition
- ‘Come to the table’: No Frills workers could be going on strike Monday, Nov. 20
- Niagara-on-the-Lake to offer free parking in Old Town for December
- Focus on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Ontario introduces legislation rolling back changes to Niagara official plan
The Government of Ontario today announced that it was introducing the Planning Statute Law Amendment Act, 2023 which would, if passed, reverse provincial changes made in November 2022 and April 2023 to official plans and official plan amendments in 12 municipalities: the cities of Barrie, Belleville, Guelph, Hamilton, Ottawa, and Peterborough, Wellington County, and the regional municipalities of Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo and York. The reversal includes changes to urban boundaries while maintaining protections for the Greenbelt.
“Since announcing this wind back, I’ve heard from many mayors and heads of council who agree that we need to be more ambitious,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a statement today. “I look forward to receiving feedback from our municipal partners about changes to the original official plans and amendments.”
Number of EI claimants holds steady in September economic data
The number of Canadians receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits was little changed in September (-0.9%; -4,000), Statistics Canada reported today, and stood at 437,000. This followed three consecutive monthly increases ending in July and a slight decline in August. Compared with September 2022, the number of regular EI beneficiaries fell by 10,000 (-2.3%).
Queen’s Park to transfer Niagara Escarpment Commission real estate management to Ministry
Today, the Ontario government introduced Improving Real Estate Management Act, 2023, its proposed legislation that aims to more efficiently manage real estate, improve economic growth and save taxpayers’ money.
The province is proposing changes that would, if passed, create a framework to remove and/or modify four organizations’ and one proposed organization’s ability to deal with real property, if prescribed, and to provide the Minister of Infrastructure with control of real property previously under the control of these organizations. The four organizations and one proposed organization impacted by these proposed changes are:
- Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario)
- Ontario Health
- The Centennial Centre of Science and Technology (Ontario Science Centre)
- Niagara Escarpment Commission
- The proposed Ontario Health atHome
Manufacturing sales tick up in September report, but volume is down
Manufacturing sales rose 0.4% to $72.8 billion in September, on higher sales in 10 of 21 subsectors, led by the petroleum and coal product (+6.3%), wood (+2.9%), and machinery (+1.3%) subsectors. The gains were partially offset by lower sales of chemicals (-1.8%) and motor vehicle parts (-2.6%). On a quarterly basis, total sales rose 1.3% in the third quarter of 2023, mainly on higher sales of petroleum and coal (+8.5%) and food (+3.6%) products. On a year-over-year basis, sales increased 3.3% in September.
Total manufacturing sales in constant dollars declined 0.6% in September, indicating a lower volume of goods sold. The Industrial Product Price Index was up 0.4% in September.
Niagara Region Transit service cuts, rising fares face opposition
After setting a target of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 on Monday, St. Catharines city councillors are asking Niagara Region to continue investing in transit to help the city achieve its goal.
City council also called on Mayor Mat Siscoe to ask regional councillors not to cut transit services or increase fares, after Niagara Region Transit’s 2024 budget was referred back to the organization at last week’s regional budget meeting in the hope of reducing a $4.3-million, or 7.8 per cent, increase.
‘Come to the table’: No Frills workers could be going on strike Monday, Nov. 20
More than 1,200 Unifor members at Loblaw-owned No Frills stores could be on strike effective 12:01 a.m. on Monday (Nov. 20), the union says.
“Loblaw must come to the table prepared to raise wages, improve working conditions, and create more full-time jobs for these grocery store workers. They deserve decent work and pay. It’s as simple as that,” says Lana Payne, Unifor National president, in a statement. “Every single financial quarter Loblaw posts higher profits than the last. It’s past time the workers helping them earn these profits get a share so they can support their own families.”
Loblaw Companies Limited said in an email early Thursday (Nov. 16) this is a negotiation between no frills franchisees and their employees, and therefore Loblaw is not involved.
Niagara-on-the-Lake to offer free parking in Old Town for December
The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is once again pleased to offer free parking in the Heritage District (Old Town) throughout the month of December. This initiative aims to encourage local shopping during the holiday season, create a welcoming atmosphere for visitors, and enhance the festive spirit in our charming community.
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Focus on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Canadian Marketing Association releases guide to address DEI problems in the workplace
The Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) has released a new document to help employers in addressing problems when it comes to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.
The guide includes conversation starters intended to help organizational leaders “articulate a commitment” and specify the what they will do to create a more inclusive and equitable work environment. Doing so will help improve employee engagement and morale, according to the CMA.
“Creating real organizational change starts at the top,” said Alison Simpson, president and CEO, CMA. “Our DEI Discussion Guide will help leaders create a meaningful, individualized blueprint toward more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces.”
‘Essential’ new guidelines for trans and non-binary inclusion at work issued by HR association
The Chartered Insitute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), an association of human resource professionals have published new guidance on how businesses can promote trans and non-binary inclusion in the workplace.
The guide provides professionals, employers, and people managers with the information needed to take an informed and proactive approach to supporting transgender and non-binary people at work, as part of a broader diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) policy. It also provides insights from people with lived experience to help employers understand the issues and challenges facing these individuals.
Data from the CIPD shows that 55 per cent of trans employees have experienced harassment and discrimination while at work. Additionally, 18 per cent of trans employees say that they feel psychologically unsafe.
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.